On this day in music history: May 22, 1980 - “diana”, the eleventh studio album by Diana Ross is released. Produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, it is recorded at The Power Station, Electric Lady Studios in New York City, and Motown/Hitsville USA Studios in Hollywood, CA from November 1979 - April 1980. Motown superstar Diana Ross will approach Edwards and Rodgers about producing her after her children take her to see Chic at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in the Summer of 1979. Never having worked with a major artist before, the producers will agree to do the project. Sessions will be arduous as the producers will clash with the singer over their working methods, with the situation coming to a head during one vocal session when Edwards tells Ross she’s singing flat. She’ll storm out of the studio, and not come back for several weeks (having gone to the south of France in the interim). After she returns, there will still be issues when she expresses her unhappiness with the way the album is initially mixed. The producers will make some slight alterations and then tell her that if she still isn’t happy, she can remix them herself. With veteran Motown mix engineer Russ Terrana, Ross will remix the entire album, which will create more friction between both sides. So much so, that Edwards and Rodgers will nearly ask to have their names removed from the production credits. Fortunately cooler heads will prevail, and producers credit will remain intact, though they will insist that Ross and Terrana be credited for mixing the album. In spite of all of the behind the scenes drama, the album will be ecstatically received by the public, becoming the Motown superstar’s most successful album ever. Fans and critics will be further taken aback by the album’s striking black and white cover photo taken by legendary fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo (Seventeen, Cosmopolitan), with the inner gatefold photo taken by famed photographer Douglas Kirkland (Look, Life Magazine). Instead of the normally high glamour look Ross is known for, she will be shown with her natural length hair, wet and swept back, wearing a white top and blue jeans (borrowed from model Gia Carangi). The album will spin off the hits “Upside Down” (#1 Pop & R&B), I’m Coming Out” (#5 Pop, #6 R&B), and a third in the UK (“My Old Piano” #5 UK). The album will be reissued in 2003 as a 2 CD Deluxe Edition with the original “Chic Mix” being released for the first time, with a second disc featuring rare and unreleased remixes of several Diana Ross dance floor classics. “diana” will spend eight weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.