The Black Entertainment Television ( BET) Honours are designed to promote and celebrate the achievements of African Americans across a number of fields. The show, in its fifth year, attracted the presence of not only musical royalty, like Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, but also that of the political kind, with none other than Michelle Obama making an appearance!
This year's musical honoraries included the Diva with the 5 Octave range, Mariah Carey. Not only did she receive an award for her contribution to music, but the lucky lady received two musical performances: one from Destiny's Child member, Kelly Rowland, and the other from musical legend Patti Labelle.
[ NOTE: The show was filmed last month but only screened this week .]
Performances: Kelly Rowland
I was expecting Kelly Rowland's performance to be lacking vocally and Patti Labelle to be amazing, but it was the other way round on the night.
Kelly Rowland delivered a surprisingly spirited and youthful rendition of Mariah's Fantasy, hitting an effortless and strong F5 at 1.54. Being a deviation from the original melody it even appeared to take Mariah by surprise, who applauded her interpretation. But Ms Rowland wasn't done impressing yet, successfully going for the G5 head note, that Mariah holds after the song's bridge, and actually managing to hit an A5 in the melisma.
For whatever reason Patti LaBelle's usual hurricane gusto wasn't present as she honoured her goddaughter. Her performance of Hero was almost despondent, rarely hitting a note in her signature, piercing, fifth octave belting range.
When it came to the bridge, where Mariah usually jumps an octave, Patti instead switched briefly to her head voice before quickly dropping back to the fourth octave to proceed through the rest of the song. There wasn't even a trademark C6 "Wooooooo". It was slightly unnerving to see Patti LaBelle so timid.
Still, even though Patti's voice was kept in check for the performance, she still managed to make Kelly Rowland look like amateur hour at the local pub karaoke night, with the gravitas and soul of her performance. Mariah was clearly moved by the tribute, mentioning it during her acceptance speech: "Patti you just murdered me, I'm on the floor! I was crying from the second you stepped on the stage!"
Mariah Carey's Acceptance speech: