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Diana Ross: A Biography Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2007

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 1, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Taraborrelli has totally rewritten, expanded and updated his 1989 bio Call Her Miss Ross to create what is now truly a definitive biography. The new book boasts epic research, including extensive interviews with Ross and virtually all the major people in her life (his enviable first-hand access began in the 1970s when he started an international fan club for the Supremes and later worked for Mary Wilson). This time out, there is more background about the early Supremes years that yields a complex and fascinating tale of ambition, ego, insecurities and harsh showbiz realities. Taraborrelli delves more deeply into Ross's psyche, allowing readers to fully appreciate her drive to escape Detroit and conquer the music world. The book also benefits greatly from Taraborrelli's thoughtful analysis of conflicting viewpoints represented in published memoirs by Ross, Wilson, Berry Gordy, and a slew of Motown performers. It's to Taraborrelli's credit that he refuses to cast people as one-dimensional heroes, victims or villains. This riveting page-turner is actually a tribute to a woman who has survived and thrived for more than four decades in a profession littered with one-hit wonders. 16-pages of photos. (Sept.)
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From Booklist

In his acknowledgments, Taraborrelli asks if there is anything he can say about Diana Ross in this book that he hasn't already said in his first two biographies of the diva. That daring admission may be the most revelatory thing about this rehash of the author's Call Her Miss Ross (1989). Aside from a little new information on Ross' life since 1989, Taraborrelli delivers the same mix of gossip and quotes from sources with obvious personal agendas that made up the earlier book (the same sort of thing, in fact, that characterizes most "unauthorized" biographies). Still, for those not overly familar with Ross' history, the story of a determined young woman who became a Motown superstar is undeniably engaging. The real reason for the publication of this book at this time is no doubt the success of the movie Dreamgirls, and in fact, that film just may generate new readers interested in comparing the fictional version of Ross' life to the real thing. Pitt, David

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806528494
  • ASIN: B0042P58RE
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,178,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. RANDY TARABORRELLI is the author of 18 biographies, 14 of which went on to become New York Times' best sellers, including: "Call Her Miss Ross," "Sinatra - Behind the Legend," "Madonna - An Intimate Biography," "Jackie, Ethel, Joan - Women of Camelot," "Elizabeth,"(a biography of Elizabeth Taylor); "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" and "After Camelot - A Personal History of the Kennedy Family 1968 to the Present."

Taraborrelli's best seller, "After Camelot," is presently in production as a miniseries for the ReelzChannel (2016), starring Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy Onassis. His previous book about the Kennedys - "Jackie, Ethel, Joan - Women of Camelot" was a highly-rated miniseries for NBC, starring Jill Hennesey as Jackie and Lauren Holly and Ethel. It is available for purchase here on Amazon.

His national best seller, "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" is the basis of a miniseries of the same name for Lifetime, starring Susan Sarandon, Kelli Garner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Emily Watson. It airs on May 30 and 31, 2015.

J. Randy's next two books are: an update of his classic Sinatra biography, "Sinatra - Behind the Legend," which will be published in August 2015; and "Becoming Beyonce - The Untold Story" which is the first-ever in-depth biography of the pop star, publishing in October of 2015.

