Diana Ross is an iconic soul sister which singer Karis Anderson revered as she was growing up.
Now the 29-year-old gets to imitate her gracefulness in Motown The Musical at Blackpool Opera House at the end of this month.
The West End musical depicts Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey as he launches the careers of legendary artists including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and of course Diana Ross.
Karis said: “Diana Ross is such a massive part to play. She is definitely one of my role models. I was inspired by her and The Supremes, especially when I was in girl band Stooshe.
“She is a strong and independent woman as she did things her own way. She was able to balance having children with a wonderful career. She could do it all as she was a talented singer, actress and wonderful mother. She was a true diva in the most positive way.”
Karis has relished touring the UK with the hit musical and being able to wear several of Diana’s most talked about outfits.
She said: “The dresses and wigs are amazing. It is every girl’s dream. Although the dresses are made for me for the show, they are very authentic and are from the Motown era. Some are very embellished with sequins and are very heavy. There is one red dress which is extremely heavy. The original one she wore was £25,000 but for me, they found different ways of making it.
“My favourite outfit is used for the finale for the Motown 25 performance. It is a white pencil skirt and the top feels like a straight jacket as it is very thick and toes at the back. It is beautifully embellished with crystals and beads. I just love the fit and it is just like the original. There is a screen with the original Motown 25 artists so you can see how the outfits we wear are exactly the same.
“I am also so lucky to be singing her songs. My favourite has to be Reach Out (and Touch Somebody’s Hand), as in the show we get an audience member to sing with me and it is a really special moment.”
Motown The Musical tells the tale of Berry Gordy, the man who broke barriers and fought against the odds to create something more than a record label.
Karis added: “The show has more than 50 top hits which everyone will know and love and it tells the story of Berry Gordy and how he came to find Motown. It shows the beautiful love story between him and Diana Ross and what he did for the civil rights movement to bring races together with music as a universal language.”
Motown The Musical is at Blackpool Opera House from Tuesday August 27 to Saturday, August 31. Ticket prices vary.