Trevor Nelson's Divas

Episodes

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2021052220210521 (R2)Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.
01/05/20212021042420210423 (R2)
20210430 (R2)
Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.
Beyonce9 - The Diva Who Doesn't Behave Like A Diva20210327Trevor has literally watched Beyoncé grow up, from Destiny's Child to being half the ultimate power couple with Jay-Z. For her it's all about the performance and she always gives 100% - polite, generous and fun - she never behaved like a Diva except when she performed and now when she uses mystery as a promotional tool, rather than giving interviews. Global superstar Beyoncé also uses her influence on important issues, like her friends the Obamas, for example galvanising people in America to vote.

Trevor celebrates Beyoncé Knowles and you'll hear them together at the Notting Hill Carnival, where her father agreed that Destiny's Child would cancel a gig in Philadelphia to play for free on Trevor's stage, plus her bringing Crazy In Love to the studio for the first time and Trevor introducing Beyoncé on stage and chatting at a Television Centre concert where she imitates his accent in an affectionate way and laughs about playing a car park.

Trevor has watched Beyonc\u00e9 grow up from Destiny's Child to being the ultimate power couple

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.

James Brown - Without Him No Hip Hop!2021041020210409 (R2)
20210416 (R2)
'First there was Beethoven, then there was Bach and then there was Brown' - that's what James Brown - Mr Brown to Trevor - said before they started an interview in a hotel, just a few days before he also recorded an exclusive concert for the BBC.

James Brown has the most monikers in music - Soul Brother Number One, the Godfather of Soul, the Hardest Working Man In Showbiz - but would he live up to his status as both Diva and Hero for Trevor. He was charming, after throwing the first question straight back with a wise and witty quip, but Trevor had the feeling that he could turn at any moment and the results would not have been pretty.

Key tracks, his childhood in poverty, stage tricks, theatrics, his first visits to british television studios and the fact that he was the most sampled (and least financially compensated) artist on the planet all come up in their fascinating and thrilling conversation.

He was of course a huge figure - even at the age of 70 - sharp, sassy, cocky, complicated and provocative all at once. James Brown simply didn't care what people thought of his politics, behaviour and horrendous private life, but, without him, no Hip Hop and no great stage performances from the likes of Prince and Michael Jackson. One hundred percent true Diva.

James Brown has the most monickers in music and he's one hundred percent Diva good and bad

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.

First there was Beethoven, then there was Bach and then there was Brown - that's what James Brown - Mr Brown to Trevor - said before they started an interview in a hotel, just a few days before he also recorded a special intimate concert for Trevor and the BBC.

Kanye - The Diva Who Puts On A Million Dollar Show On And Off Stage2021052220210521 (R2)Trevor is captivated with interviews he has conducted with the saviour of Hip Hop - who kept the genre on top of the agenda and was never afraid to be different with each release. Trevor finds Kanye insightful on fashion and race and highly intelligent when they discuss his life, politics and music, but equally expectant and demanding at times, especially during public appearances.

Trevor comments that Kanye was a game changer, working as a rapper and producer entirely on his own terms, quiet and introverted but also obsessed with recognition. Trevor interviews Kanye around all his masterpieces - The College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation - and with the latter Kanye is brave enough to playback the album for the first time in front of a live audience in the BBC Radio Theatre with Trevor - the biggest focus group he could find. His risks are admirable and always bring greater success during this period when his live shows were also legendary.

Kanye West was born in Chicago; his father was a Black Panther and civil rights activist and photojournalist and his mother was a professor and chair of the English department at the state university. Kanye started his career as a producer with incredible contributions to his label boss Jay Z's 2001 album The Blueprint.

He started his own solo career after a near fatal car crash which resulted in his jaw being shattered.

Kanye West is one of the world's best selling artists with 20 million albums and 140 million singles being purchased worldwide, even in the age of downloads and streams. All his nine albums have debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and he has won 3 Brit Awards and 22 Grammy awards.

Celebrating Kanye, the saviour of Hip Hop, a risk taker, game changer, rapper and producer

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.

