My top-played list on my Itunes is saturated by female vocalists. I guess this is because I can sing along with their songs (they’re in my range) and also because I feel like, as a singer myself, I can relate to them and appreciate their skill; I know just how difficult it is to sing that riff because, well, I tried!
So what are the qualifications to make my top 20? The most important qualification is the ability to sound great in a live performance, for obvious reasons. Other qualifications that were weighted less heavily and in no particular order were soul, uniqueness of sound, and technical skill. No, Adele is not on my list. She can be number 21. Homegirl can sing, but her lyrics are distractingly awful… I also wanted to put Mahalia Jackson on the list but ran out of room and I don’t listen to her music that much (but when I do, she’s amazing). Likewise, I don’t exactly listen to “The Reality Stars'” music that often, but those ladies are so talented, they had to make the list.
The list isn’t really in order except for my Top 5. Did I forget anyone you think should be on here?
20. Mariah Carey for her riffs and range
19. Aretha Franklin
18. Whitney because she never fails to give me the chills (who can forget her live performance of the Star Spangled Banner?)
17. Christina Aguilera because you’ve never heard her like this before
The Alternative Ones
16. Janelle Monae for her endless and endlessly wonderful runs
15. Marianne Sveen from a cool Norwegian girl folk band called Katzenjammer for her wailing and the moment when she hits “faithful” in this song:
14. Amy Winehouse for her unique raspy sound
The Broadway Stars
13. Lea Salonga because I love Disney music! And Les Miserables.
12. Idina Menzel for her power and skill
The Reality Show Stars
11. Leona Lewis for the crazy things she does with her head voice.
10. Rachel Crow for her talent and attitude, and at such a young age. Just listen to her hit that sweet spot on “release me” in the chorus.
9. Hailey Reinhart for her sexy growling. Loved her Benny and the Jets cover.
8. Katharine McPhee for her control. This audition literally blows my mind.
7. Melanie Amaro for her sheer talent.
6. Jessica Sanchez for her versatility. She can literally do anything. Give her a few years, maybe she’ll make my top 5. Also, you should definitely watch this video; it might be the best thing I have ever seen on the Internet.
The Top 5
5. Jennifer Hudson
4. Regina Spektor for her creativity and vocal experimentation
3. Jenny Lewis for her singalongability and lyricism
2. Etta James for her soul.
1. Beyonce. All day, every day, Beyonce is the queen. She’s my queen.She has the technical skill and control to literally do anything with her voice. I love her for her consistently emotive performances – she believes everything she sings. She’s humble, kind, beautiful, sexy, and a talented dancer. She’s perfect.
Agree? Disagree? Who did I miss?