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Originally the word diva was used about very successful female opera singers. Today the term has widened and includes great names in the music industry of all genres, especially the pop genre. There is an air of arrogance over a true diva, it does not only have to do with her having a great singing voice, but also about the way she moves in media, her way of dressing, her way of conduct and her way of making - often - controversial statements. A true diva holds her head high and thrives in the spotligth. There are also some famous divas in the movie industry.
Among the original divas within the opera genre we include names like Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland and Kiri te Kanawa. These ladies had voices of unprecedented power and moved with grace and confidence over the stages. They were always glamourously dressed and worshipped by their audiences.
After the 1980's the term "diva" started being used also about pop singers, but like their predecessors they had to have certain "divine" qualities like:
Among our famous pop divas are names like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Cher, Celine Dion and modern day's Beyoncé.
Diva is also a popular term in the LGTB community and disco queens like Madonna and Diana Ross are often referred to as the ultimate divas - goddesses.
By now I am sure you know which great actresses in film and TV can be categorized as divas, because the diva status has more to do with the bahaviour and image of a true star, than it has to do with her artistic abilities. Big diva names in Hollywood are Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins and Sophia Loren.