In 1982, she followed up the success of Why Do Fools Fall in Love with Silk Electric
, which featured a selection of Michael Jackson's authorship, composition, and music production, "Muscles
," resulting in another top ten success for Ross. The album eventually went gold under the strength of that song. In 1983, Ross ventured further out of her earlier soul-based sound for a more pop rock
oriented sound following the release of the Ross
album. Though the album featured the hit single, "Pieces of Ice
," which music video garnered heavy rotation on video channel stations, except on MTV, the Ross album failed to generate any more hits and failed to go gold, dropping out of the charts as quickly as it entered. On July 21, 1983, Ross performed a concert in Central Park
for a taped Showtime
special. Proceeds of the concert would be donated to build a playground in the singer's name. Midway through the beginning of the show, a torrential downpour occurred. Ross tried to keep on performing, but the severe weather required that the show be stopped. Ross urged the large crowd to exit the venue safely, promising to perform the next day. The second concert held the very next day was without rain. The funds for the playground were to be derived from sales of different items at the concert; however, all profits earned from the first concert were spent on the second. When the mainstream media discovered the exorbitant costs of the two concerts, Ross faced criticism and poor publicity. Although her representatives originally refused to pay anything for the proposed playground, Ross herself later paid, out of pocket, the $250,000 required to build the park. TheDiana Ross Playground
was finally built three years later.
The Diana Ross Playground at 83rd and Central Park West is a beautiful assortment of wood structures and classic outdoor children's gym obstacles making it a lovely addition to the park.