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There is only one Diana Ross. And this is her story. Drawn from hundreds of interviews conducted over four decades and featuring rare, never-before-published photos, Diana Ross paints an unforgettable picture of an extraordinary and often controversial legend, a woman who has distinguished herself as a Civil Rights trailblazer, a temperamental celebrity (yes, you should c There is only one Diana Ross. And this is her story. Drawn from hundreds of interviews conducted over four decades and featuring rare, never-before-published photos, Diana Ross paints an unforgettable picture of an extraordinary and often controversial legend, a woman who has distinguished herself as a Civil Rights trailblazer, a temperamental celebrity (yes, you should call her "Miss Ross"), a loving and very present mother, and a consummate entertainer. Beautiful and fascinating, she is her own invention--the definition of a superstar. Illuminated by unparalleled access, J. Randy Taraborrelli's insightful portrait surpasses previous biographies of Miss Ross. First-time revelations abound, from the tough decisions Diana made while having Barry Gordy's baby to her run-in with the police at Heathrow Airport to her triumphant recovery after a surprising drunk driving arrest. Taraborrelli also explains in vivid detail the real reasons behind the break up of the Supremes and relates the exclusive facts behind her complex romance with the founder of Motown. Delving deep into her personal history, Taraborrelli boldly explores Diana's troubled relationship with her family and the heartbreak she feels compelled to hide, bringing into focus a celebrated personality too often obscured by the bright lights of fame. Despite years in the limelight, Diana Ross remains an enigmatic figure--a compelling paradox of vulnerability and iron will, fragility and strength. J. Randy Taraborrelli examines her private world to reveal a complex, inspiring, triumphant survivor in unprecedented clarity. Ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable, the one and only Diana Ross.


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There is only one Diana Ross. And this is her story. Drawn from hundreds of interviews conducted over four decades and featuring rare, never-before-published photos, Diana Ross paints an unforgettable picture of an extraordinary and often controversial legend, a woman who has distinguished herself as a Civil Rights trailblazer, a temperamental celebrity (yes, you should c There is only one Diana Ross. And this is her story. Drawn from hundreds of interviews conducted over four decades and featuring rare, never-before-published photos, Diana Ross paints an unforgettable picture of an extraordinary and often controversial legend, a woman who has distinguished herself as a Civil Rights trailblazer, a temperamental celebrity (yes, you should call her "Miss Ross"), a loving and very present mother, and a consummate entertainer. Beautiful and fascinating, she is her own invention--the definition of a superstar. Illuminated by unparalleled access, J. Randy Taraborrelli's insightful portrait surpasses previous biographies of Miss Ross. First-time revelations abound, from the tough decisions Diana made while having Barry Gordy's baby to her run-in with the police at Heathrow Airport to her triumphant recovery after a surprising drunk driving arrest. Taraborrelli also explains in vivid detail the real reasons behind the break up of the Supremes and relates the exclusive facts behind her complex romance with the founder of Motown. Delving deep into her personal history, Taraborrelli boldly explores Diana's troubled relationship with her family and the heartbreak she feels compelled to hide, bringing into focus a celebrated personality too often obscured by the bright lights of fame. Despite years in the limelight, Diana Ross remains an enigmatic figure--a compelling paradox of vulnerability and iron will, fragility and strength. J. Randy Taraborrelli examines her private world to reveal a complex, inspiring, triumphant survivor in unprecedented clarity. Ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable, the one and only Diana Ross.

30 review for Diana Ross: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carol Storm

