When it comes to R&B divas, no one is more iconic than Diana Ross. The influential singer-actress celebrates her 73rd birthday today (March 26).
For over three decades, Ross — born Diane Ernestine Earle Ross in Detroit — has led a venerable career in music and entertainment. Starting out as the lead singer the 1960s girl group The Supremes on Berry Gordy, Jr.’s Motown Records, Ross paved the way for future black singers to find success in the mainstream.
But not only was Ross a pioneer in music, her beauty was sought after in the fashion world as well. You can’t talk about modern-day red carpet style without giving a hat tip to Ms. Ross. Some would say she invented the red carpet look with her unbridled love for fashion and beauty.
It started with the Supremes with the sparkling gowns and shoulder-length bob haircuts. Then when Ross pursued her solo career, she wore big hair that was flowing and fierce, donned sequin gowns with plunging necklines and glittering jumpsuits (watch the “I’m Coming Out” video for reference below).
Moving right along, Ross also made an impact in Hollywood. Her portrayal the late jazz chanteuse Billie Holiday in the 1972 film, Lady Sing the Blues, earned Ross a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. Ironically, 44 years later, her daughter, Tracee Ellis-Ross, won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy or Musical for black-ish. Ross would also starred in two other films, Mahogany (1975) and The Wiz (1978), which both have become cult classics among her fans.
In November 2016, Ross was awarded the Presidential Medal Freedom by former President Barack Obama.
“Along with her honey voice and soulful sensibility, Diana exuded glamour and grace and filled stages that help to shape the sound Motown,” the president said. “From the hip-hop that samples her, to the young singers who have been inspired by her, to the audiences that still cannot get enough her, Diana’ Ross’s influence is as inescapable as ever.”
Check out celebrities, journalists and fans wishing Diana Ross a Happy 73rd Birthday below:
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