(The Root) — TV One’s R&B Divas won’t exactly make you cringe as do some other reality shows do, but it probably will be as addictive.
Starring Faith Evans, Brownstone’s Nicci Gilbert, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson and KeKe Wyatt, Divas chronicles the personal and professional lives of these R&B singers who at one time were at the top of the game. Now they’re mothers who are trying to re-establish their careers.
The show, which was introduced by TV One on Tuesday at the annual Television Critics Association press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, premieres Aug. 20 at 10 p.m. ET. According to Gilbert, Divas has very little in common with those dueling housewives or combative basketball wives.
“R&B Divas is a story or a show about real friendships, real career women, mothers, wives — positive women who are not perfect, but we absolutely are about growing and becoming better,” Gilbert said. “There will be none of that [bickering].”
Ironically, all five women performed at Kelly Price’s pre-Grammy event on Feb. 9. It was the last time Whitney Houston sang in public before her death. One of the reasons they all got together was to record an album in which part of the proceeds will benefit Houston’s academy. And on Tuesday they were all reunited at the hotel in which she died.
“This was something that I talked to her about before her untimely passing,” Evans said. “We honor her, but we also do something that will benefit kids — many of whom don’t have access to the arts in school anymore.”
Evans and Gilbert share more of their thoughts on Houston and the show in the video below.
Miki Turner is an award-winning photojournalist in Los Angeles.