People Magazine Previews Michelle Williams as Diana Ross, Proves Not to Know What Diana Ross Looks Like [Updated]

Illustration for article titled People Magazine Previews Michelle Williams as Diana Ross, Proves Not to Know What Diana Ross Looks Like [Updated]
Screenshot: TV News (YouTube/People Magazine)

We’ll be honest. When we heard former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams had been cast to play living legend Diana Ross in BET’s upcoming 1970s-era original series American Soul, we were dubious. After all, while, like Ross, Williams may have been one-third of one of the best-known girl groups in history, Ms. Ross, also known as “The Boss,” was one of the most iconic figures of the era—or of any era, really. Besides, didn’t Beyoncé already kind of cover this ground in Dreamgirls?


But on Friday, People gave us our first look at Williams in costume as the former Supreme. While we’re reserving our final judgement for her performance, we’re going to preemptively admit the transformation is far better than we expected. Perhaps not as inspired as fellow Destiny’s Child alum Kelly Rowland as Gladys Knight (which we can’t wait to see), but the stature is definitely on point. While they really could’ve further nailed the resemblance by going even more over-the-top with the eye makeup, it could definitely be worse.

What was worse? The picture People chose to make their comparison between Williams in costume and Ross. To be fair, the image was initially mislabeled on photographic source site Getty Images, but nevertheless, it was clearly not Diana Ross, by any stretch of the imagination. We’ve included it below for you to see for yourself, And since People has been covering celebs since 1974—coincidentally, the same year the Lady Sings the Blues soundtrack won the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album, and a year after Ross won a Golden Globe for her starring role in the film—we only had one question:

People, who dis woman?

Caption: American singer Diana Ross. (Please note: This is NOT Diana Ross.)
Caption: American singer Diana Ross. (Please note: This is NOT Diana Ross.)
Photo: GAMMA (Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

To be sure, the anonymous woman above is undeniably lovely—and likely still a baddie, to this day. That said, she is also undeniably not this world-famous woman:


Do better, People.

But back to Michelle, who also released a new single, “Fearless,” in late December, following what can only be described as a tumultuous year. In 2018, the singer, who has been open about her struggles with depression, braved a reality series on her now-ended engagement to Chad Johnson, and was subsequently medically advised to back out of a Broadway role to focus on her emotional health. With the release of new music and a new role in play, we’re hoping this means things are on a well-supported upswing.


So, regardless of whether her transformation into Diana Ross is spot-on, we’ll be rooting for Williams’ success. May her 2019 be supreme.


The Glow Up tip: American Soul premieres on February 5 on BET.

Updated: January 5, 2019, 1:01 a.m. ET: Multiple sources have confirmed that the woman pictured in People’s article is late actress Vonetta McGee. Again: Do better, People.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?



That lady is Vonetta McGee.

Michelle Williams looks more like Diana Ross in her Amare photo.