All Articles Tagged "Diana Ross"

Remember That Time Beyoncé Announced Her Pregnancy? 15 Epic VMA Moments

August 30th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

 

The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards is right around the corner, and if the promos are any indications, the show is probably going to one of the most talked about television events of the summer. The VMAs are where both big moments happen and stars are made. Let’s take a look at 15 of the most epic VMA moments, ever.

“I Saw A Woman Whole And Connected” Tracee Ellis Ross Recreates Mother’s “Work That Body” Video

August 24th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

When I first saw the news that Tracee Ellis Ross was remaking her mother’s “Work That Body” video. I thought she was doing so just because her mother is so amazing and she wants to, in some respects, follow in her footsteps.

And while that’s a part of it, there’s a deeper meaning behind why she chose this particular video from Mama Ross’ catalog.

She explained in a short essay on her website.

I decided to recreate my Mom’s Work That Body video from 1981 as a fun experiment and a surprise for my mama! And ODE to her! While she has so, so many incredible moments to choose from, this one had an impact on me. At first I wasn’t sure why, but in true “Tracee” fashion I became a little obsessed. I like to study these things until I am clear about what I’m seeing, what it’s making me feel, and why.

I am keenly aware of how we as women (and most specifically women of color) are presented and portrayed in media and how we present ourselves. And here was my mama from almost 30 years ago on the surface doing something that often snags me in videos today but why did I feel differently about it?

Of course it’s fun to watch because its my mom looking stupid gorgeous (she was 36 and already had 3 kids -Rhonda, Chudney and I- by the time she shot this!! I mean, WHAT?!??!?!) and it’s a celebration of music and style and the 80’s. But, there is something more.

I was watching and thinking: why does watching this woman dancing around in barely any clothes with her tush to the camera make me feel joyful and empowered when the same kind of image in most music videos today doesn’t give me that feeling? I know this is my mom… so obviously I’m projecting a connection and I know it was a different time, it was the 80’s. But still, it didn’t feel like she was dancing as a presentation of herself or like she was offering up her bits, which I feel like most videos are these days. Often in today’s images (moving and still), we are being objectified or we objectifying ourselves. I think it is meant to be an empowered act, a reclaiming of our bodies. But that is not always what it feels like to me. I am not intending to judge, just exploring with curiosity.

And then it hit me: My mom felt whole and connected …and in her body in this video. I have spoken before about encouraging women to shift our gaze from how we are seen to how we are seeing and, more important, feeling. And I saw a woman feeling joyful in herself as a whole being; she didn’t seem to be presenting her ass or saying look at all the ways I can make myself look appealing to YOU. She seems to be saying, “this is ME feeling good and I am strong and sexy and joyful in ME”!

So, I decided to recreate the video and try to feel the joy of being in my body while offering up tribute to my glorious mother. Hope you have as much fun watching it as I did recreating it, but most of all I hope it inspires you to find and be in the joy of your own body!

We’re all here for a little body positivity. And I think the discussion about empowering body images rather than demeaning ones, simply for the pleasure of men.

Peep the recreation in the video below.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Mahogany”

June 11th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Motown Productions

Source: Motown Productions

Mahogany came out a little bit before my time. Still, I had always heard so much talk about how classic the piece was. And since the film is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, I decided to see what all the hype was about. If we’re being honest here, it’s far from classic film. Still, the movie is iconic, in several ways, for several reasons. So in honor of its anniversary and the doors it opened for other Black actresses and directors, we’re sharing a few secrets you might not have known.

We Need Answers: 10 Super-Talented Musicians Who Never Won A Grammy

February 5th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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A lot of people get excited about the Grammys, which are airing this Sunday on CBS. But considering the many people whose work was or has been snubbed for deserved awards, we’ll just be tuning in to watch performances and talk about them with you. Since the very talented individuals on this list didn’t win Grammys when they were nominated, we won’t hold our breath believing that true talent will beat out popularity.

Here are 10 artists we were surprised to find out never won a Grammy.

 

WENN

WENN

Chuck Berry

While Berry was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984, the rock and roll pioneer never won a Grammy beforehand or after.

