Once upon a time before Beyonce and Destiny’s Child, there was Diana Ross and the Supremes. Diana Ross paved the way for the divas of today such as Rhianna and Jennifer Hudson, who ironically won an Oscar for her role in “Dreamgirls”, which was based on The Supremes.
Ms. Ross blew into the SRQ on Friday night at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and showed everyone she is still boss! Four costume changes and a setlist of worldwide hits, she dazzled and brought some nostalgia with her “Endless Memories Tour”. If you are a baby boomer, you grew up with the sound of Motown! The Supreme’s were Motown’s most successful act with hit after huge hit. Twelve #1 singles, most of which Ms. Ross performs to the delight of the audience.
Some of her solo hits like “Upside Down” and “Touch Me In the Morning’ made the cut as well as “Ease on Down the Road” from The Wiz! The entire audience was on it’s feet for the the classic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!” written by the brilliant Ashford and Simpson. The band is top notch, expect nothing less from a pro like Diana Ross. She knows what the audience came for, her music and the glamour of Bob Mackie gowns. She takes a moment to bring some of the children from the audience to come up and dance. A tribute to “Mahogany” and Billie Holiday was another special moment.
Diana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1988, Guiness World Record for a career record 70 hit singles and recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. She is a national musical treasure that Sarasota is lucky enough get to experience in a wonderful intimate venue!
Keeping it in the family, Rhonda Ross, Diana’s oldest daughter with Motown founder, Berry Gordy, was the opening act. Rhonda is a singer and actress in her own right and has a CD out called “In Case You Didn’t Know” She opened with an energetic version of “Lady Marmalade” along with several of her own tunes.
photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock The Lens Photography