Our Top 10 Diana Ross Songs list takes a look at one of music’s legendary singers and actresses. When you think of Motown artists are the Supremes on your list? Diana Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of one of the most successful girl groups of all time. What do Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Lionel Richie have in common? They were all members of Motown acts and became just as successful as solo artists. Diana Ross was just as successful with her group as she was on her own. With the Supremes as well as on her own, she has sold over 100 million albums. She has six number one hit songs and 12 top 10 singles. She’s one of the only artists to have hit singles as a solo artist, a member of a group, one half of a duet and as an ensemble member. In addition to singing, she has appeared in movies on the big and small screen. She starred in Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Mahogany (1975), The Wiz (1978), Out of Darkness (1994) and Double Platinum (1999). It’s time to get to know Diana Ross a little better.
Diana Ross was born March 26, 1944. She rose to fame as a member of the popular girl group The Supremes. They struggled to get hits, but once they did the rest was history. They were together from 1959 – 1970 before she decided to branch out on her own. She could have ended up like other artists who left their groups to be solo acts only to end up being unsuccessful on their own. She was able to achieve success as a solo act.
Diana Ross released her eponymous debut album in 1970. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number 19 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand),” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” “These Things Will Keep Me Loving You” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The album sold over one million copies. Everything Is Everything also came out in 1970. The album peaked at number five on the r&b charts and number 42 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “I’m Still Waiting,” “Come Together,” “The Long and Winding Road,” “I Love You (Call Me)” and “(They Long to Be) Close to You.” The album sold over 200,000 copies.
Surrender came out in 1971. Ross worked with Ashford and Simpson on her first album and reunited with the team for this album. The album peaked at number 10 on the r&b charts and number 56 on the Billboard 200 charts. The project features the singles “Remember Me,” “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” and “Surrender.” The album sold over 200,000 copies. Touch Me in the Morning was released in 1973. The album reached number one on the r&b charts and number five on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Touch Me in the Morning,” “I Won’t Last a Day Without You,” “Little Girl Blue” and “Imagine.” The album sold over 650,000 copies.
Diana Ross released a duet album with Marvin Gaye in 1973 called Diana & Marvin. They dealt with issues while recording the album, but they managed to get through it. It peaked at number seven on the r&b charts and number 26 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “You’re a Special Part of Me,” “My Mistake (Was to Love You),” “You Are Everything,” “Don’t Knock My Love” and “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart).” The album sold over one million copies. Ross released her next solo project Last Time I Saw Him in 1973. It reached number 12 on the r&b charts and number 52 on the Billboard 200 charts.
The album features the singles “Last Time I Saw Him,” “Turn Around” and “Behind Closed Doors.” The album sold over 200,000 copies. The album didn’t do very well commercially and it would be the last one she recorded for about three years. Ross released another eponymous album in 1976. It peaked at number four on the r&b charts and number five on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Do You Know Where You’re Going To,” “I Thought It Took a Little Time (But Today I Fell in Love),” “Love Hangover” and “One Love in My Lifetime.” The album sold over 700,000 copies.
Baby It’s Me came out in 1977. It peaked at number 7 on the r&b charts and number 18 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Gettin’ Ready for Love,” “Your Love Is So Good for Me,” “Top of the World” and “You Got It.” Ross came out in 1978. The album peaked at number 32 on the r&b charts and 49 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the songs “Sorry Doesn’t Always Make it Right,” “Lovin’, Livin’ and Givin’” and “What You Gave Me.” The album sold over 150,000 copies. The Boss came out in 1979. She reunited with Ashford & Simpson for the album. It peaked at number 12 on the r&b charts and number 14 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the songs “The Boss,” “No One Gets The Prize” and “It’s My House.” The album sold over 500,000 copies.
Diana came out in 1980. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number two on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Upside Down,” “I’m Coming Out” and “My Old Piano.” The album went platinum. Why Do Fools Fall in Love came out in 1981. The album peaked at number four on the r&b charts and number 15 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” “Mirror Mirror,” “Work That Body,” “It’s Never Too Late” and “Endless Love.” The album went platinum.
Silk Electric was released in 1982. The album peaked at number five on the r&b charts and number 27 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Muscles,” “So Close” and “Who.” The album went gold. Ross came out in 1983. The album peaked at number 14 on the r&b charts and number 32 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Pieces of Ice,” “Up Front” and “Let’s Go Up.” The album sold over 250,000 copies.
Swept Away was released in 1984. It peaked at number seven on the r&b charts and number 26 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “All of You,” “Swept Away,” “Touch by Touch” and “Missing You.” The album went gold. Eaten Alive came out in 1985. Ross worked with the Bee Gees on this album. It peaked at number 27 on the r&b charts and number 45 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Eaten Alive,” “Chain Reaction” and “Experience.” The album sold over 300,000 copies. Ross would go on to release several more albums throughout her career.
