Today in 1970, Diana Ross Left the Supremes to Begin What Became an Illustrious Solo Career

0 Posted by - January 14, 2021 - On This Date

Photo credits: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

After rising to fame as the lead singer of the Supremes, Motown’s most commercially successful group, Diana Ross (pictured) officially left to pursue her solo endeavors on Jan. 14, 1970.

By that point, the legendary singing group had undergone several changes. In 1967, original group member Florence Ballard was replaced with Cindy Birdsong and the Supremes were renamed Diana Ross and the Supremes, a prelude to her coming departure.

In June 1970, the singer’s eponymous debut album was released on Motown. The record produced the no. 1 single “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” a cover of the classic sung by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.  

She went on to score several other chart-toppers including, “Touch Me in the Morning,” “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To),” “Love Hangover” and “Upside Down.”

As an artist, Diana Ross influenced future stars such as Beyoncé Knowles and Michael Jackson. Ross has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – one as a solo artist and another as part of the Supremes.

In 2007, Ross received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards and was also an honoree at the Kennedy Center Honors (Whaley, 2014).

Reference: Whaley, N. (2014, January 14) This Day in Black History: Jan. 14, 1970. Retrieved from

* writer and historian Victor Trammell edited this report.

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