American Singer, Dianna Ross, has been honoured with an American Music Awards (AMA) lifetime achievement award. Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1944, she climbed to fame as part of ‘The Supremes’ trio as the lead vocalist. The band went on to be one of the most successful girl groups of all time and paved the way for a myriad of future African-American’s artists that came to achieve mainstream appeal and esteem. After leaving the group in 1970, Ross released her solo debut album to great acclaim and continued to build on her musical success in the following decades.

The music icon graced the AMA stage on Sunday the 19th of November with numerous performances of her works, including ‘I’m Coming Out’ and ‘Take Me Higher’. Initially accompanied by her son Evan and then after by her grandchildren, it was impressive to see how long of a career Ross has had – and crucially been able to sustain. Rhonda Ross Kendrick, her daughter, handed Diana the award which was “not just for women, not just for black folk, not just for singers, actors, performers and entrepreneurs who want to forge our own destiny, but for all of us!” An emotional Ross gracefully responded by stating that, “this is all about love, this is my family and I’m sending love out there to each and everyone one of you—our global family. I’m so humbled. I love you so very much and I think you know that. I really, really love you so very much and I will hold onto this beautiful honour. Thank you.”

The display of Ross’ talent and a public celebration of her works is an important display of her faculty to younger generations, who may not have heard of her name before, but will most likely have heard her songs. She has influenced countless R& B stars, soul groups and pop artists since her early days and has now developed into an international symbol for musical ability. After hosting the American Music Awards in 1986 and 1987, as well as being present for the first ever ceremony in 1974, it felt right to see her receive the iconic award on that same platform.

Article by Yohannes Lowe.

George Millington