VH1 brings “Divas” back


Remember when the word “diva” was used to describe any (even slightly) talented female musician? Well, the word is coming back, my friends, and not just to describe the female version of a hustler.

VH1 is gearing up to bring back their very popular Divas show, which, in the past, featured big shot female musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper and Diana Ross. This time, however, they are asking for some input.

In 1998, VH1 started their annual Divas shows to support the station’s “Save The Music Foundation,” aimed at protecting music education in schools. The show was awards-style, with celebrity presenters discussing the importance of music education to viewers and big, elaborate performances. It ended in 2004, but VH1 execs think it’s time to bring it back.

“Now more than ever, the time feels right to re-launch this beloved show as a new generation of talented female artists has come to the forefront of music,” Lee Rolontz, Executive Vice President of Music Production for VH1, told Billboard. “We’ve heard our viewers, and we promise to deliver a live show that will generate the same Divas excitement as in the past — while also infusing some new twists along the way.”

One change to the usual Divas format is the public input. In an effort to “diversify” the lineup, VH1 wants fans to chime in. Their website is asking us who should perform, and which duo would make the perfect “diva duet.” That’s right, they said “diva duet.”

Word is younger artists will make the “diva” cut this time around — Adele, Lily Allen, Duffy and Lady Gaga were all nominated by commenters.

The concert will air on Sept. 17 from the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House in New York, and a live album is likely to follow.

While I slightly cringed at some of the people VH1 was quick to call “a diva” in the past (you’re putting Aretha Franklin and Nelly Furtado in the same category?) I can understand their desire to keep things fresh (though changing the tired “diva” title should be their first step).

Would you be into watching the show? And VH1 wants to know: What does the word “diva” mean to you?

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