A new generation of divas fuelled by social media
Rihanna and Nicki Minaj latest to join the prima donna ranks
If nice guys finish last, then divas definitely finish first, at least in today’s celebrity culture that rewards spoiled and entitled behaviour.
The 24/7 Twitterverse has created an insatiable appetite for star drama and it seems to be pushing some celebrities off the diva deep-end, egged on by the instant attention and the guaranteed hashtag.
It certainly seems to be the case for Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, both generating heaps of free publicity for their new albums this week thanks to some highly publicized tantrums.
When Riri lambasted her band on Monday night over a sound problem during the London stop of her 777 tour, the profanity-laced tirade became the must-see video of the week, and just so happened to go down the same day her new “Unapologetic” album was released. (The singer also managed to squeeze in a plug for mentor Jay-Z’s website when she directed an apology to fans streaming live on lifeandtimes.com.)
Rihanna’s habitual lateness and refusal to mingle with fans and the press on her 777 plane also ensured there was never a shortage of sensational headlines about her diva-like behaviour, which only served to remind everyone to download her new album. And it seems to have worked; the 24-year-old just scored her 12th number one single on the Billboard 100 with “Diamonds,” tying her in the record books with Madonna and The Supremes.
Nicky-Nick scored herself plenty of free press for her new album too when she refused to enter the release party in NYC on Wednesday night, angry her boyfriend wasn’t allowed to bring his 30-person entourage inside the venue.
This comes just days after the Starships singer snubbed frequent collaborator Drake at the AMAs after beating him in two categories, turning her back to her label-mate as she went to collect her awards and leaving the Toronto rapper looking more than a little awkward over the public diss.
The more celebrities act like spoiled children, the more attention and money we seem to throw at them, and then the cycle repeats itself.
Just look at the interest in the upcoming American Idol season which pits veteran diva Mariah Carey against diva-in-training Minaj. Execs certainly didn’t agree to Mimi’s record $18 million contract because of her extensive Grammy collection; they knew her reputation as a drama queen would lure viewers and loose-cannon Minaj would only add to the fireworks. And as expected, auditions had barely begun in September when a video of the pair’s epic confrontation threatened to bring down the Internet.
When Britney Spears started her $15 million X Factor gig she seemed to spend more time storming off set than she did in the judge’s chair – much-buzzed-about behaviour that surely made viewers even more curious to see how the oft-troubled starlet could possibly cope during the live shows.
If any publicity is good publicity, then it’s especially true now in a world where social media never sleeps and you’re only as good as your last Twitter war (which Minaj, Riri and Mimi are also well versed in.)
Divas may be taking over the entertainment industry, but they don’t do so well in the real world, a fact the next generation may learn the hard way if they’re hoping to emulate their idols.