HELLO AMERICA!—The idea that Diana Ross is still on the road doing what she loves best is absolutely amazing. This little girl from Detroit who was discovered by Motown’s dream-maker Berry Gordy refuses to hang up her costume or remove the makeup which establishes her as Miss Ross!
Diana makes it very clear that any loneliness she might feel vanishes when she is performing before an audience who is excited about her music she loves so much.
“After all, those people who pay so much money and looks forward to sitting out there for a few hours to hear what’s in my heart and soul, musically, has to be respected. I know how lucky I have always been and still am,” said Ross.
She reminded me that even though she, as a very young girl, found herself wishing she could leave the streets of Detroit for a place which might make her feel safe and whole. However, as she grew older, she suddenly realized that having survived a rough city such as Detroit actually made the life she is living now [that] was based on all the realities and lessons she learned in that city.
After all, it was Detroit which brought Berry Gordy and her together along with the other girls eventually known the world over as The Supremes which Motown developed into one of the greatest female performing groups in the music industry.
How did all the applause and extreme promotional tactics affect her life especially when living in Hollywood?
“You above all,” she said. “Understand that the more successful you are, your life and everything about you changes, whether you like it or not. The more you are considered valuable, the more demands are made of you and when that happens, everything about your existence is put on the line. I dated people, thought I was in love but when I had to make a choice between them and my career, love or that kind of emotional commitment disappeared very fast. I tried to take on a normal life, you know, marriage and being a mother but when the call came to stand before a microphone or camera, I was gone in a flash and I didn’t feel guilty. Then too, I have always rationalized that being able to give my kids and those I love very deeply a beautiful life and not wish for anything has always made me feel justified in my life and career choices. All I had to do is remember Detroit.”
Diana admits that she, at times, gets tired of being on the road so much or making appearances through Europe but always remembers how fortunate she is that people still will pay to hear her singing many of the songs which brought so much joy in their lives.
“I don’t take anything for granted,” she offered. “I’ve been one damn lucky lady in every aspect of my life. Of course, just like everyone else, I’ve had my heart breaking moments; times when I thought I might pack things up and just disappear. However, all those emotionally down times simply made me a better and a more sensitive human being, realizing how lucky I’ve been for so many years.”
Does she ever plan to retire? “Only when I begin not remember the lyrics of some of the music I have always loved performing for all the fans I’ve been lucky enough to have all these years. Hey, I’m still that girl from Detroit with dreams!”