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Tracee Ellis Ross Reflects On How Her Mother, Diana Ross, Fearlessness In Music Impacted Her Career
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Tracee Ellis Ross Reflects On How Her Mother, Diana Ross, Fearlessness In Music Impacted Her Career

Like mother, like daughter.

Over the years, many have viewed the close dynamic between Tracee Ellis Ross and her mother, Diana Ross, through the pair's occasional social media posts about one another and their red-carpet appearances.


Although Tracee would go on to make a name for herself in the entertainment industry as an actress, entrepreneur, and host "I America" podcast, the 50-year-old disclosed that the biggest inspiration behind her successful career, stemmed from watching her mother, a well-renowned singer and actress, be resilient through challenging situations and continuously spreading love.

Tracee On Her Mother And the Struggles She Could Have Faced Being an Entertainer in the 1960s

During a recent interview on Larry Wilmore's "Black on the Air" podcast, Tracee revealed on mark 56:25 that she often asked her mother what prompted the 79-year-old to dress and style her hair a certain way, especially during the time she grew up in.

Diana was a lead vocalist in the singing group The Supremes in the 1960s and would ultimately go solo in 1970. During her solo career, Diana's fashion choices and big natural hair would often make headlines because, at the time, it didn't fit the social standards of beauty.

"As a person and as a singular talent, and you think of the time period when she came forward, sometimes I ask her questions, she doesn't even have an answer, like 'what makes you think you can wear your hair like that?'" Tracee said while acknowledging that her mother's choices possibly helped redefine the beauty standards. "Do you know what I mean? Like if you just think of some of the small decisions and you think of the years."

Further in the conversation, Tracee mentioned that her respect for her mother deepened when an individual posted a black-and-white image of Diana performing with The Supremes. The reason for the appreciation was that the black-ish star saw the women performing in front of an all-white crowd. This made Tracee think about the possible things they could have gone through, mainly racism, during that moment and how her mother remained a loving person despite the hardships.

"One time [on] Instagram, someone posted a picture of my mom and The Supremes performing. I've seen the picture before. I had never looked in the audience. It was an all-white audience, and all I kept thinking was it was a black-and-white picture. They didn't come in from the front door... I was thinking [about] all these things and what she had to be resilient through, resistant to, and what was in the environment when she was coming up. What that makes somebody, that my mom is so anchored in love that she's just a loving person," she stated.

Tracee On How Diana's Unconditional Love for Herself and Others Inspired Her Own Career 

Also, in the interview, Tracee talked about how motivational it is to see her mother spread love to others through her performances while staying true to herself and her craft.

"I think the biggest thing for me is my mom has also been this woman who has used this platform of the stage to spread love but also not to say look at me, but this is me. Which is very different than a lot of what I see now," Tracee shared.

Tracee continued by adding that growing up with that type of foundation helped shape her career decades later because she saw firsthand, through Diana's determination and honoring herself, the positive effects it can have on one's life.

The Girlfriends star said, "That sense of agency and sense of self, selfhood has made its way into my life, my career, and the fact my mom is such a great businesswoman. It is quite a legacy."

Tracee's "I Am America" podcast can now be viewed or listened to on any streaming platform suitable for podcasts.

Feature image by Kevin Mazur/VF19/WireImage

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