Ross sang gospel music as a child, and performed on a radio show run by her parents, both preachers. After her father died in 1954 she moved to Chicago and was signed to SAR Records by Sam Cooke. Her first single, "Hard Times", appeared in 1962, and following this she spent time singing in Syl Johnson's band.
In 1964, she signed with Chess Records and released "Selfish One", which reached #11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart  and #4 on the Cashbox R&B chart. A follow-up, "I've Got The Skill" reached the Hot 100 but stalled at #89 and the following year, "Jerk and Twine", a re-working of "Everything But Love", the song on the other side of her big hit, peaked at #85.
An album, Full Bloom, was released in 1965, which was followed by three more singles, but after disputes with her record label, she left Chess in 1967. She later recorded for several labels well into the 1970s, such as Brunswick and Jerry Butler's Fountain Productions. Most of her later recordings were produced by her manager, Jimmy Vanleer's production company and issued on various labels, including GSF, Mercury and Capitol and even Vanleer's own Golden Ear label, but she was unable to duplicate the success of "Selfish One".