Dueling Divas: How the Feuds Began and Where They Stand Today

The music industry is one competitive pool of… nay, it’s one competitive fish tank. Or, better put, shark tank. For that reason, if a newcomer arrives and threatens to eat up all the resources, the OGs in the tank immediately try and take them out. In the world of pop music divas, this can become extremely dangerous.

Keri Hilson, Beyoncé / Taylor Swift, Katy Perry / Mariah Carey, Tommy Mottola, Jennifer Lopez / Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera.
Source: Getty Images

From Mariah Carey’s ridiculous comment, “I don’t know her,” (referring to none other than Jennifer Lopez), to Katy Perry’s diss song, “Swish Swish,” talking about a particular someone whose last name begins with Swi…

Here’s a list of divas who weren’t afraid to bring out their claws.

Michelle Williams vs. Keyshia Cole

How it all began: At Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl, Keyshia Cole seemed to be having a blast, that is until Michelle Williams showed up as a special guest and ruined it for her. After the performance, Cole tweeted:

Michelle performs on stage / Keyshia Cole attends an event.
Photo by Chris Graythen, Getty Images / Leon Bennett, WireImage, Getty Images

“Michelle sang and woke my a** up from my daze! She always fu*king the groove up!” Understandably, right after the tweet went viral, Keyshia Cole received a pile of hate mail from Destiny’s Child’s die-hard fans.

Where It Stands Today

During a recent radio interview, Michelle Williams addressed her beef with Keyshia Cole, saying that she wasn’t holding any grudges. “It’s all good,” she reported. “People make mistakes. I don’t hold that against nobody. I wish everybody the best. I want everybody to win!”

Michelle Williams is on the set of “Good Morning America.”
Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images

Cole, on her end, has since apologized to Williams for her hurtful tweet and the two singers have started following each other on Twitter again. Thankfully, they left it all behind and made room for a peaceful reconciliation. Way to set an example, ladies!

Dawn Richards vs. Danity Kane

How it all began: In every group of girls, there’s always that one group member who seems to be getting some special treatment. She’s more sought after, more hyped. She’s pushed to the front of the line and takes center stage. While the others… the others wait patiently behind.

Dawn Richards performs on stage / A portrait of Danity Kane.
Photo by Gabe Ginsberg, Getty Images / Johnny Nunez, WireImage, Getty Images

The all-girl group, Danity Kane was no exception to that unfortunate rule. Comprised of five members, Dawn Richard, Aundrea Fimbres, D. Woods, Shannon Bex, and Aubrey O’Day, the band began to crumble after Dawn hinted that she was planning on going solo.

Where It Stands Today

Suspicions over Dawn’s solo dreams caused tension between the group members, and in particular, between Aubrey O’Day and D. Woods. Ultimately, all the girls in the group, with the exception of Dawn, were fired from the studio (Bad Boy) by P. Diddy himself.

Dawn Richard attends an event.
Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage/Getty Images

In 2014, O’Day, Bex, and Richard reunited briefly, only to part ways again after a physical brawl took place between O’Day and Richard. In 2018, they reunited once again.

“We have been through a journey of a lot of ups and downs,” O’Day told E! News. “But on any journey, ya’ know, it requires the people involved to not be willing to let go of each other and that’s what we’re on, so we’re super grateful to be back in each other’s lives.”

Mariah Carey vs. Jennifer Lopez

How it all began: Apparently, Mariah Carey’s ex-husband Tommy Mottola gave Jennifer Lopez a few songs that were meant for Mariah. Shortly after rumors of the incident began to spread, Mariah fired at Lopez.

Mariah Carey attends an event / A picture of Tommy Mottola and Jennifer Lopez.
Photo by Michael Loccisano, FilmMagic, Getty Images / Jeff Kravitz, FilmMagic, Getty Images

When asked about the singer during an interview, Mariah commented, “I don’t know her,” with a disappointed shake of the head. Ouch. This sealed the deal that their beef was real and that Mariah really did feel betrayed by her husband’s gesture and by Lopez’s agreement to go ahead with it.

