diana ross

The Supreme Diana Ross (Photo by DR Al Watson)

*Diana Ross is one of the most iconic female singers of all time and undoubtedly one of the most prominent women in popular music history and pop culture of the late 20th century.  Her reputation as a woman of great style and beauty has landed her on the covers of hundreds of magazines and she could open a museum to house all of the awards bestowed upon her.

On Saturday, August 3, 2013 — in celebration of an unparalleled career that spans more than fifty years — the 2013 Diana Ross tour in North America kicked off at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA to a sold out audience where she received acclaimed reviews.  Following the show where she shared the stage with three of her children – Tracee Ellis Ross who served as an emcee, daughter Rhonda Ross Kendrick and son Evan Ross — before hitting the road to play over 20 remaining dates over the coming months in which she will perform her greatest hits as she sings the soundtrack of our lives.  The boss diva received acclaimed reviews.

The closest the luscious legend will perform in the New York City area is two gigs in New Jersey.  In association with Metropolitan Entertainment, the legendary singer will perform her celebrated show at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Prudential Hall in Newark, New Jersey, Friday, August 16, 2013 at 8 pm.  The second show will take place on Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 8pm, when she headlines the luxurious Borgata Casino & Spa Events Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Beginning in the 60’s, as lead singer of the world renowned group, The Supremes, Ross achieved the unprecedented feat of 12 number-one singles in the U.S. becoming the most successful American group in history and rivaled only by The Beatles for the position of the biggest hit group of that generation.  She went on to achieve 6 number-one singles as a solo artist amassing a total of 18 #1s.  Her phenomenal music career is marked by chart and commercial successes.  In the U.S. alone, to date, she has tallied 31 Top Ten singles and 14 Top Ten Albums selling over 100 million units around the globe.

When “Endless Love” hit number-one in 1981, Ross became the first female artist in music history to place six single at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  “Endless Love” remains one of the most successful duets in pop history.

The living legend’s famed and remarkable career spanning over five decades has resulted with major awards and accolades and music history milestones.  Career milestones include induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Songwriters Hall of Fame, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Hero Award, NAACP Entertainer Award, Billboard’s Female Entertainer of the Century Award, The Soul Train Legend Award and International Lifetime Achievement at the World Music Awards.  In February 2012, The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences bestowed one of its highest honors to her by presenting to her the Grammy’s Life Time Achievement Award.

The Guinness Book of Records jointly awarded her with its Lifetime Achievement Award and the title of “Most Successful Female Vocalist of All Time.”  She first reached the No.1 position on both the U.S. and UK charts with “Where Did Our Love Go.”   This was the first of a number of consecutive No.1 hits in the U.S.

It was the general consensus that she was robbed of receiving the Oscar for her unforgettable portrayal of Billie Holliday in the film “Lady Sings the Blues” for which she garnered an Oscar nomination form the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences for her extraordinary performance as Best Actress and The Golden Globe Awards gave her a trophy for that same role.  Ross went on to star in further films, “Mahogany” and “The Wiz.”  She won Broadway’s top honor with a Tony Award for her one-woman show, “An Evening with Diana Ross.”   The same show was later broadcast as a special on television.

The consummate performer is forever cemented in history with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  “Stop! In The Name of Love,” “Where Did Our Love Go” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” have all been inducted into the NARAS Hall of Fame.   “Stop! In The Name of Love” and “You Can’t Hurry Love” are among The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Songs that Shaped Rock & Roll.

Her international achievements were recently acknowledged by the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in December 2007 in Washington DC.  The honor celebrated her exemplary career of excellence in music, film, television and theatre, as well as her cultural influences, humanitarian work and her contributions to American culture.

Diana Ross helped shape the sound of popular music, changing the landscape and paved way for contemporary music.  Her love of life, never-ending wonder, the appreciation of goals and achievements and sheer human spirit define the artist that is Diana Ross and continue to make her one of the most identifiable, unique, beloved and influential singers of successive pop generations.

gladys knight

The Empress of Soul Gladys Knight

*On August 23, 2013, NJPAC will host a spectacular evening of music that brings together two of the most enduring acts in the history of American music: Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The O’Jays, who topped the charts with timeless hits like “Back Stabbers,” “Love Train” and “I Love Music”; and eight-time Grammy winner “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight, the impassioned song stylist behind hits like “Every Beat of My Heart,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

Having begun her illustrious career as the lead vocalist of Gladys Knight & The Pips, she has gone on to a tremendous solo career scoring No. 1 hits on the pop, R&B, and Adult Contemporary charts.  Knight is an Eight-time Grammy® winner, and a recipient of the “Legend Award” at the 2011“Soul Train Awards.”  Knight has also extended her credits on television, film and stage, including roles in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself and on Broadway in Smokey Joe’s Café.

Sharing the stage that evening will be the illustrious O’Jays – Walter Williams, Sr., Eric Nolan Grant and Eddit Levert, Sr.  They are inductees of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.  Founded by Eddie Levert, Sr. over 50 years ago, they continue to perform both nationally and abroad, with their smooth high-energy style of performing remains as electrifying as ever.

About New Jersey Performing Arts Center
NJPAC is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey, where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.  The center has three main performance venues, the majestic Prudential Hall (2,800 seats), the intimate Victoria Theater (514 seats) and cabaret-style space, The Chase Room (250).  Each summer NJPAC hosts a free concert series for the Greater Newark community, each Thursday evening in July and August.  Entitled Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City, the series has presented concerts in NJPAC’s outdoor Theater Square for 15 years.  The next free concert will feature The Ohio Players (Aug. 22).

About Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Come on in and live large at The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City’s Event Center which is the perfect gathering place for 3,700 of your closest friends.  Definitive proof that bigger really is better: 30,000 square feet of space, 30-foot ceilings, immense stars and huge acts.  The Events Center hosts shows and special events — all in a venue with remarkable acoustics and optimal sightlines.  The stunningly beautiful Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is a lifestyle offering an unparalleled travel experience on the East Coast.  The 2,000 room stylish casino-hotel, located at Renaissance Pointe, presents a destination designed to rival those once found only in cities such as New York City and Las Vegas.  After igniting Atlantic City’s revival with its 2003 opening as the first new hotel property in 13 years, Borgata has experienced overwhelming popularity and near-capacity occupancy since its debut.

New York based award-winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard covers entertainment, fashion & beauty, film, lifestyles and travel for the Electronic Urban Report and other outlets.  Contact her via: [email protected]

audrey bernard

Audrey J. Bernard