Five Life Lessons from Diana ‘The Boss-Grandmama’ Ross

Five Life Lessons from Diana ‘The Boss-Grandmama’ Ross

After the moving Diana Ross family finale at last night’s American Music Awards, a whole lot more folks are wishing they were Ross relatives too—or at least invited to Thanksgiving dinner.

Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross hosted the three-hour live show channeling her mom in a succession of the diva’s designer costumes from decades past. Surrounded by the extended Ross clan onstage to say goodnight, it was clear that the 73-year-old matriarch is the center of their family’s universe, the sun around which they all circle.



It reminded me of an interview for the Women of Power TV show when Tracee got teary reflecting on her mother’s legendary place in global culture, and the many lessons she’d learned just by watching.


Be on time.


My mother is annoyingly always on time, and “on time” means 15 minutes early, at least. “Dinner at 6″ means we’re eating at 5.”


Work hard, do for yourself, and think for yourself.


My mom has an extraordinary work ethic and an incredible business sense. She doesn’t have hundreds of people running around; she handles it all. ”


Make time for what matters, and family always matters.


My mom did not let anything drop with her kids—and she has FIVE kids. I never heard my mom say, “Not now, I don’t have time,” or “I can’t now, I’m going on stage.”


You can have it all, but it won’t be perfect.


Her example showed me that you can be an extraordinary mom and have an extraordinary career. People say all the time you have to choose. Sure, certain things fall here and there but, I’m sorry, my mother did not choose.”


Show up for your own life, with joy.


“My mom always looks like she swallowed the sun. If you’ve experienced her on stage, somehow you feel like she’s singing right to you and for you. It feels like her light turns your light on. As her child, it’s the same—only better, bigger, fuller, wider, deeper, delicious.”


Watch the Women of Power TV show interview of Tracee Ellis Ross: