It was a night to remember at the 2017 American Music Awards on Sunday (Nov. 19). Music icon and legendary Motown singer Diana Ross was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Following an introduction from her youngest son Evan–and a stirring video montage detailing her early life and groundbreaking career–Ross appeared at the top of a staircase in a purple gown. She strutted down to the stage performing her classic 1980 hit “I’m Coming Out.”
To the delight of the audience and fans watching at home, she led the crowd through her latter-era gem “Take Me Higher” and “Ease on Down the Road,”— from The Wiz.
With the energy at a fever pitch, Diana eased into the passionate slow-burn ballad, “The Best Years of My Life”—the lyrics taking on a special significance given the honor of the evening—before welcoming four of her grandchildren to dance as she riffed on her signature song, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
Her daughter Rhonda Ross Kendrick presented her with the award “not just for women, not just for black folk, not just for singers, actors, performers and entrepreneurs who want to forge our own destiny, but for all of us!”
Ross tearfully accepted by saying, “This is all about love, This is my family and I’m sending love out there to each and everyone one of you—our global family. I’m so humbled. I love you so very much and I think you know that. I really, really love you so very much and I will hold onto this beautiful honor. Thank you.”
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)