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Sunday, March 26, 2017

73 Groovy Things about Diana Ross on her birthday

Today I'm celebrating Diana Ross's 73rd birthday by sharing a "few" groovy things about her life and career:

1. Diane Ernestine Earle Ross was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 26, 1944. Her mother named her "Diane", but a clerical error resulted in her name being recorded as "Diana" on her birth certificate (she began going by "Diana" in 1965).

2. In 1959, Ross joined the Primettes, a sister group of a male vocal group called the Primes, and on January 15, 1961, Berry Gordy of Motown Records signed the group under their new name, the Supremes.

3. The Supremes' debut studio album, Meet the Supremes, was released on December 9, 1962.

4. In December 1963, the Supremes had their first hit single, "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes", which peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100.

5. In 1964, the Supremes became the first act to have three #1 hits from the same album - "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love" and "Come See About Me" - which all appeared on their second studio album, Where Did Our Love Go.

6. The Supremes filmed performances of "Run, Run, Run", "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes", "Where Did Our Love Go" and "Baby Love" for the teen concert film, T.A.M.I. Show, which was released on December 29, 1964.

7. On July 5, 1965, The Supremes performed their #1 hits, "Baby Love" and "Back In My Arms Again", on To Tell the Truth (the panel had to guess which Berry Gordy, Jr. was the real one).

8. On August 25, 1966, the Supremes releaed their ninth studio album, The Supremes A' Go-Go, which became the first album by an all-female group to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It included the #9 hit, "Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart", and the #1 hit "You Can't Hurry Love".

9. The Supremes performed "My Favorite Things" from their 1965 album, Merry Christmas, on The Ed Sullivan Show on December 4, 1966.

10. On May 7, 1967, the Supremes performed "The Happening" (their 10th #1 single from the 1967 film, The Happening) and a medley of "Thoroughly Modern Millie", "Second Hand Rose" and "Mame" on The Ed Sullivan Show.

11. The Supremes were the Mystery Guests on What's My Line? on May 21, 1967.

12. On December 3, 1967, Diana Ross & the Supremes performed "Reflections" from their album, Reflections, on NBC's The Tennessee Ernie Ford Special. The album featured for the first time the new billing of the group (Berry Gordy renamed them in July 1967 when he replaced Florence Ballard with Cindy Birdsong).

13. Diana Ross & the Supremes appeared as a trio of singing nuns on the NBC series, Tarzan, on January 12, 1968.

14. On March 24, 1968, Diana Ross & the Supremes performed "Forever Came Today" from their album, Reflections, on The Ed Sullivan Show.

15. Diana Ross & the Supremes performed a medley from their 1968 album, Diana Ross & the Supremes Sing and Perform "Funny Girl", and their future #1 single, "Love Child", on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 29, 1968.

16. Diana Ross & the Supremes and José Feliciano appeared on The Bing Crosby Special on October 23, 1968.

17. Diana Ross & the Supremes and the Temptations appeared together in the NBC special, TCB (which stands for "Taking Care of Business"), on December 9, 1968.

18. Diana Ross & the Supremes were the hosts of ABC's The Hollywood Palace on March 8, 1969.

19. Ross, Lucille Ball and Dick Martin were guests on The Dinah Shore Special: Like Hep, which aired on NBC on April 13, 1969.

20. Diana Ross & the Supremes performed "No Matter What Sign You Are" from their 1969 album, Let the Sunshine In, on The Ed Sullivan Show on May 11, 1969.

21. Ross appeared on NBC's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In on September 22, 1969, and November 17, 1969.

22. On October 18, 1969, Diana Ross & the Supremes were the hosts of ABC's The Hollywood Palace with their guests The Jackson 5 and Sammy Davis Jr.

23. Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations appeared in their second NBC special, G.I.T. on Broadway (which stands for "Gettin' It Together"), on November 12, 1969.

24. Ross recorded "Someday We'll Be Together" as her first solo recording, but Berry Gordy instead released it as a Diana Ross & the Supremes single. It became the group's final #1 hit, which they performed in their final TV appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on December 21, 1969.

25. On June 19, 1970, Ross released her debut solo album, Diana Ross, which included the songs, "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (which became her first #1 solo single).

26. Ross played an entertainer named Diana Hendricks on Danny Thomas's ABC sitcom, Make Room for Granddaddy, on February 4, 1971.

27. Ross starred in her first solo ABC special, Diana!, on April 18, 1971.

28. Ross received a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer (Female) and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her first film, Lady Sings the Blues, which was released on October 12, 1972.

29. On June 22, 1973, Ross released her album, Touch Me in the Morning, which included her second #1 hit, "Touch Me in the Morning".

30. In 1973, Ross became the first entertainer in Japan's history to receive an invitation to the Imperial Palace for a private audience with the Empress Nagako, wife of Emperor Hirohito.

31. On April 2, 1974, Ross became the first African-American woman to co-host the 46th Academy Awards.

32. In 1975, Ross starred in her second feature film, Mahogany, which featured her third #1 hit, "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)", that received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song.

