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What Happens When R&B Divas Catch The Holy Spirit? You Get Amazing GIFs!

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We love us some R&B Divas. As glamorous and elegant as they are, they know how to let loose on stage, much more than their Pop Queen cousins. Case in point: one of our favorites, Mary J. Blige, is the queen of busting some unexpected and frighteningly unique moves when she’s performing. Likewise, Beyonce is the queen of bizarre rubber face when she’s in the zone.

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by (@GeorgettePierre)

15 Cover Songs That Beat The Original

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They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and artists aren’t shy about covering songs that they admire. Take the great Aretha Franklin with her recent cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” or Rita Ora’s stripped down version of Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love”. Even Sia turned her superior pipes towards tunes that she wrote for artists like Ne-Yo and Britney Spears. But not all covers are sung equally, and occasionally you have that rarest of phenomenon: a cover that outdoes the original. Read on for some of our favorite picks! Read more…

by (@JordanRuntagh)

Aretha Franklin + Clive Davis On The Adele Cover That Set The World On Fire

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Last week Aretha Franklin reminded us that she’s still the Queen of Soul by dropping an incendiary rendition of Adele‘s torch song, “Rolling In The Deep.” Within hours the song had invaded social media, racking up more than a million views on YouTube and stoking the buzz for her upcoming covers album, Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics. Some accused the 72-year-old vocalist of relying on auto-tune and other studio tricks, but Ms. Franklin soon silenced the haters with a flawless performance on The Late Show With David Letterman.

The rapturous reception is a testament to the staying power of a performer whose career has endured for seven decades. At a listening party and panel discussion held at New York City’s elegant 92Y venue, VH1 sat down with the music monarch and her long-time collaborator, Sony Music Chief Creative Officer and industry icon Clive Davis, to discuss the new project, and how to make music that lasts.

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by (@emilyexton)

10 Famous People Who Don’t Care If Beyonce Did Or Didn’t Lip-Synch At The Inauguration

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Beyoncé definitely lip-synched during her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Monday’s presidential inauguration. Er, maybe she didn’t? No, she most certainly did. Hmmm. Better ask an expert. The constant back-and-forth over whether one of our most beloved national treasures sang a sacred, patriotic tune live or with assistance from a pre-recorded backing track has hijacked most of our attention at a time when we should probably be focusing on Barack Obama‘s second term, or complaining about the sudden frozen tundra we’re forced to walk across just to check the mail. Everyone has an opinion–and Beyoncé has remained quiet– so if you’re conflicted about what to feel about the Beyontroversy, perhaps your allegiance to some of these famous folks will help you out.

ALICIA KEYS
“The one thing that you cannot doubt is that she can sing. She absolutely can sing,” Keys told Capital FM. “All the rest of the ‘whys’ or ‘whatever,’ we know that she can deliver and she did deliver that song really beautifully.”

BETTE MIDLER
After inadvertently getting wrapped up in a misunderstanding between Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep obsessives following the Oscars, Midler was quick to remind us (and nearly 400,000 Twitter followers) of what’s important: “Ok #beyonce fudged. Get a grip. Men are raping and urinating on young girls in Steubenville Ohio. Priorities, people!”

ARETHA FRANKLIN
“I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most singers that is just not good singing weather… she did a beautiful job with the pre-record… next time I’ll probably do the same,” the Queen of Soul, who performed at Obama’s 2009 inauguration, told ABC News.

PATTI LuPONE
The legendary Broadway star fielded only the toughest of questions (how could one possibly say something mean about Mandy Patinkin?!) from Bravo’s Andy Cohen. “SHE WAS SINGING LIVE I DON’T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS!” she said on Wednesday’s episode of Watch What Happens Live.

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by (@fdot415)

Adam Lambert Teaches Us How To Dance In Our VH1 DIVAS GIF Wall

We’re only two days out from the biggest dance party in VH1 Divas history! Now I like to think I can rock hips, sway and sip with the best of them, but don’t worry if you’re not as confident. Our host Adam Lambert was kind enough to lead a tutorial for a simple but fierce head snap move you can use in a pinch. Need more tips? Check out our GIF wall of past Divas performers’ dancing for inspiration before you watch the show live this Sunday, December 16. The red carpet live stream kicks off right here at 8PM/7C.

Dancing divas GIF wall after the jump.

by (@lindseyweber)

From Last Night’s Soul Train Awards All You Need Are Miguel And Elle Varner

You might not have caught The Soul Train Awards on Centric last night. In a flurry of Sunday night programming (plus Liz & Dick Lifetime!) it would’ve been easy to skip the award show dedicated to awarding the best in hip-hop and R&B. If you did choose another route, here’s your tl;dw (That’s “too long, didn’t watch.”) rundown: Cedric the Entertainer hosted, Anthony Hamilton did “Lovely Day”, Leah LaBelle did Teena Marie’s “Square Biz”, Fantasia paid tribute to Aretha with “Don’t Play That Song For Me”. There was a New Edition tribute (in which Bobby Brown failed to thank his departed former wife Whitney Houston?), Keyshia Cole performed “Enough of No Love” from her new album Woman to Woman, and X-Factor winner Marcus Canty did Luther Vandross‘ “Never Too Much”. On the hip-hop side, 2 Chainz was there. Naturally.

Perhaps in the strangest moment, Tyrese‘s “Stay” won Song Of The Year, despite being released independently from his album, Open Invitation. It beat out John Legend, Trey Songz, Estelle, Wale, AND Usher–making it a true underdog. Tyrese most likely knew this, stating in his acceptance speech that today’s R&B is “insecure, since everyone is doing house and techno music” (a weird nod to Usher, perhaps?) But tonight, he continued, “Real R&B is winning”.

And now for the best performances…

by (@zaragolden)

Last Lap: 50 Cent Shows Love For Frank Ocean

50 CENT SHOWS SUPPORT FOR FRANK OCEAN
Haters be warned that, unless you want a taste of that famous 50 beef, you may want to give the Channel Orange artist a second chance, because 50 thinks that “Anyone that has an issue with Frank Ocean is an idiot.” [MTV]

ARETHA FRANKLIN WANTS TO BE AN IDOL JUDGE
Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are both out, and so Aretha Franklin figures she and Patti LaBelle should have in at the Idol judging table. Why not! [CNN]
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