Did Diana Ross Ever Marry Berry Gordy?
Diana Ross and Berry Gordy changed the face of popular music while at Motown. In the late 1950s, Gordy signed Ross and her group, the Supremes, to the famous label. Once she signed a deal with him, the “Endless Love” artist couldn’t have predicted that they would remain in each other’s lives forever.
Although Ross and Gordy had an infamous love affair, were they ever married?
A look at Diana Ross and Berry Gordy’s relationship
Ross and Gordy first connected through her childhood neighbor, Smokey Robinson. After signing with Motown with his group, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, the “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” singer begged him to get her, Florence Ballard, and Mary Wilson a meeting. Soon, they changed their names from the Primettes to the Supremes and started recording their first record. By 1964, the group released their first number-one single, “Where Did Our Love Go?”
During the Supremes’ success, Ross and Gordy began a romantic relationship. Since they worked together, the couple decided to keep their personal lives under wraps. However, Gordy told Rolling Stone that he was “madly in love” with Ross.
Despite their lengthy relationship, Ross never married Gordy. Nonetheless, their lives shifted when she became pregnant with her first child, Rhonda Ross. Although Gordy was Rhonda’s biological father, he and Ross didn’t tell their daughter the truth until she was 13.
Diana Ross was married twice
After Ross became pregnant, she and Gordy decided to remain friends and business partners. In 1971, the Mahogany star married her former manager, Robert Ellis Silberstein. Once they welcomed Rhonda into the world, the couple had two other children- Chudney Ross and Tracee Ellis Ross. Additionally, Silberstein raised Rhonda as his daughter throughout her childhood.
Ross and her husband divorced in 1977. Following her split from Silberstein, the singer started dating businessman and mountain climber Arne Naess, Jr. They married in 1986 and had their two children- Ross and Evan- shortly after. In 2000, Naess announced during a television interview that he and Ross were divorcing. Four years later, he died in a mountain climbing accident. While reflecting on the relationship with Oprah Winfrey in 2011, Ross shared that her second ex-husband was “the love of my life.”
Gordy played a role in Ross’ first divorce
Even though they never married, Gordy and Ross’ relationship took a toll on her first marriage. When Rhonda was born, the singer stayed loyal to Motown through music and films. Together, the pair worked on Lady Sings The Blues, Mahogany, and The Wiz.
In 2014, J. Randy Taraborelli released a book titled Diana Ross: A Biography. The biography gives Ross’ fans an insight into her and Gordy’s relationship. During one passage, the singer reportedly admitted that her friendship with the Motown CEO ultimately contributed to Ross and Silberstein’s divorce.
“The pressure of his trying to overcome Berry’s importance in my life was too much,” she said. “Berry was too demanding; I was too confused. It was a messy triangle. I wished he had been stronger so that instead of becoming twisted up in the confusion, he could have freed himself.”