Friday, March 27, 2009

Diana Ross Now A Senior Citizen


Diana Ross turned 65 yesterday - which reminded me of my dealings with "Miss Ross" at the now-closed Motown Cafe here in NYC.

In the mid-1990's, I was in charge of orchestrating the events at the busy 300-seat restaurant on 57th Street. One day in 1996, the P.R. Department instructed me to plan a lunch honoring one of Diana Ross' two young sons - an event that Miss Ross herself would be attending (along with the boys and their private school classmates). Unfortunately I can't remember which of her sons we actually honored, or why he was being honored, because once Miss Ross entered the building it was all about "Miss Ross". Below is a picture of Diana, her late billionaire husband Arne Naess, and the two adorable boys at around the same time...


YES, before the event we were told to address Miss Thang as "Miss Ross". I SO wanted to call her "Diane" like Mary Wilson still does (and Diana HATES), but I needed to keep my J-O-B.


Miss Ross had just performed the Superbowl Half-Time Show (pictured above) that year. And don't you know she made us play the long-ass video of her performance THREE TIMES during her son's event. This wouldn't have been so bad if it had been a truly PRIVATE party - but the event only took up the mezzanine/balcony level of the restaurant. Which meant the regular lunch customers on the main floor had to suffer through that damn video while finishing their burgers and "Mosagna" (seriously). But the regular folks DID get to see a true diva - because Miss Ross made sure to make a GRAND entrance on her way into the restaurant.

In all honesty, Miss Ross was extremely polite. But I got the sense that if things didn't go down exactly like Miss Ross wanted them to go down, there would be big problems. And even though she smiled when she spoke to me (and everyone else) - she was absolutely terrifying.


Like any theme restaurant, Motown Cafe displayed various pieces of memorabilia. One of these items was a Diana Ross doll (kind of like a Barbie, only bitchier). I'll never forget her son (again, no clue which one) bragging to his classmate in front of the display case about how that doll was HIS MOM. Let's face it, there was no way the other kid would ever top that - even though the other kid's dad was probably a billionaire. These boys went to a VERY fancy private school.

By the way, those two "little boys" I threw the party for? Look at them now...


Ross Arne Naess (left) is now 21-years-old, and Evan Ross (right) is a 20-year-old actor who costarred with Terrance Howard in the movie Pride...

15 comments:

Bob said...

I also had an experience with Diana Ross.
Years ago friends and I went to see her at Caesars Palace in Lake Tahoe. We sat at the edge of the stage and were having such a good time that she kept coming over to our table and telling us that we were giving her "Good energy."
Thsn she asked me to come onstage and dance with her; and during 'The Boss' she invited our entire table onto the stage. At the end of the show she came over and thanked us for helping her have a good time.
I didn't see the diva, but then this was DIANA ROSS onstage, not Diana Ross in public.
Still it was a fabulous time for a young queen like me!

Miss Ginger Grant said...

The one on the left looks like a street thug. I'm glad she was just a diva and not a true bitch- I would have been dissapointed. I love her- "the Boss" is my favorite song!

kayce. said...

i didn't know miss thang had sons ~ i saw evan ross in 'ATL' and 'pride' and didn't put the two together... i have always loved tracy ellis ross, her daughter, b/c she is so freaking hilarious.

i can't believe a diva was in your presence for that long, LOL... that's amazing. i love the line "even tho she smiled at me and everyone, she was absolutely terrifying," ~ that sums her up in one sentence, i think.

Beth said...

I just can't get past Mosagna.

Jennie said...

You know she enjoys being terrifying. You just know it.

Mechadude2001 said...

The Ross boys need a post now.

Sam said...

Hey Ho, wasn't their some scandal involving Evan? Thought somebody had some naked pix's or something like that. Might be mistaken, but I swear I read something somewhere about that. Anywhore, love your stories

Tom A. said...

wow those brothers don't look alike at all!

Got my pin and sweet card yesterday- thanks!

Mark in DE said...

Let's face it - you really DO live a glamorous NYC life!!!

JNez said...

evan ross is quite attractive. i second the commenter who suggested a post on he and his brother :-)

Kwana said...

What a great story. So Miss Ross. I would expect nothing less.

Wonder Man said...

It's Miss Ross

Joy said...

Love these stories! Just love 'em!!

I got hung up on Mosagna, too!

Renee said...

Mosagna LOL! I adore your brush with celebs/divas stories.

Anonymous said...

D: I love your blog...its my daily must-see!

And I love the Diana Ross post. My Miss Ross story had a similar beginning: I met her at a private party and was both thrilled and terrified. Here was a woman who clearly had to be the center of attention.

But later in the evening, she heard that I had once worked with Tracey and had met her two other daughters. She asked about Tracey and our work together and seemed remarkably well informed about her daughter's coworkers and friends. At the end, I didn't know what to say but remembered that all three women were intelligent, outgoing and very down-to-earth.

So...I went out on a limb and mentioned how hard it is for kids to grow up with celebrity parents and that she must be very proud of her daughters who were genuinely nice and likeable people.

Suddenly, the diva didn't seem so terrifying at all. She actually got a little teary-eyed, thanked me several times and gave me a hug before she headed off to her limo.

The diva as proud mother? Who knew.

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