VH1 Divas Live: A Sinking Ship

Eleven years ago, VH1 had a really good idea. They threw Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Carole King and Aretha Franklin together on one stage, sold tickets to the show, and made a boatload of money for the "Save the Music Foundation," which raises money for endangered music education programs. The concert, VH1 Divas Live, was phenomenal -- Carey rocked big hair and even bigger hits like "Make It Happen," Estefan performed a throwback medley, Twain was at the peak of her "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" fame, Dion was just starting to test out her (hilarious) "performer" chops, and King and Franklin were legends in their own right. The best part was the finale; Franklin took over the show, turning the stage into a church podium and the setlist to a hymnal book. She belted out "Testimony" to a non-religious crowd -- and they ate it up.

VH1 tried it again in 1999, extending the "diva" invitation to fabulous male musicians, too (read: Elton John). The roster featured Tina Turner, Cher, LeAnn Rimes, Brandy, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and Chaka Khan. This time, Tina and Chaka stole the show: Turner dueted with Cher on "Proud Mary" and John on "The Bitch is Back." Khan joined Houston in a rendition of "I'm Every Woman," the song that bolstered both of their careers.

The concert continued annually after that, though it lacked the punch of the first two shows. In 2000, Divas paid tribute to Diana Ross, and Carey and Hill returned to join Destiny's Child, RuPaul, and Donna Summer. But the format (and the quality) continued to spiral downward; 2001 marked a ho-hum tribute to Aretha Franklin, 2002 brought the already-flashy women to Vegas, and 2003 paired everyone up in duets. In 2004 the show returned to its original premise, but despite drawing big names like Cyndi Lauper, Patti LaBelle, Pat Benatar, and Stevie Nicks, the concerts lost chemistry, the fundraiser lost its legs, and VH1 finally gave up.

But wait! They're back! According to Variety, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Adele, and Miley Cyrus have signed on to perform in this year's revival of the show.

Hold on. These four women aren't divas. They're not old enough. They haven't earned it. Combined, their ages total 88 years; Aretha Franklin has 67 of her own. Miley Cyrus doesn't have a repertoire to pull from; all she's got is a teen movie. WTF?!

Might I suggest Tori Amos? Sarah McLachlan? Melissa Etheridge? I may have just named a past Lillith Fair lineup, but that's beside the point. These women have some status in the business. How about Joan Jett, then? Heart? Madonna? Annie Lennox? Gwen Stefani? Nelly Furtado? Alicia Keys?

Something tells me that this show isn't going to revive the franchise like it's supposed to, nor will it shine like its predecessors when it comes to raising dough for the kids. VH1 better sign some experienced divas, and quick, or the S.S. Diva will go down for good.

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Jul 24, 2009
If you have to revive a show, it's time to get pulled for good.
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Jul 23, 2009
I saw five of those concerts and the best was the first with Céline, Shania, Gloria, Aretha, Mariah and Carol. From the second concert I saw anybody can be a Diva in music business because there were singers in those concerts who weren't as big starts as others so I couldn't understand anything. I'm still wondering if Elton John considers himself a Diva... Anyway, Miley Cyrus? Kelly Clarkson? Leona Lewis? Who'll be next? I agree with the names, Sarah McLachlan, Melissa Etheridge, even Alicia Keys and, of course, Sheryl Crow. Those are true talented women with a lot of hit songs in their careers not Miley "Hannah Montana" Cyrus.
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Jul 23, 2009
Or how about the diva of them all: Miss Bette Midler!
She would be so fab on the show.
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Jul 23, 2009
I agree, if you look at the best in the business, we'd be looking at Madonna, Stefani, Furtado and definately Keys. Heck, I'd even understand Aguilera and Spears since both have meant something for the business over the last decade. Clarkson, Lewis and Adele have great talent, and are definately potential for the future, but right now, they are still rookies. Clarkson is just trying to come back, Lewis hasn't had a hit in a while and Adele was introduced in the business back in 2007. They are just too young. (Notice how I don't speak about Cyrus, she's just not worth losing breath over).
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Jul 23, 2009
Miley Cyrus? PLEASE!
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Jul 23, 2009
Junk junk and more Junk!
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