Except one, because she is untouchable, but we’ll get to that one in a second.
First, opening the Oscars — one of the absolute last bastions of Old White People Respectability — with a song about boobs could have been edgy and funny and subversive…………if it was funny. Just listing movies where you saw boobs makes you sound like a 13-year-old who just discovered Skinemax.
The Grammys finally got a lot of things right this year.
Hunter Hayes broke out as country’s answer to Lauryn Hill, writing, producing, and playing all of the instruments on his debut at 20 years old. Tamia managed to score two nominations for her last album that slipped in under the radar. Carrie Underwood’s best single ever scored a couple of nominations, and Kelly Clarkson’s most consistent album got some love too. Frank Ocean, Gotye and fun. all came away with nominations of course, and Carly Rae won’t be as omnipresent at the ceremony as she was on radio this year. Biggest shocker: SWV got nominated for their reunion effort! Most obvious snub is definitely Adam Lambert who had one of the best pop albums in recent memory with vocal chops to match. Also, Nicki Minaj was deservedly shut out of the nominations.
I made this little graphic to help you out. Click it for the fullsize version.
I’ll explain it later, but first the backstory.
I was hanging out with this guy who was trying to argue me up down and sideways that Adele is an amazing singer. I’ma tell you why she’s so popular: she has a great big black lady voice and she’s white. The End. Everything she’s doing is done a million times over every Sunday by the church ladies at New Bethel AME Zion Church of Christ Under an Elm Tree By The River. Still, she has a great tone to her voice that you can’t teach. She’s just born with that and she has a great voice. That doesn’t make her a great singer.
A great singer has great ears. All of the runs and melisma are possible because they have a great sense of pitch. They can hear the chords and sing all around, inside, and through them. Those interesting vocal runs just come out because they have great ears. On top of that, with vocal coaching and/or practice they can really hone their craft and do some amazing things.
A great voice is born, not made. You’re either born with a beautiful sound coming out of your mouth, or you’re not.
So I got bored watching the Walking Dead and made a little graphic. Left to right ranks great singing ability with the best being on the right. Bottom to top ranks great voices with the best being near the top. I graded everyone by Whitney Houston who, hands-down, had the best combination of natural-born-tone and exception singing ability.
This is so much better than it has any right to be. Somebody show this to Snoop Lion and get his life together.
“Oh you thought you was the lost Marley? You thought you could just make reggae, cause what, you black and skinny? Well this fat white lady just showed you up and she probably doesn’t know this track even exists. Now go back and start recording ‘Sexual Seduction Part 2’ or something and leave reggae alone.”