    Diana Ross with all her flaws -- the Motown goddess of soul music exposed! J. Randy Taraborrelli is a unique celebrity journalist. Read any one of his Motown books and you can see he genuinely worships the artists and the music that sprang from urban black America in the mid 20th century. His enthusiasm and committment are undeniable. Unfortunately, as a writer J. Randy lacks any kind of charisma or style, much less a coherent philosophy or agenda. He's like the six o'clock news -- he has the sor Diana Ross with all her flaws -- the Motown goddess of soul music exposed! J. Randy Taraborrelli is a unique celebrity journalist. Read any one of his Motown books and you can see he genuinely worships the artists and the music that sprang from urban black America in the mid 20th century. His enthusiasm and committment are undeniable. Unfortunately, as a writer J. Randy lacks any kind of charisma or style, much less a coherent philosophy or agenda. He's like the six o'clock news -- he has the sort of bland, neutral voice that makes it impossible to hold the reader's interest, even when he's detailing the most sensational scandals imaginable. (I never thought I'd say this, but he really makes me nostalgic for the passionate polemics of Dave Marsh, who certainly was no genius!) From the evidence compiled here, Diana Ross is absolutely monstrous as a human being. From the very early days, she was cruel, selfish, and narcisstic, willing to ruin anyone's life in order to get ahead, and incapable of focusing on anything other than her own career. Even as America ignited in the Sixties, her own outlook remained unbelievably shallow and self-centered. J. Randy shows us all of this in excruciating detail -- but without ever moralizing, or even expressing shock. Great facts, great research -- lousy writing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Diana Ross autobiography was a good long book. I was never a fan of Diana’s but curious to all the rumors I heard about her. After reading her story her insecurity started with her always wanting her father’s approval which is something she felt she never received. Diana was a mess but it was her way of getting what she wanted and always being the center of attention. As long as she got what she wanted, no matter how she had to get it even if it meant hurting her closes friends. No one was too big Diana Ross autobiography was a good long book. I was never a fan of Diana’s but curious to all the rumors I heard about her. After reading her story her insecurity started with her always wanting her father’s approval which is something she felt she never received. Diana was a mess but it was her way of getting what she wanted and always being the center of attention. As long as she got what she wanted, no matter how she had to get it even if it meant hurting her closes friends. No one was too big for Diana to step on. I didn’t care for her personality but after reading the book I can see how she was molded into a person like that – insecure I just wish she could have achieved her goal without mistreating people.( You don’t have to like everyone but you do have to deal with them. What comes around goes around.) This book is over 700 pages. The story got a little slow in some chapters ( I was like ok I’m getting tired of her attitude can we move on ) The author did a good job in writing the story from the beginning of her career until the time of the book. The story was detailed and insightful this really gave me the whole picture. I applaud everything that Diana Ross has and what she went through before and during her career.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    J. Randy Taraborrelli has totally rewritten, expanded and updated his 1989 bio CAL HER MISS ROSS to create what is now truly a definitive biography. The new book boasts epic research, including extensive interviews with Ross and virtually all the major people in her life (his enviable first-hand access began in the 1970s when he started an international fan club for the Supremes and later worked for Mary Wilson). This time out, there is more background about the early Supremes years that yields J. Randy Taraborrelli has totally rewritten, expanded and updated his 1989 bio CAL HER MISS ROSS to create what is now truly a definitive biography. The new book boasts epic research, including extensive interviews with Ross and virtually all the major people in her life (his enviable first-hand access began in the 1970s when he started an international fan club for the Supremes and later worked for Mary Wilson). This time out, there is more background about the early Supremes years that yields a complex and fascinating tale of ambition, ego, insecurities and harsh showbiz realities. Taraborrelli delves more deeply into Ross's psyche, allowing readers to fully appreciate her drive to escape Detroit and conquer the music world. The book also benefits greatly from Taraborrelli's thoughtful analysis of conflicting viewpoints represented in published memoirs by Ross, Wilson, Berry Gordy, and a slew of Motown performers. It's to Taraborrelli's credit that he refuses to cast people as one-dimensional heroes, victims or villains. This riveting page-turner is actually a tribute to a woman who has survived and thrived for more than four decades in a profession littered with one-hit wonders.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    In 1982 a friend and I had the chance to catch Diana Ross in action as she... http://sleaze-factor.blogspot.com/201... In 1982 a friend and I had the chance to catch Diana Ross in action as she... http://sleaze-factor.blogspot.com/201...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Wiles

