The VH1 premiere of the “VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul” music event on Monday, December 19 averaged a .8 rating among 18-49 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. The telecast, which aired from 9-11 PM ET/PT, attracted 1.3 million total viewers and doubled the average rating from last year’s edition of the beloved “VH1 Divas”franchise. The event also drove substantial social buzz and chatter, generating more than 40 separate trending topics on Twitter throughout the night; including #VH1Divas, which ranked as the evening’s top trend. In addition, several of the performers, including Florence + The Machine and Jessie J, experienced significant sales spikes on iTunes following their performances.
Thanks to the premiere of “VH1 Divas” and a new episode of VH1’s hit series “Love and Hip Hop” VH1 ranked as the #1 non-sports cable network in primetime among women 18-49.
This year “VH1 Divas” paid tribute to the great cities of soul music including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia. The all-star diva roster included Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Florence + The Machine, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J. and Jill Scott, accompanied by one of the most exciting groups of modern soul, The Roots, with Questlove and Adam Blackstone as musical directors.
In addition to the Divas, the evening included an incredible line-up of performers including Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Boyz II Men, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius, Travie McCoy, Mavis Staples, Wanda Jackson, Martha Reeves and Ledisi. Presenters were Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard, Nas, Common, Sherri Shepherd, La La Anthony, and Archie Panjabi.
“VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul” spawned unprecedented social chatter last night, generating more than 40 separate trending topics. #VH1Divas ranked as the #1 Twitter Topic for the entire evening; while also producing trending topics tied to performers, songs and presenters. Trending topics included Kelly Clarkson, Florence + The Machine, Jessie J, Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan and Dolly Parton, Amy Winehouse and London Soul. In addition, VH1’s second screen coviewing experience, CoStar, which drove engagement across all platforms, including web, mobile and social, saw a 70% increase in day-over-day downloads.
Several of the night’s performers experienced significant sales increases on the iTunes singles and album charts. Florence + The Machine’s album Ceremonials saw a 61% day-over-day sales increase, while the band’s single Shake It Out jumped 49%. Jessie J’s album Who You Are surged 69% day-over-day and her single Domino experienced a 44% increase.
As in previous years, this edition of “VH1 Divas” benefits the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of music education in a child’s life. VH1 Save The Music Foundation auctioned special “Divas” ticket packages before the show on leading charity auction site charitybuzz.com, including the opportunity to watch the sound check, walk the red carpet and more. Proceeds from these exclusive packages benefit the Foundation’s mission to equip students with the tools to lead, innovate and create in the 21st century. For more information, please visit www.vh1savethemusic.org.
Premiering on VH1 in 1998, “Divas” became synonymous with some of the most memorable, live, female vocal performances in television history. The show quickly became a highly anticipated annual phenomenon, generating speculation among music fans and industry executives on who would be part of that year’s telecast. Last year, the “Divas” saluted the armed forces with “The USO Presents: ‘VH1 Divas Salute the Troops” with Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Sugarland, Keri Hilson, Paramore and Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. Previous featured performers over the years included Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Cher, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Chaka Khan, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis, Jordin Sparks and numerous others have graced the “VH1 Divas” stage.