In truth there are very few performers who deserve to be hailed as global superstars. There are even fewer such artists who have been at the top of the music business and have retained their status for five decades.

That’s why the announcement yesterday that Diana Ross will be playing Glasgow’s SSE Hydro on July 4 next year has sent her Scottish fans into raptures.

The Motown star has announced that she’ll be playing six arena gigs across the UK next summer to follow her appearance at the 2020 Glastonbury Festival where she will feature in the prestigious Sunday legends slot.

And for once, “legend” really is the appropriate description. She will be celebrating 50 years as a solo artist in a tour that’s been given the title A Diamond Diana Music Celebration.

She recorded her delight at her UK tour on Facebook: “I am in total appreciation of all. I’m feeling Great, life is so good, my love my light is steady and constant. I focus on joy I love looking at the energy all around me. I am so so so grateful.”

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday, November 1 via Ticketmaster and axs.com. We suggest fans set the alarm clock as tickets are sure to be gone quickly.


There will be many younger readers who will be aware of the name but not too sure about why she is a legend.

The fact that she has not toured the UK for 15 years perhaps means she has not come across the horizon of many teenagers, but her presence on Youtube with her hit videos is the first place anyone should go to if researching her extraordinary life and career – even in digital format her quality remains sublime.

She did perform in England in 2008, but her visits to Britain which used to be regular as clockwork have tailed off – not surprisingly, really, as the singer is now 75.

UK fans have always loved Diana Ross both as a solo artists and as lead singer of The Supremes.

In the course of her career Diana Ross has notched up 75 UK Top 40 singles as a soloist and with The Supremes and three No. 1 albums as a solo artist.

She has received Oscar nominations for her acting and her longevity is remarkable –she published her autobiography 25 years ago and is still going strong.


Born on March 26, 1944, Ross is a native of Motown – Detroit, Michigan. Her name was supposed to be Diane but there was a mistake on the birth certificate. She is still known to her family as Diane.

She began singing in her local Baptist church and with high school friends in a group they called the Primettes. They won a talent competition that got the girls invited to Motown Records for an audition.

The Motown boss Berry Gordy is supposed to have heard Ross belting out There Goes My Baby and wanted to sign them on the spot, but on learning their ages he advised them to graduate from high school first. She would later have a child with Gordy, but married two other men, her manager Robert Ellis Silberstein and Norwegian shipping owner Arne Næss Jr., and had five children in all.

Gordy signed The Primettes in 1961 on condition that they change their name. The usual lead singer Florence Ballard chose The Supremes, and Ballard, Mary Wilson and Ross became the trio that would be huge record-sellers in the 1960s. Gordy also insisted on Ross becoming lead singer.

From their first number one, Where Did Our Love Go, The Supremes enjoyed massive success in the USA and UK and toured extensively.

In 1967, Gordy re-named the band Diana Ross and The Supremes at the time when Florence Ballard was fired, to be replaced by Cindy Birdsong.


Gordy planned for Ross to go solo at the end of 1969, and from the outset she was a massive success. She also introduced the world to the Jackson 5, and in 1973 was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the film Lady Sings the Blues.

In the late 1970s she switched to a more disco style and had hits such as I’m Coming Out and Upside Down. She had several collaborations with the likes of Julio Iglesias and Lionel Ritchie – their duet Endless Love was one of her biggest hits.

Her career waned in the 1990s, but Ross remained in demand with hundreds of solo performances in her sixties.