Pavarotti and Motown

Diana Ross & Luciano Pavarotti

Today is a very special day. The legendary African-American pop/soul singer and actress Diana Ross celebrates her 70th birthday!

For Diana Ross fans like me there are really no words to capture her greatness as an artist, but I could try: The ultimate entertainer, the supreme diva, the queen of Motown. One thing is for sure: Legendary doesn’t quite cover what she means for us fans!

Diana Ross was born on March 26, 1944 in Detroit and shoot to fame in the 1960s as the lead singer of the Motown girl group The Supremes. Motown’s boss (and Diana’s lover) Berry Gordy saw the star quality in Diana and made her the lead vocalist of the group, and in 1967 the group was renamed Diana Ross & the Supremes. To this date Diana Ross & the Supremes is the most successful girl group ever.

Diana left the group in 1970 to pursue her solo career. After a string of hits in the 1960s with The Supremes, she continued to have a number of hits in the 1970s, 1980s and even in the 1990s. Her live shows and TV appearances, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, are legendary. Diana also pursued a movie career with movies such as Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany.

Frank Sinatra, joins Diana Ross, Luciano Pavarotti, Montserrat Caballe

And Ross is still performing! In the last decade Ross hasn’t recorded any new albums but she’s constantly on tour the world over singing her hits spanning her 5o year career from the early 1960s to this century!

Diana Ross didn’t sing together with Pavarotti, but on March 18, 1984 Ross and Pavarotti joined forces with Frank Sinatra and Montserrat Caballé at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in a benefit concert for cancer research. The picture is taken before their performances. Wow! Talk about music royalty! 🙂

To celebrate the most successful female artist ever and her 70th birthday I’ve chosen three music videos. The first two videos are from some fabulous shows in the 1970s. The first video starts with a very moving monologue before she starts singing and the second video contains some good old fashion diva behaviour and a medley of Supremes hits. The third video is one of her last hits from around the turn of the century entitled Not Over You Yet.

What more is there to say? So much more. I’m Not Over You Yet, Diana Ross!

Happy birthday Diana Ross! You are truly supreme!

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This post was originally published 26-03-2014. Last revision 26-03-2014.

Lionel Richie from Motown visits Pavarotti in Operatown

Out of the many Pavarotti & friends concerts came many surprising Pavarotti duets. These concerts, which were held in Pavarotti’s home town Modena in Italy, were (and still are) very popular, especially among the young Pavarotti fans.

These concerts gave us Pavarotti singing duets with many international and Italian popular singers. As a lover of soul music I really love Pavarotti’s duets with two soul music giants, the great soul singers Barry White and James Brown.

The legendary US record company Motown has since the early 1960’s been the label for some of the greatest soul music ever. Motown has given us so many wonderful songs and artists that will live forever! 🙂

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One of the great male Motown singers is Lionel Richie. Pavarotti sang together with Richie on two Pavarotti & friends concerts: In 1999 for Guatemala and Kosovo, and in 2003 for Sos Iraq. The 1999 concert is available on Decca CD, download and streaming, as well as on DVD. The 2003 concert is yet to be released. All Pavarotti & friends concerts were broadcast on TV.

On both concerts Pavarotti and Richie sang the duet “The magic of love”. In addition, Richie sang solo “All night long” (in 1999) and “Easy” (in 2003). At the end of the 1999 concert all artists sang together “We are the world” written by Mr. Richie and the great Michael Jackson.

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The 1999 Pavarotti-Richie duet of “The magic of love” is also available on the compilation album “The Duets”, which is available on Decca CD, download and streaming, as well as on DVD.

Enjoy the videos! More on Pavarotti and Motown (!!!) in later post! Yes! I’ve got more in store for you! 🙂

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This post was originally published 04-04-2013. Last revision 04-04-2013.

Thanks to Hayden from Australia for the idea for this blog post!

Hayden has forever the copyright on the wonderful word “Operatown”! 🙂