A diva is a female opera singer, but now the term also refers to a popular female performer of non-operatic works. The term was originally used to describe a woman of rare, outstanding talent. The term derives from an ancient Italian word meaning "goddess", which, in turn derives from the feminine form of a Latin word divus, meaning "divine one".
Time Magazine observed in its October 21, 2002 issue: "By definition, a diva is was originally used for great female opera singers, almost always sopranos. Often today "diva" is used to describe any extremely independent and wildly talented woman. Naturally the term still applies to the classical arts.
As with the earlier "prima donna", which was also derived from opera (lit. "first lady"), the term has slipped from its trade origins and come to be used in any theatrical or performance setting. In particular, because of marketing efforts, the word "diva" has come to be applied most often to popular female performers, including opera divas, pop divas, dance divas and ballet divas. In order to qualify as a diva there must be one, or both, of two dominant traits present: a broad and expansive voice and/or a thoroughly captivating and commanding presence.
There are many women who are or have been considered divas. They include:
Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Aaliyah, Anastacia, Whoopi Goldberg, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Sarah Brightman, Mariah Carey, Belinda Carlisle, Cher, Natalie Cole, Deborah Cox, Céline Dion, Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Kathy Griffin, Deborah Harry, Billie Holiday, Gloria Estefan, Lena Horne, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Lopez, Patti LuPone, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Kylie Minogue, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Dalida, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams, TAFKA Ally
Some divas have been given special titles as they are the top of their style/genre. Examples include Tina Turner, who is The Queen of Rock and Aretha Franklin, dubbed the Queen of Soul. Donna Summer is the Queen of Disco, Gloria Estefan is the Queen of Latin Pop, Madonna is the Queen of Pop, Britney Spears is the Princess of Pop, Whoopi Goldberg is the Queen of Comedy, Regine Velasquez is the asia's songbird also known as queen of pop.
Sometimes males can be given the title of "Diva" (or as some prefer, "Divo"). Elton John, Tom Jones, Sting, Justin Timberlake, Andrea Bocelli, and Enrique Iglesiashave been "crowned" with this title.