Diva Database: Sheryl Lee Ralph

24th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards

Sheryl Lee Ralph originated the role of Deena Jones in “Dreamgirls,” so you could say she went diva on Broadway. She won a Tony Award nomination for the role, which makes her a bit of an expert on diva. In fact, she wrote a book about it, “Redfining Diva.” Ralph writes: “A diva loves the women she sees in the mirror; a diva knows her own talent and strength; and a diva knows the first step on the road to fame is respecting herself.” When she isn’t delivering diva mantras, Ralph is playing a mama to one, first to Brandi in “Moesha” and then Lauryn Hill in “Sister Act 2.” She’s currently playing Jennifer Hudson’s mama on “Smash.”