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Diana Ross, an iconic figure in the music industry, began her illustrious career with a group known as the Primettes. They later evolved into the legendary Supremes. In the end, the spotlight focused solely on Diana Ross.

Her achievements are nothing short of remarkable. The Detroit Historical Society reports sales of over 100 million records, 57 unique albums and a string of chart toppers and accolades.

Genesis of stars: from the street to the studio

Diana Ross’s musical journey began in her school days, along with the neighborhood girls who formed the all-female counterpart to the local all-male ensemble, the Primes. Namely, the Primes would later be renamed The Temptations and find their own string of hits. Smokey Robinson, a key figure, recognized their potential and paved the way for their recording contract. From that moment on, Diana Ross never looked back. However, the journey was not without its challenges.

The Supremes Saga: Rise and Fall

As part of the Supremes, Diana Ross showed an unwavering determination to stand out. Her co-stars, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson, recounted instances in which Ross sought to stand out, from placing herself on the opposite side of the stage to forgoing appropriate costumes just before a performance. Despite the internal dynamics, Ross’s intimidating presence was undeniable. Her determined pursuit of her goals has marked her as a force to be reckoned with.

A heartbreaking childhood memory

Growing up in Detroit’s Brewster-Douglass project, Ross cherished her upbringing, filled with outdoor play and sibling bonding. However, a key moment, etched in her memory as “The Night of Weeping”, will forever change her idyllic childhood. The chilling incident involved a grieving mother who tragically lost her children, Ross’s close friends. Playing with the boy next door, they met a grim fate, trapped in an abandoned refrigerator. Their deaths left an indelible mark on young Diana Ross, forcing her to reflect on the pain they had endured. The painful memory, even after the building was demolished, remained in her mind.

In her memoir, “Secrets of a Sparrow,” Ross candidly shared her deep connection with her siblings and the lasting impact of that fateful night. The tragedy cast a shadow over her otherwise lively childhood, a phantom that lasted for years.

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