    A very thorough biography of the Queen of Motown Diana Ross: A Biography by J. Randy Taraborelli is an exceptional biography of one of the greatest singer's of all time. For many, Diana Ross's reputation precedes her. She's often been characterized as a difficult and demanding diva. Certainly, one of the infamous legends attached to her is her request to only be addressed as Miss Ross. Others would cite her putting herself ahead of the other members of The Supremes in order to advance her career A very thorough biography of the Queen of Motown Diana Ross: A Biography by J. Randy Taraborelli is an exceptional biography of one of the greatest singer's of all time. For many, Diana Ross's reputation precedes her. She's often been characterized as a difficult and demanding diva. Certainly, one of the infamous legends attached to her is her request to only be addressed as Miss Ross. Others would cite her putting herself ahead of the other members of The Supremes in order to advance her career as the height of her diva behavior. And to an extent, her reputation for diva-ish behavior was accurate. But in this book we learn why she acted the way she did and that she was much more complex then her reputation would suggest. She was just being herself and dealing with the fame her singing career brought her as best she knew how. The relationship between her and Berry Gordy and his aspirations for her only added to the mix. Most people don't appreciate her struggle from being a kid from Detroit to becoming famous during the Civil Rights era. She was one of the few breakthrough artists of that era, appealing to white people as well as black. And she also dealt with the issues that the South struggled with during this time, while on tour, facing racism head on. She was also one of the few leading ladies on the silver screen that wasn't white. I learned so much about Miss Ross from this book. Some of the stories are familiar, but many I've never heard. Taraborelli does an excellent job of showing how Diana went from a typical teen to the Queen of Motown. It is very much worth a read. Taraborelli has a love for Miss Ross, but is not afraid to put out the truth. He also gives us context to her behavior, giving us a better understanding of what made Diana tick and why she acted the way she did. No matter the odds or what some people said, Diana persevered and made her dreams come true. And while her life has had its ups and downs (just like the rest of us), she never stopped trying. Her journey is something we all could learn from. And this book will show you the way. By the end, you'll not only appreciate Diana's music, but how she got where she is. And you'll believe that you can make your dreams come true.

  6. 4 out of 5

    William

    The author/biographer got his start as a writer for fanzines and it certainly shows in this book. The writing quality is sometimes pedestrian and he easily weaves back and forth from biography to hagiography. From critiqueing to cheerleading. With those caveats I will say that I loved this book. Its a book that probably only those of a certain generation will. Those like me who grew up to a Motown soundtrack. And its queen D. Ross. Anytime a book can describe a song and the events that surrounde The author/biographer got his start as a writer for fanzines and it certainly shows in this book. The writing quality is sometimes pedestrian and he easily weaves back and forth from biography to hagiography. From critiqueing to cheerleading. With those caveats I will say that I loved this book. Its a book that probably only those of a certain generation will. Those like me who grew up to a Motown soundtrack. And its queen D. Ross. Anytime a book can describe a song and the events that surrounded it and then have me singing those long forgotten lyrics in the shower the next day is a powerful book. Dredging up reels of Ed Sullivan, Flip Wilson, and Hootanny TV shows from the back of my mind. Love or hate D. Ross her place in history is undeniable. And what a life it is. If you like me start reading the book with generally negative feelings about her you are likely to be a tad more sympathetic by the end.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kym Moore

    What an expose into the life and career of Diana Ross. Nice read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Neil Mudde

    What was I thinking when seeing the book in the library, some profound disection of Ms. Ross, an in depth look into her life, well after many chapters of trashing Ms Ross, it seems, she was destined to be a "Diva" and no one in this world was going to stop her not even "in the name of love" Did not realize she had several children, not that it mattered, I believe, according to Taraborelli she chose her life,determined that any focus would be on her, and I believe it has its own rewards, by no on What was I thinking when seeing the book in the library, some profound disection of Ms. Ross, an in depth look into her life, well after many chapters of trashing Ms Ross, it seems, she was destined to be a "Diva" and no one in this world was going to stop her not even "in the name of love" Did not realize she had several children, not that it mattered, I believe, according to Taraborelli she chose her life,determined that any focus would be on her, and I believe it has its own rewards, by no one wanting to be around you. but hey she had a pretty good life, never did like her singing voice...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Shaw

