[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1

    The Diana Ross Enigma - from Facebook

    The Diana Ross Enigma: Unveiling the Complexities of Ambition, Rivalry, and Legacy within the Supremes

    The Supremes, Motown's crown jewel of the 1960s, ascended to unparalleled heights, becoming a global sensation and a symbol of female empowerment. Central to their success was Diana Ross, the magnetic lead singer whose talent and charisma propelled the group to the stratosphere of fame. However, this meteoric rise was accompanied by a persistent undercurrent of controversy, fueled by allegations of manipulation, rivalry, and a hunger for individual recognition that overshadowed the collective achievements of the Supremes.

    This comprehensive analysis delves deep into the intricate web of relationships, ambitions, and misunderstandings that defined the Supremes' era, shedding light on the complexities that have long shrouded Diana Ross's legacy. By examining the historical context, scrutinizing the evidence, and acknowledging the individual motivations of each member, we can offer a more nuanced understanding of the events that transpired and challenge the simplistic narrative of betrayal that has persisted for decades.

    The Making of a Star: Diana Ross's Unparalleled Talent and Commercial Appeal

    Diana Ross possessed an undeniable star quality from the outset. Her powerful vocals, charismatic stage presence, and captivating beauty captivated audiences worldwide. Berry Gordy, Motown's visionary founder, recognized Ross's potential and strategically positioned her as the lead singer, a decision rooted not in personal favoritism but in a shrewd understanding of commercial appeal. Ross's voice transcended racial boundaries, resonating with a broad audience and propelling the Supremes to unprecedented success.

    Ross's work ethic was equally remarkable. She relentlessly pursued perfection, dedicating countless hours to rehearsals and constantly refining her performances. Her ambition, often misconstrued as a ruthless pursuit of individual glory, was a driving force that pushed her to achieve greatness for both herself and the group.

    Florence Ballard's Downfall: The Silent Trauma of Rape and Its Consequences

    Florence Ballard's tragic decline was not solely orchestrated by Diana Ross, as has often been alleged. Ballard, a founding member of the Supremes, possessed a raw talent and vocal prowess that rivaled Ross's. However, her personal struggles, rooted in a traumatic experience of rape before the group's rise to fame, deeply affected her. The emotional scars of this event, coupled with a growing resentment towards Ross's prominence, led to Ballard's unraveling.

    Ballard's coping mechanisms, which included alcohol abuse, and her increasing difficulty to manage, contributed to her unprofessional behavior, missed engagements, and deteriorating health. These factors ultimately resulted in her departure from the group, leaving a void that was difficult to fill. While Diana Ross and Mary Wilson attempted to console Ballard, they lacked the expertise and resources to address the deep-rooted trauma she suffered. In a different era, with greater awareness and understanding of mental health, Ballard might have received the necessary support and treatment.

    Contrary to the popular narrative, Diana Ross did not abandon Ballard in her time of need. She attempted to offer financial assistance when Ballard faced losing her home, but disagreements with Ballard's ex-husband thwarted her efforts. Following Ballard's untimely death in 1976, Ross established a trust fund for her children, a testament to her compassion and a stark contrast to the portrayal of her as a heartless diva. Ballard's financial struggles were further exacerbated by her ex-husband and other business associates who took advantage of her vulnerability.

    The Mary Wilson Fantasy: A Narrative of Envy and Omission

    Mary Wilson, the third original Supreme, crafted a narrative in her book "Dreamgirl: My Life As A Supreme" that painted herself and Ballard as victims of Ross's ambition. However, this narrative is riddled with inconsistencies, omissions, and a palpable envy towards Ross. Wilson conveniently omits instances of Ross's financial assistance to both herself and Ballard, instead focusing on portraying Ross as a manipulative figure who orchestrated Ballard's downfall and marginalized her own contributions to the group.

    Wilson's account has been likened to a MAGA-like narrative, fueled by personal grievances and a desire to rewrite history. Like MAGA supporters, some Supremes fans have clung to Wilson's version of events for decades, refusing to acknowledge evidence that contradicts her claims.

