You know this album. I know this album. Your neighbor knows this album. Everybody knows this album by the Queen of Motown, Diana Ross, simply titled diana. Even if you can’t tell me what songs are on this album title, if you love Black music, I’m about 100 percent sure you know this cover. Everybody’s daddy had this album. Shit, I have a copy of it now and I’m not even sure if my record player works. (Update: It does.)
Diana Ross, both with the Supremes and solo, has one of the most successful music careers ever. This album is her most successful, boasting two top 10 singles in “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out,” with “Upside Down” hitting the top of the pop charts. “I’m Coming Out” remains relevant today as a pride anthem for the LGBTQ community (Nile Rodgers recently explained the history of the song on TikTok). Produced entirely by Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, it was made to do big things. And this album cover knocked the ball out of the park, too. With art direction by Rita Lewerke and photography by Francesco Scavullo, they put together an iconic album cover. Diana is out here lookin’ like bae in all of her beautiful Blackness.
Correction, 3/4/21, 2:30 p.m. : The album cover was art designed by Rita Lewerke and was photographed by Francesco Scavullo. A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the art designer and photographer. The story has been updated with the proper credits.