Oh my god, I LOVE a good diva moment. A story that is so petty and absurd that you can’t believe it’s real. I love my divas like they should be: with little grasp on reality. It really makes you feel like a normal, well-adjusted human when you hear these kind of stories. Who cares if you don’t have an eight-figure net worth? At least you’ve never abandoned a pet monkey in Germany or asked your employees to carry you because you’re tired. That can be defined as success, right?
When it comes to pop divas, I enjoy the whole package. I applaud their talent and work ethic, but would I love Mariah Carey as much if she didn’t have that DGAF attitude? Probably not. This is entertainment, and I am here to be entertained.
1. Mariah Carey – “I don’t know her”
Mariah could host her very own list of diva moments. (And she does, just not here and not now.) Her most iconic, however, was just one sentence made up of four words: “I don’t know her.” While being interviewed for a German television show in the early 2000s, Mariah was asked about her relationship with Jennifer Lopez. If you do enough digging – and by “enough,” I mean click on one article – you’ll find that Mariah isn’t too fond of Jenny from the Block. Instead of giving her thoughts on J.Lo, Mariah’s “I don’t know her” told us all we needed to know. Since then, the phrase has been given a life of its own and deserves a place in history books.
2. Britney Spears – “Men can suck my toe”
Britney is one of the pop divas that really doesn’t have that many diva moments. Sure, she’s been through her fair share of negative and unfair press (looking at you, all of 2007), but when it comes down to it, she really doesn’t have a history of being mean, petty or demanding. That’s why her comment during one of her Las Vegas performances in 2015 is so good. In between songs, Britney stopped to make some comments to the audience. “Look at how beautiful the girls are,” she said. “Men, frankly, can suck my f***ing toe.” And that’s when I pledged my allegiance to Britney for as long as I live.
3. Ariana Grande – Being carried like a baby
In her short career so far, Ariana Grande has already proven herself to be on par with the most legendary divas, both in terms of talent and out-of-this-world behavior. There was a hot second where Ariana licking a doughnut was the one to end up on this list, until I was reminded about the Ariana Grande baby conspiracy of 2014. On multiple occasions, Ariana has been photographed being carried like a baby by one of her bodyguards. And one time, Joe Jonas. Her rep called the story “ridiculous and laughable,” clearly ignoring all the evidence.
4. Whitney – Clapping back about her weight
Whitney Houston’s entire 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer could take up five pages on this list. Her “crack is whack” comment will live on in pop-culture lexicon for eternity. A comment Diane made about her weight in this interview is, in my opinion, just as salty as her response to the crack question. The interview opens focusing on Whitney’s weight. Whitney said it’s her body type and that she is naturally thin. “Let’s get that straight,” she said. “Whitney is not going to be fat, ever.” Diane continues to pry, accusing her of anorexia, bulimia and drug use. Thirty minutes later, they’re back on the weight topic, Diane continuing to pry. At this point, it’s obvious Whitney’s fed up with these questions, so she tilts her head, looks directly into the camera and gives us one of the best diva moments to date.
5. Mariah Carey – New Year’s Eve
Lately, “hot mess” has been a key descriptor for Mariah Carey, which I think is severely unfair. Mariah is a true diva and a true diva doesn’t owe anyone anything. When she was scheduled to perform during New Year’s Eve, the production wasn’t to her standards, so she shut it down. She stopped singing, claiming there wasn’t a sound check for the song, which was No. 1 single, “Emotions.” Throughout the song, she was not having any of it, clearly pissed off at production, throwing her diva shade all over the place. “I want a holiday, too. Can I not have one? I’m trying to be a good sport here,” she said while the backup track played.
