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.
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 will air on VH1 on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and we couldn’t be more excited about this year’s lineup, which includes Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and more.
As a lead-up to this year’s broadcast premiere in two weeks, we here at VH1 Tuner are excited to announce that we’ll be putting the spotlight on one of our favorite soulful performances from DIVAS events past for each of the next 12 days, a little event that we’re calling the 12 Days of DIVAS. First up, we’ve got a killer cut from the incredibly talented Jill Scott, who is another one of the headliners for this year’s event. Back in 2001 at VH1 Divas Live: The One And Only Aretha Franklin, Scott brought the house down at New York City’s famed Radio City Music Hall with her soaring version of Aretha’s staple, “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman.” In particular, pay close attention to the full-bodied stank that she lays down approximately 3:25 into this song, right as she’s wrapping up the Goffin/King classic — these are the kinds of unforgettable moments that make the DIVAS franchise one of the most anticipated events in the music industry year in and year out.
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul will premiere exclusively on VH1 on Monday, December 19, 2011, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
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.
It’s just over a month until VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul airs on VH1, and we’re already doing backflips of excitement about this year’s lineup, which will feature Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and Jennifer Hudson. Regarding the latter, we’re excited to reveal this new promo image of the Grammy- and Oscar-winning singer/actress J. Hud! We haven’t heard any advance word about what songs she’s planning on performing that night, but seeing as how one of the featured soul-music capitals we’ll be spotlighting is her hometown of Chicago, we’re sure she’s got some exciting tricks up her sleeve about how to best honor the rich musical legacy of the Windy City.
Wondering where the images of the other ladies are? Well, you can check out Entertainment Weekly to see Kelly Clarkson, USA Today for Florence + The Machine, MTV.com for Jessie J, Entertainment Tonight‘s The Insider for Jill Scott, and TheYBF.com for Mary J. Blige!
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul will air exclusively on VH1 on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT. Stay tuned to these pages for more updates as they come in!
RELATED: VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul On December 19 With Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson And More [VH1 Blog]
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…