Why do so many people think Mariah Carey has extraordinary singing talent? There must be 10,000 women in this country who can sing circles around her. But what these women don’t have are marketing geniuses who can promote them, nor were they ever married to a recording studio mogul.
Carey’s singing at the Super Bowl some years back was atrocious. She also sung live at the Grammy Awards once, and sounded horrible. Her singing at this event received criticism. She didn’t have the electronic help that she gets in the studio.
Now don’t get me wrong; I actually like some of Carey’s songs. But just because I like some of the songs, doesn’t mean that I think she has this incredible voice. I also can’t stand some of her songs, because all she does is caterwaul and screech her way through them, as though she’s afraid to just hold a frickin’ note for once. People make a big deal about how “high” she can sing. She doesn’t actually sing these high notes; she squeaks them. Any mezzo-soprano opera singer can easily hit these high notes with a REAL voice.
Whitney Houston has also been highly rated as a very talented vocalist – and she is. She shows what she’s got. She holds notes long enough for listeners to really hear what she can do. She’s not afraid to show us her vibrato – that’s the “wave” in a singer’s voice.
Carey, on the other hand, rarely holds out notes. Instead, she immediately hop-scotches all over the place in a whirlwind; you call this singing? Any junior high school choir student could do this. The Carey camp will argue that she didn’t win a bunch of Grammies for nothing. A Grammy award doesn’t mean you have a spectacular voice. It means that you just happened to get contracted to sing a song that had a real catchy tune, funky beat and rhythm, spell-binding lyrics and ingenious arrangement. This is why Madonna has had hit after hit – her voice is mediocre, but everything else about the songs is very clever. And this is why Britney Spears has had hit songs; we all know she has minimal talent, but let’s admit it: “Baby One More Time” sure is a cool tune.
I’m sure that all of Carey’s hits would have become hits if any number of other singers performed them. She can’t hold a candle to any woman who has ever sung lead on Broadway. For example, Elaine Page can whip Carey’s butt in singing. But you don’t know who Elaine Page is, do you? That’s because no recording studio mogul ever promoted her, and/or maybe it’s because Paige never pursued the singing avenue that Carey had. Page was a lead singer in the Broadway musical, “Cats.”
Other singers who put Carey to shame, yet have received relatively little recognition for vocal power, include: Patti Lupone (“Evita”), Pat Benatar (listen more closely next time you hear one of her hard-rock songs), Donna Summer (forget “Hot Stuff”; have you ever heard her Christmas album?), Deniece Williams, Celine Dion, Toni Tenille (listen carefully, folks), Linda Ronstadt, Crystal Gail (listen closely), Maureen McCovern, Kathleen Battle, Anne Murray (listen closely), every female winner of American Idol, and just about every woman who’s ever had a lead in a Broadway production. Yet not one of these women have ever received the critical acclaim that Carey has.
Let’s be honest: Would Carey have been so successful if she weighed 190 pounds? Seems as though many more times than not, the next big singing sensation is selected by the promotors partially because of her tight abdominals and pretty face. Or could it be — gasp! — that pretty women with 24-inch waists just happen to have better singing voices? You think?
Jennifer Hudson of “Dreamgirls” could sing circles around Carey in her sleep, but only now, she’s getting some serious recognition. Her weight wouldn’t by any chance have anything to do with this delay, would it?