The 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival ended on a high note as TVOne’s R&B Divas stars Monifah, Nicci Gilbert, Syleena Johnson, Faith Evans and Keke Wyatt paid tribute to artists who have passed away in the past year.

The five divas offered the perfect balance of emotion and vocal prowess as they honored Donna Summer, Vesta Williams, Nick Ashford, Etta James and Whitney Houston.

Monifah opened the set singing Summer’s “Last Dance,” followed by former Brownstone member Nicci Gilbert giving her tribute to Vesta Williams by singing “Congratulations.” Syleena Johnson offered a soulful rendition of Etta James’ “At Last.” Keke Wyatt closed out the set with a crowd-rousing interpretation of Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”

Away from the stage, Monifah, Wyatt, Evans, Gilbert and Johnson will star in R&B Divas, a one-hour series chronicling their friendships and professional aspirations. It premieres August 20.