Tracee Ellis Ross Talks Life With Diana Ross As A Mom

February 2nd, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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WENN

WENN

Tracee Ellis Ross has truly paved her own way. So much so, that it’s sometimes easy to forget that she’s the daughter of iconic singer Diana Ross. During a recent Q&A with the New York Times, the “black-ish” actress opened up about life in the Ross household, why she refuses to adapt to Hollywood and her signature ‘fro. Check out some highlights from her interview below.

On how and why “black-ish” scenes are scheduled around her hair:

“I play a doctor, so my hair has to be back when I’m in scrubs. I wouldn’t be at the hospital with my natural big hair out, so I usually have a bun. They try to schedule a lot of those scenes in the same day, so we don’t have to go from having my hair out to having it in. You can’t go from a bun to out and expect to look gorgeous.”

On her reference for natural hair growing up:

“For me, it was my mom, first and foremost. She is always saying to me, ‘The bigger the better.’”

On how women respond to her natural hair:

“Women are asked to put forward, to a certain extent, a mask. And for black women, that has taken on greater significance, because the standard of beauty has not necessarily had the space for different definitions of beauty. I’m trying to find my own version of what makes me feel beautiful.”

On growing up close to Hollywood and why she doesn’t try to adapt:

“I don’t know. I just really strongly promote pushing against this culture of perfection. I mean, I’m sorry, for me, Spanx don’t feel good. I’ve tried one of those waist-trainer things on — that hurt like the bejesus. I could barely get it closed, and I bought the size bigger than they said I should buy. I mean, this [expletive] hurt. I couldn’t wear it for longer than 10 minutes. People are sleeping in them!”

On being raised by Diana Ross:

“Well, my mom was very glamorous, but that was her work world. Our home was filled with beautiful things. My mom had beautiful clothes; my mom is elegant; my mom is glamorous. But my mom is also really real, and I grew up with a mother who had babies crawling on her head and spitting up on her when she was wearing gorgeous, expensive things, and it was never an issue.”

Read Tracee’s full interview here.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Ashlee Simpson Will Carry On Diana Ross’s Legacy

December 30th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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WENN

From TMZ

Ashlee Simpson’s coming out … she wants the world to know … that Diana Ross is her mother-in-law — so she’s legally taking her name, or she’s trying to anyway.

Here’s the deal — yes, Ashlee married Diana’s son Evan Ross back in August, but legally his name is Evan Naess … his father’s last name. Now, Evan and Ashlee want to leap into Rossville together.

They’ve filed a request to change their last names to Ross-Naess. Why the switch? They are expecting their first child, but since they already have the same last name — Naess — that can’t be it.

Read more about Ashlee Simpson and her mother in law Diana Ross at TMZ.com

Blurred Lines: 15 Surprising Celebrity Alcoholics

December 15th, 2014 - By Rich
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The various reasons as to why these celebrities with alcohol problems have their addictions are vast. The most horrifying is the story of Robert Downey’s Jr. father giving him marijuana at the age of six! Luckily, many on this list have since become sober and moved forward to lead successful personal and professional lives.

Sources: Celebrity Gossip, Lossip

Blurred Lines: 15 Surprising Celebrity Alcoholics

Tony And Grammy-Nominated “Motown” Star Valisia LeKae Talks Beating Ovarian Cancer And Strengthening Her Faith

September 25th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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LeKae and Diana Ross; Photo courtesy of Valisia LeKae

LeKae and Diana Ross; Photo courtesy of Valisia LeKae

This month, in order to spread more awareness to our community about ovarian cancer, MadameNoire is speaking to several ovarian cancer survivors about their journeys.

The very talented Valisia LeKae was on top of the world with a role many actresses would have gone through hell and high water to get: playing Diana Ross in the lauded production of Motown: The Musical. LeKae was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical and later a Grammy award for all her hard work. But at the height of the awards season and her fame, LeKae was hit with a cancer diagnosis after getting a cyst removed. She had stage 1A ovarian cancer, and even though many of us would break down over such news, LeKae’s faith strengthened, her spirit was revived, she did her research and she vowed to fight. She received her diagnosis late last year and after constant therapy and a tough journey, LeKae received the news in April that she was cancer-free and she is now the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition spokesperson. This is her story: 

Did You Have Symptoms Or Pain?

