What do you get when you mix generations of talented female singers, sky-high stilettos, enough sequins to bedazzle the sky and soul music? You get a memorable red carpet event that would please a queen, but is meant for a diva. Such was the case at last night’s “VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul” taping. S2S was in the midst of all of the action to get the star’s thoughts on that four letter word, D-I-V-A.
For some of the night’s attendees such as the legendary, Mavis Staples being labeled a diva was an adjustment due to its negative connotations with a certain five letter b-word. “I’ve never wanted to be called it. I heard they are mean and use those words like beeotch,” said Mavis. “But tonight I am honored to be a diva. But after tonight I will still be the humble evangelist that I’ve always been.”
It took a lot of humility for Martha Reeves of the iconic Motown group, Martha & The Vandellas not to lose her cool when we overhead VH1 red carpet host, LaLa Anthony call her Mavis. Martha handled the situation like a classy woman, but didn’t bite her tongue when it came to her thoughts on a crop of new female talent automatically being labeled as divas.
“It is something you grow into. A lot of us babies on this show maybe one day will grow into divas,” Marha clarified.
Jill Scott was being hurried off of the red carpet when she heard us shout her name. She made a special trip back to the carpet to show us some love and second Martha’s take on how the word diva gets applied to singers.
“I think you have to earn everything. It starts with open-mics and getting up in front of people without them calling your name first,” Jill said.
Everyone was calling Chaka Khan’s name not only because she’s well, Chaka, but also because the man on her arm for the evening was none other than 50 Cent. It was certainly an odd pairing, but 50 told us that he spontaneously asked Chaka to be her date and she accepted. Still that wasn’t the only reason Chaka was turning heads. She was looking radiant and much slimmer than usual. She informed us of her new diet partly inspired by actress, Kirstie Alley.
“It’s a big change. I am eating mostly vegan and exercising. Kirstie Alley has a good drink that I like,” Chaka revealed.
After the hoopla, Chaka caused we didn’t think the carpet could get any more exciting but the appearances of Jennifer Hudson (in sparkling, thigh-high boots), Mary J. Blige and Dolly Parton promoting her new film Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah heated up the cold night air.
Then, to our surprise, as the red carpet was shutting down, Nas quietly appeared and he quickly summed up what it really takes to be a diva. “It takes experience and survival skills and confidence and a big spirit," he stated.
Based on the talent we spoke to on the red carpet, they should all do the word diva proud when she show airs tonight at 9 p.m. EST on VH1.
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