Where It Stands Today

Jennifer Lopez finally addressed the rumors of her feud with Mariah when she sat down for a talk with Mariah Carey’s (now former) husband, Nick Cannon. The singer stated confidently, “I’ve always been a big fan of hers. It’s all love from me.”

A picture of Jennifer Lopez on a radio show.
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

As for Mariah, she downplayed the feud by claiming that when she said she didn’t know Jennifer Lopez, she wasn’t trying to be mean. It was a genuine remark. She told The Cut, “I really wasn’t trying to be funny… I was just being honest and everybody’s kind of blowing it out of proportion.”

Brandy vs. Monica

How it all began: In 2012, while doing a radio interview for the follow-up single to the classic 1998 hit “The Boy Is Mine,” Monica accidentally let out the dirty laundry on her beef with Brandy. She spilled the beans on how she had once argued with Brandy backstage at an MTV award show.

A dated image of Monica and Brandy at the Grammys.
Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/Getty Images

However, there’s no doubt that their feud was blown way out of proportion. Monica once said of their past tensions that it was mainly “brilliant marketing.” In 2020, the two R&B singers faced off in a Verzuz battle, and their battle shattered records, with 1.2 million views.

Where It Stands Today

Both artists kept it cordial during their Verzuz battle. Later, Monica stated, “I wanted to speak to you face to face, [but] the more we were talked about, the more it came to be difficult, unnecessarily. And I really am a straight shooter and I really do admire what you’ve done musically and what you’ve had to endure personally.”

A portrait of Monica during an event.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

In return, Brandy commented that “I have the utmost love and respect for you as well, for somebody to start at 12 years old… The longevity of your career, nobody [knows] what you’ve been through.”

Tamar Braxton vs. K. Michelle

How it all began: This petty feud seemed to have been sparked because of a piece of hair. Yes, hair. Rumor has is that Tamar Braxton got angry with K. Michelle for wearing a similar type of wig on 106 & Park. Michelle responded in anger.

Tamar Braxton performs on stage / K. Michelle speaks on stage.
Photo by Prince Williams, Wireimage, Getty Images / Johnny Louis, Getty Images

The R&B star tweeted some nasty remarks on her account, calling Tamar Braxton a muppet face, and accusing her of buying her songs. Ouch. Things started to snowball from there, and fans really didn’t know where it all would end.

Where It Stands Today

After Braxton rambled on Power 105’s The Breakfast Club (yet again), and shaded K. Michelle’s album sales, K. Michelle asked for Tamar to leave her alone once and for all. She tweeted: “I bought the album 2 support her. There’s enough room for everybody. Just shut up and sing!”

Tamar Braxton performs on stage.
Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

In 2020, Braxton released another statement regarding the beef, saying that she chooses to engage in positive action in order to shed the regular stereotypical behavior that is attributed to Black women on TV which – according to Braxton is “messy and problematic.”

Keri Hilson vs. Beyoncé

How it all began: In 2009, Keri Hilson reportedly dissed Queen B. Unfortunately, for Hilson, it seems like her musical career has been on life support ever since. The artist was a total newbie when she decided to talk about Beyoncé in public.

Keri Hilson poses for the media / Beyoncé performs on stage.
Photo by John Parra, WireImage, Getty Images / Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images

She recorded a diss track, a “Turnin Me Off” remix, with hurtful lyrics. Take, for example, this line: “She can sing but need to move it to the left (to the left)/You need to go have some babies/She needs to sit down, she fading.”

Where It Stands Today

Beyoncé never replied to Hilson’s diss track. Instead, she took the higher road and ignored it altogether (she also knew her fans would do the work for her). Her loyal fans attacked poor Hilson for her words, and the verbal abuse went on for years.