6. Lady Gaga – Madonna hypocrisy
Lady Gaga and Madonna’s feelings about each other have been well known for years. The gist of it is that Lady Gaga’s music, imagery and public persona have been constantly compared to Madonna’s, and Madonna is the number one critic of it all. It came to a head when Gaga released “Born This Way,” which sounds scarily similar to Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” Madonna spoke out and Gaga clapped back. This was six years ago. The feud received more attention in Gaga’s Netflix documentary, where she touched on Madonna slamming her in the press. She doesn’t like that Madonna went to the press to talk shit, despite Gaga doing the same thing in front of her documentary crew.
7. Taylor Swift – Reputation & Sue-Crazy
We are in the middle of Taylor Swift’s most diva era to date. After a year of playing it lowkey, Taylor got 3,000 percent extra and released a song about killing off the old Taylor and charged fans $60 for a dumb snake ring just so they might have a chance at getting tickets to her show. Several songs on the new album, Reputation have direct disses to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Meanwhile, she was recently outed for being a bit over-the-top when it comes to suing magazines that write negative press about her.
8. Madonna – Mariah insults
Madonna is one of the biggest divas in the world — rivaled only by one Mariah Carey — so it’s not too shocking that they would’ve come head-to-head at some point. A little competition is healthy, right? In 1995, Mariah Carey was a good five years into her pop career, while Madonna had been reigning pop queen for more than a decade. Both were a constant fixture on the pop charts at the time, which apparently fueled their distaste for each other. In one interview, Madonna called Mariah “not particularly bright” and said she would “rather kill [herself] than be Mariah Carey.” Of course, Mariah took the shade level up a notch and said: “I really haven’t paid attention to Madonna since like, seventh or eighth grade, when she used to be popular.”
9. Christina Aguilera – taking a swing at Pink
Between Pink and Christina Aguilera, there’s one diva that’s more likely to engage in a fistfight than the other. Pink’s whole image has been built on her tough-gal personality and rough-around-the-edges style. So, naturally, you’d think Pink would be the one to initiate this fight. Nope. Recently, Pink admitted that during their “Lady Marmalade” days, Christina threw a punch at her. The punch was the culmination of the two pop stars butting heads at the beginning of their careers. Christina wanted to take Pink’s verse in “Lady Marmalade,” and Pink put up a fight. I guess the only good way to solve pop music arguments is with a physical altercation in a Hollywood club.
10. Nicki Minaj – “Miley, what’s good?”
If it weren’t for Nicki Minaj, nobody would remember Miley Cyrus hosting the MTV Video Music Awards in 2015. A few days before the awards show, Miley had done an interview with The New York Times where she criticized Nicki’s statements about not being nominated for video of the year. Miley said the statements were not nice, fueling the angry-black-woman stereotype that happens when black women call out injustice. Nicki, who read the interview, got back at Miley when she accepted her award for best hip-hop video. She ended her speech by saying “And now, back to this b*tch who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press. Miley, what’s good?” It should also be noted that Miley was also wearing dreads at the time.
11. Katy Perry – Taylor Swift subtweets
Out of all the divas, I’d have to say Katy Perry is my least favorite. Her tone-deaf appropriation and then her sudden “wokeness” is my personal nails down a chalkboard. There was a time I loved listening to “Dark Horse,” but then she released that horrible video and it was all over. But I must give credit where credit is due. When Taylor Swift dragged their personal lives into the spotlight, Katy played coy, not directly addressing the feud, but still telling us everything we needed to know. While her tweets maybe, sort of, OK yes, absolutely needed an editor, they were the perfect subtweet responses to a woman profiting off tearing other women down.
12. Cher – Response to Madonna’s birthday
Oh, look who’s back. It’s Madonna! This time, she’s the recipient of one of the greatest diva insults of all time. If there’s one thing to know about Cher, it’s that you don’t come for her on Twitter. She uses the social media platform so well, it feels almost like robbery that we get this much entertainment for free. Her emoji, random capitalization, caps-lock use and sly comebacks are worth at least a $100-per-year membership. On Madonna’s birthday, a Twitter user asked Cher what she was doing for the pop star’s birthday. Cher’s perfect answer? She got a colonic.
