I saw a list on Buzzfeed ranking Divas and I just about lost my mind. Shakira, Adele, Taylor Swift, and Rhianna are not Divas. I'm sorry sweet children. It just can't be. Now, one day they might rank. Maybe. But not today.
So let's define a Diva so as to prevent any further confusion on the matter. Here is the criteria to have the title of Diva bestowed upon you:
1. Pipes - you need to have a vocal range and must be able to belt out a note to the point of incoherence. This will place you above the pedestrian, run of the mill, average singer. This will also put your listener in a thrall. Your vocal talent must bring the audience to their knees and to Jesus.
2. Theatrics - performance is key here. No back up dancers needed. You are the centre of all things. Every move you make is blinding like the burning tree in the Ten Commandments movie. We are looking for an other worldly, out of body experience here. People will cry because the emotional force behind your voice and movements will be too much for a mere mortal to withstand (see burning bush).
3. Style - No one but no one looks better than you. Ever. You don't steal the spotlight. You own it. Your wardrobe would make the Queen of England look like the Paperbag Princess.
4. Attitude - You're too good for everything. For the red carpet. You are the epitome of elegance and all things good and righteous in the world. You are gift, a rose among the ashes, a shining beacon of hope and aspiration. You've got sass, sweetness, love, and an unrivaled fierceness. You would never insult a fellow human being though you might deign to correct that human being on their wrongness in effort to help them be a better person. You don't want to see some poor thing struggle with sub-par talent when you can just tell 'em now and put 'em out of their misery (and the public's). You tell it like it is. Honesty being the best policy.
5. Time - you're career has spanned decades and you've paid your dues in blood, sweat, and tears. You've been been down to the lowest and brought yourself back up again. Your soul has been crushed but you healed those wounds and become stronger. You've had hits and misses but never lost the faith of your fans. It is that very struggle, the very pain that connects you to those plebeian fans. Those fans for whom you owe everything and without whom you would be nothing.
Those are the basics folks. Let's not get confused anymore. Now, I submit my list (in no particular order):
1. Patti LaBelle
2. Aretha Franklin
4. Liza MMinnelli(sp?)
5. Barbra Streisand
6. Diana Ross
7. Whitney Houston
8. Mariah Carey
9. Mary J. Blige (Though I contend that that woman can't sing for shit)
10. Celine Dionne (I cannot stand her but Diva she is)
Feel free to add to the list if you like. Perhaps with more contemporary ladies.