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by (@unclegrambo)

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul: Florence Welch’s Haunting, Otherworldly Take On Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black”

Florence Welch, lead chanteuse of Florence + The Machine, is certainly one of the MVPs of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul. She performed three songs tonight: “Shake It Out” (the new single off the band’s Ceremonials), “Back To Black” (as part of the evening’s Amy Winehouse tribute), and “Walking On Broken Glass” (which you can watch below).

Here, we put a spotlight on Florence’s haunting cover of the title track of album that turned Amy Winehouse into an international superstar back in 2007. She cut quite a figure with her floor length black dress, which was incredibly appropriate considering the circumstances. The music world lost an immense talent this year with Amy’s tragic passing, but thanks to powerful performances like Florence Welch’s tonight, Winehouse’s musical legacy is cemented in stone.

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Follow along for Florence’s jubilant take on Annie Lennox‘s “Walking On Broken Glass.”

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by (@kat_george)

Everyone’s Talking About DIVAS: Read Last Night’s Reviews Ahead Of Tonight’s Show

Look, we know we’ve got DIVAS fever, and we know we’ve been gushing relentlessly about VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul (airing tonight on VH1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT), but that’s because it’s all just so good. Obviously, we can see where we might be a little bit biased, and why you might not entirely believe our unabashedly praising the show, but you don’t need to take our word for it. It turns out everyone is talking about DIVAS, so here’s what some of the most prolific industry people and news mediums had to say about DIVAS (hint: there’s a lot of love in the quotes below!)…

“In a section dedicated to Chicago, Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan and Erykah Badu turned in an ecstatic version of Staples’ “I’ll Take You There” that played out like a master class in vocal control, Staples doling out rich, low notes until the song’s closing moments, where she slyly quoted both Badu’s “Tyrone” and Khan’s “I’m Every Woman.” During a segment centered on the music of Chicago, Badu and Khan performed “Ain’t Nobody” as a series of escalating peaks, each vocalist goading the other with a series of increasingly stunning melismatic runs before ending the song in a sustained, emotional embrace.” [Rolling Stone]

“This VH1 Divas show is 1 of da best shows I’ve seen all year after only 2 performances!!!” [Common, via Twitter]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Jill Scott, Questlove And Adam Blackstone Explain Why Philly Is The City With The Most Soul (Hint: It’s The “Dirty Water”)

We spent most of this weekend hanging around New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom, checking out the rehearsals for VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul (which, if you haven’t heard yet, is airing TONIGHT on VH1 at 9 p.m. ET). We were lucky enough to grab some time with some of this year’s featured performers as they prepared for the show, and one of the questions we were most curious about was what gave the cities that they hail from so much soul.

First up, we asked Philly natives Jill Scott, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Adam Blackstone their thoughts on why the City of Brotherly Love (the latter two of whom served as the Musical Directors of the show) was the most soulful city in the world. Jill Scott reckoned it has something to do with “dirty water” of the Schuylkill River, while Questlove and Adam explained that the city’s proximity to New York City forced the musical community to diversify their sound to establish their own unique identity.

You can see Jill’s response above, while we’ve got video of @questlove and @bassicblack below.

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by (@kat_george)

Kelly Clarkson Overcomes A Last-Minute Ankle Sprain And Brings The House Down At VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul

Just moments before the taping of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul last night, our girl Kelly Clarkson managed to sprain her ankle. Never one to let a broken thing deter her —ankles, hearts, it’s all the same, really!— Kelly powered on through the entire show, performing like a true professional. Even Questlove gave Kelly props for her stoicism when he tweeted, “Shoutout to Kelly Clarkson for goin in like a mofo trooper and with twisted ankle & all kickin arse & takin names. #vh1divas.”

So what happened? Well, Kelly took to WhoSay last night to explain. “Funny part of the evening is I twisted my ankle in a pair of heels right before the show started in a freakin pot hole on the street!,” she wrote. “Hurt like hell but still one of my favorite shows I’ve ever been a part of!” That’s why we love our Kelly — instead of indulging in self-pity, she powers through and gives every single one of her performances 100% energy and effort.

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EXCLUSIVE: Behind The Scenes Of The Final Dress Rehearsal Of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul [PHOTOS]

Hey, have you heard the news? VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is premiering tonight on VH1 at 9 p.m. ET, and take it from us (because we were there): It is a DOOZY of a show. However, what we’re going to share with you right now isn’t something that you’re going to see tonight. Our VH1 Tuner photographer extraordinaire, Miss Lauren Deiman, was the ONLY photographer on hand during yesterday afternoon’s dress rehearsals at midtown Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and she was able to capture these stunning images of world class talents like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, and Jessie J practicing their performances one final time before the big show kicked off. Enjoy this exclusive and truly intimated look behind the scenes of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul.

