The words “legend” and “icon” get tossed around so much that they almost become meaningless. (Is the pizza guy really a legend for showing up 10 minutes early?)
But what about people who are truly legendary and iconic? The reality is that it just makes it that much easier to take them for granted.
Such is the case with Diana Ross. It’s almost impossible to overstate the impact she has had not only on the music industry but the culture at large over the past 60 years. There is no Beyoncé without Diana Ross.
What makes her all the more impressive is that she continues to thrive as an entertainer, as proven most recently in concert at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis on Sept. 15.
Ross, in excellent voice, thrilled the audience with a tour through her hit-filled career that included a full backing band and three outfit changes.
From her days with The Supremes where she became a household name, to her solo career as a disco diva and balladeer, the hits literally just kept on coming.
The setlist included No. 1 smash hits like “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out.” She even mixed in a few covers and a medley of songs from her latest album, which is something that usually brings a concert to a screeching halt, but the tunes were lively enough to mix right in with the familiar favorites.
While the songs speak for themselves, the most impressive part of the evening was the way Ross, who is six months shy of her 80th birthday, commanded the stage.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone more comfortable in the spotlight than Ross who charmed the audience, danced around the stage and even politely dressed down a security guard at the foot of the stage for blocking people’s view.
Ross emanated gratitude towards her fans, signing autographs and accepting gifts from the crowd. There was also lots of general fabulousness from Ross’ glittery outfits to the way she would throw her arms back or cool off with a hand-held fan that would blow back her signature, brushed-out curls.
There are plenty of legacy acts out there touring almost as wax museum imitations of their former selves. This couldn’t be further from the case for Ross, whose voice is as strong and clear as it ever was and her talent as an entertainer continues to shine as bright as a disco ball.