    The Unvarnished Truth: Complicity, Collective Responsibility, and Industry Realities

    The truth behind the Supremes' dynamic is far more nuanced and uncomfortable than Wilson's narrative suggests. Both Wilson and Ross recognized Ballard's deteriorating condition and discussed the possibility of replacing her. The decision to do so was ultimately made by Berry Gordy, but it was not without the tacit approval of both Wilson and Ross. This uncomfortable truth challenges the victim narrative perpetuated by Wilson and exposes the collective responsibility for the events that transpired.

    Furthermore, many Motown insiders have contradicted Wilson's portrayal of herself as a sidelined talent. They describe her as having a weaker work ethic, lacking punctuality, and being less dedicated to the group's success compared to Ross and Ballard. This alternative perspective raises questions about the objectivity of Wilson's account and highlights the complex interplay of individual ambitions and group dynamics within the Supremes.

    Beyond the Supremes: Allegations of Rivalry and "Viciousness"

    The narrative of Diana Ross as a manipulative diva extended to interactions with other artists like Gladys Knight. Knight's claims of being removed from a Supremes tour due to their show-stealing performances require a closer look. Evidence suggests Knight and The Pips engaged in deliberate provocation, creating conflict and leading to their removal by Motown management, not solely by Ross. The music industry, particularly in the 1960s, was a highly competitive environment, and rivalries and conflicts were commonplace.

    The Dress Debacle: Imitation as Flattery or Insecurity?

    Another allegation of Ross's "viciousness" stems from her alleged practice of copying stage attire from other Motown groups, particularly Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, and Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles [[though LaBelle's group was not a Motown act). While similarities existed, the motivations remain unclear. Was it intentional undermining, admiration-driven imitation, or simply a coincidence of shared style preferences? Without definitive evidence, it is difficult to ascertain Ross's true intentions.

    Florence Ballard's Voice and the Motown Sound

    Florence Ballard possessed a powerful and expressive voice, distinct from Diana Ross's smoother, more commercially appealing tone. While Ballard's raw talent was undeniable, her vocal style did not resonate with the wider audience as broadly as Ross's. In the 1960s, the radio waves were filled with female groups boasting soulful, gospel-infused sounds. Berry Gordy, recognizing the need for innovation, sought a fresh sound that could transcend racial boundaries and dominate the charts. Diana Ross, with her unique voice and charisma, embodied that departure from the norm, paving the way for Motown's unprecedented success.

    Furthermore, Ballard's solo career was hampered by her decision to sign away her rights to use the Supremes' name and royalties, limiting her ability to capitalize on her previous success. This decision, made without legal representation, highlights the challenges Ballard faced in navigating the music industry and the unfortunate consequences of her choices.

    Cindy Birdsong's Choice

    Blaming Ross for Cindy Birdsong's decision to join the Supremes is equally misguided. Birdsong, an experienced performer, chose to join a group with greater potential for success and financial stability. It's unfair to attribute her decision solely to Ross's influence and ignore her own agency in seeking a better opportunity.

    Sleeping Your Way to the Top: An Unfounded Accusation

    The notion that Diana Ross slept her way to the top is an unfounded and harmful accusation. Ross's success was built on her immense talent, hard work, and commercial appeal. Her romantic relationship with Berry Gordy, while significant, does not diminish her achievements or invalidate her contributions to the Supremes' success. It is a misogynistic trope to attribute a woman's success to her relationships with men, rather than recognizing her own talent and agency.

    A New Sound for a New Era

    The prevailing narrative often overlooks a crucial factor: the evolving landscape of the music industry. The radio airwaves of the 1960s were saturated with female groups boasting a soulful, gospel-infused sound. Berry Gordy, a visionary businessman, recognized the need for innovation to dominate the charts. Diana Ross, with her unique voice and charisma, represented a departure from the norm, a sound that could appeal to a broader audience and break new ground.