“Actually, I did not. After my annual visit to my gynecologist, I had a sonogram and my doctor discovered that there was a cyst that I had on my ovaries that had tripled within a year’s time. Based on the size that it was, he stated that I needed to have it removed. I had no symptoms. I didn’t have any pain. I didn’t have any bleeding that wasn’t normal with my cycle. So if it wasn’t for that cyst actually growing, I wouldn’t actually have known that I had ovarian cancer. The cyst could have ruptured. That’s the things about the cysts, when they grow over six centimeters, your doctor tells you that you need to take it out because it could rupture at any moment. That could have been even worse for me because the cancer could have spread all over my body and I could have been stage three instead of stage 1A, which is what I was. Thank God for that one thing that happened within my body because I wouldn’t have known.”

What Was Your Reaction When You Got The News? 

“When I found out, it was after I had my first surgery to get my cyst removed from my ovary. For about 10 days I hadn’t been able to walk straight. I had a really, really awful recovery period. So when I got the call that morning while I was sitting in my recliner, my body, my mind and everything just went on alert. Everything changed for me. I think I had a moment of where I cried for a minute and then life just took a shift. I got more strength, I got up out of that chair and I just did not want to waste any more time. I just wanted to live and so I never thought twice about it. I did what I had to do. I got up, did some research on ovarian cancer, I got in touch with a doctor. It was sort of like…’live your life’ at that moment.”

With All The Success You Were Having, Were You Ever Worried About Your Career?

“You have to take yourself out of the situation when things like that happen. It’s never going to be about me. ‘What do you want me to do God and when do you want me to do it?’ That’s what it comes down to. It’s not necessarily, ‘Oh my God, I’m in the midst of my career and now everything is over.’ It’s just like, God is ready to take me to the next level and he’s going to do it by any means necessary. I was grateful for the career and the accomplishments that I made at the time because it really allowed me to have a platform to say, ‘I have ovarian cancer and I want you to hear about it.’ People were listening to my story. That series of events happened the way they were supposed to happen and I thank God that people took an interest in my story and almost a year later I’m still having interviews about it. I’m grateful for that because people need to know about this deadly disease.”

How Did It Feel To Get The News That You Were Cancer-Free? 

“It’s quite an extraordinary feeling. Every moment is an accomplishment. Every breath is a victory. By the time that I got to April 29, I lived to fight another day. For me, the battle wasn’t over. There’s no cure for this disease. So to me it was like, ‘okay, you’re done with that, but there’s still more work to do.’ There are millions of other women who have this and are still battling it, so it’s not over. The battle continues.”

Who Was Your Support System Throughout This Journey?

“I’ve been very fortunate to have a really great group of people by my side. My partner, he was amazing during this entire time and never left my side. Never once complained. Was at every single therapy session for all six hours. The odd thing about the journey of the two of us is that his mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer seven or eight years ago and she’s battling it now. I honor her every time that I give an interview or every time I’m able to speak to people. But I also honor him because he had to be strong and he had to put on a face and make sacrifices.

I also had a wonderful cast that was there for me, keeping me laughing, smiling, cooking for me, coming to visit me, keeping me in their prayers and showing up in miraculous ways. Everyone who was a part of Motown really was great and by my side, and I’m really, really grateful for that.”

Could You Tell Us About Your Vintage Clothing Business, Teal Tuesday?

“When I started it, I had just got back from the Grammys and I was trying to figure out what I could do outside of my speaking engagements and being a spokesperson to help. I had all of these clothes in my closet that I had worn and been photographed in. Technically the rule of thumb is once it has been photographed you can’t wear it. So I was looking at all these clothes and said, ‘What am I going to do with them?’ And I said that I wanted to develop a site where I can have things that people can purchase, and everything that is purchased, the sales will go towards ovarian cancer research. As spokesperson of the NOCC, I thought it would be fitting that I start it with that organization. But what I would like to do is reach out to charities every six months to a year and have it contribute to a different charity. This clothing wasn’t doing anything for me and so I figured, why not allow this to benefit something else?”

