Showing posts with label patti labelle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label patti labelle. Show all posts

Tuesday 6 December 2016

[Review] VH1 Divas: Unsilent Night

"Never get your hopes up" is a phrase I mostly abide by. But knowing VH1 Divas was returning after a four year hiatus, I couldn't help but put aside my natural pessimism and be hyped after reading who was taking part. Silly me.

Monday 22 August 2016

Declining voices: What's a Diva To Do?

Decline is an inevitability for all of us and everything. Physics even has a theory for it: The second law of thermodynamics. And our Divas, as magical as they are, are no exception to this.

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Can You Guess What Patti LaBelle Does During This "Isn't It a Shame" Performance?

Patti LaBelle is the Diva that just keeps on giving to me.

She is that rare kind of performer who gets so into her craft that wherever the music takes her, she is going to go; she is living her life at that moment, enraptured in the music. Unlike other Divas, it doesn't just get communicated through her voice, her physicality also gets caught up in the whirlwind. And it's this total expression that makes her a joy to watch.

Friday 11 December 2015

[Watch] Patti LaBelle and John Legend perform "O Holy Night" @ White Hot Holiday

Patti LaBelle and John Legend perform "O Holy Night"

No clue who Taraaji and Terrence are, but the pair had a special called White Hot Holiday on Fox. I suspect it's all Empire related, but since I haven't watched the show - yet- I'm in the dark and oblivious. And even if it is related to the show, I'm not sure where this special fits in. What has Empire got to do with Christmas? Lordt knows.

Thursday 23 July 2015

[Wailing wall] C5 Showdown!

I know some of y'all are impatient, but please give the page about 10 seconds to load. Lot of audio files- Fank you!

Friday 10 July 2015

[Duelling Divas] "Lady Marmalade"

Lady Marmalade was a smash hit for LaBelle in 1975 and featured the scandalously suggestive chorus of "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?". At the time of release, Patti Labelle -who handled the lead- claimed she never really understood the français, saying: "I didn't know what it was about. Nobody, I swear this is God's truth, nobody told me what I'd just sung a song about."

Tuesday 30 June 2015

The Power Of Patti Heals K. Michelle & Tamar Braxton Rift @ 2015 BET Awards

K. Michelle isn't a Diva I'm that familiar with (I feel like I've said that before). What I do know about her is that she and  Tamar Braxton have had some kind of spat recently. But being the grown woman that they are, they've buried the hatchet -just as publicly as they fought- under the watchful eye of Dame Diva Patti Labelle at this year's BET Awards.

Who says these showbiz types aren't like us regular folks!

Thursday 30 April 2015

[Watch] Patti LaBelle, Amber Riley And Lil Kim Join Forces On DWTS

We don't get Dancing With The Stars here in the UK. Or if we do, it's on some channel that I haven't got time for.

Thursday 4 September 2014

[Battle] Aretha Franklin Vs. Patti LaBelle: Which Is The Better Singer?

These two iconic Divas have had an alleged feud since WAAAAAAAAAAAY back before most of us were even born! Admittedly it seems one-sided, but still, you'd have hoped the animosity would've dissipated as time passed and the pair took their place in the pantheon of Legendary Divas.

But this is Aretha Franklin we're talking about! A Diva who has been ruling over the dominion of Soul and Shade for as long as anyone can remember. And clearly, she ain't giving up either crown anytime soon. Just witness this moment involving the pair, filmed just last year:

Friday 7 March 2014

[Watch] Ariana Grande Covers Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" @ "Women of Soul" Concert

Patti Labelle, Janelle Monáe, Jill Scott, Tessanne Chin and Melissa Etheridge Ariana Grande

Perhaps keen to move away from the Mariah Carey comparisons, Ariana Grande has now taken to covering Whitney Houston's material in her setlist. For her part in the Women of Soul concert, held at the White House, the Diva did her best to recreate Whitney's classic, I Have Nothing. But how did she fair? Take a look below!

The cover was good, but Arina's voice doesn't have the weight or gravitas that Whitney's legendary voice had. As such, the voice sounded to be struggling in parts, especially with its dynamics and a consistent tone, with the Diva trying too hard to mimic the original vocal. I was also surprised to hear quite a bit of tension in the voice- which is something I can't say I've noticed in Arina'a voice before.

