When I was growing up, my three best girlfriends were Diana, Mary, and Flo--and if you don't know whom I'm talking about, please stop reading now. Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard were the original Supremes, the dream girls of Motown.
Comfortably at No. 5 though, besting acts like The Spice Girls, En Vogue and Martha & The Vandellas, was Exposé. According to singer Jeanette Jurado, the '80s freestyle collective is all-too-grateful its music, now "classics," lives on.
In the late '50s, Berry Gordy founded Motown Records and discovered Diana Ross, the lead singer for The Supremes. Little did I know, that 30 years later after she had sold millions of her albums, this legendary artist would reinvent herself and become a very successful entrepreneur.
Motown, and in particular The Supremes, were symbols of breaking racial barriers. The appearances of The Supremes on mainstream variety shows weren't just critical for what it said about the humanity of African Americans, it also said a great deal about the position of black women in society.
In 1983 Diana Ross' success was unparalleled. When New York City announced that Ross would give a free concert in Central Park, it was an experience that, as one newscaster noted, "will be an event -- the kind you tell your grandchildren about."
"I think the culture today is very, very different from what it was in the '60s, and I feel lucky that I grew up at a time when I had these very strong female role models. They were strong women, but their power was very much connected to their creativity and their voice."
I forever owe Detroit a huge debt of gratitude, as does anybody who's loved contemporary music this past half century. Before we bailed Detroit out, Detroit bailed us out of a lot of boredom and bad moods.