Diana Ross paved the way for many female artists to have a career in a group as well as a solo career. She proved that you can go from having a successful career in a group to a successful solo career. There aren’t too many artists in the music industry that have accomplished this feat. She is one of the divas of music. She has had a lot of hits throughout her career. It was a challenge to narrow her hits down to 10 songs because she has several songs that could have made this list. Our Top 10 Diana Ross Songs list will feature her best songs.
# 10 – Love Hangover
The first song on our Top 10 Diana Ross Songs list is “Love Hangover” from her eponymous (1976 version) album. The song has a disco sound. This seductive song is about the feeling she has after making love to someone. She doesn’t want the feeling to end. This song is a departure from her music with The Supremes. She was doing r&b and pop music until she took a chance and recorded this song. Here is some trivia about the song. Diana Ross wasn’t exactly thrilled to record this song. She wasn’t used to disco music.
The melody is similar to Donna Summer’s hit “Love to Love You Baby.” The music changes tempo because it starts like a ballad and turns into a disco jam. The music is designed to get you out of your seat. The plan worked because you may find yourself dancing to the music. If you like Donna Summer’s hit song, you will enjoy “Love Hangover” as well. Ross’ vocals are laid back and cool. It’s hard to believe she didn’t want to record it at first because she sounds convincing while she sings. The song doesn’t have that many lyrics to it, but you can tell she’s having a good time singing it. The music is the main star of this hit.
# 9 – The Boss
The next song on our Top 10 Diana Ross Songs list is “The Boss” from the album of the same name. The song has a disco, r&b and soul sound to it. The empowering song is about her having control over her life and her relationship. She wanted everyone to know who was “the boss.” This track was one of the many songs she recorded with the singing and songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson. They created a song that was beyond disco for the diva. It’s a feel-good song with an outstanding dance beat. The song has incredible energy with a thumping beat.
The instrumentation is excellent. There’s no way to sit still while listening to the thunderous beat. The music is timeless and can still be enjoyed to this day. It has a classic sound without sounding dated. Ross’ vocals are stronger than ever on this song. She does runs and holds little notes in the song. She belts at points in the song as well. Ashford & Simpson brought out the best in her. They worked well together.
# 8 – Why Do Fools Fall in Love
The romantic song is from the album of the same name. The track has a pop, soul and r&b sound to it. The bouncy song is about falling in love. It’s a remake of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers’ hit song. Their version is a doo-wop and rock and roll version of the playful song. Ross’ version is a bouncy and lighthearted song. The instrumentation is through the roof. It uses machine gun drums, explosive horns and a great guitar solo that’s worth checking out. The track will get you in the mood to dance. This fun track brought out the best in Ross’ vocals. She sounds upbeat and vibrant while she’s singing. She has superb delivery and her phrasing is spectacular.
The melody is arranged to make it easy to sing along with her. The hook is infectious and will stay in your head for a long time. She vocalizes at the end of the song. She isn’t known for big power singing so this song was done in her vocal range. Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers’ version may be the bigger hit, but her version was a smash hit as well. She managed to make the song her own without turning it into a Karaoke version.
# 7 – Do You Know Where You’re Going To
The gorgeous song is from her eponymous (1976 version) album. The song has an r&b, soul and pop beat to it. The moving song is from the movie Mahogany. It’s about her character becoming a successful designer. The song may be for the movie, but you don’t have to be a fan of the movie to appreciate the message behind the lyrics. Here is some trivia about the song. The song wasn’t originally meant for Ross to record. The song was given to singer Thelma Houston first. The track is a fascinating ballad. It has a full orchestra sound.
It also has a cinematic sound, which is perfect for the movie. It flowed in all the right areas. The arrangement was perfect for Ross’ vocal range. It has a haunting sound that will move the listeners. The melody is memorable and is designed to stay in your head. Ross’ vocals are smooth and tender on this track. She delivers every line with ease. She sounds very emotional on the song. She doesn’t do a lot of power singing or vocal gymnastics, but it wasn’t needed. Simplicity said it best. The music is soft so big singing wasn’t needed for it to sound beautiful.
# 6 – Upside Down
The upbeat song is from the Diana album. It has a disco sound. The drama-filled song is about a woman staying with a cheating lover because he keeps their relationship exciting. He turns her emotions “upside down.” The instrumentation is dazzling. It has a hypnotic dance beat. It has dynamic guitar strings. The bass is dramatic. The killer piano chords will impress the listeners. It sounds similar to music that the group Chic would have done. There’s no way to hear this without getting up on the dance floor. There’s so much to enjoy here musically that you would lose track of it all. Let’s talk about Ross’ vocals. She sounds sassy on this song.
