The evening also featured a star-studded roster of guest performers, including Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, India.Arie, Cyndi Lauper, Martina McBride and Stevie Wonder, and presenters including Corbin Bleu, Toni Braxton, Lauren Conrad, Bethenny Frankel, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kathy Griffin, Keri Hilson, Hoda Kotb, Ryan Kwanten, NeNe Leakes, Liza Minnelli, Whitney Port, Sam Trammell, Kim Zolciak, and the cast of the MGM film "Fame" (Asher Book, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Kherington Payne, Naturi Naughton, and Walter Perez). Special musical guests for the show included The Rickey Minor Band as the "VH1 Divas" house band. The show was hosted by the legendary Paula Abdul.
Proving that she is still a musical diva in her own right, Paula Abdul jump-started the night with a rousing opening musical medley of her famous hits, bringing the returning franchise "VH1 Divas" back with a bang.
The high-energy continued as Jennifer Hudson took the stage, kicking off the first "Divas" performance with her chart-topping song "Spotlight."
The Diva of comedy, Kathy Griffin, next brought the laughs in her signature style, bantering with Paula Abdul onstage, leading Griffin to quip, "I promise not to make fun of you…until you leave the room!" She then introduced the inimitable Kelly Clarkson, who performed a sultry version of her hit "Already Gone."
Singer Keri Hilson and actor Corbin Bleu were up next introducing pop diva Jordin Sparks, who got the audience dancing on their feet while performing her single "S.O.S."
"Real Housewives" Bethenny Frankel, Kim Zolciak and NeNe Leakes then introduced diva Adele, who gave a haunting, powerhouse performance of her song "Hometown Glory."
"VH1 Divas" alum Toni Braxton introduced Leona Lewis into the divas club, who took the stage to sing "Happy." Leona was then joined onstage by the ultimate diva, the one and only Cyndi Lauper, who sang an unforgettable rendition of the song "True Colors" with her.
Next up was the cast of the upcoming movie "Fame" (Asher Book, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Kherington Payne, Naturi Naughton and Walter Perez) introducing Miley Cyrus, who kept the audience jamming on their feet with her infectious single "Party in the USA."
Legendary Liza Minnelli surprised audiences with her special guest appearance as she introduced Adele and R&B Soul songstress India.Arie. They took down the house in a duet of India.Arie's breakthrough hit "Video."
Television morning duo, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, were up next introducing the sensational pop/country collaboration between Jordin Sparks and Martina McBride, who sang "A Broken Wing."
The star-power continued as Jennifer Hudson and icon Stevie Wonder sang a spine-chilling, moving rendition of "All in Love is Fair."
Next up was "True Blood" stars Ryan Kwanten and Sam Trammell to introduce the rock/pop duet between Miley Cyrus and Sheryl Crow, who sang a re-imagined version of "If It Makes You Happy."
East coast met west coast onstage as former "The Hills" star Lauren Conrad and "The City" star Whitney Port jointly introduced the vocal pairing of Kelly Clarkson and rock goddess Melissa Etheridge, who sang "Bring Me Some Water."
This year's viewers were able to take part in the show and immerse themselves in all things Diva by logging on to Divas.VH1.com. Fans were encouraged to submit a "Diva Stories" text or video testimonial on how their favorite divas have influenced their lives, with select testimonials being featured online and on-air leading up to this year's live telecast. Divas.VH1.com also included live blogging coverage before and during the telecast. Users were also able to follow all show-related news by following the "VH1 Divas" twitter account at http://twitter.com/vh1divas.
Premiering on VH1 in 1998, "VH1 Divas" has become synonymous with some of the most memorable live female vocal performances in television history. Previous featured performers over the years include Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Cher, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Chaka Khan and many more.
"VH1 Divas" 2009 raised $250,000 for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in American public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education. Since VH1 Save The Music was created in 1997, more than $43 million worth of musical instruments have been donated to 1,600 public schools in 100 cities, improving the lives of more than 1.2 million children.