J. Randy Taraborrelli has also worked as a CBS News analyst and is a popular guest on talk and entertainment programs.

The author holds a black belt in the martial art of American Tang Soo Do and a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jim Andrews on January 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even with Randy's third opus on Miss Ross I haven't any more of a clue as to who or what she really is but if you've bought the previous two books don't think this is just a rehash. It's a new book and impeccably researched and impeccably written. He's done his damnest to try to bring the complete person to the pages. Ross' own book showed she hasn't got a clue about who she really is (and, good grief, all the information and dates she had wrong or confused) and that she is the center of her universe, not the most sensitive to the feelings or viewpoint of others she's worked with. Since she'll never write the whole story, this book will do nicely. The most significant observation Randy makes is Ross' multiple personalities--almost every star in show business has them, a combination of sheer guts and ambition and power with total insecurity. It drives everyone around them nuts. (But not every star is a bundle of contradictions--some are in show business but not of show business and live their lives right side up.) As for Ross, I love her work--a fabulous career still chuggin' ahead--but I'd never want to get in her way.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By W. J. Thomas on September 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In J. Randy Taraborrelli's new biography on Diana Ross, he gives us the widescreen version of his earlier offering on this subject, Call Her Miss Ross. By that I mean that CHMR definitely dealt more with Diana Ross' reactions, behaviors and idiosyncrasies while Diana Ross, A Biography details the stories, situations and circumstances which resulted in those reactions. The whole picture in other words and finally answers the question, "who is Diana Ross"? I especially appreciated the three dimensional study of The Supremes and Diana's relationships with her former singing partners. Her relationship with her mother and father are quit different from each other and as a result have laid the foundation for a very complex, and at times, insecure personality. Further family relationships are examined and have painted a picture of a very family oriented Diana Ross that I didn't know existed (at least before her children were born). Robert Ellis, Berry Gordy, RCA, the ill-fated Supremes reunion tour, Arne Naess, the return to Motown, movies, television...all of it is examined fairly and carefully. Whether you are a Diana Ross fan or not, if you like reading biographies you will get your fill with this one as Diana's story is truly an American Dream come true.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Exguyparis on September 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Diana Ross has been a favorite of mine since I first heard her sing on the radio in 1964. I saw the Supremes perform dozens of times, and Diana Ross Solo another dozen, most recently in April 2007 in Atlantic City. I had the pleasure of having dinner with the Supremes at the home of their road manager in Cherry Hill, NJ during their first Latin Casino run.

I've read every book written about Diana Ross and the Supremes, and there have been a lot of them. I always felt that they ranged from the banal to the biased-against to the blindly-loyal (for example, the recent A Lifetime To Get Here: Diana Ross: The American Dreamgirl was written by an author with intensely Ross-colored glasses, and Diana's own "autobiographical" Secrets of a Sparrow was simply insipid). The only book of the crop that I thought painted an interesting, complex, full portrait of the diva I love was Call Her Miss Ross, written by J. Randy Taraborrelli in 1989.

Now, 18 years later, I can add a second book to the positive list: Diana Ross: A Biography, also by Taraborrelli. Rather than simply tacking on additional chapters covering the last 18 years, Taraborrelli has rethought and restructured the overall work. When Call Her Miss Ross was published, it had been 25 years since the first Supremes hit; the new Diana Ross: A Biography arrives 43 years after that hit, so the history (like me) has become a bit more ancient and can be viewed a bit differently.

What is good about the new book? No Diana book has been better researched (see the nine pages of acknowledgements). Taraborrelli had access to every key player in the Motown, Supremes, and Diana Ross saga.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Young on March 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This must be the ultimate Diana Ross biography. The author of this book seems to know the legendary singer all too well. In fact, if you look at his credentials, I think you'll be quite impressed: Mr. Taraborrelli begin following her career when he was just barely a teenager; he wrote countless of articles on her for various publications; he's interviewed dozens of her closest friends and family members throughout the years, including Diana Ross herself; he wrote two previous books on her, and, as proven with this book; he's an exceptionally talented writer.

What's great about this biography - as in the case with virtually all biographies - is that you learn more than just about the "biographee." You learn about other people, places, and events. In this case, you learn about The Supremes, Motown Records, Berry Gordy, the sixties, the music industry, the movie industry, and much more. So to some degree, this biography is really a history book with an emphasis on entertainment, and where Diana Ross is the main subject. This is the sort of book that once you start reading, you can't put it down. And even though I'm not a huge fan of Diana Ross or Motown Records, I found this book captivating, fascinated by her life story.

I think readers will be pleased with Taraborrelli's in depth look at Diana Ross' life: her personal life and relationships; her music career and other business ventures; and her family and children. Yet, even though the author admits to be a great fan of Diana Ross, this book doesn't seem to reflect that. The author holds nothing back. In fact, he gives us a very sincere portrayal of Diana Ross, and not a manufactured one. He tells us about her good side and bad side, her failures and successes, her good times and bad times.
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