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VH1 Divas descend on Brooklyn for live show

Lights, camera, action — Divas!

It was a night of stars, music and fashion when VH1 filmed its Divas concert on September 17 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House.

The show started early — on the street, actually, when police officers closed several intersections to allow the Divas’ limos to glide right up to the red carpet. In the background, ticket-holding revelers waited impatiently under BAM’s twinkling lights.

As for that red carpet, it was placed in the middle of the street and enclosed by a white tent. Yep, that’s Brooklyn for ya.

Fans were lined up on the corner of St. Felix Street and Lafayette Avenue to get a glimpse of singer Toni Braxton, D-list comedian Kathy Griffin, “True Blood” actor Ryan Kwanten and the fabulous Liza Minnelli.

Once inside BAM, the audience’s screams continued as the stars took their seats. Thanks to clever lighting, including streams of spotlights and a stage that changed from blue to green and back, the ornate opera house looked lovely and ready to party.

The Divas concert aired live, which meant that any on-stage fiasco would be available for public consumption. But luckily for the celebs in attendance, the audience was largely filled with music and television industry staffers who were on their best behavior — except for a few “I love you Paula” lines screamed at the show’s host.

She may have performed her opening song and dance number à la Britney Spears (that’s lip-synching), but pint-sized Paula Abdul delighted the audience by channeling more of her 80s star power and less of her “American Idol” craziness.

Last week’s show marked the return of the Divas concert after a five-year absence. Unlike previous shows, the BAM concert crowned young stars, such as 16-year-old Miley Cyrus, divas. Seemingly to appease folks who think of Aretha, ?Whitney and Patti as true Divas, VH1 brought in veteran powerhouses like Cyndi Lauper, Sheryl Crow and even Stevie Wonder to duet with the young Divas.

Most of the pairings were incredible, for instance, “Chasing Pavements” singer Adele was delightful — and dancing — with India Arie, and Leona Lewis dazzled on “True Colors” with Lauper.

When Wonder sat behind a piano for an emotional version of “All in Love is Fair” with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, the audience offered a rousing standing ovation.

Kelly Clarkson, the original “American Idol,” unleashed her inner rock star with Melissa Etheridge for the concert’s grand finale, “Bring Me Some Water.”

Cyrus, the not-so-squeaky-clean star of the Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana,” seemed to be the crowd favorite. She received cheers from teen girls — and catcalls from 30-something men who clearly forgot that the miniskirt-clad starlet is underage. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, shall we?

In spite of her obvious popularity, Cyrus’ vocals were subpar. Her raspy voice turned so abrasive when attempting Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” that it sounded like nails on a chalkboard.

Little Miley wasn’t the only Diva overpowered by her elder. “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks couldn’t hold a candle to country star Martina McBride’s pipes on “A Broken Wing.”

At the close of the two-hour concert, attendees strutted in their stilettos down the block to One Hanson Place for what they believed would be a star-studded after-party. The bash was held on the ground level of the former Williamsburg Savings Bank building which has been transformed into a “high-end” event venue.

To the dismay of revelers, Abdul was the only star to show.

It seems these young singers are true divas after all.

Watch performances from the Divas concert at www.vh1.com.

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