She gives the song the attitude it needs in order to work. She has excellent timing on the track. She nails each line in time with all of the beat changes. She managed not to get overshadowed by the catchy music. She ran the risk of being lost within the music because it’s so hypnotic. She managed to put on a great performance. She’s singing about a cheating lover, but she managed not to come off desperate.
# 5 – Mirror Mirror
The next song on our Top 10 Diana Ross Songs list is “Mirror Mirror” is from the Why Do Fools Fall in Love album. The track has a rock, pop, r&b and dance sound. The anthemic song is about a love gone wrong. She asks herself why did she allow the love to end. The title is a reference to the fairy tale Snow White. There aren’t too many songs that are based on fairy tales. This was a creative choice. The song starts out with guns blazing. It has a jaw dropping guitar solo that will impress fans of rock music. The instrumentation is flawless.
It takes the song to another level. Ross wasn’t known for doing rock songs so she was out of her element with this track. She proved that she could handle a song with a blazing beat like this one. She got the chance to exercise her vocal chops with this track. She challenged herself with this song by singing the lead and background vocals. She layered her voice to make it sound as if she’s more than one person singing in the song. She has to reach for the stars so she can be heard over the appealing music. She could have drowned within the music, but she was able to pull through and belt enough to be heard.
# 4 – I’m Coming Out
The motivational song is from the Diana album. The song has a disco, funk and soul beat. The empowering song is about becoming independent and wanting the world to know about it. The song has become an anthem for the LGBT community. People can relate to this song because the message to break free is clear. The melody is similar to “Upside Down.” The bouncy beat will take you to places unknown. Everything about the music works It has a killer horn section. It has fierce guitar riffs that will blow your mind.
The thumping drumbeat gives it just the right amount of tempo to get you moving in your seat. The music was created decades ago and still sounds fresh today. The song starts off with a fantastic instrumental beat and bursts into flames with the bassline. There is a memorable jazz trombone solo that gives the song something extra. Diana Ross got the chance to utilize her vocal range. She belted the chorus as she sang the title of the song. The background vocals do a superb job supporting her. There’s no way this song couldn’t be a hit because everything about it works.
# 3 – Muscles
The sultry song is from the Silk Electric album. It has an r&b and pop sound. The sensual song is about her wanting a man with muscles. The music sounds sexy and sensual. The drumbeat is thumping and rhythmic. The keyboard is infectious. The music has finger snapping and sound effects in it. The Michael Jackson penned song sounds like something the singer would have recorded himself. It sounds similar to one of his songs “This Place Hotel.” The music is just as good as the lyrics. The music’s so good that it didn’t need lyrics.
You can get lost listening to the rhythmic music. Ross sings the song in a higher pitch than her other songs. She comes down an octave when she sings the bridge. She sounds seductive as she talks about the type of man she wants. The background singers are amazing. They sell the song beautifully. In fact, they give Ross a run for her money when they sing the hook. They sound just as good as she does on the song. There aren’t enough words to say to describe how good this song is.
# 2 – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
The anthemic song is from the eponymous (1970 version) album. The song has a pop and soul beat. This is a remake of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s hit song. Berry Gordy liked to have his Motown acts do cover versions of each other’s songs and this was no different. She recorded the song with The Supremes and on her own. Marvin Gaye and Terrell’s version of the song is upbeat and bouncy while her version is a ballad. The love song is about being there for someone no matter what. If you pay attention to the lyrics, it turns into a breakup song because she talks about breaking up with the person. The song takes you on different journeys.
The music is theatrical. It has plush orchestral swells. The horn section sounds sophisticated. The keyboard is melodramatic which matches the mood of the song. Gaye and Terrell sing the lyrics to their version. Ross talks through the majority of the song. She starts singing after the bridge. The track builds to a climactic finish once she starts singing. She hit high notes that she didn’t do before this song. Ross and the background singers take this song to church. They sound like a choir as the song fades out.
# 1 – Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)
The number one song on our Top 10 Diana Ross Songs list is “Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand) from the eponymous (1970 version) album. The song has a soul sound. The inspirational song is about social awareness. She talks about wanting to make the world a better place. The poignant message is still relevant today. The world is going through a lot and this song brings hope. The message is therapeutic to listeners.
The music is moving and relaxing. It starts off softly and then gets intense towards the end of it. Ashford & Simpson had a flare for the dramatic with their songs. They like to let their songs build up naturally instead of forcing energy. They like to let their song simmer. This method worked perfectly with this track. It made the track feel more dramatic. Ross allows her vocals to simmer along with the music. She sings in a breathy and lower register when she starts the song. She sings in a higher pitch towards the end of it. She belts towards the end of the song. She sounds great. Ross, Ashford and Simpson do an excellent job singing together. It’s not a surprise this song became one of her signature songs. It’s deserves to be number one on our list.
Top 10 Diana Ross Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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