There is only one Diana Ross. This is her story.
Drawn from hundreds of interviews conducted over four decades, Diana Ross paints an unforgettable picture of an extraordinary and often controversial legend—a pop music goddess, acclaimed actress, loving mother, Civil Rights trailblazer, and consummate entertainer. Beautiful and fascinating, she is her own invention—the definition of a superstar.
"A riveting celebrity dish-fest." --Washington Post
First-time revelations abound, from the tough decisions she made while having Berry Gordy's baby and the real reasons behind the break-up of the Supremes to her triumphant recovery after a surprising DUI driving arrest and her gala appearance at the Kennedy Center Honors.
"The dish on Motown's most famous songstress." --The Dallas Morning News
Bestselling biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli boldly explores Diana Ross's troubled relationships and the heartbreak she feels compelled to hide, bringing into focus a complex personality too often obscured by the bright lights of fame. Rich with detail and personal anecdotes, and fully up-to-date, Diana Ross is both definitive and delightful--the ultimate biography that Miss Ross so richly deserves.
"A complete, up-to-date history of the star." -- Associated Press
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She walks in.
From the outset, I've been trying to understand Taraborrelli's motivation for writing this book. In the early 80's he wrote a love-letter to Diana Ross in the form of his first book 'Diana!' - complete with every flattering photo Ross ever took, singing her praises to the heavens. A few years later, he drove the nails into the coffin that was once her career, with 'Call Her Miss Ross' attaching a stigma and catch phrase to Ross that has now been with her since that book's release, in 1989. When I received the latest book, I didn't have to look far to figure out what this current release is all about: Redemption. For Ross, one can easily forgive her shortcomings, and attribute them to the human factor. What goes up, must come down, and all of that. For J. Randy, contrition comes by way of simply re-writing, and re-explaining his importance in Diana Ross' life. The sad part is, his effort is pretty transparent to even the most casual reader. You can start on the first page, before the Table Of Contents. There are two quotes in the book released in 1989, 'Call Her Miss Ross' - one is from W.H. Auden, and the other is a quote from Ross herself to Taraborrelli from October 18, 1981. 'You've been watching me since I was a teen-ager. You watched me go crazy. You watched me get big-headed. You watched me spend too much money. You watched me have my family. Then you watched me catch up with myself. And I don't think i'm difficult or unreasonable. I'm sorry, I just don't.' That quote seemed to address the reason Taraborrelli wrote the book: To prove Diana was 'difficult and unreasonable' (and to his credit, he achieved his goal.) In the new release, the author uses the same quote, on the same page, with two notable differences. See if you can find them. 'You've been watching me since I was a teen-ager, since I was sixteen. You watched me go a little bit crazy, watched me get big-headed, watched me spend too much money, and then watched me catch up with myself and have my family. That's a close relationship.' HUH? 'Call Her Miss Ross' had a page count of 512, yet despite the fact that this current book is a 'rewritten update' that comes 18 years later, it's 47 pages short of the previous one. One would think there would be more, not less, especially if the intent of the author is to show the enduring relevance and legacy of Diana Ross. But that's not the case. What this is, from all I can see, is a first-hand account by a fan, from the time he was a teen-ager writing letters to the Supremes, to working for Mary Wilson in the 70's, to writing about Motown and Diana for the rest of his life. What he leaves out is what truly caused him to sour (and in fact, turn on) Ross when he went from sugary and sweet with the first 'Diana!' book, to the career-killer, 'Call Her Miss Ross' Never before has a memoir contained more references to 'this author' (Taraborrelli) and personal observations, where the reader becomes less sure of the objective of the piece. Is this a book about the pseudo-friendship Taraborrelli has created in his mind, regarding Ross, or is it supposed to be what it claims, 'The Definitive Biography'? On one hand he redeems Ross and offers the reader a gentle understanding of some of the hardships Diana has faced in recent years, and shows how some of these tragedies have humbled her. On the other though, it remains an excercise in begging for forgiveness, and more importantly, acknowledgement of the significance Taraborrelli has to Diana Ross's life and career. Obviously Hallmark doesn't make a card for this, so the book had to do. If I were Taraborrelli though, I wouldn't expect an invitation by Ross to Christmas dinner. All she has to do is hear her last name to remember the special place she has in her heart and mind, for Taraborrelli.