Diana Ross continues her legendary Las Vegas run
The word “diva” gets thrown around pretty cavalierly these days, applied to everyone from reality TV stars to teen pop singers to fussy internet-famous pets. But if anyone truly deserves the diva label, it’s Diana Ross, one of the biggest icons of pop and R&B music and a genuine musical legend. Like fellow divas Celine Dion and Cher, Ross fits in perfectly in Las Vegas, where she can embrace the glamour and showmanship that her music deserves.
Ross has a long history with Las Vegas: Back in 1970, her final concert as a member of the pioneering Motown group The Supremes took place at the Frontier hotel-casino in Vegas, and two years later, she made her solo concert debut at Caesars Palace, where she also recorded an HBO special in 1979. In 1983, she joined Vegas royalty Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin at the opening of the Thomas & Mack Center. And in 2015, she made her relationship with Vegas official by booking her first mini-residency at The Venetian, dubbed The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade. Billed as “a special set of hits from the iconic star’s career, spanning over five decades,” the show offers Ross the chance to showcase her vast catalog of popular songs in an intimate but luxurious setting, with top-notch production values. Ross sold out nine shows in spring of 2015, and then nine more in the fall. “Miss Ross was a speeding locomotive with her hits, yet held the audience in the palms of her hands,” the Las Vegas Sun said of the opening night of Ross’ first run at The Venetian.
Those hits range from her days in The Supremes in 1960s (“You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”) to her lengthy solo career in the following decades (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Upside Down,” “I’m Coming Out”). The Supremes paved the way for women and African-Americans in the music industry, as Motown’s most successful act and the most successful girl group of all time (even to this day). After leaving the group, Ross went on to become one of the biggest pop stars of the 1970s, balancing hit singles with an acting career in movies like Lady Sings the Blues, Mahogany and The Wiz.
In recent years, Ross has returned to extensive touring while basking in her status as an inspiration and icon, including being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year. Her latest album, released in 2015, is Diana Ross Sings Songs From The Wiz, a collection of previously unreleased recordings originally made in 1978 for the Wizard of Oz-themed musical, along with new versions of some songs from the film. Whether revisiting old favorites or creating new music, Ross brings her diva presence and her still-powerful voice. Both will be on display in her latest series of shows in Vegas, where they’ve found an ideal home.
The Venetian, 8 p.m. Feb. 8, 10-11, 14, 17-18, 22 & 24-25, starting at $59.50 plus tax and fee. 702.414.9000