    Millions of record sales and an enduring musical legacy attest to Gordy's foresight and Ross's exceptional talent. The "what ifs" surrounding Florence Ballard's potential as a lead singer remain hypothetical, as her career trajectory and personal choices ultimately led her down a different path. It's essential to acknowledge that success in the music industry requires not only talent but also discipline, professionalism, and the ability to adapt to changing trends.

  2. #2
    Personal Responsibility and the Pursuit of Success

    Florence Ballard's tragic end evokes sympathy, but ultimately, individuals are responsible for their own choices and actions. While the blame for her downfall has often been placed on Ross and Gordy, it's important to recognize that Ballard's struggles with personal demons stemming from her traumatic experience of rape and her strained relationship with Motown management played a significant role in her fate. Diana Ross, like anyone else, had her own responsibilities and priorities, and it's unrealistic to expect her to have been Ballard's personal savior.

    Berry Gordy, as a businessman, made decisions based on commercial viability and the potential for success. He chose Diana Ross as the lead singer because he believed she possessed the qualities necessary to elevate the Supremes to superstardom. This decision was not personal; it was a calculated move aimed at achieving commercialsuccess and breaking new ground in the music industry.

    Diana Ross, throughout her career, demonstrated a remarkable drive and determination to succeed. She didn't wait for opportunities to come her way; she actively sought them out and made things happen for herself. This proactive approach, while sometimes perceived as aggressive or manipulative, is a testament to her resilience and unwavering belief in her own abilities. She has had to endure years of a false narrative, absorbing barbs thrown at her by Mary Wilson and others, while maintaining grace and refusing to tarnish the Supremes' legacy.

    Mary Wilson, on the other hand, capitalized on her "tell-all" books and talk show appearances, perpetuating a distorted narrative that fueled her solo career. While her talent was undeniable, she seemed unable to accept that her appeal didn't match that of Diana Ross.

    Conclusion: A Legacy Redefined

    The Diana Ross enigma is a complex and multifaceted narrative that defies simplistic categorization. While accusations of rivalry, manipulation, and self-serving ambition have cast a shadow over her legacy, it's crucial to move beyond these simplistic portrayals and embrace a more nuanced understanding. Ross, like any individual, had flaws and made mistakes, but her undeniable talent, relentless work ethic, and contributions to music history cannot be denied.

    The Supremes' story is a testament to the power of female ambition and resilience in a male-dominated industry. It's a story of triumphs and tragedies, marked by individual choices, industry pressures, and the ever-present desire for recognition and success. It is also a story of personal demons, the complexities of trauma, and the unfortunate consequences of exploitation.

    By re-examining the legacy of Diana Ross and the Supremes through a lens of historical context, verifiable evidence, and open-mindedness, we can gain a deeper appreciation for their remarkable achievements and enduring impact on the world of music.

    The complexities of human relationships and the dynamics of a high-pressure, competitive environment should not be overlooked when evaluating the actions and motivations of individuals like Diana Ross. It's essential to consider the broader context and acknowledge that the truth often lies somewhere between the extremes of saint and sinner.

    In the end, the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes is a cautionary tale of ambition, rivalry, and the toll that fame and fortune can take on personal relationships. It is a story that reminds us of the importance of compassion, understanding, and the power of forgiveness.

  3. #3
    It’s from a site called Motown Since 1970 - Not Just Another Record Company

  4. #4
    Some of what’s written i tend to agree with, but if anyone should ever have doubted that Diana Ross never did a thing wrong in her life then this is for them. She was either provoked or all was well intentioned.
    I particularly like the part regarding her copying other artists stage attire being admiration driven. This Ross apologist seems to know exactly what she was thinking and the motivation behind her actions. No-one in this fairytale ever quite lives up to the sainted M’s Ross herself.
    Simplistic bullshit.

  5. #5
    Did they seriously compare Mary to MAGA? HUGE eyeroll [[pun intended)

    Yes I'm sure Mary embellished the stories about Diana but Flo is quoted saying that while Diana eventually went back to being "the old Diane again", there was a point in the 60s where she was a "monster".