33. A pregnant Ross was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on October 3, 1975 (her daughter Chudney was born on November 4, 1975).

34. Ross performed her fourth solo #1 hit, "Love Hangover", when she hosted NBC's The Midnight Special on November 26, 1976.

35. Ross performed An Evening with Diana Ross on Broadway at the Palace Theatre for 16 performances in June-July 1976, and she received a Special Tony Award in 1977. And she starred in the NBC special, An Evening with Diana Ross, on March 6, 1977.

36. Ross was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on March 2, 1977.

37. Ross appeared on the first episode of the NBC variety series, Dick Clark's Live Wednesday, on September 20, 1978.

38. Ross played a schoolteacher named Dorothy in the movie musical, The Wiz, which was released on October 24, 1978.

39. Ross was interviewed on ABC's The Barbara Walters Special on November 29, 1978.

40. Ross appeared on Sesame Street in 1979.

41. On July 16, 1979, Ross was the guest host of The Tonight Show with her guests Lynda Carter, George Carlin and Muhammad Ali as guests.

42. Ross promoted her 1979 album, The Boss, on her first HBO special, Standing Room Only, which was filmed at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in September 1979 and aired in early 1980.

43. On November 22, 1979, Ross performed "The Boss" during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

44. Ross appeared on The Muppet Show on May 17, 1980.

45. On May 22, 1980, Ross released her most successful album to date, diana, which included the hits, "I'm Coming Out" and "Upside Down" (which became her fifth #1 single).

46. Ross had a #9 hit with the title song to the 1980 film, It's My Turn, starring Jill Clayburgh and Michael Douglas.

47. On February 5, 1981, Ross's concert at The Forum in Inglewood, CA, was taped for her CBS special, diana, which aired on March 2, 1981. Scenes from the concert were alternated with studio recordings featuring Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Larry Hagman and Muhammad Ali.

48. On September 24, 1981, Ross released her album, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, which included the Top 10 hit title track.

49. Ross and Lionel Richie performed their 1981 #1 hit duet, "Endless Love" (the theme song for the Brooke Shields movie) during the 54th Annual Academy Awards in 1982. The song received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. It remains the best-selling single of her career.

50. In September 1982, Ross released her album, Silk Electric, which included the Top 10 single, "Muscles".

51. In 1982, Ross received a solo star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Supremes received a star in 1994.

52. On July 21, 1983, Ross performed a concert in NYC's Central Park for a taped Showtime special. Severe weather required that the show be stopped, and a second concert was performed the next day.

53. On August 4, 1983, Ross performed "Let's Go Up" from her album, Ross, on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

54. On September 13, 1984, Ross released her album, Swept Away, which featured the Julio Iglesias duet, "All of You", and the Top 10 hit, "Missing You" (a tribute to Marvin Gaye, who died in April 1984).

55. Ross promoted her 1987 album, Red Hot Rhythm & Blues, with a TV special on May 20, 1987, featuring Etta James, Little Richard, Billy Dee Williams, Leslie Nielsen, LL Cool J, Bernadette Peters and Wolfman Jack.

56. The Supremes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

57. Ross was interviewed on ABC's The Barbara Walters Special on March 29, 1989.

58. Ross and Mel Brooks were guests on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on July 24, 1991.

59. On November 19, 1991, Ross became one of the few American artists to headline the annual Royal Variety Performance for Queen Elizabeth II.

60. On December 23, 1992, Ross recorded the live album, Christmas in Vienna, with Plácido Domingo and José Carreras, and their concert aired on PBS in 1993.

61. Ross promoted her 1993 memoir, Secrets of a Sparrow, on Charlie Rose on November 11, 1993.

62. Ross returned to acting and earned her third Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for the ABC movie, Out of Darkness, which aired on January 16, 1994.

63. Ross performed the title track from her album, Take Me Higher, on Late Show with David Letterman on September 14, 1995.

64. On January 28, 1996, Ross performed a medley of her greatest hits during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXX.

65. On June 5, 1996, Ross appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and performed her cover of "I Will Survive" (which was featured in the 1997 film, In & Out).

66. Ross was a guest on The RuPaul Show in 1996 (RuPaul appeared in Ross's music video for "I Will Survive").

67. Ross and Brandy played mother and daughter in the ABC movie, Double Platinum, which aired on May 16, 1999.

68. Ross and Rod Stewart recorded a duet of "I've Got a Crush on You" for his 2005 album, Thanks for the Memory: The Great American Songbook, Volume IV.

69. On June 20, 2006, Blue, Ross's long-lost 1972 follow-up album to Lady Sings the Blues, was finally released (Berry Gordy had shelved it when he decided to keep her career going in a pop direction).

70. In December 2007, Ross was was recognized for her career achievements as one of the Kennedy Center honorees.

71. Ross was a guest on Oprah on February 25, 2011.

72. In February 2012, Ross received her first ever Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

73. On November 22, 2016, Ross was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

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