“Strange Fruit” (Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2000 Induction Ceremony)

THE DIANA ROSS PROJECT

Diana Ross Strange Fruit

One of Diana Ross’s most startling television performances occurred in March of 2000, during the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony.  The event was broadcast on VH1, and featured Miss Ross inducting Billie Holiday into the “Early Influence” category.  The choice of Miss Ross for this task makes perfect sense; the singer won an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in the 1972 film Lady Sings The Blues, and her recordings of Holiday classics resulted in a #1 album.  And as a member of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame herself (inducted as a Supreme in 1988), it was a nice full-circle moment as Diana Ross publicly acknowledged a woman who clearly had so much influence on her career.

During the televised ceremony, Miss Ross performed a sterling rendition of Holiday’s “God Bless The Child,” a song written by the jazz legend in 1939.  This extended performance once again showcased…

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