13. Justin Bieber – Buying a monkey and abandoning it
Who says women are the only ones with diva moments? There were a good couple years where Justin Bieber was Hollywood’s Joffrey, creating mischief wherever he went. He was arrested, caught egging his neighbor’s house and consistently showed bratty behavior wherever he went. Perhaps the most obnoxious of all his behavior is when he purchased a pet monkey and abandoned the animal in Germany. He decided to bring his pet on his international tour with him, without fully understanding the legalities of bringing animals to other countries. His solution? Leave the monkey for the German authorities to handle.
14. Diana Ross – Blasting Patti LaBelle on Arsenio
Diana Ross’ relationship with Patti LaBelle is well known. And by “relationship,” we mean that these two do not like each other one bit. When you’re dealing with big egos and millions of dollars, it’s bound to happen, but not in the absurd way these two went at it on separate talk show visits. During her appearance on Aresenio, Diana got to talking about Patti. Host Arsenio Hall mentioned that when he saw Patti, her eyelash was falling off. To which Diana responded, “She probably ate it.” The sheer absurdity of that comment and the hilarity of it is why it’s on this list. Patti got her chance to get back at Diana, however, when she appeared on Arsenio’s show, too, and had to make a comment about not eating eyelashes???!
15. Kanye West – Ending a show after 15 minutes
If any man can call himself a diva, it’s Kanye West. He’s got the confidence of Cher, the give-no-shits attitude like Mariah and controversy like Madonna. His diva moments range far and wide, but perhaps the biggest moment is during a 2016 concert, which he abruptly ended after only 15 minutes. Fans were upset and the concert cut short only added fuel to Kanye critics’ fire. Shortly after, it was announced that Kanye was struggling emotionally and physically, and was seeking professional help to get him back on track. A reminder that mental health can plague even the most successful and wealthy people.
16. Christina Aguilera – Throwing gum at fans
Most of the diva stories on this list are humorous. (OK, with the exception of Justin Bieber’s blatant animal abuse.) But this one is just really gross and disrespectful. Before an outdoor performance, Christina realized she still had gum in her mouth and needed to dispose of it. You could see the wheels turning in her head. “Should I place it on my stool?” “Should I put it on the ground next to me?” She was so close to doing the right thing, but she said “screw it” and tossed the wad into the crowd. Maybe a fan could sell it on eBay? I don’t know.
17. Rihanna – Ciara Twitter insults
Honestly, I don’t know exactly when these two started going at each other, or who started it, but every fiber of my being is team RiRi. It all started in 2011. By this time, Rihanna had become a worldwide superstar, with six studio albums under her belt. Ciara appeared on an episode of E!’s Fashion Police and Rihanna came up. Ciara told the show’s hosts and all its viewers exactly what she thought about Rihanna. She mentioned that she ran into Rihanna, who “wasn’t the nicest” at an event. The comment got back to Rihanna, who blasted Ciara on Twitter, saying “My bad Ci, did I forget to tip you?” Harsh, but fair.
18. Beyoncé – Telling her assistant to stop touching her
You don’t block Beyoncé’s shot. That’s what an assistant learned in 2015 when they attempted to adjust Beyonce‘s dress. The singer was attending the TIDAL X: 10/20 event and showed up on the red carpet in a form-fitting maroon dress with a plunging neckline. The assistant, trying to make sure everything was in place, was swatted at by Queen Bey and told “stop it.” The interaction happened right in front of cameras, so naturally, it was the next day’s headline.
BONUS: Taylor Swift MAYBE being carried from her apartment to her car in a giant suitcase
We may never know the answer to this one. Rumor has it that during her year away from the press, Taylor Swift tucked herself into a giant suitcase to avoid being seen on the way from her apartment to her car. Is this believable? Probably not. Do I believe it? Yes, absolutely. Because like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. Taylor is 3,000% extra in every other part of her life, so I am determined to live in a world where she hides away in giant suitcases to avoid being seen by the public.