This year’s VH1′s Divas will not only pay tribute to the talent of singers like Katy Perry, Sugarland, Keri Hilson, and Paramore, but also to the brave men and women who risk their lives our country.
This year’s “Divas” are taking some of the focus off themselves by singing for the military through a partnership with the USO, VH1 said in a press statement on Thursday.
This December, Perry, Sugarland, Hilson, and femcee Nicki Minaj will perform for thousands of troops at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego for the VH1 special Divas Salute The Troops. Paramore will visit Marines, soldiers, airmen, sailors, coastguardsmen and reservists at a military base in the Middle East, organizers say.
USO was launched in 1941 to build morale among troops. The program was instrumental in bringing some of the most iconic stars of all time — including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Marilyn Monroe — to the warfield. Today, those shows are still vital to boosting troop morale and VH1 is dedicated to working with the USO to continue this tradition in new and innovative ways.
“The USO is thrilled to be partnering with VH1 and honored to be a part of delivering such an uplifting event to our nation’s troops,” said Sloan Gibson, USO President. “The holidays are especially tough for our men and women in uniform and their families, and having the opportunity to touch so many troops stationed around the world at a time of year that matters most lets them know that America still cares about their welfare. There is no better time to celebrate our armed forces and support their efforts than now.”
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. “Strong woman, yes I am. Leader, yes I am. Innovative, creative, all those things, yes, I am that.”
Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland also chimed in with her excitement over being selected for this year’s Divas lineup.
“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.”
Since its premiere on VH1 in 1998, a host of entertainers have been honored as part of the annual Divas Special — they 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 Troops premieres Dec. 5 on VH1. The special will be broadcast internationally by The Armed Forces Network.