'Divas' Returning to VH1

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VH1 is bringing back its "Divas" franchise for the first time since 2005, the music network announced on Monday (April 20). The performance special - which in past years has showcased Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross - will air live on September 17 from the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Howard Gilman Opera House in New York.

In an effort to diversify the "Divas" lineup for its 2009 revival, VH1 has asked the public to offer its opinion on which top female talent should headline the show and perform an onstage duet. Fans can visit divas.vh1.com to cast their choices via the comments section. Over 2,000 comments have been posted since Monday morning.

"Now more than ever, the time feels right to re-launch this beloved show as a new generation of talented female artists has come to the forefront of music," Lee Rolontz, Executive Vice President of Music Production for VH1, said in a statement. "We've heard our viewers, and we promise to deliver a live show that will generate the same 'Divas' excitement as in the past -- while also infusing some new twists along the way." A representative for VH1 indicated that the network will look to feature younger "Divas" in the vein of Lily Allen and Adele.

"VH1 Divas" first premiered in 1998 and aired for seven consecutive years. The 2009 show will be executive produced by Rolontz along with Rick Krim and Patrizia DiMaria.