Philly's own diva, Patti LaBelle has said that she no longer identifies with the word "diva" because the word is thrown around too loosely, nowadays. Basically, she says that the modern "divas" aren't fit to be categorized with the word, so she's looking to shed her diva image. In order to accomplish this, LaBelle called the modern pop stars "little heifers." Because calling other singers cows is exactly how you should act if you don't want people to call you a diva.
For you, what does it mean to be a diva?
That word is used so loosely that I don't even consider myself a diva. I always considered myself a woman who sings her heart out and who gives 120 percent. "Diva" is a word that I wouldn't wanna call myself because it's so loosely used. It's not cute anymore.
Is there a negative connotation to it now?
Yeah, because all these little heifers who can't sing are called divas! It doesn't mean anything to me and probably to some of the other ladies who have been doing it for as long as I have: Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick. You know, I'm speaking for me - I don't know if they like to be called divas - but I know I wouldn't call them divas, because it's not in good company.
But it used to be a respectable term at some point.
Well, for opera singers, and for ladies who earned it, but that was way, way back when. Now you can look up to them, but you might not see what you wanna see. A hot mess! People who are doing it and doing it with about 40 people on stage with them to hide their pitifulness - that's not a word, but you know what I mean.