Über Diana Ross
Thanks in part to a voice that could compete with Dionne Warwick on the level of pop appeal -- and let's not forget Berry Gordy's loving adoration for her -- Diana Ross not only became the lead singer of the Supremes, she became the quintessential image of the band in the public eye. What might have been had she remained part of the Supremes' backing vocal section will never be known, but the end result of Ross' being placed center stage was a later ascent to uber-diva as a solo artist. Within a year of taking leave of the Supremes in 1969, Ross already had a No. 1 song; within two years, she'd starred in a movie (Lady Sings The Blues) and secured an Academy Award nomination. Not bad for an acting novice and singer on her own for the first time. Over the years, Diana Ross has continued to earn film roles, chart placements, and the undying respect and admiration of drag queens the world over.