Diana Ross In Concert in 2004
Diana Ross In Concert in 2004

Diana Ross announces first new album in 15 years – here’s why she’s such an icon

From Diana Ross’ smash hits to trendsetting looks, the singer’s legacy is undeniable, says Prudence Wade.

Prudence Wade
Thursday 17 June 2021 10:15

Good news for anyone with ears: Diana Ross is blessing us with new music.

The 77-year-old legend has announced her first album of new music in 15 years, called Thank You it features 13 songs recorded in her home studio.

Ross said: “This collection of songs is my gift to you with appreciation and love. I am eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to record this glorious music at this time.”

She added: “I dedicate this songbook of love to all of you, the listeners. As you hear my voice you hear my heart.”

Thank You is Ross’ 15th album, and the title track is available to stream now.

From her beginnings in The Supremes to her hit career as a solo artist, it’s hard to overstate why Ross is such an icon. These are just some of the ways she’s left her mark…

She’s been a music industry trailblazer

Ross receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2016

The Supremes were one of Motown’s biggest groups. With songs like Where Did Our Love Go and Stop! In The Name Of Love, the band had 12 number one hits and helped make Motown a global phenomenon.

Her solo career has seen her garner six number one hits – including Upside Down and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

As a woman of colour, Ross’ success broke many boundaries – she was the first African American woman to co-host the Oscars in 1974; she was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful female musician of all time in 1993; she has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; she was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 – there’s barely an award she hasn’t won.

She’s set countless trends

The Supremes in 1964

Each era of Ross’ career has brought with it iconic looks. First, there was the big bouffants, matching outfits and heavily kohl’d eyes of The Supremes…

Diana Ross performing in 1989

Then came her opulent disco phase in the Seventies and Eighties when her fashion was big, bold and beautiful. We’re talking lots of sequins, furs and long, curly hair.

Diana Ross in 1976

She’s a fashion chameleon too, wearing plenty of feminine outfits, but Ross can also give us more masculine, tailored moments.

Diana Ross performing at Wembley Arena in 2004

Now, Ross has her onstage style down to a fine art – she loves to wear long, bedazzled gowns, gravity-defying headpieces, and adds touches of drama with feathers and ruffles. We can only hope her new album brings with it even more fabulous outfits.

She’s given us so many bangers

From the toe tapping tunes of The Supremes to her solo songs, Ross’ music is something of a great uniter – somehow everyone knows the words to her tracks, from your youngest niece to your elderly grandpa.

Her legacy is clear in the musical artists she’s influenced too, from Beyonce to Michael Jackson.