Hot off the presses, we’ve got some exciting news to share with you! We’ve been able to convince an outstanding array of wildly talented vocalists, including Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J, to participate in the latest entry in our long-running series, VH1 DIVAS. This year’s theme will be VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, which will enable each of our performers to pay their respects to the cities where soul music originated and ultimately flourished, places like Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia. We’ll have more details on this amazing show in the coming days and weeks, but for now, here’s the full press release that just hit the wires.
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul with Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + the Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J
VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul Pays Tribute to the Great Cities of Soul Music Including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia
The Roots Confirmed to Perform as House Band
Special will air Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1
NEW YORK â€“ October 27, 2011 â€“ VH1â€™s beloved, popular franchise, VH1 Divas, returns and will pay tribute to the cities where soul gave birth to musicâ€™s most powerful classics and inspired todayâ€™s divas. Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J will pay homage to these cities and soul musicâ€™s timeless classics at New York Cityâ€™s Hammerstein Ballroom. VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul premieres Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT on VH1.
The full press release continues below…
Buoyed by an extended onslaught of promotion, the premiere of NBC’s new series The Voice scored big ratings, outranking stiff competition in its two genres: music (Glee) and reality (Dancing with the Stars). The show’s structure is overly complicated (the four judges each recruit a team of eight singers, then train their team for competition against the other judges’ teams), and a few suspense beats that would have worked on series creator Mark Burnett‘s biggest success, Survivor, fell flat, but overall, the show works. So, a quick rundown:
By way of introduction, The Voice‘s four artist/judges performed Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy,” with Adam Levine on drums, Blake Shelton on guitar, and Christina Aguilera joining Cee Lo Green on lead vocals. The quartet won’t be forming a super-group anytime soon, but their rendition was polished, and successfully communicated the artists’ willingness and ability to succeed in a variety of musical genres.
The contestants range from rank amateurs to near-professionals: After belting Faith Hill‘s “Breathe,” Tarralyn Ramsey tearfully ad-libbed a few bars of “What a Girl Wants” when she was selected by Aguilera, confessing that she sang along to all of Aguilera’s songs, “even the Spanish ones.” She didn’t mention that in 2003, she won VH1′s Born to Diva competition, performed on Divas Duets, and got a one-record deal with Universal?the same grand prize offered by The Voice.
Jeff Jenkins, on the other hand, isn’t even a webcam Youtuber like some of the amateur hopefuls, yet he impressed all four judges with his rendition of “Bless the Broken Road,” made famous by Rascal Flatts.
And so on. The “surprises” weren’t particularly exciting: a duo! Disqualified American Idol contestant Frenchie Davis! (Also a pretty decent cover of “Rolling in the Deep”!)
But the clear audience favorite was Javier Colon: his emotive guitar-and-vocal rendition of Cyndi Lauper‘s “Time After Time” is currently the 43rd best-selling song on iTunes, where all of the audition songs became available for purchase immediately after the premiere.