6:45 pm - 07/17/2013

The Power of Three: Mariah, Whitney, Céline

Yesterday we discussed the current lack of talent in the music industry, so what better time is there than the present to highlight three examples of artists who represent true greatness? For that, we shall take a look back at the most gifted singers of our generation: Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.

Among the best-selling artists in the history of recorded music, Dion, Carey and Houston are often ranked as the very best singers of all time. Of course, such a standing is debatable – personally, I consider Aretha Franklin better than all – but their incredible talents have always been indisputable.

Fans of Dion, Carey and Houston refer to them as The Vocal Trinity, which was a term reportedly coined by Simon Cowell in the early stages of American Idol, and they have inspired countless singers following their lead. Hence, this week’s Way Back Wednesday will acknowledge some of the contributions of each diva and their impact on the music industry.

Celine Dion

Unmatched as the best-selling Canadian artist of all time, Dion has a glassy voice and lungs of steel. Her piercing soprano voice is one of the most impressive instruments in recorded music as she belts to melodramatic climaxes with pitch-perfect precision and stunning clarity. Basically, she is a modern-day Barbra Streisand without the scary fingers.

Although she has always been the least adventurous among the big three – both vocally and artistically – Dion held her own throughout her career by staying true to the Adult Contemporary/Pop audience that made her a global star. Indeed, while Carey and Houston detoured further into R&B territory during the late 1990s, Dion remained comfortable in her lane, and she happily secured the former fans of the divas who were still seeking conservative ballads about love and heartbreak.

Mariah Carey

Carey’s catalogue of hits is definitely the most musically diverse when compared to those of Dion and Houston. She has performed Pop, R&B, Jazz, Soul, Gospel, Hip-Pop – a subgenre that she helped to pioneer – Country, Doo-Wop and even Reggae, and I’m sure a Calypso album will be recorded in the near future. However, what is most impressive is that Carey has co-written and co-produced all of her songs with the exception of covers, and is the only member of the top trio who has always been fully involved in the creative process.

Still, the only facet of her artistry with which Carey experiments more than various genres of music is her singing. She has an enormous five octave vocal range and always finds exciting new ways to use it in her songs as an almost frightening vocal chameleon. No wonder Carey’s records are almost impossible to cover by other singers; they just can’t keep up.

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston has passed but her legacy lives on. Armed with the most powerful voice of the trio, she inspired her peers with her moving performances. That would was emphasised because unlike the awkwardly stiff Carey and Dion, who always tries too hard to make an impression, Houston was a natural onstage as she sang with poise and conviction.

Despite the troubles of her latter years – drugs, strange public appearances and that Being Bobby Brown reality show – Houston will always be remembered for the better days of her short life. A legend before the age of thirty years, her voice still echoes through the works of the younger acts that she influenced. Plus, “I Will Always Love You” plays at least six times a day on Adult Contemporary radio.


Page 1 of 4
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] >>
klutzy_girl 18th-Jul-2013 12:11 am (UTC)
Love Celine forever and always (even though the "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" video traumatized me - love the song, can't watch it)!

Would love to see her in concert soon.
starsremain 18th-Jul-2013 02:06 am (UTC)
There were nights when the wind was so cold...

BRB, searching for a greatest hits collection. But that song is magical, if only for the theatrics it provokes.
hannahgrace456 18th-Jul-2013 02:39 am (UTC)
lol ikr? Singing along to that always makes me feel dramatic, even if I'm just laying in bed.
kstew 18th-Jul-2013 03:03 am (UTC)
lbr if you haven't done a very dramatic rendition in your car or shower you haven't lived
who_love 18th-Jul-2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
I love singing along to that in the kitchen as I dramatically clean the surfaces tbh
lanalyn_del_roe 18th-Jul-2013 12:12 am (UTC)
1, Whitney
2. Mariah
neverhft 18th-Jul-2013 12:24 am (UTC)
warsawed 18th-Jul-2013 12:47 am (UTC)
hmm no tbh

1. Mariah
2. Whitney
3. Celine

Mariah had better songs
nene718 18th-Jul-2013 01:15 am (UTC)
baboona 18th-Jul-2013 01:40 am (UTC)
eigengrau 18th-Jul-2013 05:30 am (UTC)
iawtc. bow

hotel 18th-Jul-2013 05:54 am (UTC)
whitney is awesome, but ia.
vvatima 18th-Jul-2013 03:50 am (UTC)
I dunno - I think 1. Whitney, 2. Celene, 3. Mariah. Just because Mariah's voice has gone through so many fluctuations.
miami_88 18th-Jul-2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
So true. But what about Phylis Hyman?
neverhft 18th-Jul-2013 12:13 am (UTC)
Here for Heavenly Queen Whitney!
dynamite_guy 18th-Jul-2013 12:13 am (UTC)
Mariah is the Queen. Nippy is magNIPPIcient. Celine was always the weakest one in the trinity IMO.

