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PHOTO GALLERY: Diana Ross headlines charity concert in Boca

Staff Writer

Diana Ross did not disappoint.

The legendary songtress was in full diva-effect Tuesday night at "The Concert for the Children" at Boca West Country Club, running through five decades of her impressive songbook from "Where Did Our Love Go" and "You Can't Hurry Love" to "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

She even threw in some surprises such as "Take Me Higher," "The Boss," "More Today Than Yesterday" and "Ease On Down The Road" from her last feature film "The Wiz" (and a nice salute to her co-star and mentoree Michael Jackson).

During "Upside Down" Ross suddenly whirled around and asked the security in front of the stage, "Is there any reason you're not allowing people to come here in front?"

It was a rhetorical question.

She then invited movers and shakers - who had come from Boca, Palm Beach, Wellington and even all the way from Port St. Lucie - to rush the stage.

They did...filling in the space between the first rows and the stage in Motown-mosh-pit style.

After her now-usual encore of "I Will Survive," there was a whirlwind meet-and-greet backstage where the superstar clutched a satin opera coat around her still-taut frame (just had her 70th birthday last week, mind you) and kept her voluminous hair in constant motion thanks to a Chinese fan...which also gave her a diplomatic excuse to not shake hands or sign autographs.

Then a quick wave over her head as she took five steps to a waiting limousine and it was all: Miss-Ross-Out.

Benefiting 14 charities the private event organized by the Boca West Foundation was sponsored in part by Akoya, the coming-soon luxury condominium from the property developer Siemens Group.

Never heard of the Akoya Amphitheater? Well, that's because Richard Siemens had it constructed on the grounds of Boca West Country Club just for the event.


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