    This updated bio from Randy Taraborrelli isn't bad. In fact I would venture to say it's good. I've had my negative feelings for Taraborrelli over the years, especially after reading Call Her Miss Ross when it was first published. At that time part of me felt like a protective fan ready to be Ross's bodyguard against people trying to cash in on her life; the other part was happy to have something to balance out Mary Wilson's scathing and one-sided view points in her memoirs: Dreamgirl: My Life as This updated bio from Randy Taraborrelli isn't bad. In fact I would venture to say it's good. I've had my negative feelings for Taraborrelli over the years, especially after reading Call Her Miss Ross when it was first published. At that time part of me felt like a protective fan ready to be Ross's bodyguard against people trying to cash in on her life; the other part was happy to have something to balance out Mary Wilson's scathing and one-sided view points in her memoirs: Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme. Even after I realized that Mary basically published her diaries that she kept since she was 17, it still felt like cherry picked indictments against my favorite singer Ross. Randy did help to balance Mary by filling in parts that Mary conveniently left out, like how the ousting of Flo wasn't a Diana-Berry soapy drama, it was a Diana/Mary/Berry trio, and to be completely objective, Flo herself. Even a man on Pluto could see how that chapter would end. I also liked that he included Diana's lending money to Mary when she needed it, and the fact they were friends up until Mary's memoirs, even after the Motown 25 mess. Quite honestly, in the Mary/Diana story, they both have equal parts to blame (which Randy also covers). Despite Mary's shenanigans about Ross, it's clear to any observer that she admired her childhood best friend, and even borrowed some of her best qualities when she (Mary) fought to keep the Supremes going in the 70's, fought Motown for the rights to own the Supremes name, and fought for her own survival in a very tough business. In hindsight, if Diana and Mary had spoken and maybe spent some time together (not much lol), but some, the Supremes segment of Motown 25, Mary's memoirs, and Diana's Return to Love tour would have all turned out differently. In the former, Mary would have dressed in black/white like Diana and Cindy Birdsong; she wouldn't have purposely had her mic turned up so she could over sing Diana, and all 3 would have stood on stage together after all agreeing and practicing before hand. In the latter, Mary's scathing memoirs would have included some friendship talk with Ross and a more balanced view of the past and present, and the Return to Love Tour wouldn't have been a Ross and replacements show, or even a Ross and all 6 other living members of the Supremes (which was actually a concept at one point). It would have been Diana, Mary, and Cindy in a tour de force concert, celebrating both the Supremes 40th anniversary, and Diana's 30th anniversary as a solo act. An entire generation of fans (both Gen X and Gen Y) as well as baby boomers would have paid the top dollar ($250) to see this once in a lifetime event. Till this day, some fans still talk about what could have been. Many of whom would have seen Diana, Mary, and Cindy perform live for the first time. I personally saw the RTL tour in Philly and bought 2 top dollar tickets for myself and my mother and we loved every minute of it, but before that show started practically all the fans in my row of pristine seats were lamenting about not seeing Mary and Cindy. Randy's probably the best biographer I've read of Ross. That's a hard task for anyone, because I've always seen Diana as an extremely private, pragmatic, and perhaps a little too inflexible person when it comes to telling her story. I knew her memoirs Secrets of a Sparrow would be a good read, most likely positive and inspirational, but I also knew it wouldn't be very candid. It's not in her DNA. I thought that before the book came out, and kept that opinion after I read it. Supremes' childhood fan Tony Turner had an interesting bio of the Supremes called All That Glittered, that was soapy and borrowed from Mary's memoirs, but it was clear he loooved Flo. To the point that it's not clear what was truth and what was hyperbole in his book. That leaves Randy's bio. In Call Her Miss Ross, there was way too much editorializing for my comfort. When you're reading a bio, most of the time you want to read it like a fly on the wall observing these past events. You're not always looking for the author to insert his opinion on just about everything. It's distracting at best. I think Randy did a much better job with that in this updated bio of Diana. He covers 4 full chapters of her life (childhood, Supremes, Solo, and Post 80's). This book covers everything up to 2014. To know that since 2014, at the age of 70, Ross has also received the American Musican Awards Lifetime Achievement award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and set a new record of attendance at Brooklyn's renovated King's Theater, and residency in Las Vegas, went to number 1 again on the itunes dance charts, and created a hugely successful perfume fragrance, are all testaments to her enduring talent and legendary status.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Greg Evans

