After saluting the troops in 2010, "VH1 Divas" come back this year by having "Celebrates Soul" as a theme to honor to big cities where soul music originated and ultimately flourished. Each of the performers will pay homage to the places like Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia.
Texan-born Kelly Clarkson, New Yorker Mary J. Blige and Chicago singer Jennifer Hudson have officially been tapped as musical guests for the gig which will air December 19. They will be joined by Philadelphia native Jill Scott, as well as London acts Florence and the Machine and Jessie J.
They will do the tribute at Hammerstein Ballroom not only through their own soul-inspired songs, but also some of the greatest classics that have shaped a genre. Their performances will be accompanied by The Roots, who serve as the house band. Their member ?uestlove will pull a double duty as a musical director.
"This years' telecast will showcase the vast impact soul music has had on the 21st century's music and pop culture landscape as our talented and diverse lineup will attest," said Lee Rolontz, EVP, Original Music Production & Development, VH1 and VH1 Classic. "This year's Divas offers a modern twist on soul music, all while tipping its hat to the legacy of key cities that created this musical heritage."
This annual music event was first revived in 2009 after being absent from the small screen for about five years. On its first year of return from the hiatus, both Kelly and J-Hud performed along with fellow artists Leona Lewis, Adele, Miley Cyrus and Jordin Sparks.
Now that the two "American Idol" alumni are set to make their return as the "Divas", they couldn't contain their excitement. Kelly tweeted, "Super stoked to announce that I am performing at #VH1DIVAS!!" J-Hud, meanwhile, wrote, "vh1 divas should be a lot of fun! Can't wait."