A Conversation with Diana Ross

Diana RossI had a wonderful opportunity this evening to wander on over the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas to see the legendary Diana Ross speak about her fabulous life and career.  It was the last event in the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts 2008-2009 Brinker International Forum.

The Forum gave audiences unique opportunities to hear the inside stories from icons of stage and screen, to get behind the camera with filmmakers who bring powerful stories to life and to gain insights from the brightest minds of our time.

Diana Ross is without a doubt an iconic American recording artist (and actress… and entrepreneur) that helped shaped the music industry as the lead singer of The Supremes during the 1960s and on into her solo career beginning in the 70s.

Like so many stories in life, Ross grew up poor in the projects of Detroit.  Though stereotypical stories are often heard from those who were raised in the projects, Ross shatters them all.  With trade skills in many areas including fashion design, she always had a desire to sing.

Ross has an impressive portfolio that spans music, film, television and Broadway.  She holds awards in almost each genre.  Billboard magazine name her “Female Entertainer of the Century” in 1976 and the Guinness Book Of World Records declared Ross as the most successful female music artist of the 20th century with a total of eighteen American number-one singles.

During the Forum tonight, Ross touched on many of the topics that we’ve all heard and read about.  From Detroit, to The Supremes, to her solo career, and even into her personal life, Ross candidly spoke about her experiences along the way.

One of the most interesting things I walked away remembering was her viewpoint regarding the music industry.  Yes, times have indeed changed from “back in the day”.  Long gone are the records, 8 Tracks, cassette tapes, and everything in between.  Ross noted that no longer can you walk into a Tower Records to browse aisles and aisles of music.  Now you boot up your computer and launch iTunes.

She says that we’re missing out today on the art of music.  Back then you were able to flip over an album cover and read about the artist/band, the performers, the lyricists and composers, photographers, and the stories behind each song.  I guess I never really thought of it that way.

In conclusion, I just wanted to express my appreciation to One Arts Plaza and the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts for the opportunity to see the legendary Diana Ross speak this evening on her life and career.  It was an extreme pleasure.

The Brinker International Forum 2009-2010 season will kick off this fall in the brand spankin’ new Winspear Opera House.  Condoleezza Rice, Hilary Swank and many other notable figures will be featured in candid conversations.  For more information and to purchase your tickets, please visit www.dallasperformingarts.org.

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