Diana Ross' 5 Children: Everything to Know
Diana Ross' biggest fans are her five children.
The "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" singer welcomed her eldest daughter, Rhonda, 51, with Motown legend Berry Gordy in 1971. The same year, Diana married her first husband, music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein, and they went on to welcome two more daughters: Tracee, 50, and Chudney, 47. Diana split from Silberstein in 1977 and went on to marry Norwegian businessman and mountaineer Arne Naess Jr. in 1986. The former couple had sons Ross, 35, and Evan, 34.
Many of Diana's children have followed in her footsteps and pursued careers within the entertainment industry.
During a 2018 guest appearance on Watch What Happens Live, the youngest of the Ross clan, Evan, said growing up in a "big family" helped him navigate his and wife Ashlee Simpson's own blended family. "I grew up in a family where I had a lot of different siblings," Evan told host Andy Cohen. "I grew up with a big family. I think it's a beautiful thing."
Black-ish star Tracee is also grateful for her family and specifically her mom, who despite the demands of her career, was a very present and dedicated mother.
"The Diana Ross that the world knows — this global, international icon who paved the way and changed what glamour looked like and who Black women were in the world, particularly in that capacity — her Diana Ross-ness doesn't hold a candle to her mom-ness," she said on Naomi Campbell's YouTube series No Filter with Naomi.
"I'm so close with my mom and my family," she added.
Tracee echoed this sentiment in her 2022 InStyle cover story. "My mom was extremely present," she said. "Waking us up for school, sitting for dinner with us and giving us a genuine, anchored, real family life and home life. The most important thing to my mother was not fame, it was her children."
Here's everything to know about Diana Ross' five children: Rhonda, Tracee, Chudney, Ross and Evan.
Rhonda Ross Kendrick, 51
Diana's eldest child, Rhonda Ross Kendrick (née Rhonda Suzanne Silberstein), was born on Aug. 14, 1971. While Rhonda's biological father is Gordy, she was raised by Diana's first husband Silberstein — who wed when Diana was 2 months pregnant.
In a 2015 New York Post interview, Rhonda opened up about learning about her biological father as a teen. "The bottom line was, I looked just like [Gordy], and my sisters looked just like their father, a 6-foot-tall Jewish American man," she told the outlet. She added that she and her sisters had viewed Gordy as an "uncle," so the news was more comforting than shocking.
Much like her parents, Rhonda is a talented musician. The singer-songwriter's music is "based in traditional jazz, but pulls from the entire African diaspora," according to her website. "I primarily consider myself a storyteller and a poet. I use my music to inspire and to uplift," she said.
Rhonda married pianist Rodney Kendrick in 1996 and the two welcomed son Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick in 2009. Raif-Henok introduced his "grandmommy" Diana at the 2019 Grammys.
In 2017, Rhonda received the gig of a lifetime: opening for her mom on tour. "I was very moved when she asked me to open for her because what it says to me is that yes, I'm her daughter and yes, there's nepotism at play, but it's not solely that," Rhonda said in an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "Because for 20 years I've been singing, she's never [asked me] before. So what that says to me is she likes what I am building as my own brand and my own art and my own career. She likes it, she respects it and she feels that it's a good companion to what she is doing and I agree."
Rhonda is also a keynote speaker and an Emmy-nominated actress.
Tracee Ellis Ross, 50
Diana and Silberstein welcomed their first child together, daughter Tracee Ellis Ross (born Tracee Joy Silberstein), on Oct. 29, 1972.
Tracee has made a name for herself as an actress, having landed her first big gig on the CW's Girlfriends. She played "den mother" Joan Clayton for all eight seasons from 2000 to 2008. In 2014, she began starring as Rainbow Johnson on ABC's Black-ish. Tracee earned five Emmy nominations for her performance as Rainbow; the sitcom's eighth and final season aired in 2022.
While Tracee's Black-ish character is a wife and mother, she told InStyle that she was "happily single" in 2018.
"It's sort of fascinating to be 45 and single and childless," the actress said. "These are very big and very personal questions that aren't anyone's business but that somehow, like the right to choose, become fodder for public conversation. Some of the ability to reflect on what I really want comes from pushing up against a society that shames me for not having the expected trappings."
Tracee doubled down on her belief that "society spoon-feeds" women the idea of marriage and growing a family during a 2021 interview with Marie Claire. "I used to put myself to sleep dreaming of my wedding," she said. "And I would still love all of that, but what am I going to do, just sit around waiting? Shut up. I've got so many things to do."
One of those things is launching her own hair care line, Pattern Beauty. The idea first came to her while working on Girlfriends. "It started out for me because I couldn't find products and wasn't seeing my natural beauty mirrored back to me in the world," Tracee said on The Tonight Show in 2021. "Then when I got on Girlfriends, I realized that I was not the only one. There were so many people who were looking for products that actually met their hair where it was and how it grows out of our head."
She continued, "So I tried, and tried, and tried for 10 years, and finally I decided to do it by myself. It's been the most rewarding thing to be a CEO and founder."
In 2020, Tracee was named a Fashion Icon at the People's Choice Awards. During her acceptance speech, she gave her mom major kudos, calling Diana "the icon herself." She also recalled gathering the beads that fell off Diana's dresses as a child so she could "have pieces of the magic, seeds of the fashion dream that I was cultivating for myself."
The actress made her singing debut in her 2020 movie The High Note. The film also marked the first time her mom had ever heard her sing. "There's a reason I waited 47 years to let my voice out publicly!" Tracee told PEOPLE at the time. "It was my childhood dream to sing — but terrifying when your mother is who my mother is. The idea of comparison; that's in a child's mind or an adult's mind. I could be taken down and obliterated."
