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March 27, 2023

Diana Ross Photographed by Wallace Seawell, 1969

Best known as the the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group The Supremes, Diana Ross was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan. After being raised in housing projects for most of the late 1940s and early 1950s, Diana started singing in the gospel choir of a Baptist church. With friends Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Barbara Martin, she formed a vocal group, The Primettes, at age 15. After Barbara had departed the group, the remaining three girls inked a deal with Motown Records and were renamed The Supremes.

Ross wasn’t picked to become the group’s lead singer until Motown honcho Berry Gordy decided that the time was exactly right, and from then on he described the group as “Diana Ross and the Supremes.” From 1965 to 1969 the group had a string of #1 records. In late 1969 Gordy announced that Ross would be leaving the group for a solo career.

Wallace Seawell (September 16, 1916 – May 29, 2007) was a celebrity photographer whose West Hollywood home was for decades one of the country’s most productive glamour factories, turning out thousands of portraits of movie stars, singers, presidents, kings and sports figures. His clients included Elizabeth Taylor, Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Nat King Cole, Janet Leigh, Jayne Mansfield, Audrey Hepburn, Tony Curtis, Paul Newman, Eva Gardner, Joan Collins, John Wayne and Diana Ross.

Here are some wonderful photographs of Diana Ross taken by Wallace Seawell in 1969:


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