Thursday, 17 September 2015

[Vocal Profile] Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams

Vocal Type: Lyric Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Range: G#2 - Bb5, 3 Octaves 1 Note and a Semitone
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Strengths:Williams is in possession of a distinct vocal tone clean of grit and impurities, as well as solid musicality which she demonstrates with superb intonation and vocal phrasing. These intrinsic skills have served her well not only in the studio but during live performances (which include time on Broadway).

The lower regions of the voice from G#2 to around C3 display a slightly smoky if distended texture. The notes are achieved through impeccable technique, but are somewhat less audible than the upper regions of the range. Here Williams tends to flirt with the range rather than spending prolonged periods of time.

The middle of the range is where Williams’ vocal prowess fully comes into play. Here the voice takes on a fuller, more creamy timbre with slightly velvety undertones. She shows a dexterity here, being able to skip through notes from the mid-range, down to the lows, and ascend into the head voice. This is something that is shown with great fluidity in Saved The Best For Last. The way in which she tackles the upper chest region can be of a sweeter and softer nature [Colour of The Wind], or more direct and pronounced such as in The Right Stuff, where the notes are executed with a well balanced mix of both the chest and the head voice.

The upper register/head voice is reflective of the rest of the range in its purity of tone and clean execution. Williams can hold notes within this part of the range and can choose to access it with a vocal run, or to hit them with a clean jump upwards- as displayed in Breathless. As she begins to pass D5/ F5 the tone of the notes quickly thins out, becoming somewhat more robust in tone whilst retaining some weight and fullness.

Overall Williams is not only an adept vocalist but a canny musician with a good ear and the ability to emote a song superbly. A technical singer, with a clean and fresh sounding vibrato that never becomes gratuitous, Williams is considered an underrated singer by many.

Vocal Weaknesses: The uppermost notes of the range can become somewhat pulled and quickly lose Williams’ distinct vocal tone. Some notes in the lower register can also sound dry and muddy, but this has improved with age.

Thanks to Stuey!



  1. I thought she was a contralto, lol. 

  2. I was torn between the two so I went for a lower mezzo as  a compromise. 

  3. She is hope for people with marginal vocal talent that if you work hard at your craft you can still be a decent singer. She does not have multiple octaves but can still deliver a good song.

  4. Hi Diva, Vanessa Williams can get down to a C3 and up to a G5. See the link bellow its the official Music sheets of her songs.                                                  

  5. That means Vanessa Williams has 2.5 Octaves

  6. OKAY, now I am confused.  I have not really looked at a music scale since high school. So which is V's vocal range 1.5 or 2.5?

  7. Hey soul, I don't think the sheet music is an accurate representation as they may have been written in that key by the composer but are then changed when it comes to an actual artist singing the song. I myself have purchased piano scores of famous singers and will often find in the small print that the score key has been lowered or made higher to make it easier to play. As for the video's I can't find either of those notes. The C3 i may have missed but there is definitely no G5 in the duet. If you think I've missed it can you tell me where it may be. Thanks! :D

  8. Have you counted her high notes in Dreamin and Sister Moon? I can't believe she has around the same range as Cheryl Cole.

  9.  No, can you tell me where about's they are in the song? I think i heard an F5 in dreaming on first listen just now. But please tell me roughly where to find them. I'm snowed under with other profiles so any specifics would help me tremendously..

  10.  the first high note in Dreamin is at about 3:30 minutes into the song and then she makes another at 3:40 and makes them until 4:06. She makes another atanother at 4:48 and her final one is at 5:16

  11. Here is the video I am referencing

  12. She hit an F#5 in Dreaming, and she hit a high exclamated A5. So I would probably say her range is around 2.3-2.4 octaves

  13.  I think she hits some high notes with these tracks.

    On this track she sings really low then goes high around 2:45 to 3:20.

    This track :45 to 1:05, 2:27 to 2:33 she hits some high notes.

    This track shows off some higher notes especially from 2:50 through 3:00 I am no expert but some of the notes are as high as Dreaming.

  14.  She recently did "amazing grace" for an episode of Desperate Housewives.It really seems to me that her voice has changed a bit!Here it is - I feel like sharing

  15. She did indeed sound different, quite deep for her. But a beautiful rendition of a classic though...thanks for the post...

  16. This was posted on Youtube just wanted to share.

  17. I hope you fix the octaves. She's at least 3 according to the video that seems more extensively researched than your post.

  18. Ooooh DD I found a range stretching vid, could you feast your eyes and verify!!

  19. We definitely need to flag this profile as it is in need of an update!

  20. Ricky Yong Chin Yuan7 June 2013 at 15:26

    Fell in love with this woman when I watched Ugly Betty. Then I found out that Save The Best For Last was sung by her... then I immediately *downloaded* her whole catalog... I strongly adore her.

  21. One versatile performer.



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