Next week’s “VH1 Divas Live” tribute to Aretha Franklin will not be an exclusively femme-centric affair.
Kid Rock, three-fifths of the Backstreet Boys — A.J. Mclean, Howie Dorough and Kevin Richardson — and Marc Anthony will appear alongside Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Celia Cruz (known to many as the Aretha Franklin of salsa) and rookies Nelly Furtado and Jill Scott to salute Lady Soul at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on April 10, according to VH1.
In what will surely go down as one of the more lopsided duets in music history, Kid Rock will sing with fellow Detroit native Franklin. Anthony also will sing with the guest of honor, although it has not been determined which songs either pair will perform. Blige, Cruz and Furtado will perform as well.
The Backstreet Boys, who were fixtures of VH1’s counter-“Divas” program “Men Strike Back” last spring, and Janet Jackson will each introduce performers.
Other presenters include film stars Sigourney Weaver and Renee Zellweger, television stars Angie Harmon and Pamela Anderson, and longtime screen smoothie Billy Dee Williams. A quartet of actresses from HBO’s “The Sopranos,” Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Drea de Matteo and Aida Turturro will present as well.
Additional performers and presenters will be announced in the coming week. The tribute to Franklin is the fourth “VH1 Divas Live”; the first, in 1998, prominently featured Franklin.
(MTV’s parent company, Viacom, also owns VH1)