Early life, family, educational background

Robert Ellis Silberstein, also known as Bob Ellis, was born on 5 January 1946 in Elberon, New Jersey USA, into a wealthy Jewish family, who manufactured garments for a living. Robert graduated from West Virginia University. He tried his hand at teaching, working for the university he graduated from, but did not find joy in it, and left the job after an altercation with his boss. Details regarding his family and upbringing haven’t been disclosed.

Career

Robert is an American businessman and music executive. He has successfully managed several famous musicians including his wife, Diana Ross, British singer and member of the rock band The Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood, R’n’B singer Billy Preston, Chaka Khan and Michael Lee Aday, known professionally as Meat Loaf” He has also managed bands, such as Rufus and Status Quo.

Who is Diana Ross?

Diana Ross was born on 26 March 1944, and was initially the lead singer of the all-female group The Supremes, Motown’s most successful act in the 1960s, and the best charting girl group in American history. She is the daughter of Army solider, Fred Ross Senior and schoolteacher Ernestine Ross. Her mother sadly passed away in 1984 and her father in 2007.

In 2017, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the AMAs, and all five children and her grandchildren were present. Tracee opened up to “Elle Canada” about her mom and had the following to say, ‘I felt like I grew up in her embrace, not her shadow… that is a testament to her. [Her children] were always more important than fame.’

Tracee had the privilege of presenting her mom with the award. Both Robert and Berry were onstage with the rest of the family and Diana when she received her award. She has an estimated net worth of $250 million.

Personal life

Robert and Diana married on 20 January 1971, and divorced in 1977. The couple has two biological children, Tracee Ellis Ross, born on 29 October 1972 and Chudney Ross, born on 4 November 1975. Robert legally adopted Diana’s first daughter, Rhonda Suzanne Ross-Kendrick, and shared a close relationship with her. Rhonda was fathered by Motown Records founder and CEO, Berry Gordy, but was born early in Diana and Robert’s marriage and raised as Robert’s child.

Diana Ross

Diana was only two months pregnant with Rhonda when she and Robert married. At 13, Rhonda learnt that Berry, whom she called ‘Uncle BB,’ was her biological father. This came somewhat as a relief to Rhonda because she began to notice physical differences between herself and her sisters. Robert also has two stepsons, Ross Arne and Evan Olav, from Diana’s second marriage with Norwegian businessman, mountaineer and shipping magnate, Arne Naess Jr.

After their divorce on 9 March 1977, Robert lived in Connecticut, and Diana moved between Los Angeles and New York City – they agree that their relationship improved after the divorce. In the early 1980s, Robert said the pair’s relationship was similar to that of a brother and sister.

They often spend the holidays together. He remains particularly close to Tracee, and she frequently posts photos with him on her Instagram. She has said the following about him, ‘He’s very personable and charming. I get my sense of humour from my dad.’ Tracee is an actress and producer, well-known for her work in “Reed Between the Lines” and as Dr Rainbow Johnson in “Black-ish” and Joan Clayton in “Girlfriends.”

Robert had a lot to say about Diana and Berry’s relationship after the divorce. He claimed that Diana was still heavily devoted to Berry and Motown Records and that she followed the company wherever Berry took it. She reportedly also used to take Berry on family vacations, and it is rumoured that they had an intimate relationship when she was still married to Robert.

In 1977, shortly before their divorce, Robert had an interview with “People Magazine,” and said the following about Diana, ‘My wife belongs to that company [Motown]. She’s totally dominated by a man [Berry Gordy] who never read a book in his life. I just can’t stand it anymore to hear them calling Stevie Wonder a genius. What happened to Freud?’ Through the years, it seems that Robert has reconciled with Berry and the two now get along just fine. Robert has allegedly never dated since his divorce from Diana.

Family’s Personal Life

Singer-songwriter Rhonda married Rodney Kendrick in 1996. They have a son together, Raif-Henok. She is now very close to Robert and Berry, and considers them both to be her fathers.

Their most famous child, Tracee Joy Silberstein (she later changed her name to “Tracee Ellis Ross”) is not married and has no children. Tracee is very successful in her acting career, and has won two Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for her role in “Black-ish.”

Chudney is a production manager and producer, and is well sought-after in the industry. She has appeared in the television series “Fashion News Live” in 2004 and as herself in “Essence Ninth Annual Black Women Hollywood” which was an hour-long special aired on 27 February 2016. In 2015, she married Joshua Faulkner, and they have a daughter together, Callaway.

Tracee Ellis Ross having fun posing with her dad Robert Ellis Silberstein

Posted by Studio Q on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In October 1987, Diana gave birth to Ross, who ironically has the same first name as his sibling’s last names. Ross has followed his father, Arne Naess Jr’s footsteps by diverting from the family’s usual showbiz route to become a Norwegian shipping tycoon instead. He has two sons with his wife, Kimberly Ryan.

Evan Ross was born named Evan Olav Naess in August 1988, but he later followed in his sister’s footsteps and took his mother’s surname. Evan is an actor and musician. He is best known for his role in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.” In 2014, he married singer, Ashlee Simpson, and the pair have a daughter together, Jagger Snow Ross.

Upon marrying Ashlee, Evan also became a stepfather to her son, Bronx Mowgli Wentz, from her first marriage to the musician Pete Wentz, from the band Fallout Boy.

Appearance

Robert’s ethnicity is white. He has brown eyes and used to have dark brown hair, but it has turned grey due to ageing. None of his measurements are public knowledge.

Net worth and salary

Robert’s net worth is estimated at over $50 million, as of early 2020. The average salary for a music executive in the USA is around $175,110, although Robert would seem to be remunerated at the high end of the scale.

Author

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

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