TV One's 'R&B Divas' finds inspiration in Whitney Houston

Over lunch, the girls, minus Wyatt who was tied up elsewhere at the hotel, giggle and gossip like sisters -- Evans points out that there are friendships among the cast that go back years -- but talk gets serious when it comes to current portrayals of black women in entertainment-based reality shows. They want their show to burst those stereotypes.

“I couldn’t get clothes [for on-camera appearances] because some of the companies didn’t want to lend. They didn’t want their name associated with an all-black female cast,” Carter said. “People don’t understand the trickle-down because of the perception that we are all kicking and jumping across the table and fighting each other when that is absolutely not the norm.”

“But it is a blessing that TV One is a network that positively shows our culture and tries to teach and shine a light on things that aren't really put out in the mainstream,” Evans added. “They aren't about train-wreck TV.”

The show is filmed primarily in Atlanta, where the ladies live, but they also travel to Washington, D.C., New York and New Orleans, where they perform a tribute to fallen R&B voices including Vesta Williams, Etta JamesDonna Summer, Nick Ashford and Houston. The series is produced for TV One by Thinkfactory Media.

“We wanted to do something that hadn't been seen before in this genre.  And what we really responded to is these women -- you know these women, but you don't know these women,” said Adam Reed, executive producer of Thinkfactory Media.  “We didn't want to do another 'Housewives.'  These ladies were doing this charity album for Whitney whether the cameras were there or not. So the stars really aligned.” 

Evans hopes to release the disc, titled "Faith Evans, R&B Divas: Music Inspired by the TV Show," by end of September, before the Grammy cut-off.

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