    This book stops short at three stars because the book itself stops short. I read the 1989 version, only finding out afterwards there's an updated follow-up bio of some sort by the same author. That version may be more recent, but it wasn't exactly written a year or two ago either. Today, Diana Ross still entertains but has quietly and respectfully stepped away from the spotlight, and she's greatly respected as one of the best celebrity moms in the business (read Lucky Me by Shirley MacLaine's da This book stops short at three stars because the book itself stops short. I read the 1989 version, only finding out afterwards there's an updated follow-up bio of some sort by the same author. That version may be more recent, but it wasn't exactly written a year or two ago either. Today, Diana Ross still entertains but has quietly and respectfully stepped away from the spotlight, and she's greatly respected as one of the best celebrity moms in the business (read Lucky Me by Shirley MacLaine's daughter for the opposite end in that department). Call Her Miss Ross fills you in on a lot of details, but most everyone is portrayed without that much dimension, making the book a bit monotonous. Berry Gordy the mercurial, manipulative genius behind Motown, Mary Wilson the embittered Supreme who felt slighted when Diana's talent and leadership eclipsed hers, Florence the substance abuser who couldn't handle fame, Cindy the cooperative back-up singer who knew from the start that Diana was the star, and so on. Miss Ross, thankfully, comes off with more than one note: charitable, driven, at times insecure, and a bit humorless. A singer without that much range or formal training who had charisma, style and star quality. SOMES SPOILERS: What I learned from Call Her . . . was that she never married Berry Gordy and that, in spite of her being the ultimate queen bee of Motown and so identified with the African-American experience, both of her marriages were bi-racial. By book's end she's still married to her second husband, the wealthy Swiss shipping magnate Arne Naess, but they later divorced and shortly after that he met his untimely demise in a mountain climbing accident. Also of note was that she named her daughter after the Indian spice chutney but spelled in wrong on her birth certificate (spelling it Chudney) and left it that way. And I never knew how much she envied, admired and emulated Barbra Streisand's career: Lady Sings the Blues was her version of Funny Girl, and Barbra's legendary concert in Central Park paved the way for Diana to do the same some fifteen years later. And let's not even get started with the gowns!

  11. 4 out of 5

    abena

    Biased The author really seemed biased in his writing. He was almost as far up Diana’s behind as Berry Gordy. He offered weak excuses for the horrible way she treated everyone. Yes Diane was talented that you cannot deny but whose to say Flo would not have been as great if given the opportunity. What BG and DR did to Florence is horrific. I would been mad too if i were Flo. Her not being happy and complaining about Bery Gordy being so obsessive is the karma she invited

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert Graham

    A fascinating and enthralling portrayal of a complex personality written with love and respect. For the truth. I grew up with Motown and it's enduring musical legacy. the Supremes remain my favorite group and the biography of Diana enlightened their.story. A fascinating and enthralling portrayal of a complex personality written with love and respect. For the truth. I grew up with Motown and it's enduring musical legacy. the Supremes remain my favorite group and the biography of Diana enlightened their.story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    i really enjoyed learning about the hometown girl Diana Ross, but the writing was just not great, felt like a newspaper story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barbra

    Another I couldn’t get into......reading about how Diana Ross was so up herself got to be boring but could also explain why I never liked her.....only cared about herself.....

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelly M Hunt

    Enjoyable read Interesting book I enjoyed it though it read like a very long tabloid article. I guess there wasn’t any other way to write such a book though

  16. 4 out of 5

    Angie Walker

    Not a very good book

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karen Keeslar

    Gossipy and interesting.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caillat Wilson

    I want to read this book and not letting me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    This book increased my respect for Diana Ross and reminded me of how much the Supremes' success changed attitudes. This book increased my respect for Diana Ross and reminded me of how much the Supremes' success changed attitudes.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Disappointing to be truthful. Very disappointing indeed. Lacked insight.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cruz

    Quite possibly the worst book I ever read. It was long and dragged out. It become soo boring as he went on and on. A book you are sorry you read. Everytime it got toward the end he started over again like he forgot what he wanted to say then added it in. A horrible mish mash of a story that was all over the place. I am a Supremes fan but this book was definitely TMI! Too much information! He killed the story because he wouldnt shut up.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Smith

