Diana Ross's self-titled album Diana was released 40 years ago today on May 22, 1980.
The album was a collaboration with iconic producer Nile Rodgers.It not only kicked off the '80s for the Diana, but brought her pop-soul sound up to date. Energized by a real Chic groove, the opening single "Upside Down" hit number-one, and the follow-up "I'm Coming Out" went Top 5.
Diana went on to become the best-selling album of Ross's solo career.
Producer Nile Rodgers talked about a conversation with a very dissatisfied Diana Ross while they were working on "I'm Coming Out”:
[Mimicking Ross] 'You're going to ruin my career with this record. Blah-blah-blah. People are gonna think I'm gay.' And I looked at her straight in the face and said, 'Diana, what are talking about? You got to be crazy out of your mind. Who's going to think you're Diana Ross, you're sexy, blah-blah-blah. You're Mahogany. You are the archetypical sultry, sexy R&B diva. You are pop. How could anybody think you were gay? And why would you think we would write that? But of course, we did. 'Cause it was the double-entre, or what we used to call in Chic, deep hidden meaning of the record."