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]
TYRONE! There have been many highlightable moments during tonight’s broadcast of VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, but we can’t help but feel like Mavis Staples, Erykah Badu and Chaka Khan‘s triple threat take on The Staples Singers’ classic “I’ll Take You There.” It was clear from the outset that these three were vibing off each other and connecting on a deep level, and by the time Mavis started laying down some serious STANK and shouting out “I’m Every Woman” and “Call Tyrone,” we knew this was gonna be a moment we wouldn’t soon forget.
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.
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
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.
Big Sean Video Features Kanye West And Cheesecake
And don’t the two go hand-in-hand? The Hype Williams-directed video for Big Sean‘s “Marvin and Chardonnay” splits the difference between Williams’s 2005 clip for Kanye West‘s “Gold Digger” and “Best I Ever Had,” the Drake video that West directed. [YouTube]
Blink-182 Release New Song
Two weeks after premiering the video for lead single “Up All Night,” Blink-182 have released another cut from Neighborhoods (due out September 27). “After Midnight” is available as a free download for winners of a mind-numbingly simple stopwatch game that we nevertheless kept playing until we won (after 13 attempts). [Spin]
The gates open at 11:00am tomorrow in Indio, California for the twelfth incarnation of the Coachella Festival, and for the lucky few (hundred thousand) with wristbands (and the jealous/curious rest of us), the festival has posted set times for this weekend’s jam-packed lineup. There’s at least one performer worth seeing at any given time (especially for fans of British rock, pop, and dance), so if you’re going, definitely try to check out at least one band you haven’t heard before. (For relatively early risers, may we recommend The Joy Formidable at 12:55PM on Saturday at the Gobi Stage?)
The real challenge, then, is when two or more great artists play at the same time on different stages. The schedule is pretty well-scheduled, but we’ve identified five particularly tough choices:
FRIDAY: Kings of Leon vs. Robyn: Kings of Leon’s hometown Storytellers taping was heartfelt but powerful, and the riffs on Come Around Sundown are just as catchy as (if slightly less ubiquitous than) the band’s Only by the Night singles. Robyn, meanwhile, is a bonafide superstar in Europe who with this year’s critically-acclaimed Body Talk has for the second time nearly achieved the American pop breakthrough she had once, in 1997. The Swedish electro-pop songwriter puts not just her heart but her whole body into her emotive vocal performances.
At SXSW, we’ve learned that The Strokes are back (10,000 went to their set last night), Dave Grohl is the nicest guy in rock (according to the VH1 crew who interviewed him) and people can’t stop talking about Kanye West, who’s allegedly doing a secret show tonight or tomorrow. We’ve also noticed there’s no lack of gorgeous performers and celebs flaunting eclectic, wild styles. We’re bummed we couldn’t get close enough to snap pics of country-garage threesome Those Darlins, who put on a raucous show last night that closed with their ode to sex and parties, “Nightjogger.” But with thousands of artists performing simultaneously, it’s impossible to capture more than a fraction of the action.
Oh Land interviews with VH1 News
(Photo: Matt Muro for VH1)
See more pics after the jump and check back here later for updates.