Lauryn Hill - The Misunderstood Diva2021051520210514 (R2)The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is one of Trevor's favourite ever albums; in this episode he considers her complexity and brilliance as an artist over the years, both with the Fugees and as a solo performer.

As well as meeting The Fugees and presenting them with an award on stage, he interviewed Lauryn HIll before the album was released, after hearing a preview copy and then, post release, hosted a very special gig in Golders Green where she played with a full band.

Trevor admires the fact that Lauryn only behaves like a Diva in the way that important issues govern her decisions, while she works on her own terms and within her own timeframe. You'll hear Lauryn talking to Trevor at the height of her creative peak, going solo after rapping and singing with Wyclef and Pras and taking the Fugees to the top of the charts here and across the world, with challenging and unique material, during a golden era for Hip Hop.

Lauryn was born and raised in New Jersey and while still a teenager sang on Showtime At The Apollo and secured acting roles in an american daytime soap and in the movie Sister Act 2.

After the lack of success for The Fugees debut Blunted On Reality, they became stars two years later, with covers of Killing Me Softly and No Woman No Cry and the Obama's all time favourite song Ready Or Not, all featuring on the album The Score.

Lauryn then took the world by storm with her own solo record, surprisingly without any collaborations with or contributions from Wyclef Jean or Pras Michel; The Miseducation was recorded in Jamaica, sold more than nineteen million copies and made history as Lauryn Hill became the first woman to win five Grammy awards in one night.

Celebrating the sublime and only solo studio album to date from Trevor's favourite artist.

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.

Mariah Carey - It's All About The Voice For Someone Who Embodies The Word Diva20210403When Trevor just says ‘Mariah' you immediately know who he's talking about and you probably think Diva too… The stories are legendary… She likes to live the diva lifestyle with an entourage, planes standing by, puppy filled riders that would make anyone else blush… As Trevor finds out, she has a presence in both the smallest dressing room or the largest arena, with a five octave Diva vocal performance on stage and when she's upset, looks could kill…

BUT she really knows the business and the music scene – everyone wants to work with her and she has an incredible track record.
Above all Mariah and Trevor have a great relationship, as you'll hear, with intimate answers, revealing moments and riotous experiences, all taken from the BBC radio and TV interviews and meetings they've enjoyed over many years.

Mariah Carey is honest about all the rumours and the crazy press stories – she breaks all her own rules and lets Trevor talk to her back stage, just moments before going on stage and Trevor dances with her at one of the best after show parties in history. Trevor thinks he really annoyed her by keeping her waiting but then they made up on her private jet and he asks if she can drop him off in Hackney, on her way to her next gig in Moscow.

When Trevor just says \u2018Mariah' you immediately know who he's talking about.

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.

Mary J Blige - The Diva Who Got A Deal From A Shopping Mall Demo2021041920210430 (R2)Trevor celebrates the honest diva from the streets, whom he loves like a sister, over many years of interviews for BBC radio and TV.

He hears about her origins in Yonkers, the demo she made in a shopping mall and sent to Uptown Records, her relationships (which often overruled her artistic direction and decisions), her collaboration with Puffy and their falling out over Faith Evans.

He also experiences the spiritual connection she makes with fans at a concert and hears them saying that she sings about and understands exactly what they are going through.

Mary has created great material from turmoil. She may not have the confidence of Mariah, but is a worldly wise role model and a fighter, who rose from the ashes.

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.

P.diddy2021041220210423 (R2)Music mogul and entrepreneur P.Diddy studied the art of hustling from a young age and is now one of the most instrumental figures in the hip hop industry.
For Diddy being a diva is just a means to an end – it's all about the business, as his lyrics told us – ‘Don't worry if I write rhymes, I write checks'. He's always the loudest in the room and even his most ardent critics followed his business and marketing plans.

In this episode Trevor explores his encounters with Diddy over the years and relives some memories from his BBC documentary from 1999, when he followed Diddy around Harlem in New York for four days.