    Excellent read. So well researched coming across as non-judgemental particularly around the conflicting dynamics of the relationships with her other Supreme colleagues and giving fairness to each side including Diana Ross's. A very impressive biography not only of her career but of her personal life which is not at all salacious or fawning. It is a riveting read not only for the complex nature of Diana Ross but also of the Motown era and its relevance in 1960s American culture. Excellent read. So well researched coming across as non-judgemental particularly around the conflicting dynamics of the relationships with her other Supreme colleagues and giving fairness to each side including Diana Ross's. A very impressive biography not only of her career but of her personal life which is not at all salacious or fawning. It is a riveting read not only for the complex nature of Diana Ross but also of the Motown era and its relevance in 1960s American culture.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kate Loveton

    This was a very likable bio of the talented and volatile Ms. Ross. I grew up on Diana Ross's music - from her early days with the Supremes through the days when she went out on her own. She's extremely talented. Her performance in 'Lady Sings the Blues' is amazing, and it's a shame she was never able to follow it up with compelling and better scripted movies. I think she had what it takes in the acting category. Perhaps instead of always trying to 'run the show,' she should have taken more advice This was a very likable bio of the talented and volatile Ms. Ross. I grew up on Diana Ross's music - from her early days with the Supremes through the days when she went out on her own. She's extremely talented. Her performance in 'Lady Sings the Blues' is amazing, and it's a shame she was never able to follow it up with compelling and better scripted movies. I think she had what it takes in the acting category. Perhaps instead of always trying to 'run the show,' she should have taken more advice and stuck to the singing and acting. One thing I like about Taraborrelli - and I've read several of his biographies of major stars and cultural icons - is that he never does a hatchet job on any of his subjects. He exposes them warts and all, but always with sympathy and an attempt to understand the motivations of the individuals he's writing about. I'm not sure what keeps me from giving this book four stars, but it may be that in the end, the book 'feels' like a three star book to me. He tells us a lot about 'Miss Ross' and her recording career, her film career, her involvement (limited but sincere) in the Civil Rights Movement. He makes us realize (and applaud) her attempts and success at being a good mother to her children (who seem to revere her and have great affection for her, even now). He conveys convincingly her complicated relationship with Berry Gordy, her feuds with the other Supremes, her temperamental behavior. Just when you think you've had enough of 'Miss Ross,' he'll relate an incident that warms your heart. So why three stars? Perhaps because the book still has a tabloid feel in spite of its insights and compelling compassion. Would I recommend you read it? Yes! If you're a fan of Diana Ross, read the book. I don't think he does any damage to her reputation. In fact, he does wring from his reader (at least this one) a sense of compassion and sympathy for this talented yet conflicted performer. I love Diana Ross - and probably always will. Diva? Yes. Entertainer? Yes - and a great one. The book is a good read - and a fast one, in spite of its length. Read. Enjoy. Have fun. And then listen to the music, which still holds up.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Wiles

    Diana Ross: A Biography by J. Randy Taraborelli is an exceptional biography of one of the greatest singer's of all time. For many, Diana Ross's reputation precedes her. She's often been characterized as a difficult and demanding diva. Certainly, one of the infamous legends attached to her is her request to only be addressed as Miss Ross. Others would cite her putting herself ahead of the other members of The Supremes in order to advance her career as the height of her diva behavior. And to an ext Diana Ross: A Biography by J. Randy Taraborelli is an exceptional biography of one of the greatest singer's of all time. For many, Diana Ross's reputation precedes her. She's often been characterized as a difficult and demanding diva. Certainly, one of the infamous legends attached to her is her request to only be addressed as Miss Ross. Others would cite her putting herself ahead of the other members of The Supremes in order to advance her career as the height of her diva behavior. And to an extent, her reputation for diva-ish behavior was accurate. But in this book we learn why she acted the way she did and that she was much more complex then her reputation would suggest. She was just being herself and dealing with the fame her singing career brought her as best she knew how. The relationship between her and Berry Gordy and his aspirations for her only added to the mix. Most people don't appreciate her struggle from being a kid from Detroit to becoming famous during the Civil Rights era. She was one of the few breakthrough artists of that era, appealing to white people as well as black. And she also dealt with the issues that the South struggled with during this time, while on tour, facing racism head on. She was also one of the few leading ladies on the silver screen that wasn't white. I learned so much about Miss Ross from this book. Some of the stories are familiar, but many I've never heard. Taraborelli does an excellent job of showing how Diana went from a typical teen to the Queen of Motown. It is very much worth a read. Taraborelli has a love for Miss Ross, but is not afraid to put out the truth. He also gives us context to her behavior, giving us a better understanding of what made Diana tick and why she acted the way she did. No matter the odds or what some people said, Diana persevered and made her dreams come true. And while her life has had its ups and downs (just like the rest of us), she never stopped trying. Her journey is something we all could learn from. And this book will show you the way. By the end, you'll not only appreciate Diana's music, but how she got where she is. And you'll believe that you can make your dreams come true.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Neylan

