*Vesta Williams was scheduled to participate in Sheryl Lee Ralph’s 21st DIVAS Simply Singing event next month when she passed away.

Deeply saddened at the news, Ralph stated that “We were thrilled in anticipation of having Vesta join the cast of this year’s 21st annual Divas Simply Singing! AIDS benefit concert.  Her passing came as a great shock and we share our heart felt condolences with her family and fans around the world.

‘A planned tribute was in the works for Teena Marie, who passed away suddenly last year after her performance in the 20th DIVAS, which was her final public performance. We will now pay tribute to both of these outstanding artists.”

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Other scheduled performers include Kelly Price, Jennifer Lewis, Frenchie Davis, and Niecy Nash. There will also be a reunion of Broadway’s original “Dreamgirls” cast, which includes Ralph, Jennifer Holiday and Loretta Devine.

DIVAS Simply Singing! takes place Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 West 8th Street, Los Angeles.  Tickets range from $35 to $250. For tickets and information, go to www.brownpapertickets.com, call (800) 838-3006, or contact the Wilshire Ebell Theatre box office (323) 931-1277.