An image of Beyoncé on stage.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Finally, Keri Hilson had a full-on breakdown on her Twitter account, where she asked for forgiveness. During a heart-to-heart talk with radio host Persia Nicole, Hilson said:

“I feel like she understood what happened, what had transpired and there was a bit of healing in that moment when we met. I take her as a very intuitive kind of soul, as am I,” Keri explained.

Kelly Price vs. R&B Divas Cast

How it all began: While reality TV can be embarrassingly scripted at times (who are we kidding – most of the time), it can also expose some ugly truths. The show R&B Divas L.A. really shed a light for fans of the R&B singer Kelly Price.

A still of Price speaking to the camera.
Source: YouTube

On TV, Price was pegged as the impossibly difficult diva who was too hard to handle. At one point, she whipped out a tube of Vaseline and prepared to fight, saying she was on edge and ready to defend herself because all the other ladies were against her.

Security Was Needed

The R&B Divas cast spoke up about their castmate’s behavior. One singer, Lil Mo, shared her thoughts on Kelly, and revealed that: “Kelly would act so belligerent at times, they would hire security for some of the sets.”

Kelly Price attends an event / Lil Mo poses for the press.
Photo by Prince Williams, Wireimage, Getty Images / Kevin Mazur, Getty Images

“We just never knew which face she was going to bring in that day and act like and that’s real,” she added. So, where does this feud stand today? At the show’s reunion, Kelly Price hugged it out with each of the women in the cast, putting an end to their beef.

Patti LaBelle vs. Diana Ross

How it all began: Patti LaBelle and Diana Ross, two legendary divas, were at each other’s throats way before dissing one another on social media became trendy. About four decades ago, LaBelle cut off all ties with Diana. The reason?

A band portrait of The Supremes.
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Diana allegedly went behind her back and persuaded Cindy Birdsong to ditch her girl group The Bluebelles in favor of The Supremes. “I never came to grips with saying anything to Diana, because I think I would’ve beat the hell out of her. So, instead of me beating her physically, I beat her verbally. Whenever I got a chance, I would say, ‘I hate her,’” Patti reported back in 2005.

Where It Stands Today

The exhausting beef between both divas ended when Oprah invited both of them to a luncheon. She sat the two at the same table together, and their reunion led to a promising reconciliation. To everyone’s delight, they hugged it out.

A picture of Patti LaBelle / A portrait of Diana Ross.
Photo by Raymond Hall, GC Images, Getty Images / Jason LaVeris, FilmMagic, Getty Images

“I swear to God, we’ve been talking for the last–since Oprah’s weekend. We’ve been girlfriends,” Patti proudly shared of their rekindled companionship. It’s good to know that even decade-long feuds can end in peace.

Rihanna vs. Ciara

How it all began: On an episode of E!’s Fashion Police, Ciara called out Rihanna for not being very nice to her at a party. In return, Rihanna fired back. Instead of offering her an apology, RiRi came out swinging, and she wasn’t holding anything back.

A backstage photo of Ciara and Rihanna.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Offended by the remark, Rihanna started mocking Ciara, alluding that the singer was actually a man named Cedric. She also cynically wished her luck in booking a stage to perform on, claiming that Ciara was irrelevant and untalented.

Where It Stands Today

Ciara and Rihanna’s beef died down for a while but ignited once again after Rihanna mocked Ciara’s bathroom performance where she sang her new single “Body Party.” In response, Ciara tweeted: “Somebody please point her in the right direction, cuz clearly she needs love and affection.”

Rihanna attends an event / Ciara poses for the press.
Photo by Han Myung-Gu, WireImage, Getty Images / Taylor Hill, FilmMagic, Getty Images

In 2018, the girls reconciled (we think). That year, Rihanna performed karaoke and decided to sing to Ciara’s hit single “Goodies.” A few months later, Ciara posted a birthday tribute to Rihanna on Twitter, telling the singer to “keep soaring.”

