Diana Ross Suddenly Discovers Talent for Songwriting at Age 75, Or, Er, Publishing Royalties

Home Music Diana Ross Suddenly Discovers Talent for Songwriting at Age 75, Or, Er,…

Here’s the weird story of the day.

Diana Ross’s biggest hits with the Supremes were written by Brian & Eddie Holland, and Lamont Dozier.

And then Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson.

And her solo hits came from Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, and Nile Rodgers.

Now, at the age of 75, Diana has discovered she’s a songwriter. Or rather, if you stick your name on a bunch of songs you’ll get publishing royalties.

Celine Dion’s late husband, Rene Angelil, understood this concept 30 years ago or more. He made every songwriter who landed a number on Celine’s album give up a portion of the royalties and credit. That’s how Celine got rich.

Only songwriters get paid royalties when a song when is played on the radio. Performers get zilch. There are a few singers who are smart enough to embrace this extortion but of course they’re protecting themselves. Legislation is introduced every couple of years for a performer’s royalty on radio, but then radio squashes it like a bug through lobbying.

So Diana has a new album coming November 5th full of generic songs written by teams of people with her name at the head of the list. Today she dropped one, it’s ghastly, called “If the World Just Danced.” Here’s the group of people credited with this atrocity: Aliandro Prawl, Andre Pinckney, Scott M. Carter, Amy Wadge, Vanessa Wood & Jaquetta Singleton. And Diana.

Stop me if you’ve heard enough.

Please, Ms. Ross, Do you know where you’re going to? Do what you do best: SING with that beautiful voice, great songs, not this.




Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive,” a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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