The Divine Diana Ross
"I have to really keep myself from going into the ugly cry," Oprah says about interviewing Diana, "Because of how much this legend, this woman means to me and my life. ... I'm going to try to keep it together."
Watch Oprah's emotional explanation of what Diana Ross means to her.
Look back at Diana's career, from Motown to Hollywood.
In those days, Diana says she had no idea what impact she and the Supremes were making and how they were influencing young girls across the nation. "We didn't really know what to do except to try to be the best we knew how to [be]," she says. "I don't think we felt like we were stars."
"When did you think you'd made it'?" Oprah asks.
"Never!" Diana laughs. "I've never been that overconfident about what's possible. ... When did you think you had made it?"
"I think sitting here with you has made me make it," Oprah jokes.
"The storm was amazing," Diana recalls. "They tried to get me to get off the stage, and I refused."
Today, Diana says she still loves performing on stage, whether things go perfectly or not, and has had many memorable moments throughout her career, from meeting Nelson Mandela—"That was pretty exciting!" she says—to being nominated for an Oscar® for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues.
"I had many incredible career moments," she says.
Watch what Diana has to say about her reputation for demanding to be called "Miss Ross."
Quiz: How well do you know Diana, the queen of Motown?
Diana says she would love to record new songs and currently listens to all different types of music—especially music by her son, Evan."I listen to most everything that's out there because I need to stay aware of what's happening in the industry," she says. "I'm happy to embrace [everything]."
What did Diana learn from that relationship? "That love is everlasting," Diana says. "And I love him now."
"How are you handling that?" Oprah asks. "You look as glamorous as ever!"
"I really would like to age gracefully," Diana says. "And I feel that the vitality or your energy of who you are comes from inside. ... [Besides] I like my lines."
Watch Diana's children talk about what she's like as a mother and grandmother.
Growing up, Diana's children say that they lived relatively typical lives. "There was a sense of routine and normalcy," says Tracee, her daughter.
They also say that their mother always trusted them and encouraged them to follow their dreams. "Somehow, despite how large her career and her persona [have] been, she has helped us not feel in her shadow," says Rhonda, her oldest daughter. "We can be ourselves. She somehow helped us to have that."
Learn more about Diana's five children.
Despite these successes, Diana says that acting has been a challenging part of her career. "The work of it—the acting part, using your imagination—that was good," she says. "But the waiting and the sitting? I found that, really, I wanted to be with my kids and not sitting in a trailer somewhere."
"But did you love doing those movies?" Oprah asks.
"I loved working with those people," Diana says.
"The chemistry that the two of you had on screen was like something we had never seen before," Oprah says. "Was that real for you?"
"Oh, absolutely," Billy Dee says.
"What do you remember about being on set with Diana Ross?" Oprah asks.
"Her mouth," Billy Dee answers. "How can I explain it? ... It was like putting the perfect puzzle together."
"We worked really, really well together," Diana says.
Watch Billy Dee and Diana talk about being on set together.
With such an amazing career, it's hard to imagine a day when Diana will stop singing, but she says that there's one situation that could get her to stop. "I think that if my voice for some reason changes—because your voice does change—then it's time for me not to sing," she says.
- Look back at Diana Ross through the years
- The kings and queens of Motown
- Go back in time to the 1960s