Beyoncé & Kelly vs. Ex Destiny’s Child Members

How it all began: Destiny’s Child had one of the messiest breakups in the history of girl groups in music. Two of the surviving members, Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé, sat with VIBE to discuss the drama that had gone down. They revealed that some ugly tension had been brewing long before the girls became famous.

A dated picture of Destiny’s Child.
Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic/Getty Images

“They lost focus,” Beyoncé revealed. “They didn’t want to do interviews, rehearse, or take voice lessons. Anybody that met us could see that me and Kelly were one group, and they were another. It was obvious.”

Where It Stands Today

Beyoncé’s remarks didn’t sit well with ex-member Letoya Luckett, who rejected those claims by saying, “We weren’t lazy. When it was time to write, when it was time to sing, we were ready to go. I want to put someone on the stand with a Bible and have them say that we didn’t work.”

Beyoncé speaks on stage / A picture of Letoya Luckett.
Photo by Christopher Polk, Getty Images / Leon Bennett, Getty Images

As for where it stands today, all of the original Destiny’s Child members are now cool with one another. Beyoncé even thanked Letoya and LaTivia in her acceptance speech at the awards ceremony, saying that the girls had helped her accomplish her dreams.

Nicki Minaj vs. Mariah Carey

How it all began: The diva feud kicked off during an “American Idol” audition in Charlotte, North Carolina. Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, both new judges on the show, spiraled into a heated argument regarding one of the auditioners.

A photo of Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, and Nicki Minaj on stage.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Minaj, being the outspoken rapper she is, cursed Mariah Carey, a notoriously diva-like pop star. The other two judges, Randy Jackson, and Keith Urban, were caught in the middle, looking totally clueless and helpless.

Where It Stands Today

While some viewers assumed it would end right there in that single episode of American Idol, rumors of the tension between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj persisted even after the audition process moved along.

A portrait of Mariah Carey / A picture of Nicki Minaj.
Photo by FOX Image Collection/Getty Images

Nicki is known for her impulsive outbursts and harsh words. Having both divas on one set was a tricky business to start with. Shortly after the episode aired, it was reported that Carey hired extra security to protect her from Nicki’s violent behavior.

Christina Aguilera vs. Britney Spears

How it all began: A feud between these two ’90s\early ’00s pop icons should come as no surprise. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera have been pitted against each other ever since their early days as kids on The Mickey Mouse Club.

A picture of Britney and Christina on stage.
Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images

The rivalry between the two blonde-haired artists persisted as they both climbed the stairwell of success with their catchy, bubble gum pop tunes that dominated the media during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Where It Stands Today

It’s safe to say that today, there’s no bad blood between the two. Both found success with their songs, and their success didn’t overrule the other one’s stardom. There was enough room in the business for both of them.

Christina Aguilera attends an event / Britney poses for the press.
Photo by Shy McGrath, WireImage, Getty Images / Paul Archuleta, FilmMagic, Getty Images

Christina and Britney both branched out to other areas in the industry, including serving as judges on similar music reality shows. So, while they’re still in the same business doing similar work, there’s no bad blood whatsoever between the two.

Tyra Banks vs. Naomi Campbell

How it all began: We know, we know. Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell are supermodels, not singers. But they’re still iconic divas, and we believe they deserve a place on this list. Their feud lasted for a whopping 15 years. As two competing supermodels, they had some nasty run-ins.

Naomi Campbell speaks to the media / A picture of Tyra Banks.
Photo by Gregory Pace, FilmMagic, Getty Images / Jeff Kravitz, FilmMagic, Inc, Getty Images

Working in the same industry caused a bit of friction between them. Apparently, neither of them could take the pressure of finding more and more modeling jobs. They took their insecurities out on each other by talking trash and throwing shade.

Where It Stands Today

“As much as I was getting fashion shows,” Naomi Campbell once said, “people didn’t know that I would come home at night crying a lot because the woman I admired didn’t want me to be there and was doing everything in her power to make me go away.”

