Diana Ross - vocals
Unknown backing back
Diana Ross's appearance at the 1974 Newport Jazz Festival culminated with her performance of "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)," her debut solo single for Motown, which was released in April 1970. At that moment, she had just left the Supremes, and this socially-conscious, gospel flavored Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson tune put her on track for the successful solo career that followed. Ross had fans in the capacity crowd at the 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall turning to their neighbors, joining hands, and holding them in the air as she sang this moving anthem. This would become a familiar gesture to close many of Ross' concerts in subsequent years. In 2005, she would perform the song in closing Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope.
A pop superstar, Diana Ernestine Earle Ross (born March 26, 1944) gained fame as lead singer of the popular Motown group, the Supremes, from 1963 to 1970. Their string of "love" hits during that period included "Where Did Our Love Go?," "Baby Love," "You Can't Hurry Love," and "Stop! In the Name of Love." In all, the group had 12 number one hit singles on the Billboard charts. In 1972, Ross launched her Hollywood career by starring in the bio-pic on the life of jazz singer Billie Holiday, Lady Sings the Blues. She followed with such successful movies as 1975's Mahogany and 1977's The Wiz. On July 21, 1983, Ross performed a concert in Central Park for a taped Showtime special. Proceeds of the concert would be donated to build a playground in the singer's name.
In December 2007, Ross received a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Honors Award. That same year, she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards. In May 2008, Ross, who has sold more than 100 million records to date, returned to Radio City Music Hall to headline a "Divas with Heart" concert with Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, and Patti LaBelle.