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The Smooth Late Show with Martin Collins 10pm - 1am
29 January 2021, 18:47
Diana Ross is one of the greatest singers of all time, from her Supremes days at Motown to her hugely successful solo career.
From her hometown, to her career and family, here's all the important facts about Diana every fan should know:
Diana Ross is a legendary American singer and actress.
She rose to fame as the lead singer of the girl group the Supremes, which became Motown's most successful act in the 1960s, and one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time.
After leaving the group in 1970, she launched a successful solo career, with many huge hits across the next couple of decades.
Ross was named the 'Female Entertainer of the Century' by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records named Ross the most successful female music artist in history.
Diana Ross was born on March 26, 1944. She celebrated her 76th birthday in 2020.
She was born at the Hutzel Women's Hospital in Detroit and was the second eldest child for Ernestine (1916 – 1984) and Fred Ross, Sr (1920 – 2007). Her older sister is American physician Barbara Ross-Lee.
Her mother actually named her Diane, but an error resulted in her name being recorded as Diana on her birth certificate. She was actually listed as Diane on early Supremes records. Her friends and family still call her Diane, too.
In her early teens, Diana took classes including clothing design, millinery, pattern making, and tailoring, and had wanted to become a fashion designer.
Diana Ross has been married twice, and has five children.
In 1965, she started a relationship with Motown chief Berry Gordy. It lasted several years, and she gave birth to their child, Rhonda Suzanne Silberstein, in 1971.
Two months into her pregnancy with Rhonda, she married music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein, who raised Rhonda as his own daughter. Ross told Rhonda that Gordy was her biological father when she was 13 years old.
Diana also has two daughters with Silberstein: Tracee Joy and Chudney Lane Silberstein, born in 1972 and 1975, respectively. She and Silberstein divorced in 1977.
She dated Kiss singer Gene Simmons, from 1980 to 1983, but they split after she thought he had resumed his relationship with Cher.
Diana met her second husband, Norwegian shipping magnate Arne Næss Jr, in 1985, and married him the next year. She became stepmother to his three children; Katinka, Christoffer, and folk singer Leona Naess.
They also have two sons together: Ross Arne (born 1987) and Evan Olav (born 1988). Ross and Næss divorced in 2000, after reports claimed Naess had fathered a child with another woman in Norway. He died in a South African mountain climbing accident in 2004.
She also has five grandchildren: grandsons Raif-Henok (born 2009 to Ross's daughter Rhonda) and Leif (born 2016) and Idingo (born 2017, to Ross's son Ross Næss), and granddaughters Callaway Lane (born 2012 to Ross's daughter Chudney) and Jagger Snow (born 2015 to Ross's son Evan).
According to The Richest, Diana Ross has an estimated net worth of $250 million (£192 million).