Naomi Campbell speaks on stage.
Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

However, in 2005, after 15 years of tension, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks hugged it out in a dramatic meet-up on television. Banks confronted Naomi on her talk show Tyra, and the two forgave each other for all the discomfort from before.

Lady Gaga vs. Madonna

How it all began: Madonna got caught up in a catfight with another Queen of Pop, Lady Gaga. After Gaga released her hit single, Born This Way, Madonna let everyone know she wasn’t digging it. She claimed to have a good reason for dissing the track.

Madonna speaks to Lady Gaga during an event.
Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

According to Madonna, Lady Gaga stole her music. She believes Born This Way is a total rip-off of her 1989 hit single Express Yourself. Ever since then, she’s been throwing shade at Lady Gaga every chance she gets.

Where It Stands Today

Madonna denies ever feuding with Lady Gaga. She admitted that she was simply upset because she felt like her song was stolen. “The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs,” she shared, “It’s got nothing to do with ‘she’s taking my crown’ or ‘she’s in some space of mine.’”

Madonna attends an event / Lady Gaga poses for the press.
Photo by Jason Merritt, Getty Images / Stefania D’Alessandro, WireImage, Getty Images

“She has her thing,” Madonna continued. “I do think she’s a very talented singer and songwriter. It was just that one issue.” So, by the looks of it, these two divas aren’t actually enemies. They were never enemies to begin with.

Nicki Minaj vs. Lil Kim

How it all began: This isn’t Nicki’s first time riding the diva-feud rodeo. When she jiggled her way onto the scene several years ago, she gladly took the throne Lil’ Kim had left empty. Informed of this newcomer, Lil’ Kim prepared for war.

Nicki Minaj performs on stage / A picture of Lil Kim.
Photo by Chris McKay, Getty Images / Prince Williams, Wireimage, Getty Images

Feuding with Nicki Minaj seemed like a great way to make a comeback. She quickly released a Black Friday mixtape where she dissed Nicki Minaj. Later, she tweeted that her shady record made her the “#1 seller on PayPal.” In response, Minaj graciously replied, “Bwaahhhhahha!”

Where It Stands Today

The latest news about these dueling divas is that the two of them would love to participate in a Verzuz battle. Lil’ Kim was asked on the red carpet at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater during a livestream if she would battle on the show, to which she instantly said, “yes.”

Lil Kim attends an event.
Photo by Liliane Lathan/Getty Images

Then, things got juicy. When Lil’ Kim was asked if there was anyone, in particular, she would like to battle, she answered “Nicki.” The interviewer’s face brightened up, and they responded that they would love to see that battle, to which Kim replied, “yes, me too.”

Whitney Houston vs. Mariah Carey

’80s icon Whitney Houston was one of the hottest names in the industry at the time. She made over $20 million in sales and landed seven consecutive number one hit singles with her first two records. However, the ’90s proved to be a different decade.

An image of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston on stage.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

As she struggled to make it in the new decade, her journey was made even harder by the arrival of a young star with a hauntingly beautiful voice – Mariah Carey. Rumors began to spread that Whitney wasn’t too happy with this up and rising star.

How It Ended

As it turns out, Houston, who is no longer with us, never really had anything against Mariah Carey. In fact, to prove how well they got along, the two divas decided to collaborate on the duet, When You Believe.

Mariah Carey speaks at the microphone.
Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

In 1998, Mariah Carey shared, “When I came out people had comments. That had a lot to do with producers Whitney had worked with. When you’re a young girl, you don’t have control, and you’re being marketed as the New Little Diva…We never had any issues between us. The media and everybody made it an issue.”

