Redefining Diva

Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl

About The Book

Secrets about love, life, and Hollywood from the Tony Award-winning actress from the Broadway production of Dreamgirls —in the role recently made famous by Beyonce—timed to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the original Broadway show.

Sheryl Lee Ralph was the original Deena Jones in Broadway’s production of Dreamgirls and the show was a Broadway sensation from its inception. Now, the star of film, television, and Broadway, known for her talent and fearlessness, shows readers how to find—and own—their inner divas.

Sheryl rose to international fame after her performance in Dreamgirls, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress and going on to star in movies with Denzel Washington and Robert DeNiro and capture America’s heart as television’s favorite mom Die in the #1-rated series Moesha . But it wasn’t an easy task. From her legendary catfight with Diana Ross to her controversial exit from Moesha, Sheryl Lee Ralph is a woman who does not fade in the background—and she reveals how and why she has remained in the spotlight for decades.

Sheryl is a hip, modern Miss Manners who inspires women with her wit, strength, and call-it-like-it-is courage. Using her own experiences as a guide—and dishing the truth behind all the rumors—Sheryl reveals her rules for living. This is Divahood A-Z—from the practical to the spiritual, featuring advice on everything from relationships to fashion to success in the business world. So, the next time someone calls you a diva, you’ll just smile and say “Thank you!”

About The Author

Photograph © Reggie Anderson

Original DREAMGIRL, Sheryl Lee Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage.
Her award winning body of work includes creating and originating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in the landmark musical Dreamgirls, which earned her both a Tony and Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress.

On television, Sheryl Lee has starred in It's a Living, her own series New Attitude, the George Foreman series George and in the hit comedy Designing Women. She was also voted one of TV's Favorite Moms for her portrayal of step mom Dee on the number-one rated television series Moesha.

Her extensive film credits include Sister Act II with Whoopi Goldberg, The Flintstones with Rosie O'Donell, The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, Mistress with Robert De Niro, and Eddie Murphy's Distinguished Gentleman. Sheryl Lee's performance with Danny Glover in To Sleep with Anger won her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Mother of two, Sheryl Lee Ralph loves every moment of raising her children. Recently married to State Senator Vincent Hughes of Pennsylvania in what Entertainment Tonight called, "The most elegant and romantic wedding of the summer!" she acknowledges that love is the greatest gift to be given and shared.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing (March 13, 2012)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451608816

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

"In Ralph's sharp account of the stage performance [Dreamgirls], she reveals intimate views of Nell Carter, Quincy Jones, Jennifer Holliday, and especially Michael Bennett, the show's director and choreographer . . . She offers stories about Diana Ross, adding new drama to the Dreamgirls saga . . . Ralph's involvement in children's charities, politics, and her own Diva Foundation, which promotes AIDS awareness, portrays a deeply compassionate woman. Readers will welcome her honesty." -- Publishers Weekly

"A highly enthusiastic memoir by one of the original Broadway Dreamgirls . . . Ralph presents an engrossing story of a woman who challenged Hollywood and its limited roles for black women." -- Kirkus

"Every chapter of Sheryl Lee Ralph's new book, Redefining Diva brilliantly interweaves her captivating life story in Hollywood and projects in humanitarianism with inspirational messages to all women to be fearless, to embrace sisterhood, and to have courage to go for their dreams. The Dreamgirl's tome is so well-written, honest and heart-warming that I savored every word, knowing that every woman will find it a comfort and an inspiration." -- Dr. Judy Kuriansky, internationally noted clinical psychologist, United Nations NGO representative, author and TV and radio commentator

"Sheryl Lee Ralph is a true D.I.V.A. She uses her powers for good, not evil. This book is truly an inspiration to all who read."--Wendy Williams

"Sheryl Lee Ralph's Redefining Diva is delightful, insightful, humorous and delicious in every sense of the word. A must read for every person looking to be divinely inspired."--Fitness and motivational icon Richard Simmons

"Sheryl Lee Ralph is the epitome of a TRUE DIVA -- she is Divine -- she is Inspired and Inspiring -- she is Victorious in all she does -- and she is Anointed -- all of which comes to light in her extraordinary new book. I am proud to call her Friend!"--Grammy winning diva Patti Austin

"Sheryl Lee Ralph has written a book that should be read by everybody! A real page turner to live and learn by."--Deidre Hall, soap opera diva and icon

"Everyone should read Miss Ralph's book. She is an excellent role model for young people and her continuing fight against AIDS makes her a true humanitarian. Oh, and she is an undeniable Diva!" -- Raven Symone

"If anyone can redefine diva, it's The Sheryl Lee Ralph. This book is truly a gift for all generations. Heartwarming. Poignant. Real. Where the hair and eyelashes end, her "real" diva begins." -- Niecy Nash

"I use to have a negative image of the woman who classified herself as a "diva" until I met Miss Sheryl Lee Ralph. She truly is divinely inspirational vivacious & absolutely blessed! Sheryl Lee has taken the term diva and put it into the practical. I love how she shows you how to go inside and bring the diva out to inspire others. Way to go!" -- Sherri Shepherd, actress, comedienne, and co-host of The View

“In her book, Redefining Diva, Sheryl Lee Ralph does just that! Through personal reflections and testimonials coupled with words of wisdom—both learned and passed down by others—Ralph takes back the word Diva. She owns it, and in doing so encourages Divas from all walks of life to embrace the title that is truly and rightfully their own.”--Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

With REDEFINING DIVA, Dreamgirl Sheryl Lee Ralph shares her inspiring and insightful life experiences in order that ALL women can celebrate their inner and outer DIVA joyously and gloriously."--Shaun Robinson, Host of Access Hollywood

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images