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Diana Ross: A Biography Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2007
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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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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Some of her behaviour in the early years, especially when Florence cared for her when she had the breakdown in Boston, but yet when it was Florence's turn, she was so matter of fact and uncaring.
Also I can identify with her dilemma with her unemotional father. I had the same. I knew he loved us all, but he was still distant. She has blessed the world with some beautiful music and lyrics that are not X-rated! We an all identify with the experiences that called forth the songs - whether it was a death of a loved one, the lost of a lover, we have all been there, in one way or another.
Her film says a lot about her courage and depth of feeling. How can one so beautifully portray a Schizophrenic when you have never been there personally, or a drug addict like Lady? I fell in love with her in Double Platinum! I've watched it three times so far, and I will again.
We may fault her DUI episode, but have we walked in her shoes? We may criticize her insistence on being respected, she was a businesswoman, an employer, not simply an entertainer.
She has blessed the planet with 5 beautiful children, they don't seem to have been scarred by her 'humanness'. Thanks Diana for your years of beauty and poise, and grace. Thank you for showing us how to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and continue walking. You have aged gracefully. May the force behind the power be with you. You are still the BOSS!!!
For many, Diana Ross's reputation precedes her. She's often been characterized as a difficult and demanding diva. Certainly, one of the infamous legends attached to her is her request to only be addressed as Miss Ross. Others would cite her putting herself ahead of the other members of The Supremes in order to advance her career as the height of her diva behavior.
And to an extent, her reputation for diva-ish behavior was accurate. But in this book we learn why she acted the way she did and that she was much more complex then her reputation would suggest. She was just being herself and dealing with the fame her singing career brought her as best she knew how. The relationship between her and Berry Gordy and his aspirations for her only added to the mix.
Most people don't appreciate her struggle from being a kid from Detroit to becoming famous during the Civil Rights era. She was one of the few breakthrough artists of that era, appealing to white people as well as black. And she also dealt with the issues that the South struggled with during this time, while on tour, facing racism head on. She was also one of the few leading ladies on the silver screen that wasn't white.
I learned so much about Miss Ross from this book. Some of the stories are familiar, but many I've never heard. Taraborelli does an excellent job of showing how Diana went from a typical teen to the Queen of Motown. It is very much worth a read. Taraborelli has a love for Miss Ross, but is not afraid to put out the truth. He also gives us context to her behavior, giving us a better understanding of what made Diana tick and why she acted the way she did.
No matter the odds or what some people said, Diana persevered and made her dreams come true. And while her life has had its ups and downs (just like the rest of us), she never stopped trying. Her journey is something we all could learn from. And this book will show you the way. By the end, you'll not only appreciate Diana's music, but how she got where she is. And you'll believe that you can make your dreams come true.
I can't recommend this Book enough!!!!