Icon Diana Ross has learned a thing or two about love. In 1971, she married her first husband, Robert Ellis Silberstein, just one year after she released her first self-titled studio album, Diana Ross. However, their romance didn’t last long because they got divorced in 1977. After they split up, the “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” musician went on to marry businessman Arne Naess Jr. in 1985. Their marriage lasted longer, but they ultimately separated 15 years later in 2000.
Diana met her first husband during a shopping trip in Los Angeles where she was picking up a present for her then-boyfriend, Berry Gordy. She turned to Robert to ask for his opinion and the pair hit it off. In a January 1976 interview with People, she called Robert “a rare thing, a gentleman who is young, alive and very handsome—all the fantasy things you think of in a husband.” Robert and Diana welcomed two kids during their marriage: Tracee Ellis Ross and Chudney Ross.
Though their marriage did not work out, Diana never gave up on love. She tied the knot once more eight years later. Sadly, in January 2004, Arne, who fathered Diana’s two youngest kids, Ross Naess and Evan Ross, died during a climbing accident at Groot Drakenstein mountain. Shortly after he passed, the performer did an interview about Arne and recalled him being a “great mountaineer” who loved adventure.
“He was charming. He was a man’s man, a lover so much. A romantic. [There are] so many wonderful things about Arne,” she said. “A great businessman, not afraid of anything. Fearless. You would never think anything would ever happen to him. He will be missed.”
The “Stop! In the Name of Love” singer also revealed one thing she always admired about Arne. She said he never failed to remind her to send thank you notes to her staff, friends and family members. “We were always so busy moving,” Diana explained. “[But] he never forgot. He was just very good at remembering and being there for his friends. He was a very special man. It was a gift. He was very special and I know that he had never forgotten his way because he was always there for his mom, Kiki.”
Arne was laid to rest in Oslo, Norway. Diana recalled his funeral as a “very difficult,” yet “beautiful” day. She remembered seeing a “rainbow” and thinking everything was going to be all right. “He was inspirational and people knew him. That makes me feel good and it makes my sons feel good,” she explained. “They were proud of their dad.”
Keep scrolling to learn more about Diana’s two ex-husbands.
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