- divas

This article is about female singers considered divas. For other uses, see Diva (disambiguation).

A Diva was originally a distinguished female opera singer, but now usually refers to a popular female performer of non-operatic works. The term derives from an Italian word meaning "goddess", which, in turn derives from the feminine form of a Latin word divus, meaning "divine one".

Time Magazine observed in its October 21, 2002 issue: "By definition, a diva is a rampaging female ego redeemed only in part by a lovely voice." The word was originally used of great female opera singers, almost always sopranos (like Maria Callas), but can be used to describe many female celebrities, such as singers, or movie actresses.

As with the earlier "prima donna", which was also derived from opera (lit. "first lady"), the term has slipped from its trade origins and come to be used in any theatrical or performance setting. In particular, because of marketing efforts, the word "diva" has come to be applied most often to popular female performers. In order to qualify as a diva there must be one, or both, of two dominant traits present: a broad and expansive voice (such as Mariah Carey) and/or a thoroughly captivating and commanding stage presence (like Madonna).

There are many women who are or have been world famous divas. They include:

A - F: Christina Aguilera, Julie Andrews, Joan Baez, Anita Baker, Beyonce, Björk, Mary J. Blige,Toni Braxton, Sarah Brightman, Mariah Carey, Karen Carpenter, Cher,Patsy Cline, Natalie Cole, Sheryl Crow, Doris Day, Céline Dion,Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Connie Francis, Aretha Franklin,
G - L: Judy Garland, Emmylou Harris, Deborah Harry, Lauryn Hill, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Whitney Houston, Chrissie Hynde, Janet Jackson, Etta James, Norah Jones, Rickie Lee Jones, Janis Joplin, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Brenda Lee, Peggy Lee, Annie Lennox, Patti LuPone, Loretta Lynn,
M - R: Madonna, Sarah McLachlan, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Kylie Minogue, Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross,
S - Z: Sade, Carly Simon, Nina Simone, Patti Smith, Dusty Springfield, Gwen Stefani, Barbra Streisand,Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Shania Twain, Sarah Vaughan,Dionne Warwick, Dinah Washington, Tammy Wynette

"Diva" may also have a negative connotation, as the word can imply that the star believes the only thing that matters is his/her person, and that everyone involved in a project must cater to his/her every whim. They commonly throw tantrums, which receive a lot of attention from the mass media. Upon reports, Diana Ross has been considered a "diva" in these respects.

Gay male singers are also occasionally referred to as divas -- the most prominent example being Elton John.


A diva in ballet is also called a prima donna, the meaning defined in many dictionaries. The following lists the ballerinas, who have reached the status of prima ballerina assoluta, which would perhaps qualify them for the accolade of diva:

  • Pierina Legnani
  • Mathilde Kschessinska (picture)
  • Galina Ulanova
  • Maya Plisetskaya
  • Anna Pavlova
  • Dame Margot Fonteyn

Of Ulanova, Margot Fonteyn said "I cannot even begin to talk about Ulanova’s dancing, it is so marvellous, I am left speechless. It is magic. Now we know what we lack.".

Opera Singers

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf

In opera, diva applies to any female opera singer, and this is also the main meaning in many dictionaries. Typically, an opera singer to achieve this status would be quite well known, and play a major solo part in the opera.

The following Opera Singers might qualify as divas:

  • Leontyne Price
  • Renata Tebaldi
  • Victoria de Los Angeles
  • Dame Joan Sutherland
  • Maria Callas
  • Dame Kiri te Kanawa
  • Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (picture)de:Diva
Search Term: "Diva"


divas news and divas articles

Here's our top rated divas links for the day:

Luke Winn: behind the scenes at the 2006 NBA Draft 

Sports Illustrated - 21 minutes ago
Twenty-thousand people flocked to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night ... to see the sold-out Madonna: Confessions Tour. The other couple of thousand were there for the first-ever NBA Role Player Draft -- or the 2006 NBA Draft, whichever you prefer to call it. Stars (and divas) it lacked, but it was ripe with drama in the form of 15 trades, hell-raising Knicks fans and secret agents. After a

'View' Divas React To Star Jones' Exit 
CBS News - Jun 28 10:58 AM
Creator Barbara Walters said she was "betrayed" by Star Jones Reynolds' surprise on-air announcement of her exit from the "The View." Reynolds said in a magazine interview she felt like she was fired.

Dallas' Lucy Ewing has been cast 
Independent Online - Jun 28 11:03 PM
Katie Cassidy was handed the part of Lucy Ewing because Dallas film bosses were concerned the other two candidates would act like divas on set.

More Divas In Playboy, ECW Vixens, Trinity/ECW, More 
Wrestling News - Jun 28 11:42 AM
The new start date for the classic WWF footage on Madison Square Garden Network is now July 12. WWE have required new trademarks and they are: Trinity, Mike Knox, ECW Vixens and ECW Rebels.

Bad American bosses exposed in rash of tell-alls 
Reuters via Yahoo! News - 2 hours, 34 minutes ago
The movie and best-selling book "The Devil Wears Prada" skewer a diabolical magazine editor, the popular blog "Anonymous Lawyer" parodies a top legal firm and a top editor dishes dirt in a behind-the-scenes book at the beauty industry.

Injections, peels and laser resurfacing gain popularity 
NorthJersey.com - Jun 27 7:37 PM
Plastic surgery. Just say the words and you think of Joan Rivers' freakish mug or the Hollywood divas with "trout pouts," those scary swollen kissers.

Singing divas to duke it out 
The Olympian - Jun 27 4:36 AM
Get ready for diva warfare on the radio this summer, as Beyonce, Janet Jackson and Jessica Simpson scramble into the ring next to early arrivals Christina Aguilera and Shakira.

The Duds of 'The Devil Wears Prada' 
New York Times - Jun 28 5:31 PM
You'd think that a movie about fashion would get the clothes right, but fashionistas bemoan its lack of chic. While the film piles it on, fashion editors edit what they wear.

Bad American bosses exposed in rash of tell-alls 
RedNova - 19 minutes ago
By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) -

Spelling gave us blow-dried TV divas 
Boston Globe - Jun 26 1:08 AM
Aaron Spelling, who died Friday at 83 after a stroke, was a schlockmeister par excellence.

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