Somewhere along the way, "Diva" became an egotistical term. Sure, the vocal range needs to go a long way, but it's almost as if the ruthless nature of the performer needs to go hand-in-hand. They say nice guys finish last? Well, with Divas, nice girls might as well not even apply. Then again, I can't say for sure. I've never dined out with these ladies. They might be nice people. I'm willing to wager that Macy Gray is a nice lady. And in the end unless you have to work for these people, you can just sit back and enjoy their melodramatic screeds. That's what makes it all so much fun in the end. Entertainment through pain? Or through catharsis?
Some of us reach for the cotton balls, while others reach for a good stiff drink, while others reach heights of excitement the rest of us can hardly imagine. That's what's so great about this country. It's got lots of room for everyone.
10) Barbra Streisand: Now of course, Barbra deserves to be higher on this list, but as I pointed out awhile back to the loyal readers of this blog, I sometimes move people to these higher positions so their photos will be closer to the top where it looks more important than being sandwiched in between numbers 6 and 7. I just hope the art department finds an awesome photo that really drives home how wonderfully talented this woman is. But, you never know, some of the people I work with have a really weird sense of humor.
9) Chaka Khan: Tell me something good! With Rufus or on her own, Chaka Khan has become sadly overlooked these days. I nearly gave her seat to Mary J. Blige, who deserves to fit in here somewhere. But instead my heart went to the veteran. Sales surely will now go through the roof or else the music industry will feel the WRATH OF KHAN! (That one was too easy.)
8) Macy Gray: Born Natalie Renee McIntyre, Gray has one of those voices that polarizes a room. You either hear a distinctive stylist or you hear someone who gargles with hot sauce. I'd like her to record more and be more active on the "scene," but we all must live our lives in accordance with our own dreams and desires. Mine includes plenty of sleeping. Why should I expect more from someone else? That wouldn't be fair.
7) Bette Midler: She called it for herself as the Divine Miss M. She knew she could be a major force to be reckoned with as long as she said it was so. And she stuck in there for years, even bothering to make movies so people wouldn't forget about her. I don't even know if I've heard her music. People have told me I have. Radio DJs have said her name and I assume they mean there's a connection there. Unless she's selling something else that I'm not aware of.
6) Whitney Houston: This woman makes every song sound like the national anthem. She approaches everything like it's the most important song ever. And sounding important is every bit as, well, important, as being important. That's why people get titles like "Executive Vice President Of International Sales" instead of "Dude Who Makes Too Many Long-Distance Phone Calls During Work Hours."
5) Cher: Who knows how "good" a singer she actually is? All I know is this woman can sure wear clothes! And sometimes they hardly qualify as clothes! That's how fanatical she is about her wardrobe. And she kept having hits long after people figured she would've gone away. And that's really key. Because most people make other people really tired. The people who need Ambien are those who live alone.
4) Christina Aguilera: She almost made my pop list, since I enjoy her as a radio pop star, but you know the inside line on Ms. Aguilera is how unlike so many of her contemporaries, she can actually sing! Imagine how exciting that must be for the studio engineers and record producers who work with her. It's like hiring an electrician and discovering after he leaves that your house now has actual electricity and the light switches all work! Such competence in this day and age? What next? A CD player that doesn't break after only four years? Crazy!
3) Mariah Carey: I wouldn't say I've related to Mariah Carey, but I do feel as if I know her type pretty well, having grown up around the same time and in the same metropolitan area. In some sixth degree of separation, I'm told I know someone who went to high school with her. She can sure hit a lot of notes. And she sure hits a lot of them often enough to suggest she likes them. And isn't that refreshing? A singer who likes a lot of notes? Who says it's all hate out there? Open up your heart and let those notes come shining through.
2) Celine Dion: The jokes pile up on this poor woman because she's Canadian and because she has that look that suggests she doesn't spend much time around real people. But I'm sure she's read about us and probably thinks it's "neat" how us little people live our lives.
1) Diana Ross: If anyone has ever defined the tough customer, it would seem to be this woman. She scares me. I wouldn't cross her. And whether it was with the Supremes, in which she enjoyed top billing, or on her own, Ms. Ross owned the stage and the dressing room. Are you going to tell her anything different?