During the last few days, Twitter’s global trending topics were littered with ignorant comments that praised acts such as Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears as “legendary” singers. However, although those acts have been successful for numerous reasons, our latest Way Back Wednesday will highlight female vocalists who truly deserve the praise.
Comprising female vocalists who released their debut albums within the last 60 years, this special feature will showcase those performers who truly set the bar against which singing is judged. Perhaps, after viewing these icons in action, the young fans will realise that Aguilera, Beyonce and the numerous acts who dominate the music scene today are still novices and nowhere near legendary status.
Watch some of the greatest female vocalists of the last 60 years in action below:
Aretha Franklin – ‘Spirit in the Dark’
Barbra Streisand – ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’
Celine Dion – ‘My Heart Will Go On’
Chaka Khan – ‘Sweet Thing’
Mariah Carey – ‘Vision of Love’
Patti LaBelle – ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’
Whitney Houston – ‘I Will Always Love You’
What is truly amazing about these acts is that they were influenced by the styles of the artists who preceded them but eventually developed their own brands of singing that were individually unique. For instance, Aretha Franklin’s talent was honed by Mahalia Jackson and she incorporated many of the latter’s traits into her singing along with Jazz and R&B to create her iconic sound.
Subsequently, Whitney Houston learned from Franklin but she in turn forged a different sound by studying Barbra Streisand’s model of the ballad and applying her thunderous voice with control and soul. That is the trademark of a talented vocalist.
These women all had an enormous impact on the industry and changed the very essence of the global music scene. Whether it was Mariah Carey’s mastery of her range and tone to executive intricate vocal runs or Chaka Khan’s marvelous melodies that built on the stylings of Billie Holiday, they are all legends. So, please stop using that word so carelessly!