  6. #6
    If there was a time Diana would have been demanding and difficult, it would have been after the $20 m contract, Central Park, the album diana, and Endless Love. And that wouldn’t be so surprising - she was a superstar and most of her Motown colleagues had disappeared.

    To me, since Mary’s passing, there seems more willingness to criticize some of her behaviour rather than just Diana’s - I saw something a few months back referring to her betrayal of Diana and that was something I hadn’t seen before

  7. #7
    I would think she'd be worse during the 60s when they were constantly touring and recording. I'm sure it was much more stressful for her then than it was in the early 80s. I'd imagine by then she was able to take more time off. It seems like the Supremes toured nonstop from 1965 to 1968.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    I would think she'd be worse during the 60s when they were constantly touring and recording. I'm sure it was much more stressful for her then than it was in the early 80s. I'd imagine by then she was able to take more time off. It seems like the Supremes toured nonstop from 1965 to 1968.
    Yes the pressure of those years must have been very extreme and while it brought out the best in her career, it also brought out terrible behaviour reactions

    However, I recall she said she got big headed in the 80s - and shed had 20 years on top, made a lot of money, got nominated for an academy award, appeared before massive crowds - all that would make anyone start to think they were special

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Some of what’s written i tend to agree with, but if anyone should ever have doubted that Diana Ross never did a thing wrong in her life then this is for them. She was either provoked or all was well intentioned.
    I particularly like the part regarding her copying other artists stage attire being admiration driven. This Ross apologist seems to know exactly what she was thinking and the motivation behind her actions. No-one in this fairytale ever quite lives up to the sainted M’s Ross herself.
    Simplistic bullshit.
    I agree Ollie.

    This was as bad as any other propaganda piece created to spin a narrative around the Supremes that vilified Diana. Basically the entire thing boils down to- as I once said in another thread- Diana Ross never did a thing to anyone, but everyone did something to Diana Ross.

    "...ultimately, individuals are responsible for their own choices and actions."

    Unless you're Diana Ross. Lol Again, as I once posed the question before, why is it that Mary, and even Flo, are painted as something negative for feeling a certain type of way because of something Diana said or did, but Diana is allowed to feel a certain way about what Mary wrote, or how Flo acted? Somebody make it make sense.

    Diana has a reputation that was started by her own actions. As Flo said, Diana might have been honest, but she was mean. All those stories from Diana's peers where she did and said things that got on folks' bad side, all them people not lying. Are some of them exaggerating? Probably. But I think most are simply telling it like it was. She pissed some folks off, not because of her talent, not because of her success, but because she could sometimes be a nasty person. At no point do some of the Rossers ever seem to acknowledge that some of the flack Diana gets is because she dished it out first.

    This "article" sucked.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Did they seriously compare Mary to MAGA? HUGE eyeroll [[pun intended)
    The person who wrote this clearly had an agenda where Mary is concerned. The truth is that this person is of the subgroup of Rossers who are definitely MAGA-like. The deity that is Diana Ross, like Trump to his fans, is someone who can never do wrong, is never wrong, everyone is against her, everyone is jealous and bitter, any criticism is a capital offense. Her "enemies", like his, are then the enemies of the fans, most of whom Diana wouldn't spit on if they were on fire. Strike that last one. Unlike Trump, I do believe that if one of her fans was on fire in front of her- whatever the reason- if there was something she could do she would do it. She isn't heartless. But anyway, the way some fans worship her is very MAGA, and the person who wrote this crap is a prime example.

    Someone should tell that dude or dudette to let it go, whatever he/she has against Mary. The woman is dead now. She can't hurt his wittle fweelings anymore.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Personal Responsibility and the Pursuit of Success

    Florence Ballard's tragic end evokes sympathy, but ultimately, individuals are responsible for their own choices and actions. While the blame for her downfall has often been placed on Ross and Gordy, it's important to recognize that Ballard's struggles with personal demons stemming from her traumatic experience of rape and her strained relationship with Motown management played a significant role in her fate. Diana Ross, like anyone else, had her own responsibilities and priorities, and it's unrealistic to expect her to have been Ballard's personal savior.

