What with the way that time has affected some of our most famous Diva's voices, you'd think a steep decline in vocal ability was as an inevitable as wrinkles and reading glasses as one ages. However, veteran Divas Barbra Streisand and Shirley Bassey showed us, at the 2013 Oscars, how this isn't necessarily the fate of all singers.
Check out both performances, as well as my two pennies, below:
Sure, Babs has lost some of the dexterity, flexibility and power of her instrument, but her amazing phrasing and smooth, warm tone was still present and accounted for in her performance of The Way We Were at the 2013 Academy Awards.
Classy, elegant and emotive, this veteran continues to demonstrate why dedication to a song's meaning and melody can be far more powerful than a showy vocal. A philosophy that might go some way to explain newbie Adele's recent (incredible) success.
Shirley Bassey is in a category of her own when it comes to vocal preservation. Singing Bond theme Goldfinger the Welsh wonder sounded as good as ever when she hit the stage. That's not to say she sounds exactly as she did when she was younger- for one, she now sounds noticeably more androgynous- but the power and control that made her voice so impressive in the past, still makes it so today.
But are these two amazing singers just exceptions to the rule that your voice worsens as you age; or has their technique and respect for their instrument actually been the reason their talent has endured into their seventh decade on this planet? (Seriously, can you believe Bassey is 76!)