Editor’s Note: Our recurring “Portrait of the Artist” playlist series pays homage to the artists responsible for the most inspired and indispensable discographies of all time. We hope you enjoy these tributes, and stay tuned for many more to come.
Seventy-five years young today, Diana Ross is a living archetype, a goddess among mortals. This is not an overstatement, rather it is only an observation of an axiomatic truth. This songbird who formally took flight in 1963 as one of The Supremes has warmed our hearts with her melodies for six decades, her songs spanning every major music format—the vinyl record, the cassette tape, the compact disc, the mp3, and streaming. She is the original African-American crossover standard that all others that have come in her wake strive to match, even today.
A wholly unique interpreter, Ross is a trailblazing figure among the vanguard of women who have helped to define the popular music landscape for decades, along with her peers Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Donna Summer, Patti LaBelle and Chaka Khan.
Looking beyond any charts conquered or accolades claimed, what exactly is the “force behind the power” that is Diana Ross? She described herself succinctly in her own memoir Secrets of a Sparrow (1993) as an individual “with vibrant energy, vital, curious, full of piss and vinegar, and wildly excited to be alive.” This still holds true for Ross today.
At Albumism, we honor Diana Ross with a 75-track playlist that salutes her service to song, detailing her unrivaled path from girl group greatness to solo superstardom and beyond. She is Supreme, she is black excellence, she is eternal, she is Diana Ross and we are fortunate to share time and space with this incredible woman.
Note: Several entries from Ross’ ‘Every Day Is A New Day’ (1999) were earmarked for inclusion in this playlist, but the album is not available on a streaming services at this time.
EXPLORE Diana Ross’ Discography here