    Berry Gordy, as a businessman, made decisions based on commercial viability and the potential for success. He chose Diana Ross as the lead singer because he believed she possessed the qualities necessary to elevate the Supremes to superstardom. This decision was not personal; it was a calculated move aimed at achieving commercialsuccess and breaking new ground in the music industry.

    Diana Ross, throughout her career, demonstrated a remarkable drive and determination to succeed. She didn't wait for opportunities to come her way; she actively sought them out and made things happen for herself. This proactive approach, while sometimes perceived as aggressive or manipulative, is a testament to her resilience and unwavering belief in her own abilities. She has had to endure years of a false narrative, absorbing barbs thrown at her by Mary Wilson and others, while maintaining grace and refusing to tarnish the Supremes' legacy.

    Mary Wilson, on the other hand, capitalized on her "tell-all" books and talk show appearances, perpetuating a distorted narrative that fueled her solo career. While her talent was undeniable, she seemed unable to accept that her appeal didn't match that of Diana Ross.

    Conclusion: A Legacy Redefined

    The Diana Ross enigma is a complex and multifaceted narrative that defies simplistic categorization. While accusations of rivalry, manipulation, and self-serving ambition have cast a shadow over her legacy, it's crucial to move beyond these simplistic portrayals and embrace a more nuanced understanding. Ross, like any individual, had flaws and made mistakes, but her undeniable talent, relentless work ethic, and contributions to music history cannot be denied.

    The Supremes' story is a testament to the power of female ambition and resilience in a male-dominated industry. It's a story of triumphs and tragedies, marked by individual choices, industry pressures, and the ever-present desire for recognition and success. It is also a story of personal demons, the complexities of trauma, and the unfortunate consequences of exploitation.

    By re-examining the legacy of Diana Ross and the Supremes through a lens of historical context, verifiable evidence, and open-mindedness, we can gain a deeper appreciation for their remarkable achievements and enduring impact on the world of music.

    The complexities of human relationships and the dynamics of a high-pressure, competitive environment should not be overlooked when evaluating the actions and motivations of individuals like Diana Ross. It's essential to consider the broader context and acknowledge that the truth often lies somewhere between the extremes of saint and sinner.

    In the end, the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes is a cautionary tale of ambition, rivalry, and the toll that fame and fortune can take on personal relationships. It is a story that reminds us of the importance of compassion, understanding, and the power of forgiveness.
    I wish people would let Florence and Mary RIP. Comparing Mary Wilson to a MAGA movement is tasteless and real insulting. Miss Wilson was a staunch Democrat and to even link her name to the FORMER insurrectionist inciting President and his base of fools is disgusting. Thankfully I didn't read anything past the word MAGA. How some fans love and hate one or two of the women who gave us some of the best music and glamor and live shows is beyone my comprehenssion.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    I wish people would let Florence and Mary RIP. Comparing Mary Wilson to a MAGA movement is tasteless and real insulting. Miss Wilson was a staunch Democrat and to even link her name to the FORMER insurrectionist inciting President and his base of fools is disgusting. Thankfully I didn't read anything past the word MAGA. How some fans love and hate one or two of the women who gave us some of the best music and glamor and live shows is beyone my comprehenssion.
    Well said Roberta!

  13. #13
    I've been noticing these essays popping up regularly in the Diana and Supremes Facebook fan groups, from a particular individual. I suspect they are all being generated by an AI service, such as ChatGPT. AI generated essays are generally never concise. It's a lot of unnecessary fluff, with not enough facts. Sorry to say that I don't find these AI pieces interesting or useful.

  14. #14
    I went looking for this group on Facebook - it has 5900 members including a couple of people from SD. It seems to perhaps have a German connection. I recall the author of this piece had the name Terrell - either first name or last name.

    I think I read up to the MAGA reference as well.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.