Anita Baker and Other Fab (and little extra) Black Divas
Oh the divaness! Anita Baker recently had us all giving her the side-eye for kicking Babyface off her tour date only hours before his performance. (Just read about it in the link above) If that’s not a diva move, then we don’t know what is! While some divas are considered prima donnas, iconic people that have difficult personalities to work with, others are just glamorous and elegant superstars. We love these Black women, they’re beyond talented and iconic, but admittedly a few are known for being a little extra from time to time. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite Black divas!
Now this is diva behavior. In May 2023, Babyface took to Instagram to announce that he was asked by Anita Baker to cancel his opening performance in order to give herself more time on stage, that same night she was an hour and a half late to her solo stage. Unfortunately, other celebrities like Loni Love and Jill Scott have expressed their disappointment for also getting the short end of the stick from Baker in the past. We love, love love her, but the truth? She’s been known for this type of behavior for years. Her behavior toward Luther V is legendary.
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Do you remember when Naomi Campbell wore a hazmat suit on a plane during Covid? Or, allegedly threw her phone at an assistant. That should be enough of a reason to have her on this list. Campbell is also known to be a queen of shade, but because of her respected supermodel status, we’ll allow a few antics!
Mariah Carey is known to be THE diva! Mariah is the Queen of Christmas and won’t let you forget it! From being carried on stage to her shady comments in interviews, Mariah is unafraid to lean into the diva title.
Aretha Franklin has been one of the greatest voices in music history, so she earned the right to request some “Respect.” Whenever she performed, she was paid up front thousands of dollars in cash and only used ground transportation due to her fear of flying. However, Franklin was always a hoot in interviews, put on the most fabulous performances, and wore iconic fur coats and long gowns.
Oh, how we miss The Wendy Williams Show! Wendy Williams would never hide her diva ways from how particular she was with her look, her food, and not having a care in the world about your feelings after voicing her opinions!
Jenifer Lewis commands the attention of every person she comes in contact with, and that makes her a diva. She’s bold, absolutely hilarious, and says whatever is on her mind. Any woman that can do a high kick and wear sneakers on a red carpet is a diva in our books!
If you’ve watched a Beyoncé documentary or clips of a few of her concerts, the “Bow Down” singer doesn’t accept anything less than the best from the people that work alongside her. She strives for perfection and that’s a diva mentality.
Whitney Houston always knew exactly what she wanted, and was always going to get it. She was known to be hard-headed in multiple aspects of her life by the people closest to her. However, Houston’s difficulty is also what made her one of the most successful artists of all time.
Nicki Minaj never backs down from providing her opinion on any given topic and quite frankly doesn’t seem to care if you agree or disagree, hence why she’s a diva. Nicki Minaj is extremely outspoken, and some people find her frustrating since she constantly is beefing with other artists, such as Cardi B, Mariah Carey, and Remy Ma (just to name a few), but her talent is far from deniable.
Lauryn Hill is a diva for the simple fact that she has been known to work on her own time. Unfortunately, the Grammy record-holding artist is late or a no-show to many of her performances and demanding she be called Ms. Hill by staffers. However, given her outstanding talent, she knows that people will always line up in the hope that she’ll arrive on stage.
Diana Ross calls herself a diva, so at least she’s honest. It has been revealed that Diana Ross is very particular in all aspects of her life, always having someone by her side to make sure her requests are fulfilled, even strange things like having her food pre-tasted for her.
Rihanna took off years from her music career, built a billion-dollar business, and is late to every single red carpet she is invited to and is still adored by the entire entertainment industry. Nobody can have all of those things except for the diva, Rihanna.
Patti LaBelle does not consider herself a diva but rather has diva tendencies. A peek into those tendencies was her hilarious phrase, “Where are my background singers,”being yelled over her mic during a Christmas concert in 1996, while also getting frustrated while following along cue cards to sing the correct lyrics to “This Christmas.” However, singers love Patti Labelle, as she is a mentor to people like Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, and Mary J. Blige.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Sheryl Lee Ralph has turned the meaning of being a diva on its. head. Per her social media and interviews, she encourages all of her friends and fans to be divas, people that have self-respect, are elegant, and are kind to others. She also has a book, Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl.
Cardi B could be on her way to diva status. The former Love & Hip Hop star is never shy about being 100 percent herself, a classic trait of a diva. Cardi’s fashion journey is reaching iconic levels, wearing daring pieces, and taking risks that we rarely see on other stars these days!
Diahann Carroll made history as the first Black woman to star in her own television show, Julia. Carroll was a fashion diva, always stepping out in the most glamorous pieces. She was beauty and grace. But if you really want to see what a smart, classy diva looks like, watch her in Dynasty reruns.
Oprah Winfrey isn’t known for being a diva in the “difficult to work with” category, but anyone who has as many estates and fabulous pairs of glasses for every outfit is a “fabulous and iconic” diva.
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