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VH1 Divas - A History

Details from the Concert Series 1998-2004, 2009-Present


The annual VH1 Divas concert series was created by the music television network to benefit the Save the Music Foundation. It became one of the top concert events of the year featuring stunning performances by individual female living legends and first-time duets between participating artists. The series for seven years from 1998-2004 then went on a five year hiatus to return in 2009.

1. 1998 - Divas Live

The first Divas Live took place April 14, 1998 at New York City's Beacon Theatre. A live album was released to commemmorate the event.

  • Mariah Carey
  • Celine Dion
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Carole King
  • Shania Twain

Watch Mariah Carey sing "Make It Happen"

2. 1999 - Divas Live 2

Whitney Houston - Divas 1999
Photo by Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

The second Divas Live was a showcase for Tina Turner and Whitney Houston. Elton John participated as an "honorary diva" and Cher joined Tina Turner in a showstopping version of "Proud Mary."

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Brandy
  • Cher
  • Faith Hill
  • Whitney Houston
  • Elton John
  • Chaka Khan
  • LeAnn Rimes
  • Treach
  • Tina Turner

Watch Whitney Houston sing "It's Not Right, But It's Okay"

3. 2000 - Divas 2000 - A Tribute to Diana Ross

Diana Ross - Divas 2000
Photo by Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

The 2000 tribute to Diana Ross was the only of the Divas series not broadcast live. The lack of a live broadcast was largely due to the excessive time required between songs during Diana Ross' set. The entire show performed live took six hours. No official recordings of the event have ever been released.

  • Mariah Carey
  • Destiny's Child
  • Faith Hill
  • Diana Ross
  • RuPaul
  • Donna Summer

Watch Diana Ross sing "You Keep Me Hangin' On"

4. 2001 - Divas Live - The One and Only Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin - Divas 2001
Photo by Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

The 2001 Divas concert was an all star tribute to Aretha Franklin that took place at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The show closed with all of the participants joining in on "Freeway of Love."

  • Marc Anthony
  • Backstreet Boys
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Celia Cruz
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Nelly Furtado
  • Kid Rock
  • Jill Scott
  • Stevie Wonder

Watch Jill Scott sing "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman"

5. 2002 - Divas - Las Vegas

Cher - Divas 2002
Photo by Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

The Divas event moved away from New York City for the first time and took place in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. It featured elaborate Vegas-style productions. Ellen DeGeneres hosted the event. The finale of the show was a tribute to Elvis Presley.

  • Anastacia
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Cher
  • Celine Dion
  • Dixie Chicks
  • Whitney Houston
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Shakira

Watch Mary J. Blige sing "No More Drama"

6. 2003 - Divas Duets

Beyonce - Divas 2003
Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The 2003 Divas event again took place in Las Vegas. Queen Latifah was the host for the event. This show focused on innovative duets including a series of performances by the divas with Stevie Wonder. Whitney Houston performed with husband Bobby Brown as a duo.

  • Ashanti
  • Pat Benatar
  • Beyonce
  • Bobby Brown
  • Celine Dion
  • Whitney Houston
  • Isley Brothers
  • Jewel
  • Chaka Khan
  • Lisa Marie Presley
  • Tarralyn Ramsey
  • Shania Twain
  • Stevie Wonder

Watch Beyonce and Jewel sing "Proud Mary"

7. 2004 - Divas

Jessica Simpson - Divas 2004
Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The Divas event remained in Las Vegas for the final year before it went on hiatus. The show included a special 80's medley.

  • Ashanti
  • Blondie
  • Eve
  • Tom Jones
  • Gladys Knight
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Pussycat Dolls
  • Sheila E.
  • Jessica Simpson
  • Joss Stone

Watch Debbie Harry of Blondie and Joss Stone sing "One Way or Another"

8. 2009 - Divas

The Divas event returned in 2009 to be broadcast live from the Brooklyn Academy of Music on September 17, 2009. Paula Abdul hosted the event. The show focused on young divas.

  • Adele
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Leona Lewis
  • Jordin Sparks

9. 2010 - Divas Salute the Troops

The 2010 VH1 Divas event was not aired live. It was recorded at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego, California and Army Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. The show aired December 5, 2010 as a salute to military troops. Kathy Griffin hosted the event.

  • Keri Hilson
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Paramore
  • Katy Perry
  • Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
  • Sugarland

10. 2011 - Divas Celebrate Soul

For the tenth VH1 Divas event, the legacy of soul music was celebrated. It was taped at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and broadcast December 19, 2011. The cities of Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis, and Philadelphia received special tribute. The Roots served as house band for the event.

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Jessie J
  • Jill Scott
  • Florence Welch
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