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A legend in sequins takes audience back

Diana Ross moved between career-spanning hits as effortlessly as she changed into slinky, sequined gowns Wednesday night in the Avalon Ballroom of the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.

And the sold-out crowd of 1,511 seemed to enjoy every minute listening to the singer's undiminished skills.

Ross, 63, will forever be linked with that most successful girl group of all, the Supremes, and she wasted little time performing several of its chart-topping hits.

After making a diva entrance in a shimmering red gown wrapped in what looked like a giant "scrunchy," she went into "My World Is Empty Without You," followed by "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love" and "Stop in the Name of Love."

For the latter song, Ross used arm gestures that recalled the time when the then-waif-like vocalist and the band she fronted had their first hit in 1964.

Backed by a five-piece band and two backup singers, Ross reprised many of the hits through a solo career that began in 1970, when she left the Supremes. Her last No. 1 song was in 1984.

"Touch Me in the Morning," "Upside Down" and "Do You Know," from the film "Mahogany," were among those that got a workout.

Ross returned to the music of Billie Holiday, whom she memorably portrayed in 1972's "Lady Sings the Blues," for a soulful rendition of "Don't Explain."

While Ross performed the title song from her January 2007 release, "I Love You," the focus was on her hits of yesteryear that the crowd enthusiastically received.

For many, the attraction was also on those slendering sequin gowns that also came in yellow, white and black -- her entrances draped in feathery boas.

Ross, who warmly embraced the audience adulation, returns tonight for another sold-out concert, to be followed shortly by two sold-out shows by Liza Minnelli.

No sightings yet of Cher.

e-mail: msommer@buffnews.com

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>Concert Review

Diana Ross

Wednesday night in Avalon Ballroom, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. Another performance at 8:30 tonight.

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