The Detroit News

Diana Ross opens up on ‘Oprah’ show

Singer re­flects on her hum­ble ca­reer roots, re­veals love of her life

- BY SU­SAN WHI­TALL

DKe$ha at Fillmore Detroit: Pop star Ke$ha brings her “Get $leazy Tour” to the Fillmore. The plat­inum-sell­ing artist told SPIN mag­a­zine she'll per­form songs from her de­but “An­i­mal” and her fol­low-up EP “Can­ni­bal.” She also said she will rock a cover of the Beastie Boy’s song “(You Gotta) Fight for your Right (to Party).” 7 p.m. Sat. $39.50-$49.50. 2115 Wood­ward Ave., Detroit. (313) 961-5450. iana Ross ap­peared on “The Oprah Win­frey Show” Fri­day af­ter­noon in honor of the talk show host’s farewell sea­son, but she didn’t come alone. The Supreme diva brought all five of her chil­dren — daugh­ters Rhonda Ross Ken­drick (her daugh­ter by Berry Gordy Jr.), Tracee El­lis Ross and Chud­ney Ross, sons Ross Arne Naess and Evan Ross — as well as her first grand­child, Raif Henok Em­manuel Ken­drick, Rhonda’s son.

The show started with a date flash­ing across the screen, “Dec. 27, 1964” — the day Oprah saw Ross and the Supremes on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” For a 10-year-old Oprah Win­frey to see three young girls who looked like her on tele­vi­sion changed her life, she said tear­fully. Au­torama at Cobo Cen­ter: See hot rods and fa­mous rides such as Knight Rider, Gen­eral Lee and the Ghostbuste­rs’ car at the 59th Au­torama. Mod­er­ate celebs such as Shawn Michaels from WWE Wrestling and Sammi Sweet­heart from “Jer­sey Shore” will ap­pear on Sun­day. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat. and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sun. $18, $5 chil­dren. 1 Wash­ing­ton Blvd., Detroit. (248) 373-1700.

Melody Baetens

Ross, a Detroit na­tive and grad­u­ate of Cass Tech­ni­cal High School who turns 67 on March 26, looked as glam­orous as fans would hope. Her bil­low­ing waves of curly hair were only slightly shorter than in the past and

Jo­ce­lynn Brown she was garbed in an off-theshoul­der black sheath dress ac­cented by a daz­zling di­a­mond neck­lace. Cup­cake Vine­yards Red Vel­vet Cal­i­for­nia 2009, $8-$14: More Cup­cakes! This new­bie in the Metro mar­ket­place is the brand’s first red blend, and yes it has soft tan­nins that are like vel­vet. It’s made in a sweetdry way that would be ever so per­fect for Easter ham or lamb — a wine ap­peal­ing enough for Granny with a dry fin­ish and showy slam of fruit to im­press ex­pe­ri­enced palates. It’s a blend of Zin­fan­del, Mer­lot, Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon and Pe­tite Sirah, which gives it the power of a city snow plow. It’s widely avail­able at su­per­mar­kets and in­de­pen­dent re­tail­ers, in­clud­ing Cham­pane’s Wine Cel­lars in War­ren, where the sale price is $7.99, plus they of­fer a $3 mail-in re­bate per house­hold.

San­dra Sil­fven

Oprah played old black-and­white videos of the Supremes, ask­ing Ross, “Did you feel then that you’d made it?”

“No, we felt we were still grow­ing, we were just three lit­tle black girls from Detroit,” Ross con­fessed. Then later, when did she feel she’d made it?

“Never,” Ross in­sisted. “I’ve never been that con­fi­dent.”

The singer and her off­spring ap­peared in a video they made in Oprah’s honor, which showed them clown­ing around in a trop­i­cal lo­ca­tion, pre­tend­ing to wake up and lip-synch­ing to Ross’ song “I Love You.” Skew­er­ing her glam­orous im­age, Ross ap­peared in rollers and read­ing glasses.

Un­der ques­tion­ing by Oprah, the singer re­vealed that her late ex-hus­band, Nor­we­gian mogul Arne Naess, fa­ther of her two sons, was the love of her life. The two had di­vorced af­ter be­ing mar­ried for a dozen years, then Naess died in a climb­ing ac­ci­dent four years later, in 2004.

It was dif­fi­cult for her hus­band that Ross pre­ferred to live in the U.S., while he was in Nor­way, she said. “But I’ve never been able to col­lapse my­self to­tally into a re­la­tion­ship — I’ve al­ways had to be me.”

The two big­gest high­lights of Ross’ ca­reer: be­ing nom­i­nated for an Academy Award for her role as Bil­lie Hol­i­day in 1972’s “Lady Sings the Blues” (co-star Billy Dee Wil­liams was a sur­prise guest), and meet­ing South Africa’s Nel­son Man­dela.

She also ad­dressed the oft- re­peated story that she im­pe­ri­ously de­mands to be called “Miss Ross.” Ross ex­plained that when she was grow­ing up and start­ing out at Mo­town it was con­sid­ered proper for younger peo­ple to ad­dress their el­ders that way. “But I don’t de­mand it,” she said. “I like it, though.”

Son Evan, who has an al­bum com­ing out in a few months, ad­mit­ted that peo­ple some­times mis­take him for his mother’s body­guard since he of­ten ac­com­pa­nies her to events.

“But I don’t know if I could ac­tu­ally do any­thing, if I had to,” he joked.

Ross closed out the hour-long show with the tran­scen­dent Ash­ford & Simp­son num­ber “Ain’t No Moun­tain High Enough,” a song that closed out her reign with the Supremes, just be­fore she went solo in 1970.

Ross is just launch­ing a 17-city tour — no Detroit date, but she was just here in May 2010. Would she ever re­tire, Oprah asked? “Maybe,” Ross said. “If my voice changed, if I couldn’t sound like my­self, I wouldn’t want to per­form.”

 ?? Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News ?? Diana Ross brought her “More To­day Than Yes­ter­day” tour to the Fox The­atre in 2010. She told Oprah Win­frey that she is launch­ing a new tour.
Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News Diana Ross brought her “More To­day Than Yes­ter­day” tour to the Fox The­atre in 2010. She told Oprah Win­frey that she is launch­ing a new tour.
 ?? Cup­cake Vine­yards ??
Cup­cake Vine­yards
 ??  ??
 ?? The Detroit News ?? A sig­na­ture Mo­town act, the Supremes had 12 No. 1 hits in the 1960s. From left are Diana Ross, Mary Wil­son and the late Florence Bal­lard. Oprah Win­frey said as a child see­ing them on TV changed her life.
The Detroit News A sig­na­ture Mo­town act, the Supremes had 12 No. 1 hits in the 1960s. From left are Diana Ross, Mary Wil­son and the late Florence Bal­lard. Oprah Win­frey said as a child see­ing them on TV changed her life.

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