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The Return to Love Tour was a 2000 concert tour by American singing group Diana Ross and the Supremes.

Return to Love Tour
Tour by Diana Ross, The Supremes
Start dateJune 16, 2000
End dateAugust 3, 2000
No. of shows29 (14 played, 15 cancelled)
Diana Ross, The Supremes concert chronology



In 1999, Diana Ross released her final album on Motown Records, Every Day is a New Day. According to Ross (featured in an interview with Barbara Walters), Scott Sanders, a close friend of Ross', suggested adding an entire Supremes segment to her promotional concert tour for the then-new album in which she would perform full versions of the hits she recorded when she was with the Supremes. The idea developed into an entire show of Supremes songs which would reunite Ross with her former singing partners, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong, as well as tour for the first time with all of the women who became Supremes following Ross' departure in January, 1970, Jean Terrell, Susaye Greene, Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence. Ross approached Arthur Fogel, head of concert promotions for TNA/SFX(now Live Nation Entertainment), who, reportedly, agreed. In the fall and winter of 1999, Ross contacted all of the group's former members, placing them in contact with TNA/SFX, then left negotiations between the artists, their agents and TNA/SFX. Upon contacting the tour's promoter, Wilson's initial queries regarded Ross' salary.


Talks and plans for the tour were well underway before Wilson was contacted by Ross in December 1999. Wilson, upset she had been contacted so late, wanted to speak with Ross directly before beginning negotiations. Ross felt they should speak after negotiations took place. Following Ross' initial contact, she removed herself from the negotiations leaving them between the women, their representatives, and the promoters. TNA/SFX initially offered Wilson $1 million. Birdsong was reported to have been offered less than $1 million. Tour performance fees are determined by an artist's most recent earnings. Wilson, reportedly, earned roughly $1 million in performance fees the previous year. Wilson and Birdsong were also informed they would have not have any creative input into the show. Wilson rejected the initial offer feeling she, Ross, and Birdsong should be paid equally and have equal input into the show. Promoters increased Wilson's offer up to $2 million after the initial rejection. Ross agreed to offer Wilson an additional $2 million from her personal finances to the $2 million TNA/SFX proposed for a total of $4 million. Wilson and Birdsong's request for creative input into the show was again rejected. Ross stipulated that all of the others artists' fees were guaranteed, meaning that they'd receive the full amount of their contracts, regardless of how many performances actually took place. Wilson erroneously stated publicly that Ross was to receive between $15 to $20 million. Ross, as the tour's co-producer, was receiving $500,000 per night from TNA/SFX to cover the tour's expenses. When the expenses exceeded the allotment, Ross covered the overages.

Wilson's final offer of $4 million and Birdsong's offer of $1 million came with a deadline of early 2000 (in order to begin production of the sets, costume fittings, hiring of staff, etc., and an on-schedule commencement of the tour). Wilson did accept the final offer, but her acceptance was rejected by TNA/SFX citing "the train has left the station." The promoter ceased negotiations with Wilson and Birdsong. Without Wilson or Birdsong, Ross began to question whether to continue to stage the tour. Berry Gordy Jr. had called TNA/SFX during the negotiation process requesting Wilson and Birdsong deserve better pay and have creative input into the show. Ross contacted Gordy for advice about the tour and reportedly told her to continue "if it's something she'd have fun doing;" however warned her about continuing without Wilson and Birdsong. Ross decided to continue.

TNA/SFX approached 70's Supremes Jean Terrell, Susaye Greene, Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne, the latter two of whom toured as "Former Ladies of the Supremes," about being part of the tour. The ladies were asked to sing for the promoters in Los Angeles to get a sense of how to put the show together. The ladies were led to believe they would all be included in the tour. It was soon realized by some of the ladies that not all would be involved in the show. Instead, the promoters were seeking which lady would sound best with Ross. Terrell, insulted by being asked to audition, refused to participate. Greene, Laurence, and Payne agreed to audition, however, Greene was passed over. Greene later stated she was struck by how she was informed by TNA/SFX through an email that she wasn't needed by stating "two Supremes have been cast." TNA/SFX instead chose Payne and Laurence to continue the tour with Ross.


