For those avid viewers who are lamenting the end of “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”’ or the demise of the “Basketball Wives,” there is no need to fret. TV One has gone one better in the reality television craze and created a higher end reality show “R&B Divas,” featuring real celebrities — not the wives of, the exes of, or the mistresses of athletes, actors and recording artists.
TV One introduced the show’s stars in an extravagant premier event in Atlanta on Aug. 9. Fortunately these fabulous five — Faith Evans, KeKe Wyatt, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson and Nicci Gilbert — are real celebrities in their own right, each with their own real life tales of drama — not the soap opera type or the kind that requires fighting your cast mates to make you appear infinitely more interesting. “These ladies have known each other in the industry for quite a while. We aren’t creating relationships for the sake of a television show, so their actions, relationships and emotions are authentic and true to life, and it makes for a powerful narrative,” explained the show’s producer Toni Judkins.
And when the divas took the stage at Ventanna’s in Atlanta for the TV One premiere, their throngs of adoring fans clamored to get close, and most could not contain their excitement and their approval for the show. One-by-one Monifah Carter, Nicci Gilbert and Keke Wyatt broke into to tears at the overwhelming outpouring of love and support, while Faith Evans and Syleena Johnson held back the watershed, fanning their faces to maintain their composure.
“R&B Divas,” filmed primarily in Atlanta, with scenes in Washington DC, New York and New Orleans, premieres Aug. 20 at 10:00 p.m. (EST) on TV One. The show centers around the singers balancing friendships, family and business; old and new relationships, the tragic loss of a music icon and their coming together to produce a charity album inspired by the late Whitney Houston. Fans cheered when Faith Evans, announced that the album’s proceeds would benefit the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange, NJ.
“R&B Diva’s” offers a personal glimpse into the private worlds of these women, as they lean on each other and offer candid revelations about their efforts to deal with major life transitions and challenges such as divorce, death, parenting issues, drugs, alcohol, physical abuse and more.
The best part about this reality show though, truly lies in the fact that these women have been — and it looks like will continue to be — friends long after the lights have dimmed and the camera’s have stopped rolling. At least we really hope so. –roz edward