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Singer and actress Diana Ross was part of the 1960s trio the Supremes as well as a solo artist, and starred in such films as Lady Sings the Blues and The Wiz.
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The next year she was arrested for driving under the influence and later convicted. Also in 2000, Ross launched a Supremes tour, which was highly criticized for not including original member Mary Wilson or later addition Cindy Birdsong. After experiencing some problems, the tour was eventually cancelled.
In 2007, Ross suffered a great personal loss. Her father, Fred Ross, died in November of that year. "He touched many lives and he will be truly missed,
" Diana Ross said in a statement. On tour at the time, she returned home to Detroit to be with her family. A few weeks after her father's death, Ross honored by the Kennedy Center for her contributions to the arts. Smokey Robinson and actor Terrance Howard were on hand to provide tributes to the singing superstar, and Ciara, Vanessa Williams, and Jordin Sparks paid homage to Ross in song.
Despite her personal and professional ups and downs, Ross has withstood the test of time as a performer with a career that spans more than four decades. She has won several major awards, including a Golden Globe, a Tony Award, and several American Music Awards. Ross was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 as part of the Supremes. Not one to rest on her laurels, she continues to delight her fans with new recordings, such as 2006's I Love You, a collection of love songs. She was awarded for her hard work again in 2007, when she was presented with Black Entertainment Television's Lifetime Acheivement Award and a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Honors Award. In 2009, Ross jumped back into the limelight when pop icon Michael Jackson named the diva as an alternate guardian for his children.
Ross has been married twice: in 1971 she married music business manager Robert Ellis Silberstein, and after their divorce she married Norwegian tycoon Arne Næss Jr. in 1986. She split with Næss in 1999. Diana is the mother of five children: Rhonda Suzanne Silberstein, Tracee Joy Silberstein, Chudney Lane Silberstein, Ross Arne Næss, and Evan Olav Næss.
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Many African-Americans made their name performing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, including Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. The roster of talented artists who made their careers after a successful amateur night at the Apollo grew so large, that the venue earned a reputation as the place to jump-start the career of an ambitious hopeful. Other performers, like Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson, came to the theater after experiencing big professional success, adding further credibility to the historic New York concert hall. Explore the biographies of some of the more notable African-Americans who stepped out onto the Apollo stage, making entertainment history.
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Who can forget Angela Bassett as Tina Turner or Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles? Do you remember who played Billie Holiday? Or who Beyoncé performed as in the film Cadillac Records? More recent African-American biopics include the Lifetime original movie Betty & Coretta (2013), starring Angela Bassett as Coretta Scott King and Mary J. Blige as Betty Shabazz, and The Butler (2013), starring Forest Whitaker and based on the life of Eugene Allen.
View our photos of African-American biopics to compare these famous figures to the actors and actresses who have portrayed them.
African-American Biopics 39 people in this group