Return to Love Tour
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|Tour by Diana Ross, The Supremes|
|Start date||June 16, 2000|
|End date||August 3, 2000|
|No. of shows||29 (14 played, 15 cancelled)|
|Diana Ross, The Supremes concert chronology|
The Return to Love Tour was a 2000 concert tour by American singing group Diana Ross and the Supremes.
In 1999, Diana Ross released her final album on Motown Records, Every Day is a New Day. According to Ross (featured in an interview with Barbara Walters), Scott Sanders, a close friend of Ross', suggested adding an entire Supremes segment to her promotional concert tour for the then-new album in which she would perform full versions of the hits she recorded when she was with the Supremes. The idea developed into an entire show of Supremes songs which would reunite Ross with her former singing partners, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong, as well as tour for the first time with all of the women who became Supremes following Ross' departure in January, 1970, Jean Terrell, Susaye Greene, Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence. Ross approached Arthur Fogel, head of concert promotions for TNA/SFX(now Live Nation Entertainment), who, reportedly, agreed. In the fall and winter of 1999, Ross contacted all of the group's former members, placing them in contact with TNA/SFX, then left negotiations between the artists, their agents and TNA/SFX. Upon contacting the tour's promoter, Wilson's initial queries regarded Ross' salary.
Negotiations began to crumble when Wilson was told that she would have no input into the show and was initially offered $1Million(Tour performance fees are determined by an artist's most recent earnings. Wilson, reportedly, earned $25,000 per date.)for 30 shows, later increased to $2Million, following Wilson's rejection of the initial offer. Wilson, who felt herself, Ross and Birdsong should be paid equally and have equal input into the show(despite Ross being the only former Supreme who regularly performs in stadiums), did not accept the first offer. Ross agreed to add an additional $2 million from her own personal finances to the $2 million that TNA/SFX proposed to Wilson, for a total of $4Million. Ross stipulated that all of the others artists' fees were guaranteed, meaning they'd receive the full amount of their contracts, regardless of how many performances actually took place. Birdsong, along with the other women, was offered $1Million for the tour, whereas Ross was to receive a percentage of the profits from the tour. Wilson erroneously stated Ross was to receive between $15Million to $20Million when, in fact, Ross, as the tour's co-producer, was receiving $500,000 per night from TNA/SFX to cover the tour's expenses. When the expenses exceeded the allotment, Ross covered the overages. The American media never challenged Wilson's portrayal of the women's negotiations and salaries.
Wilson's final offer of $4 million and Birdsong's offer of $1 million came with a deadline of early 2000 (in order to begin production of the sets, costume fittings, hiring of staff, etc., and an on-schedule commencement of the tour). Birdsong had aligned herself with Wilson regarding the negotiations. No evidence has surfaced that Wilson sought to increase Birdsong's fee. Wilson did respond to the final offer, but, only after TNA/SFX's deadline had passed. The promoter ceased negotiations with Wilson and Birdsong. During Wilson's negotiations, TNA/SFX held an online worldwide former Supreme recognition poll. Wilson came in fourth, of the eight women. Due to Wilson's negative media campaign against the tour, Ross began to question whether to continue to stage the tour. Berry Gordy, after being contacted by Ross for advice, reportedly told her to continue "If it's something she'd have fun doing". She decided to continue. TNA/SFX approached Laurence and Payne, both of whom tour the European cabaret circuit as "Former Ladies of the Supremes", who agreed to participate in the tour. During the tour, Payne and Laurence performed much of the post-Ross Supremes material in solo sets.
Ross, Laurence, and Payne announced the tour at a press conference in New York City's Grand Central Terminal, during which Ross stated that all former Supremes were welcomed to join the tour. The trio appeared and performed together on American television programs, including Oprah, The Today Show, The View and VH1's Divas Live 2000: A Tribute To Diana Ross. The tour commenced on April 14, 2000 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Spectrum Arena to positive reviews. The Philadelphia Inquirer called the concert "a smashing success". The tour garnered positive reviews at each date. Ticket sales for the tour were brisk in large markets (New York, Philadelphia, etc.), but, slower in smaller markets. As part of its Opening Night series, cable channel VH1 aired footage of the tour's opening night's first three songs. The tour's final performance, at New York City's Madison Square Garden, was a sell-out.
After playing fourteen dates of its 30 scheduled dates, the tour was canceled by TNA/SFX, disappointed by the tour's slow ticket sales, many of which were priced at $255 for near-stage orchestra seats, nearly double what is charged for solo Diana Ross tickets in the same area.
- Come See About Me
- Back in My Arms Again
- Baby Love
- You Can't Hurry Love
- Love Child
- The Happening
- Love Is Here and Now You're Gone
- I Hear a Symphony
- You Keep Me Hangin' On
- Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart
- Stop! In the Name of Love
- Where Did Our Love Go
- In and out of Love (Select shows)
- Forever Came Today (Select shows)
- Nothing But Heartaches (Select shows)
- Touch Me in the Morning (Diana Ross solo)
- Love Hangover (Diana Ross solo)
- Endless Love (Diana Ross solo)
- Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To) (Diana Ross solo)
- Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Diana Ross solo)
- Up the Ladder to the Roof (Lynda Laurence solo)
- Stoned Love (Scherrie Payne solo)
- Reach Out I'll Be There
- I Will Survive