By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Iconic American pop singer Diana Ross will return to Rio on June 29th bringing with her to HSBC Arena a body of work that includes dozens of internationally known hits that span her over five decade career both with The Supremes and as a solo artist.
Presented by XYZ Live, the Brazilian leg of Ms. Ross’ ongoing 2013 Summer Tour features four shows in the three cities of São Paulo, Rio and Curitiba.
Born in 1944 in Detroit, Michigan and raised there in the Brewster-Douglass public housing project, Ross began her remarkable career in 1959 with three other local girls as part of the singing group the Primettes.
After internal line-up changes, they signed with the now famous Motown record label in 1961. Guided by legendary producer and label founder, Berry Gordy, the Primettes would evolve into The Supremes and the most powerful all-girl group to date.
Between 1964 and 1969, they recorded twelve U.S. number one hits and achieved unprecedented mainstream success.
Their songs that included; “Back in My Arms Again”, “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me” and “Stop! In the Name of Love”, appealed to both black and white American audiences which is something few groups had achieved at that time.
They were so successful that their 1966 album, entitled, The Supremes A’ Go-Go was the first all-female release to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard top 200 chart. Featuring the number one hit “You Can’t Hurry Love”, the album managed to overtake the British Invasion and dethrone the number one seated Beatles’ Revolver album.
“Even though I was young at the time, I found The Supremes through a friend and had the double album with the greatest hits,” a Rio fan told The Rio Times. “I still play them now and think the songs are timeless. Diana’s voice really made them special. It has a nice easy smoothness.”
In 1970, Ross left the group to begin her solo career. On her own Ross proved as successful with 22 album releases with hits that included, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Upside Down”, “Missing You”, “I’m Coming Out” and “Touch Me in the Morning.”
A true performer, known for her energy and stage presence, Ms. Ross also took several turns acting. She earned numerous nominations and a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer, Female in 1973.
Her acting credits include several Motown Productions, the film and television division of Motown Records. Her 1972 debut “Lady Sings the Blues” won her critical praise as did 1975’s Mahogany, for which she also sang the theme song, “Do You Know Where You’re Going To.”
In 1978 she also appeared in the all-star Motown production, The Wiz, as Dorothy Gale with almost twenty-year-old Michael Jackson. Jackson is just one of many Ross is considered to have influenced during her long career.
Through her work with The Supremes and on her own she helped pave the way for artists like Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland who achieved stardom after the rise of their all-girl group Destiny’s Child. Among her other achievements, her life was also the inspiration for the character of Deena Jones in hit Broadway musical and film, “Dreamgirls”.
On Sunday, June 29th Ross’ show will surely entertain fans who go to see a true entertainer and music legend at work.
Who: Diana Ross
Where: HSBC Arena, Avenida Embaixador Abelardo Bueno, 3401 – Barra da Tijuca
When: June 29th, gates Open at 7:30 PM, show begins at 9:30 PM
Tickets: Prices range from R$120 – R$720 (Cadeira Premier) and can be purchased online here.