You'll hear about Diddy's personal struggles with Biggie's death, how his determination for success began at a young age whilst doing his paper round, how he tried to justify his ghetto fabulousness as escapism, and the many ways he influenced the hip hop industry from his image to his successful clothing brands and businesses.

Plus Trevor looks back at the day Diddy tipped him off about one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time, he also shares the details about the day they were stopped by the NYPD whilst driving around Harlem in Diddy's Bentley.

The diva who studied the art of hustling from a young age & hasn't stopped striving since!

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.

P.diddy2021041720210416 (R2)Music mogul and entrepreneur P.Diddy studied the art of hustling from a young age and is now one of the most instrumental figures in the hip hop industry.
For Diddy being a diva is just a means to an end – it's all about the business, as his lyrics told us – ‘Don't worry if I write rhymes, I write checks'. He's always the loudest in the room and even his most ardent critics followed his business and marketing plans.

In this episode Trevor explores his encounters with Diddy over the years and relives some memories from his BBC documentary from 1999, when he followed Diddy around Harlem in New York for four days.

You'll hear about Diddy's personal struggles with Biggie's death, how his determination for success began at a young age whilst doing his paper round, how he tried to justify his ghetto fabulousness as escapism, and the many ways he influenced the hip hop industry from his image to his successful clothing brands and businesses.

Plus Trevor looks back at the day Diddy tipped him off about one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time, he also shares the details about the day they were stopped by the NYPD whilst driving around Harlem in Diddy's Bentley.

The diva who studied the art of hustling from a young age & hasn't stopped striving since!

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.

Usher - The Diva With The Perfect Plan2021042620210507 (R2)Trevor celebrates Usher Terry Raymond IV - the Diva with southern politeness, an almost scientific analysis of his performances, a calm, clear head in interviews and an absolute career mission on his spreadsheet. He is the R'n'B star who took a huge gamble when his genre was losing his lustre - he married up soul and dance and kept his wide appeal.

You always get your money's worth at an Usher show and once he had appeared live or released a new video Trevor would see the influences on the dancefloors of the UK within days.

Usher began singing in the church choir at the age of 6 and had taken part on the Star Search talent show by 14. He has collaborated with Sean Puffy Coombs, D'Angelo, Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz, Boyz II Men, Alicia Keys, Jay Z, wili.i.am, Niki Minaj, Drake, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, David Guetta and Ludacris.

He was christened the Godson of Soul after performing with James Brown and Billboard named him the Hot 100 Artist of the 2000s, with his Confessions release ranked as the Top Solo Album of the same decade. He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide and won multiple Grammys, Soul Train, ASCAP and American Music Awards.

Usher - the polite R'n'B Diva with a calm, clear plan to stay at the top, while innovating

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.

Usher - The Diva With The Perfect Plan2021050120210430 (R2)
20210507 (R2)
Trevor celebrates Usher Terry Raymond IV - the Diva with southern politeness, an almost scientific analysis of his performances, a calm, clear head in interviews and an absolute career mission on his spreadsheet. He is the R'n'B star who took a huge gamble when his genre was losing his lustre - he married up soul and dance and kept his wide appeal.

You always get your money's worth at an Usher show and once he had appeared live or released a new video Trevor would see the influences on the dancefloors of the UK within days.

Usher began singing in the church choir at the age of 6 and had taken part on the Star Search talent show by 14. He has collaborated with Sean Puffy Coombs, D'Angelo, Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz, Boyz II Men, Alicia Keys, Jay Z, wili.i.am, Niki Minaj, Drake, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, David Guetta and Ludacris.

He was christened the Godson of Soul after performing with James Brown and Billboard named him the Hot 100 Artist of the 2000s, with his Confessions release ranked as the Top Solo Album of the same decade. He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide and won multiple Grammys, Soul Train, ASCAP and American Music Awards.

Usher - the polite R'n'B Diva with a calm, clear plan to stay at the top, while innovating

Trevor Nelson opens his interview archive to share the stories of our greatest divas.