    It doesn't take long to divine Taraborrelli's opinion of himself in this book: it begins with a quote from Miss Ross herself telling him how he knows her better than any biographer. Yes, the first words of the biography are about him, not her. And this reviewer found this writer's constant references to "this writer" (rather than simply "I" or "me") to be tiresome and pompously self-serving. Now, having written two previous biographies of the Motown superstar, he's returning to squeeze the last It doesn't take long to divine Taraborrelli's opinion of himself in this book: it begins with a quote from Miss Ross herself telling him how he knows her better than any biographer. Yes, the first words of the biography are about him, not her. And this reviewer found this writer's constant references to "this writer" (rather than simply "I" or "me") to be tiresome and pompously self-serving. Now, having written two previous biographies of the Motown superstar, he's returning to squeeze the last bit of milk from his cash cow. To be fair, despite being an unashamed fan, Taraborrelli is even-handed. It's long been alleged that Ross is an uncompromising, career-focused manipulator and, despite his obvious love for her as an artist, he's quite happy to show her in this unflattering light. He even colludes with the consensus that Ross was miscast in The Wiz when a one-eyed fan might have presented it as a triumph. This is by no means a hagiography. Its failings lie elsewhere. The book is over-long and excessively detailed, with the accumulation of facts valued far above writing style. Taraborrelli is meticulous at the expense of readability and his prose is workmanlike and uninspired, as if he's desperate to collate every scrap of source material rather than tell a story. And yet the opposite is true when it comes to the photos. Nearly all of them are PR shots taken from the glory years 1966-68, giving a frustratingly incomplete picture. In the end we don't learn much about Ross that we didn't already know. We just know it in more detail. A lot, lot more detail.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Renald Micallef

    The idol of my idol (Michael Jackson), the Diva par excellence Diana Ross always fascinated me. One of the ever first black women to have a worldwide appeal and a culture barrier breaker. I love the way Taraborelli writes a book, I had read his unauthorised bio of the King of Pop, so I had to read this too. Taraborelli brings the mystique, the glamour and the secrecy to life. It was like watching a movie about Miss Ross. I did not give this book a 5 star rating because I would have expected the a The idol of my idol (Michael Jackson), the Diva par excellence Diana Ross always fascinated me. One of the ever first black women to have a worldwide appeal and a culture barrier breaker. I love the way Taraborelli writes a book, I had read his unauthorised bio of the King of Pop, so I had to read this too. Taraborelli brings the mystique, the glamour and the secrecy to life. It was like watching a movie about Miss Ross. I did not give this book a 5 star rating because I would have expected the author to cover the relationship between Diana and Michael Jackson in more depth. The book focuses more about the Supremes and the dificult relationship Diana had with Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. In fact this is covered up to the last few chapters of the book. Of course it covers also the Diva's special relationship with the founder of Motown, Berry Gordy. Missing from such an ample book, are the last 9 years of Diana Ross's life, as the last issue goes back to 2007. While her career seems to be over, it is still going on, albeit at a slower pace. To date, however this is the best book there is about her. The story of Diana Ross is a story of perseverance, perfectionism and hard work, that made her one of the best pop artists the World has ever seen. It is a pity that due to her difficult character she is not easily remembered in the mainstream pop culture as other great artists (Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brooklyn

