Tracee Ellis Ross is opening up about “certain unique things” that came with growing up as the daughter of legendary singer Diana Ross.
The Black-ish actress, 51, told Flaunt magazine that while Diana, 79, wasn’t a “partier” who was constantly surrounded by celebrities, the family often brushed shoulders with the Hollywood elite.
“Don’t get me wrong, Michael Jackson was around,” Tracee said in an interview published earlier this month. “Marvin Gaye called the house all the time. Cher and my dad and my mom and Michael played doubles tennis. Andy Warhol photographed me. You know what I mean?”
She continued, “All of that stuff was just a part of my life. But at the same time, the feelings and the experiences and the way my mother created home life for us was very ‘normal.’”
As the lead singer of Motown group The Supremes in the 1960s and ’70s, Diana was well established in her career by the time she welcomed Tracee with ex-husband Robert Ellis Silberstein in 1972. Tracee said her mom made every effort to be home as much as possible and give her a normal childhood despite her global fame.
“My mom, of course, has led a very public life, but she is such a private person, and such a home person,” Tracee told Flaunt. “She’s a mom before she’s ‘Diana Ross.’ My childhood was very anchored in real family life. My mom was home, my mom came and woke me up for school. And what I will say is it looked the way it did for my friends.”
The actress added that she “wasn’t this crazy person standing out in school” because of her mother’s life in the spotlight. “There were certain unique things, but my mom woke us up for school in the morning,” she said. “We would sit down and have dinner together. She would record when we were asleep at night. She never left for longer than a week.”
Diana shares daughter Rhonda, 52, with famous Motown producer Berry Gordy. She went on to marry Silberstein and the couple welcomed two more daughters, Tracee and Chudney, 48. They divorced in 1977 and Diana later married Arne Naess Jr., with whom she shares sons Ross, 36, and Evan, 35. She and Naess divorced in 2000.
Tracee has previously spoken about her close relationship with her mother. Ahead of the 2016 Emmys, where she was nominated for her role in Black-ish, the star told People that she never felt as though she was living in her mother’s shadow.
“If anything, I felt like I was in her embrace,” she said. “So it’s never been an effort to do that. But I did have a sense of wanting to find my own path as a person.”