Diane Ernestine Earle Ross was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan. Diana Ross began her singing career at the age of fifteen with her neighborhood friends, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Betty McGlown. The four girls formed a doo-wop group called The Primettes - after the local group The Primes, who would later become The Temptations.
The girls were introduced to Motown studios, where they visited frequently and eventually met producer Berry Gordy. After Diana Ross finished high school in 1961, she, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard were signed to Motown Records, and the group changed their name to The Supremes. In 1963, Gordy appointed Diana Ross lead singer of The Supremes, and the group had their first hit, When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes. Ten more Supremes singles became Number One hits between 1964 and 1967.
In 1967, Florence Ballard was replaced by Cindy Birdsong, and the group's name was changed to Diana Ross & The Supremes, marking the beginning of Diana Ross' solo career. In 1970, Diana Ross produced her first solo album (self-titled), which included the hit singles Ain't No Mountain High Enough and Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand). Diana Ross received a Grammy nomination in 1971 for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance for Ain't No Mountain, and her next albums, Everything is Everything (1971) and Surrender (1971) were also very successful.
Next, Diana Ross headed to Hollywood, where she played Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues (1971) and received both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress for her performance. Diana Ross continued to star in films and produce albums for the next 30 years, collaborating with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Brandy, and Rod Stewart.