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by (@kat_george)

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Sneak Preview: Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, And Mary J. Blige Perform “Keep Me Hanging On”

You’re pumped for VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, right? The show airs TONIGHT on VH1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, but we filmed our divas yesterday and we’ve got to tell you — you’re in for a real treat! We’re about to dangle the carrot too, and give you a little glimpse of what you can expect from tonight’s broadcast; we gave you a tease last night by giving you the official list of performances, but now we’ve got a little video to whet your appetite. Tonight’s show opens with three radiant divas — Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson — singing “Keep Me Hanging On,” and these lovely ladies do nothing less than bring the house down with their rendition of this Supremes classic. Tune-in tonight at 9 p.m. to catch this entire performance and many more! (Oh, and btw, if you’re tweeting, don’t forget to use the hashtag #VH1DIVAS.)

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by (@kat_george)

Tuned In: Michael Buble Gets An Imaginary Duets Album On Saturday Night Live And Performs “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

We’re starting to think that maybe Michael Bublé is Christmas. Is that even possible? With his Christmas album holding tight at #1 on the charts, Michael Bublé is the only name you need to know this Christmas (apart from Santa, of course). This weekend on Saturday Night Live, Bublé not only performed a classy, romantic rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (after the jump), but he also got his very own sketch and imagined Duets album (above). It’s the perfect way to start your Monday morning, because if you don’t laugh out loud at the winking, dancing Justin Bieber (Jimmy Fallon) parody, or giggle at Taylor Swift‘s over awed gaping mouth (Kristen Wiig) then you’ve got a heart so cold not even Bublé can help you this holiday season.

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by (@kat_george)

The Complete List Of Songs You’ll See On VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul

We know how anxious you are to see VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, which airs tomorrow night, Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, only on VH1. The show taped tonight at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, so we’re going to give you a little teaser on the way the show went down. (Spoiler alert: It was AMAZING.)

Below, you’ll find a complete set list of songs as performed by our DIVAS tonight. We hope you can sleep tonight, knowing what’s in store for your viewing and listening pleasure tomorrow! Don’t forget to watch, and if you’re gonna tweet (which we hope you do), be sure to use the hashtag #VH1DIVAS.
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Jennifer Hudson Wants To Do A Record With Mary J. Blige


We just watched the red carpet special for VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul, which airs Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET. Aside from learning a few good spoilers (duets will include Jill Scott and Erykah Badu; Jennifer Hudson and Jessie J; and Kelly Clarkson and Ledisi singing Aretha Franklin‘s “Chain of Fools”), we heard J-Hud tell red carpet host La La Vazquez that she “wants to do a record with Mary J. Blige.”

Jennifer, who looked stunning in thigh-high boots and a super short dress, explained that Mary J. is the “epitomy of soul music today.” She continued: “She feels like a homegirl and I also look at her as an influence.” As much as we’d love to hear the powerhouse voices of these two ladies in one Watch the Throne-type effort, Jennifer doesn’t seem to be the only one that wants a big piece of Mary. La La asked quite a few celebs on the red carpet to name the next Aretha Frank, and Mary J.’s name kept getting dropped.

Related Content: Mary J. Blige’s Top 40 Hottest & Wildest Looks

by (@kat_george)

12 Days Of DIVAS: Jessica Simpson, Gladys Knight and Joss Stone Harness The Power Of Imagination

One more night of sleep until VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul airs on VH1 on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT! The show will feature performances by Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and other lovely ladies.

For the past 12 days, we’ve been reliving DIVAS past in order to get into the DIVAS spirit, including hot numbers from Jill Scott, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer (twice!), Mariah Carey and more. So now that it’s the final day of our DIVAS countdown, it’s time for one last trip down memory lane, courtesy of Jessica Simpson, Gladys Knight and Joss Stone. Back in 2004, they performed the stone classic “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination”, and the three women are radiant, powerful and fierce as they sing the independent woman anthem. There’s a generous helping of soul and funk as the women harmonize to the sounds of a live band — these are three beautiful women you probably wouldn’t want to mess with!

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul will premiere exclusively on VH1 on Monday, December 19, 2011, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

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