With an incredible career spanning more than six decades, The Queen of Motown showed the world she’s still got that Supreme sparkle with a closing slot at the Platinum Party at the Palace concert earlier in June, and the Teatime Legends set at Glastonbury Festival.
Ms Ross brought her repertoire of classics to Durham Cricket Club, as the much-anticipated Thank You UK tour arrived at the Seat Unique Riverside on Wednesday, June 29.
And with her came all the pep, pzazz and party spirit you’d expect from a singer with THAT many bangers under her belt.
While some were critical of her vocal performances at both the Jubilee concert and Glasto, one has to take a moment to recognise the incredible stage presence she still has in spades, at the age of 78.
Her incredible aura and energy held the audience captive as we enjoyed some of pop culture’s most memorable songs.
Many of the all-time favourites were in there, including You Can’t Hurry Love, Upside Down and – for me, the ultimate – I’m Coming Out.
If there’s a better song to enjoy a couple of lemonades to before a night out, or mime into your hairbrush on a night in (just me?), I’m not interested in hearing about it.
It’s loud, proud and empowering and – at more than 40 years old – is ageing like a fine wine. It makes you feel beautiful and powerful, want to dance, pose and strut – as I’m sure it did back at its release in 1980.
Opening with such a classic is a baller move for sure, but then we shouldn’t expect anything less from our Diana since the setlist was absolutely chock-a-block with mega hits.
Whatever the choice for the first track, it was bound to be a good one. And since it’s one of my (at-home) karaoke faves, we were off to a flying start.
Unfortunately there were some sound issues on the night, leaving some of us unable to catch the singer’s conversation between songs. But since the songs themselves were clear as a bell, I suppose that’s what matters most.
Baby Love, Chain Reaction and her version of closing track Ain't No Mountain High Enough were all crowd favourites, with thousands of North East voices making up the harmonies.
For an evening in June, the rain was plentiful - it IS the Great British summertime after all - but then, so was the festival spirit.
While the superstar’s onstage wardrobe may have been lacking in the sequin and sparkle we have come to expect from Ms Ross - she too, had clearly checked the weather forecast - there were sparks aplenty in the performance to make up for it.
Live music, to me, still feels like a bit of a novelty after the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
So an occasion which allowed me to be in the presence of a bona fide legend was a treat indeed.
Ms Ross, allow me to say Thank You … (I’ll get my coat).