1. Mariah
2. Whitney
3. Celine

Edited at 2013-07-18 12:14 am (UTC)
andres01234 18th-Jul-2013 12:15 am (UTC)
lol no
zhgfs 18th-Jul-2013 03:02 am (UTC)
bsynes 18th-Jul-2013 06:27 am (UTC)
andres01234 BOW TO THE QUEEN18th-Jul-2013 12:14 am (UTC)
cscgrl4life Re: BOW TO THE QUEEN18th-Jul-2013 12:21 am (UTC)
LOVE her. I love how scandalous it was when she married her older manager and she turned out the most normal and down to earth of everyone.
plugmebaby Re: BOW TO THE QUEEN18th-Jul-2013 02:02 am (UTC)
a lot of these are super cringe worthy wow.

especially no 11 and no 12.. i hate when videos keep repeating one bit it just makes it so awkward lol
hannahgrace456 Re: BOW TO THE QUEEN18th-Jul-2013 02:42 am (UTC)
this video kills me every time omfg
hotel Re: BOW TO THE QUEEN18th-Jul-2013 05:59 am (UTC)
this is never not funny.
thirlwallz 18th-Jul-2013 12:15 am (UTC)
legends <3
sandstorm 18th-Jul-2013 12:15 am (UTC)
I really came in here to compliment this bowling alley cutscene gif.
andthenwevomit 18th-Jul-2013 12:16 am (UTC)
always here for a Charmed reference
vanishingbee 18th-Jul-2013 12:16 am (UTC)
serena ryder is coming to snatch all the vocal wigs and join celine as a canadian vocal queen imo

vanishingbee 18th-Jul-2013 12:30 am (UTC)
lmao I don't even like this song that much but it seems to be her most popular sooooooooooooooooooo I posted it
supersyncspaz7 18th-Jul-2013 12:56 am (UTC)
The first song I heard of hers was a cover of "My Heart Cries for You". Girl's got a good voice.
sleepydragon_26 18th-Jul-2013 12:57 am (UTC)
It's not bad, but there's nothing that's overtly vocally challenging or impressive happening here.

catchy =/= vocal skill
hannahgrace456 18th-Jul-2013 02:17 am (UTC)
I love her song What I Wouldn't Do. My BFF and I always listened to it while driving.
brucelynn 18th-Jul-2013 12:18 am (UTC)
Ya'll don't have me choosing between Whitney and Mariah up in this bitch

I won't do it !!!!

anyways I been jamming to this

 photo tumblr_inline_mposy5W3yc1qz4rgp_zpsa7808553.gif

I feel like Whitney's version is so overrated
who_love 18th-Jul-2013 12:41 am (UTC)
mad_hatter80 18th-Jul-2013 12:43 am (UTC)
I like Diana Ross's version better, makes me think of the Jacksons movie...lol
brucelynn 18th-Jul-2013 12:48 am (UTC)
I love her version is makes me wanna cry

overall tho I gotta give it to Ms Stephanie Mills
blushingbright 18th-Jul-2013 01:03 am (UTC)

queen <3
humannatur3 18th-Jul-2013 12:19 am (UTC)
Celine is the only one that can 100% sing well today but Mariah wrote and produced her music which is something that Celine and Whitney never did.
So basically, Mariah is the queen<3 I love all three of them though.
syntheses 18th-Jul-2013 03:29 am (UTC)
No, not really. Celine for a while had to lip anything above an E5 because of vocal problems and even then she's never really recovered. Not to mention, even during her peak she did lip often but she's also performed live countless of times.

all of their voices have suffered wear and tear but Mariah and Celine can still sing live today. Mariah's range hasn't really diminished, if we're talking live but her voice gets hoarser and sometimes clumsy if she doesn't get rest and Celine's voice, while powerful, can sometimes be a bit crackily today imo.
crankylemondrop 18th-Jul-2013 06:39 am (UTC)
I remember I went and saw Celine live when I was a kid, and I was so excited because you knew she wasn't lipsynching because of the way her accent did her Rs and IIRC Hs. It was glorious. She killed it.

Though I think a young Mariah blows everyone else out of the water.

Edited at 2013-07-18 06:39 am (UTC)
phillymademe 18th-Jul-2013 12:20 am (UTC)
for me:


and I realized yesterday that my favorite Whitney song is "I Have Nothing." i've always loved the song, but i think it's safe to say that's my favorite.

Edited at 2013-07-18 12:22 am (UTC)
pastelward 18th-Jul-2013 12:27 am (UTC)
mine is "all the man that i need." i just love belting the ~he fills me up~ part.
who_love 18th-Jul-2013 12:39 am (UTC)
I always change my mind over my fave Whit song but goddamnit IWDWS always gets me moving
plugmebaby 18th-Jul-2013 02:04 am (UTC)
i have nothing gives me chills, even when i sing it LOL only bc it's just so expressive and mournful :(
sks2k5 18th-Jul-2013 03:55 am (UTC)
I somehow just discovered* this song and am listening to it on repeat.

*I say "discovered" but I knew about the song for a long while. I just didn't realise how much I liked it until Monday. :P
heartlockedx 18th-Jul-2013 04:41 am (UTC)
Mine is "Run To You".
logic_of_crocs 18th-Jul-2013 12:22 am (UTC)
I want Mariah to do a jazz album

Edited at 2013-07-18 12:23 am (UTC)
eigengrau 18th-Jul-2013 12:31 am (UTC)
mmhm her jazz chops are one of her hidden talents

hotel 18th-Jul-2013 06:01 am (UTC)
ch33rylips 18th-Jul-2013 12:25 am (UTC)
pastelward 18th-Jul-2013 12:26 am (UTC)
out of the three of them celine is the only one whose voice almost didn't falter at all, she's kind of my favorite. but whitney at the top of her game was better than celine and mariah (whistle note aside).
syntheses 18th-Jul-2013 03:33 am (UTC)
Nah. Celine did lip sometimes during her peak despite her talent live, and, while she was recovering from a vocal strain, she lipped anything above an E5 (to put this into perspective, Mariah today still casually belts those out). Mariah's voice today is inconsistent and can be really hoarse/clumsy but imo they're both still spectacular singers live today.

Their voices have definitely faltered tbh but it's okay. I don't think they've faltered that much. It's just more of an exception of wear and tear. I know Mariah's voice has been ridiculously brittle at some points, but it goes through a process where it regains its husk, resonance and vitality.
Page 1 of 4
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] >>
This page was loaded Jul 24th 2014, 3:22 pm GMT.