In the world gay favs, one queen reigns supreme, the legendary Diana Ross, who has been inspiring generations queer people for more than a half-century.
Ross' career is so closely connected to gay culture that sometimes it can be difficult to separate the two. The glitz and glamour, the impossibly fabulous hair, the over-the-top personality and, course, the ultimate Pride anthem all time — “I’m Coming Out” — have been a great source inspiration and entertainment for many.
Here are eight songs to help you celebrate LGBTQ Pride with the boss.
“I’m Coming Out”
The idea for “I’m Coming Out” started at a New York City gay bar in 1979. Music producer Nile Rodgers Chic went to the bathroom when he noticed “a bunch Diana Ross impersonators,” he told Billboard in 2011. “I ran outside and called Bernard Edwards] and told him about it and said, 'What if we recognize Diana Ross's really cool alignment with her fan base in the gay community?' So we sat down and wrote, 'I'm Coming Out.’”
“I Will Survive”
What happens when you take the biggest gay anthem the 1970s and have one the world’s biggest gays divas re-record it in the 1990s? Pure Pride perfection! Miss Ross released her version the 1978 Gloria Gaynor classic in her 1995 Take Me Higher album. And when you think this song couldn’t get any gayer, RuPaul appears in its ficial video, strutting around a stage in the middle West Hollywood, alongside his childhood idol.
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
Originally recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in 1967, the song became Ross' first solo No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 three years later, and it was also nominated for a Grammy. In 2017, Miss Ross released Diamond Diana: The Legacy Collection, a 15-song collection with some her biggest hits and included an updated dance version “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with remixes by StoneBridge, Eric Kupper and Country Club Martini Crew. The song became her fifth No. 1 song to hit Billboard's Dance Club Songs. All hail the queen!
This massive international dance hit was written and produced by Chic's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, and released as the lead single from Miss Ross’ tenth studio album, Diana. “Upside Down” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980 and a fabulous medley “I’m Coming Out/Upside Down” mixed by Eric Kupper was released in 2018.
In 1976, Ross released “Love Hangover” as the second single from her Diana Ross album. R&B group The 5th Dimension also released a version the same song on the same day, which peaked at No. 80. Miss Ross’ version, however, went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Soul Singles and Hot Dance Club Play charts simultaneously.
This disco gem was the lead single Ross’ 1979 album by the same name. One the most popular dance anthems that was played at the legendary parties Fire Island during the 1980s, the song had amazing staying power, spending 26 weeks on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs charts — two weeks as No. 1.
“I don't care if he's young or old, just make him beautiful. I just want some strong man to hold on to. I want muscles. All, all over his body.” Yes, Miss Ross, we’ve all had that feeling. The song was written and produced by Michael Jackson, and its accompanying video shows her very wet dream muscled men orgy paradise.