Divas may not be known for playing well with others, but there’s one thing on which they can all agree: Whitney Houston was their queen. And at last night’s VH1 Divas concert, the grand dame of divadom got a fitting tribute from a trio of young upstarts. Of course, none of those ladies sounded quite as wonderful as Whitney in her prime — but the number was moving and groove-worthy all the same.
After an introduction courtesy of Brandy — who played the title character to Houston’s Fairy Godmother in 1997’s Cinderella — American Idol winner Jordin Sparks kicked things off with “I’m Every Woman.” As colored lights glinted on a giant, crystal-encrusted “WHITNEY” sign, the song bled into Grammy-winner Melanie Fiona’s joyous take on “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” which she sang while leading a crowd of dancers through a psyched-looking audience. Once she reached the stage, Fiona switched gears for a few verses of “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” — paving the way for the jazzy soul singer Ledisi, who couldn’t quite hit all of “How Will I Know”‘s punishing high notes.
Still, watching this is a great way to kick off your Monday — and it’s also getting me excited for next year’s Grammys, which will no doubt feature another tribute to Houston. (Jennifer Hudson’s emotional performance of “I Will Always Love You,” sung just one day after Houston’s death, was visceral and poignant, but you just know the show will go all out in 2013.) Just cross your fingers that there’s no hologram involved.