Since our upcoming concert is all about “divas”, the choir have been talking about who THEIR favourite diva is. You might be surprised by some of the answers (and not so much by others!)
My favourite Diva song is I’m No Angel sung by one of the great divas, Mae West. One of the most controversial and iconic women of the early 20th century, she wrote her own Broadway plays as well as the screenplays to her films. Her play The Drag (1928) was one of the first plays to feature gay men in a positive light and, of course, got banned. She is still best known for her cheeky double-entendres. “When I’m good, I’m very good. But when I’m bad I’m better”. “When I have to choose between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.”
Philip Rescorla, Pinkie 1987 – present
My favourite Diva is Shirley Bassey because she knows how to belt out a ballad and sparkle in her sequinned gowns. Even her body language screams: I’m magnificent…turn away if you dare! And she once shared a spliff with my mother back in the early sixties…super cool.
Simon Harrison, Pinkie 2008 – present
The person who springs to my mind is Freddie Mercury. He knew exactly what he wanted and he went out and got it. Plus he wasn’t afraid to slip into a sexy black miniskirt and pink top for the video of I Want To Break Free. And what an incredible voice!
Ali Milton-Doyle, Pinkie 2014 – present
Barbra Streisand…Watching her with my first girlfriend in A Star is Born singing Black Black widow… with the Oreos, tssss zap ooocha koo choo. First time i really understood how vocal parts jigsawed together. Plus the immortal answer to “Ms Streisand, how do you hold your notes so long?” reply: “Because I want to”. Diva.
Philip Engleheart, Pinkie 2015 – present
My favourite diva is Pink! I really love big pop songs and she does them so well. She also really advocates for the LGBT+ community – her music videos feature same sex couples, she talks openly about not conforming to gender norms, and speaks up about equality and the importance of being true to yourself. Wait! Can I have two? I cant mention divas without talking about…
Lady Gaga! I think she is the true definition of a diva. She makes such a statement with whatever she does, and is not scared of what other people think of her. She is also an amazing musician and has written some of the best pop songs of the last 20 years…if not ever. She is also a really prominent LGBT+ rights advocate. She is openly bisexual and speaks out about bi-erasure and the importance of being inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities; her Born This Way Foundation does really important work with LGBT+ youth groups; her infamous meat dress was in fact in protest of the US Armed Forces’ “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which prevented members being openly gay whilst serving in the military…I could go on. A true legend – and absolute diva!
Kirsten Pulley, Pinkie 2012 – present
One of my favourite divas, though it’s hard to choose one, is Keith Flint from The Prodigy. Keith was renowned for donning heavy eyeliner, spiky hair, gurning and leaping around on the stage like a possessed wild child. I fondly remember getting into dance music when Firestarter was released and me and my friend going bananas, dancing just like him. He really was unique; even though he wasn’t heavily involved in making the music he was the person who made The Prodigy shoot to stardom. Sadly Keith passed away this year, but he’ll always be remembered for his vivacious energy. RIP Keith.
Charly Milton-Doyle, Pinkie 2012 – present
Who’s your favourite diva? You might find that they feature in our show next Saturday 15th June, at Cadogan Hall. Get your tickets now before they sell out!
Timeline datestamp: 4 June 2019