Aretha Franklin vs. Tina Turner (With Some Help From Beyoncé)

How it all began: Basically, a small remark Beyoncé made got her into trouble and caused a rift between Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner. At the 2008 Grammys, Beyoncé referred to Turner as “the queen.” Oh, dear…

Beyonce and Tina Turner perform on stage.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Beyoncé’s comment didn’t sit well with the “actual” queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, who shot back at Beyoncé’s remarks, saying they were “a cheap shot for controversy.” Tina Turner then responded by saying, “She’s the queen of soul, and I’m the queen of rock ‘n’ roll.”

How It Ended

According to Tina Turner, “There were so many kings and queens there that night. Her [Aretha] ego must be so big to think she was the only one.” Stunned by Tina’s response, Aretha replied angrily, “I never figured her to resort to tacky press just to sell a few tickets. I really had put her in a different class— higher than that.”

A picture of Aretha performing on stage / A portrait of Tina.
Photo by Rick Diamond, Getty Images / David M. Benett, Dave Benett, Getty Images

Beyoncé’s sneaky plan to divide succeeded.

Aretha Franklin passed away in 2018, and unfortunately, we’re not really sure whether the two even hugged it out. That unfortunate night at the Grammys could have turned out differently if only the two of them would have put their egos aside!

Barbra Streisand vs. Diana Ross

How it all began: Both Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross have been known for their similar style and huge fur coats. In fact, when Diana Ross first started out, Barbra was her idol. “Diana’s always measured herself against Barbra Streisand,” said singer Marvin Gaye.

Barbra Streisand poses dressed in fur / A picture of Diana Ross wearing a fur coat.
Photo by Silver Screen Collection, Getty Images / Central Press, Getty Images

After the Supremes released their album in 1967, Streisand reportedly stated, “I just don’t like the idea of her singing my songs and with my musical arranger. Who the hell does she think she is? The world doesn’t need another Streisand!”

Where It Stands Today

Not much is known about this specific diva feud, other than that Barbra was angry with Diana for reportedly “ripping off” her style, music-wise and other. But the years have made both women calmer and wiser, and the two now know that there is, and always was, room for both of them to thrive.

Barbra Streisand attends an event.
Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images

Interestingly, the two have reportedly never met in person. Rumors of an alleged duet surfaced sporadically over the years, but nothing ended up happening. We have to admit, there’s a little part of us still hoping it might happen.

Katy Perry vs. Taylor Swift

How it all began: For several years, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry were all smiles and hugs for the cameras. No one assumed there was anything fishy going on between the two. Until 2013, when a dancer, Lockhart Brownlie, who worked with Katy spilled the beans about working with her and Taylor.

A picture of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus on stage.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

According to Lockhart, he got a job dancing with Taylor first but ditched it to join Katy on her tour, because he had already worked with her before and loved it. “We weren’t really dancing in Taylor’s tour anyway, so I had gotten a little bored and left,” he revealed.

Bad Blood

In the fall of 2014, Taylor Swift appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone. In the interview, she elaborated on the meaning of her new song Bad Blood, saying that it was about another artist:

Taylor Swift waves her hand at the press.
Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage/Getty Images

“For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not. She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, ‘Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?’ … [Then] she did something so horrible. I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’”

What Actually Happened?

According to Taylor, “She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me.” Hmmm… sounds like someone stole some dancers. A while later, Katy Perry was asked whether her new album would include a response to Bad Blood.

Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj speak onstage.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

“Everything has a reaction or a consequence, so don’t forget about that,” she hinted. Ten days after the interview, Katy Perry released her single “Swish Swish” featuring Nicki Minaj. The lyrics included sentences like, “Don’t you come for me.”

Where It Stands Today

While Katy insists that the song is simply an anti-bullying anthem, everyone knows she’s singing about Taylor. So, where does this dueling diva match stand today? Katy Perry ended up surprising everyone by saying she was ready to let it go and apologize to Swift.

Katy Perry and Taylor Swift embrace during an event.
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

“I forgive her, and I’m sorry for anything I ever did, and I hope the same from her,” she said. “I think it’s actually like, I think it’s time. There are bigger fish to fry and there are real problems in the world. You know what I’m saying?”