NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Being a diva is different than it used to be.
Katy Perry, Sugarland, Keri Hilson, Nicki Minaj and Paramore are this year’s “VH1 Divas” but they’ll be taking some of the focus off themselves, singing for the military through a partnership with the USO.
Perry, Sugarland, Hilson and Minaj will perform for thousands of men and women in uniform at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. Paramore will visit Marines, soldiers, airmen, sailors, coast guardsmen and reservists at a military base in the Middle East. Hilson called it an incredible opportunity.
“I get to be among so many other influential women, groundbreaking women, strong, powerful, confident women, not only on that day but just to be a part of the legacy of ‘VH1 Divas,’” she said.
Hilson said she embraces the positive characteristics of being a diva.
“Strong woman, yes I am. Leader, yes I am. Innovative, creative, all those things, yes, I am that,” said Hilson.
Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland has a similar definition for the modern day diva.
“All of these women definitely have a larger than life persona, be it on stage or who they are or what they wear,” she said. “I think there’s something to be said for celebrating that.”
Hilson and Nettles love the idea of supporting the troops through the show. Hilson’s dad served in the U.S. Army before she was born and Nettles has a brother in the U.S. Air Force.
Sugarland is the only country act on the bill and Nettles is excited to show people “that country music is hip and young and fun and accessible.”
“It’s not necessarily about lifestyle, it’s about having fun and being human,” she said.
To make her “Divas” performance memorable, Nettles jokes that she’s “hoping to get to wear the Cher outfit,” from the infamous 1989 music video aboard a battleship for If I Could Turn Back Time. Cher, a previous “VH1 Divas” performer, wore a barely-there V-shaped swimsuit with a fishnet body stocking during the video, which was taped with a large group of sailors.
Other past entertainers on “VH1 Divas” include Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston and Beyonce.
VH1 Divas Salute The Troop premieres Dec. 5 on VH1. It will be broadcast internationally by the Armed Forces Network.
Photo: Keri Hilson