Diva is the Latin word for a goddess. It has often been used to refer to a celebrated woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera, theatre, cinema, fashion and popular music. If referring to an actress, the meaning of diva is closely related to that of prima donna. Diva can also refer to a woman, especially one in show business, with a reputation for being temperamental or demanding.
The word entered the English language in the late 19th century. It is derived from the Italian noun diva, a female deity. The plural of the word in English is “divas”; in Italian, dive [ˈdiːve]. The basic sense of the term is goddess, the feminine of the Latin word divus (Italian divo), someone deified after death, or Latin deus, a god.
The male form divo exists in Italian and is usually reserved for the most prominent leading tenors, like Enrico Caruso and Beniamino Gigli. The Italian term divismo describes the star-making system in the film industry. In contemporary Italian, diva and divo simply denote much-admired celebrities, especially film actresses and actors, and can be translated as “(film) star”. The Italian actress Lyda Borelli is considered the first cinematic diva, following her breakthrough role in Love Everlasting (1913).
Woman are often referred to as a “diva” if they are “difficult, temperamental and demanding”. Welsh National Opera note that the title emerged in the early 19th century after an increase of female leading sopranos who became “almost became goddess-like in the eyes of their adoring public”. They also note that the word has been used by the media to name many female politicians and entertainers rather than “just ambitious and assertive like their male counterparts”. (wikipedia)
And here´s a low budget compilation:
Ok, then let us celebrate all these divas … my favourite singers were Bette Midler, Nina Simone, Maria Muldaur, Aretha Franklin and of course Alannah Myles
01. Bette Midler: The Rose (McBroom) 3.44
02. Dionne Warwick: Walk On By (Bacharach/David) 2.59
03. Rose Royce: Love Don’t Live Here Anymore (Gregory) 3.57
04. Nina Simone: Papa Can You Hear Me (A.Bergman/M.Bergman/Legrand) 4.24
05. Linda Ronstadt: Blue Bayou (Orbison/Melson) 3.54
06. Mary Coughlan: I’d Rather Go Blind (Foste/Jordan) 4.22
07. Maria Muldaur: Midnight At The Oasis (Nichtern/Muldaur) 3.54
08. Rickie Lee Jones: Chuck E’s In Love (Jones) 3.35
09. Emmylou Harris: Sweet Dreams (Gibson) 3.10
10. Judy Collins: Both Sides Now (Mitchell) 3.18
11. Aretha Franklin: Respect (Redding) 2.26
12. Candi Staton: Young Hearts Run Free (Crawford) 4.12
13. Sarah Vaughan: Get Back (Lennon/McCartney) 2.59
14. Donna Lewis: I Love You Always Forever (Lewis) 4.02
15. Alannah Myles: Black Velvet 4.48