    Determined to create Diana Ross a victim of jealousy and not of some of her unacceptable actions, the author paints a picture of Miss Ross as a ruthless, attention-seeking, and prideful person and labels it as something good. It is really irritating, however, one cannot help but continue to read the book because it is so revealing and "dishy" as "Fashion" would say. In addition, the author esteems Ross to being undervalued. Whereas, I personally believe she is overrated. Her singing abilities ar Determined to create Diana Ross a victim of jealousy and not of some of her unacceptable actions, the author paints a picture of Miss Ross as a ruthless, attention-seeking, and prideful person and labels it as something good. It is really irritating, however, one cannot help but continue to read the book because it is so revealing and "dishy" as "Fashion" would say. In addition, the author esteems Ross to being undervalued. Whereas, I personally believe she is overrated. Her singing abilities are not really that remarkable and one could lie and swear that she is gorgeous but really her beauty is easily surpassed by some of her peers. Her only talent is selling a glamorous image to the public. I enjoyed the book so much because it revealed much about Ross that I didn't know previously to reading the material. Plus, it sparked a lot of discussion about her. It's a good read and makes you just ponder on who Diana Ross truly is.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    This is a really good, interesting and informed biography. I, like most of us, have grown up with Diana Ross' voice in the background. For me the masters at Motown were Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Smokey but having read this book and worked through all the songs and all that she has achieved Miss Ross is right up there. The book provides a great insight into Diana's relationships with her parents, fellow Supremes, and Berry Gordy. Yes she comes out as a diva and from time to time a bitch - bu This is a really good, interesting and informed biography. I, like most of us, have grown up with Diana Ross' voice in the background. For me the masters at Motown were Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Smokey but having read this book and worked through all the songs and all that she has achieved Miss Ross is right up there. The book provides a great insight into Diana's relationships with her parents, fellow Supremes, and Berry Gordy. Yes she comes out as a diva and from time to time a bitch - but who would not have gone a little nuts from time to time. She is clearly immensely driven to perfection and does not suffer fools gladly. The book highlights also the other side of Diana - she has a lot of love to give and is clearly a great mum - anyone who is a great mum is alright by me. I liked the style the book was written in and would recommend it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David Canford

    OK I'm biased. In my opinion Diana Ross has sung some of the greatest songs of all time and had a truly unique and wonderful voice. Demonised for pursuing a solo career - why, because she was a woman? Men who leave groups to do so don't get that kind of backlash. The Supremes would never have been the phenomenon they were without her. She also played a huge part in racial integration with her cross over success but that is rarely mentioned. The book gives a lot of interesting information, partic OK I'm biased. In my opinion Diana Ross has sung some of the greatest songs of all time and had a truly unique and wonderful voice. Demonised for pursuing a solo career - why, because she was a woman? Men who leave groups to do so don't get that kind of backlash. The Supremes would never have been the phenomenon they were without her. She also played a huge part in racial integration with her cross over success but that is rarely mentioned. The book gives a lot of interesting information, particularly about the early years, and is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in her. I would have enjoyed to hear more about her music and the author never really answers the question of who she really is, though perhaps none, other than her family, will ever know that.

  30. 4 out of 5

    alan smith

    this book is so easy to read, written in a tabloid style (and sometimes appropriately lacking in grammar and spelling) that keeps the pages turning - but at the same time, one can sense that the author is trying to be fair and understanding both of Diana Ross, and of Mary Wilson and the plight of the other supremes, and various other players in the diva's life. This really does contain all the information one could want to know (excluding what Diana would never tell) - and has a comprehensive di this book is so easy to read, written in a tabloid style (and sometimes appropriately lacking in grammar and spelling) that keeps the pages turning - but at the same time, one can sense that the author is trying to be fair and understanding both of Diana Ross, and of Mary Wilson and the plight of the other supremes, and various other players in the diva's life. This really does contain all the information one could want to know (excluding what Diana would never tell) - and has a comprehensive discography section at the back to boot. Well researched and an enjoyable read.

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