For the first of her two-night performance as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival, the “Marshians” came out in full force to see Marsha Ambrosius. Now in its third year, the Blue Note Jazz Festival has continued to get bigger and better, with this year boasting 150 shows throughout the month of June, taking place at 16 venues throughout the NYC.
Last night on VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, Erykah Badu, Marsha Ambrosius and Estelle, along with Questlove, performed an upbeat rendition of “Back To Life.” The performance, sponsored by Samsung, saw the lovely ladies clad in gold — Estelle was all out in a gold jumpsuit, Erykah with a gold shawl and Marsha with some sparkling bling. With some refined synchronized dance moves (backed up by nimble male dancers), and their killer voices, the three women had the crowd out of their seats and dancing for the entirety of the joyful performance.
After you watch this Soul II Soul classic, be sure to check out the full Samsung performance playlist.
[Photos: Getty Images]
One of the most memorable moments from last night’s taping of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul ended up being one that had never even been rehearsed before the cameras started rolling. When you watch Ledisi and Marsha Ambrosius duet on “Sweet Love” tonight at 9 p.m. ET on VH1, you’re gonna think that the two singers had been practicing together for weeks. However, the truth of the matter is that the whole number came together just over an hour before showtime. Say what?
“I was headed to go to the red carpet and the producers and the music director and my manager all came rushing to my room,” Ledisi explained to us on a phone call earlier this afternoon. “I was asked ‘Can you sing ‘Sweet Love’?” and I was like, ‘Stop playin! [laughs] Anita Baker’s singing that’. But then they told me ‘No, this is serious.’ And I was like “Oh my God, yeah sure, sure, if you need me, I’ll do it.’ I didn’t ask what happened because I didn’t want to be in the middle of that — you know, I’m just new, I just want to sing my little two songs and get off stage. But then all of a sudden here’s a third song, so I just wanted to pay proper respect to Miss Anita Baker and not do too much and you know, share in the moment, so it was a lot of fun. I really was honored to be asked, they could have asked someone else but they asked me and Marsha sand the first verse and I was so appreciative of the whole experience, it was like a dream. Like, is this real? Like I left there — ‘Did that just really happen’?”
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.
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.
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is set to air this Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT, only on VH1. Yesterday was the first day of rehearsals at midtown Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and we here at VH1 Tuner were the only people on hand to not only catch some of the biggest names in music practicing their big numbers, but also spending some quality time bonding. Our ace photographer, Lauren Deiman, grabbed the following shots of stars like Florence Welch (of Florence + The Machine fame), Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, current You Oughta Know artist Sharon Jones, Marsha Ambrosius, Estelle, Ledisi, and last but by no means least, Motown legend Martha Reeves.
We can’t wait for you to see the whole show, it’s gonna be AMAZING. But for now, here’s a sneak peek at the this year’s outstanding DIVAS show.
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is set to premiere on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 CT, and will feature performances by legends like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J. This morning, though, we got some incredible news! In addition to the already outstanding roster of talent we have previously announced, we’re psyched to annouce that Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Boyz II Men, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius and Travie McCoy have also agreed to pay tribute to soul music hubs we’ll be celebrating that night: Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia.
We’ve got the full press release for you below.
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Adds Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Boyz II Men, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius and Travie McCoy as Performers
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul Pays Tribute to the Great Cities of Soul Music Including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia
Special will air Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1
NEW YORK – November 21, 2011 – VH1’s beloved, popular franchise, VH1 DIVAS, announced today additional performers to join this year’s tribute to soul music. Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Boyz II Men, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius and Travie McCoy will join VH1’s “divas” in paying homage to these cities and soul music’s timeless classics at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. “VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul” premieres Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT on VH1.