How Did This Entire Process Change You As A Person? 

“I see things differently. I definitely learned patience. Surrendering. That was my first and most important lesson throughout my journey because I’ve been organized and tried to control everything, but once you’re at the mercy of your doctors you have to be where you have to be. You have to go where you have to go and be there for eight hours so you can do your chemotherapy and that’s that. I also learned the comfort of peace and knowing that everything would work itself out. God is in control when it comes down to it.”

What Advice Would You Give To Other Women? 

“Honestly, I just think it’s important for women to educate themselves about their bodies. I’m still continuing to learn about my body, especially after cancer and chemotherapy. I think it’s very important that women ask the questions that they need to ask of their gynecologists. If they’re feeling something, see the doctor that they need to see. Go to your doctor! Have your annual checkup every year, and don’t be afraid to do that. Don’t wait two or three years. Just continue to educate yourself. Know your body more than anything. Know your body.”

Follow Valisia LeKae on Twitter and check out her website, Teal Tuesday, to shop for a great cause. 

Diana Ross Speaks Fondly About Son Evan’s “Perfect” Wedding To Ashlee Simpson, Which She Sang At And Officiated

September 3rd, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Instagram

Instagram

Diana Ross was hands-on when it came to planning and executing her son Evan’s wedding to Ashlee Simpson. Not only did the musical legend sing “Endless Love” at the couple’s reception,which was a surprise to the couple, but according to Us Weekly, she also officiated the service for her Evan, 26 and Ashlee, 29, which took place at her home in Connecticut. In an exclusive chat with the magazine, Ross said that the wedding was “perfect,” and that she wishes nothing but love and happiness for her son and his new bride.

“The wedding went perfectly. We had a beautiful rainbow surrounding us, loving family and friends, great music, and great speeches from loving and caring friends, and joyful children dancing the night away.

I thank everyone who supported us on the spectacular day and our neighbors who were kind enough to let us have fun. We had great friends that traveled from Norway, London, Switzerland, and from all over the world. Wishing Evan and Ashlee congratulations. I want only love, happiness, and joy for my son and his bride.”

The wedding was attended by 200 guests, and the women in the ceremony wore white while men donned white tuxedo jackets and black pants. A source told People that when Ross performed, it was actually a surprise to the guests.

“When Diana got up to sing at the reception, she surprised everyone, even her kids! She was the only one on the dance floor and everyone rushed to see her.”

It makes sense that Ross went all out for Evan’s nuptials, he is her last born! Congrats again to the couple! Check out first pics from their big day over at The Daily Mail.

 

 

And Another One! Ashlee Simpson And Evan Ross Tie The Knot At Diana Ross’ Home

September 1st, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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"Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross pf"

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So love has been all up in the air this Labor Day weekend! Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade tied the knot, and on Sunday afternoon, Ashlee Simpson (sister to Jessica) and Evan Ross (brother to Tracee Ellis) made their love official with a ceremony at the home of Evan’s mother, and musical legend, Diana Ross.

According to Us Weekly, the couple were set to say “I Do” at the Greenwich, Connecticut home of Diana, who Evan said played a big part in planning the nuptials. Diana and Stevie Wonder were both on hand to sing, with Wonder performing at the reception, and Ross reportedly at the wedding, according to Perez Hilton.

Also according to Us, Simpson, 29, was walked down the aisle by her son Bronx (her 5-year-old son from her first marriage to Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz), and her sister, Jessica Simpson was the matron of honor. Both of Jessica’s kids, son Ace and daughter Maxwell, served as the ring bearer and flower girl for the ceremony.

This is, as previously mentioned, the second marriage for Ashlee, and the first for Evan, who popped the question back in January. The couple started dating last July.

And Evan’s family seems to love Ashlee. Tracee Ellis Ross was “over the moon” for her brother when she found out they were engaged. And just last week she said “I’m so excited for you and Ashlee and I’m just so blessed to have you in my life!!!” while sending her bro birthday wishes. How sweet! One thing the couple has in common? Definitely some powerful families.

Congrats to Evan and Ashlee on their marriage! Once we can get our hands on pics of from their big day, we’ll be sure to update this happy story.