Tour received extensive promotion with Ross, Laurence, and Payne appearing on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and VH1's "Divas 2000: A Tribute To Diana Ross", following the tour's initial press conference held in the Grand Concourse of New York City's Grand Central Station. During the press conference, Ross again suggested that the group's other former members were welcome to join the tour.

The tour began at Philadelphia's The Spectrum arena, before a sold-out crowd of over 18,000. The concert's first fifteen minutes were aired by VH1. Bob Mackie designed five costume changes for the tour. The show included massive video screens, a troupe of dancers, backing singers and a 50-piece orchestra. The show initially ran roughly two and a half hours, but it was shortened after the intermission was eliminated following their performance in Detroit, Michigan.

Ross performed her solo hits following intermission with the addition of Laurence performing "Up The Ladder To The Roof" and Payne performing "Stoned Love" later in the tour.

Despite glowing reviews, ticket sales in many markets were not as brisk as expected, reportedly settling somewhere between 5,000 and 11,000 tickets sold per show, in venues with capacities of 18,000 to 20,000. The tour's only other sellout performance was its last at New York City's Madison Square Garden. The show received glowing reviews and included an impromptu duet between Ross and R&B singer Luther Vandross of her 1993 single "Best Years of My Life".

Shortly after the MSG performance, TNA/SFX cancelled the tour, citing slow ticket sales.

Set ListEdit

Tour datesEdit

Date City Country Venue Tickets sold / available Gross revenue
North America
June 14, 2000 Philadelphia United States First Union Spectrum 9,000 / 13,000 N/A
June 16, 2000 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Mellon Arena N/A
June 19, 2000 Auburn Hills, Michigan The Palace of Auburn Hills 10,000 / 16,000
June 20, 2000 Columbus, Ohio Value City Arena 3,000 / 13,000
June 22, 2000 Atlanta Philips Arena N/A
June 24, 2000 Tampa, Florida Ice Palace 5,000 / 15,000
June 25, 2000 Sunrise, Florida National Car Rental Center 6,500 / 15,207
June 28, 2000 Houston, Texas Compaq Center N/A
June 29, 2000 Dallas, Texas Reunion Arena
July 1, 2000 Rosemont, Illinois Allstate Arena
July 3, 2000 Montreal Canada Bell Centre
July 4, 2000 Toronto, Ontario Air Canada Centre
July 6, 2000 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
July 7, 2000 Wantagh, New York Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (cancelled)
July 9, 2000 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center (cancelled)
July 10, 2000 Cleveland, Ohio Quicken Loans Arena (cancelled)
July 12, 2000 Hartford, Connecticut XL Center (cancelled)
July 13, 2000 Boston, Massachusetts TD Garden (cancelled)
July 14, 2000 Atlantic City, New Jersey Mark G. Etess Arena (cancelled)
July 16, 2000 Milwaukee, Wisconsin BMO Harris Bradley Center (cancelled)
July 17, 2000 St. Louis, Missouri Scottrade Center (cancelled)
July 19, 2000 Minneapolis, Minnesota Target Center (cancelled)
July 21, 2000 Denver, Colorado Pepsi Center (cancelled)
July 24, 2000 Seattle, Washington KeyArena (cancelled)
July 25, 2000 Portland, Oregon Moda Center (cancelled)
July 28, 2000 San Jose, California SAP Center (cancelled)
August 2, 2000 San Diego, California Valley View Casino Center (cancelled)
August 3, 2000 Anaheim, California Honda Center (cancelled)
August 5, 2000 Paradise, Nevada MGM Grand Garden Arena (cancelled)


External linksEdit