"VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul" Brings Down the House With Powerful Performances by Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Kelly Clarkson, Florence + the Machine and Jessie J
Evening Included Special Performance Tribute to Amy Winehouse
Additional Performances by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Estelle, Erykah Badu, Marsha Ambrosius, Boyz II Men, Chaka Khan, Travie McCoy, Mavis Staples, Wanda Jackson, Martha Reeves and Ledisi With The Roots Performing as House Band
"VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul" will air Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1
NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2011 -- VH1's beloved franchise "VH1 Divas" paid tribute to the great cities of soul music tonight including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia. The all-star diva roster included Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Florence + The Machine, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J. and Jill Scott, accompanied by one of the most exciting groups of modern soul, The Roots, with Questlove and Adam Blackstone as musical directors. "VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul" premieres Monday, December 19 at 9PM ET/PT on VH1.
In addition to the Divas, the evening included an incredible line-up of performers including Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Boyz II Men, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius, Travie McCoy, Mavis Staples, Wanda Jackson, Martha Reeves and Ledisi. Presenters were Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard, Nas, Common, Sherri Shepherd, La La Anthony, and Archie Panjabi.
The night kicked off with a rousing medley of soulful reworks of "You Keep Me Hanging On," "Spotlight," "Real Love," and "Since U Been Gone" performed by respective divas Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Kelly Clarkson. Mavis Staples, Erykah Badu and Chaka Kahn then stopped the show with a high-spirited rendition of "I'll Take You There." Other highlights include Florence Welch with a barefoot performance of "Walking on Broken Glass" and Chaka Khan and Mary J. Blige dueting on "Ain't Nobody."
One of the night's major highlights included a special tribute to Amy Winehouse and her contribution to modern London soul music. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson performed "You Know I'm No Good," and Florence Welch performed "Back to Black." The Dap-Kings contributed a number of tracks for Winehouse's Grammy Award-winning album "Back to Black." In addition, Nas, who collaborated with Winehouse on the first single of her current posthumous album, introduced the tribute medley.
As in previous years, this edition of "VH1 Divas" benefits the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of music education in a child's life. VH1 Save The Music Foundation auctioned special "Divas" ticket packages before the show on leading charity auction site charitybuzz.com, including the opportunity to watch the sound check, walk the red carpet and more. Proceeds from these exclusive packages benefit the Foundation's mission to equip students with the tools to lead, innovate and create in the 21st century. For more information, please visit www.vh1savethemusic.org.
This year's sponsors for "VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul" include: AT&T, COVERGIRL, GEICO, Hershey(R)'s, Old Navy, Samsung and The Wendy's Company.
Visit DIVAS.VH1.com and Twitter at @VH1 and #VH1DIVAS for more information.
Premiering on VH1 in 1998, "Divas" became synonymous with some of the most memorable, live, female vocal performances in television history. The show quickly became a highly anticipated annual phenomenon, generating speculation among music fans and industry executives on who would be part of that year's telecast. Last year, the "Divas" saluted the armed forces with "The USO Presents: 'VH1 Divas Salute the Troops" with Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Sugarland, Keri Hilson, Paramore and Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. Previous featured performers over the years included Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Cher, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Chaka Khan, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis, Jordin Sparks and numerous others have graced the "VH1 Divas" stage.
"VH1 Divas" is executive produced by Greg Sills for Chloe Productions and Lee Rolontz, Rick Krim for VH1.
VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with TV series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 99 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1Classic, VH1 Soul, VH1 Mobile, and extensive video on VH1.com. Connect with VH1 at VH1.com.
ABOUT VH1 SAVE THE MUSIC FOUNDATION:
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America's public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education. To date, VH1 Save The Music has provided more than $48 million in new musical instruments to 1,800 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of over 1.8 million children. The 2012 Ambassador Class - dedicated to raising awareness and funds to benefit The Foundation - includes: Jordin Sparks, Katy Perry, Gavin Rossdale, AJ McLean, Vanessa Carlton, Matthew Morrison, Daughtry and Lupe Fiasco. Get involved at www.vh1savethemusic.com and follow us on twitter @vh1savethemusic.