Divas Descend On BMA Rehearsals

It was an evening of divas last night (Dec. 7) at rehearsals for the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, which air live tonight on Fox. Diana Ross and Mary J. Blige were on hand to rehearse their seg

It was an evening of divas last night (Dec. 7) at rehearsals for the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, which air live tonight on Fox. Diana Ross and Mary J. Blige were on hand to rehearse their segments of a tribute to Stevie Wonder, while Gwen Stefani ran through a medley of two tracks from her newly released solo debut album.

Ably backed by the 12-piece Rickey Minor Band, Ross entered to the strains of Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" before taking the mic for a brief portion of "I Just Called To Say I Love You." The showstopper was her run through "For Once in My Life," which found the legendary vocalist with a big smile on her face as she sauntered to the front of the stage.

Decked out in jeans, a fur wrap and knee-high white leather boots, Blige was up next to rehearse Wonder's "As," from his 1976 album "Songs in the Key of Life." The artist is gearing up to return to the studio to work on a new album, expected to be out in summer 2005 via Geffen.

Stefani closed out the rehearsal day after midnight, amid a set featuring topiaries, a chandelier and four giant purple toadstools. Although a relative newcomer to solo performances, the No Doubt frontwoman was in full command of the stage as she rehearsed her single "What You Waiting For?," with a snippet of "Rich Girl" sandwiched in between.

Earlier in the day, Stefani received the news that "What You Waiting For?" had been nominated for a best female pop performance Grammy. In addition, No Doubt's hit cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life" earned a nod for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal.