June 10, 2002 12:00 PM

Cyndi Lauper called Cher to find out what she was wearing. Shakira hit up Mary J. Blige for the shade of her M.A.C lipstick—and shared a trade secret of her own: sticky pads on the soles of her stilettos. “Falling,” the Colombian siren says, “is the only fashion emergency I worry about.” A paucity of pickles was higher on the worry list of four-months-pregnant Dixie Chick Emily Robison. As she notes with a laugh, “This is the first live event I’ve been to that I didn’t have to suck in my stomach.”

Girls’ night out? You betcha. The VH1 Divas Las Vegas benefit concert on May 23 generated $1.4 million to help fund music classes for public schools nationwide—and not a single self-centered moment. Except when host Ellen DeGeneres, sweating in the under-air-conditioned MGM Grand Arena, asked the crowd of 10,000 to “all stand up, spin really fast until you pass out and create a whirlwind to cool me off.” She had to settle for the breeze kicked up by fans clapping for the likes of Stevie Nicks (who, for the record, is “a little on the fence” about the term “diva,” says her pal Dixie Chick Natalie Maines) and Lauper (who is not). “I came out of the womb a diva,” she says. “All it means is you know your worth as a woman.” Blige, for one, is just happy she was asked to be part of the gang. “A group of women working toward one unified cause is a powerful thing,” says the Grammy Award-winning R&B singer. “And I always pick up a few good fashion tips.”

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