Tracee recalled sitting in her car with her mom and playing her a song from the film. "And then my mother said, 'Finally. Finally,' " she said. "I have wanted to sing for so long. My mom teared up and we just kept looking at each other. We were both so excited. My mom has always known I could sing. There have been gentle nudges over the years, so this was a big moment."
Chudney Ross, 47
On Nov. 4, 1975, Diana and Silberstein welcomed daughter Chudney Ross (born Chudney Lane Silberstein).
Chudney earned an English and fine arts degree from Georgetown University, where she was also on the rowing team. She went on to teach elementary school with AmeriCorps' Teach For America program for several years, per her LinkedIn. Like her big sisters, Chudney also dabbled in the entertainment industry — she worked as a production manager on NBC's reality series Fame in 2003 and as a producer on Mesmerized in 2004.
In September 2012, Chudney welcomed daughter Callaway Lane Ross-Faulkner with then-boyfriend Joshua Faulkner, whom she married in June 2015. The two tied the knot in an outdoor ceremony surrounded by close friends and family. In a conversation with Inside Weddings, Chudney shared why they picked Hawaii for their destination wedding.
"Our first big trip together was to Maui; I learned I was pregnant while on a trip with my mother to Oahu; and we had our babymoon on Kauai," she told the outlet.
Chudney and Faulkner welcomed their second child together, a daughter named Everlee Ernestine Ross-Faulkner, on Oct. 11, 2019.
In 2011, Chudney opened a children's bookstore and event space called Books and Cookies in Santa Monica, California. She also channeled her passion for children's literacy into a book titled Lone Bean, published by HarperCollins in 2012.
In a 2020 interview with Veronica Beard, Chudney referred to Diana as "the most amazing role model for what motherhood should look like" and recalled the helpful advice her mom gave her early on in her career. "My mom taught us that anything was possible with hard work, determination and passion, and to never expect anything to just come to you," Chudney said. "She also encouraged us to forge our own paths and not follow the steps of anyone else."
Ross Arne Naess, 35
Named after his father, Ross Arne Naess is Diana's older son, whom she welcomed with then-husband Arne Naess Jr. on Oct. 7, 1987. Four years after Diana and Naess' divorce in 2000, Arne died while rock climbing, though Ross has inherited his father's love of exploring the great outdoors and his passion for winter sports.
Ross proposed to his longtime girlfriend Kimberly Ryan in May 2016, just one month before they welcomed son Leif Naess on June 5, 2016.
The couple exchanged wedding vows on June 10, 2017, at Rancho Dos Pueblos in Santa Barbara, California, per Harper's Bazaar. The bridesmaids, which included his sisters, donned off-white dresses and flower crowns, while the groomsmen were asked to accessorize their wedding day look with a hat of their choice. Ross opted for a top hat.
Diana officiated the outdoor, boho-themed wedding, and younger brother Evan performed during the couple's first dance. Kimberly walked down the aisle in a white-and-gold gown, barefoot and seven months pregnant. Shortly after, the newlyweds welcomed son Indigo Naess on Aug. 15, 2017.
Ross is very close with his brother, Evan, and is grateful his two sons share a similar brotherly bond. "Love you bro you're my rock. Fun to see our type of friendship on repeat Brother love," Ross captioned a throwback photo of him and Evan, as well a shot of his two young sons.
Evan Ross, 34
Evan Ross (born Evan Olav Ross-Naess) is the youngest of the Ross siblings. Diana and Arne welcomed him on Aug. 26, 1988. He has since become a musician, actor, husband and father of three.
He is known for his roles in the 2006 film ATL, CW's 90210, The Hunger Games and The United States vs. Billie Holiday.
Evan got engaged to Ashlee Simpson in January 2014. The pair wed in a bohemian-inspired ceremony held at Diana's Connecticut estate on Aug. 30, 2014. Diana officiated the nuptials and performed at the reception. Simpson's son Bronx Mowgli Wentz, whom she shares with ex-husband Pete Wentz, walked her down the aisle and her big sister, Jessica Simpson, served as the maid of honor.
On July 30, 2015, the pair welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Jagger Snow Ross. Diana was present for Jagger's birth, and in fact, the proud grandma joined the couple in the delivery room. "While [Ashlee] was having the baby, we said we were going to do it just us, but then we saw both our parents behind the curtain watching," Evan recalled to PEOPLE. "Also, those nurses can't stop my mom! Like, Diana Ross just walks in."
Evan and Simpson welcomed their second child, Ziggy Blu Ross, on Oct. 29, 2020.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Evan Ross and Diana Ross
Evan got candid about being a dad of three during a 2021 episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, noting how "lucky" he felt to have had extra moments with his kids during the COVID-19 pandemic. "What a bonding experience with all of them. With Jagger, I feel like there's been a lot of learning experiences that I feel like I may have missed a little bit of [otherwise]," he said.
He and Simpson also produced and starred in their own reality TV series called Ashlee + Evan, which premiered on E! in 2018. The series gave fans an inside look into their relationship and family life — including cameos from their famous family members and friends — as well as a peek into their joint music career.
"We're very different, but we understand each other and we look out for each other," Evan told PEOPLE while promoting the show in 2018. "We know how to work with each other to get through whatever we need to get through."
Ashlee added, "We don't hold onto things, which is good too. I love to keep that attraction part alive and fun. But with Evan, I don't have to try. He's the most handsome, fun person ever. He makes me feel so great about myself."