I used to call artists like Nikka Costa, Res, Sunshine Anderson, India.Arie, and Pru "anti-divas." It was the kind of compact, catchy term that could spice up a daily-story lead, headline, or nut graf, without much fuss or need for explanation. But that was way back when you could milk the "she's different from Whitney and Janet" angle without getting called on it. Now, more than a few people would raise an eyebrow at the notion that Kina, Macy, Jill, et al., occupy some XFL version of the r&b universe—not to mention any attempt to define them by their ability not to be Mary J. or Beyoncé. By now, they're... More >>>