The vocals improved greatly when it came to singing her own material, which consisted of a stripped back version of Tattooed Heart. However, her part in the closing ensemble- which featured Patti Labelle, Janelle Monáe, Jill Scott, Tessanne Chin and Melissa Etheridge- had the Diva coming in WAY too high, thus sounding like she didn't know the melody!! Either that or I've heard a different version of Proud Mary.

Still, I enjoyed watching this little video- especially since it was for a good cause.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

[Yikes!] Patti LaBelle Refers To New Generation Of Divas As "Little Heifers"

Ms.Patti LaBelle don't mess around. Ask her a question and she refreshingly speaks what is on her mind. And this is exactly what happened when Pridesource had the audacity to ask what being a "Diva" meant to her. Lordy, I was not expecting the response that followed:

For you, what does it mean to be a diva?

That word is used so loosely that I don't even consider myself a diva. I always considered myself a woman who sings her heart out and who gives 120 percent. "Diva" is a word that I wouldn't wanna call myself because it's so loosely used. It's not cute anymore.

Is there a negative connotation to it now?
Yeah, because all these little heifers who can't sing are called divas! It doesn't mean anything to me and probably to some of the other ladies who have been doing it for as long as I have: Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick. You know, I'm speaking for me - I don't know if they like to be called divas - but I know I wouldn't call them divas, because it's not in good company.

But it used to be a respectable term at some point.

Well, for opera singers, and for ladies who earned it, but that was way, way back when. Now you can look up to them, but you might not see what you wanna see. A hot mess! People who are doing it and doing it with about 40 people on stage with them to hide their pitifulness - that's not a word, but you know what I mean.

Someone had their RDA of Krabby Patties that day! Still, I can't detect any lies being told here; the Dame of all Divas spoke nothing but the truth. The usage of the word has definitely changed in recent years from previously being used to denote a singer with a great voice, to now just being another synonym for any female singer (regardless of talent). I mean, just check out how the line up for the VH1 Divas concert has changed since it started in 1998. Sad times. If only she'd gone further and named names! Now that would have been something!

NB: I'm not unaware that I use the word Divas pretty fast and loose on this site. I'll be sure to punish myself for this indiscretion [...].

Wednesday 13 November 2013

[Spam Post] Live Performances From Black Girls Rock, The EMAs and The X-Factor

There has been a whole host of live events that I haven't managed to cover on the blog- most notably Black Girls Rock and the European Music Awards. I did consider just letting the events float by, undocumented, but decided you guys deserve more! So here goes!

Monday 16 July 2012

Could Aretha Franklin Be Joining American Idol?

Don't mess with my awesome Photoshop skills.

With the current line-up of judges on American Idol falling faster than the chances of me magically receiving tickets for the opening ceremony of the Olympics, it looks like an unlikely candidate has stepped up to the mark and stated their desire to claim one of the coveted (now empty) seats. Enter, Aretha Franklin!

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Watch: Bet Honours Mariah Carey, While Kelly Rowland And Patti LaBelle Pay Musical Tribute

mariah carey bet honours crying

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 .]

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Patti LaBelle- "A Change Is Gonna Come" (live 2004)

Just stumbled upon Patti LaBelle's 2004 performance of Sam Cooke's A Change is gonna come, and had to post it. The quality of the video isn't great, and Patti sounds horse, but that doesn't stop our Diva. She works this performance so hard and passionately- watch as she actually kicks her shoes off at 4.24- that she gets not only the crowd roused but has the musicians she's sharing the stage with in awe. No mean feat!

Ms LaBelle humbly offering her backing singer her own microphone at 3.60- who I'm pretty sure isn't one of her regular crew judging by the reaction the male singer has to her flinging her shoes off- was a touching moment that added to poignancy of the lyrics. This performance made my day.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Duelling Divas: "Over the Rainbow" Which Diva sang it best?

It's hard to believe that Over the Rainbow, the song that came to be the signature tune for the classic musical that was the Wizard of Oz, was almost omitted from the film after the chief executive at MGM and the film producer felt that it "slowed down the picture". Luckily the song was reinstated and went on to win the hearts of audiences from the moment it was released, eventually being voted the song of the 20th Century.

Judy Garland, at the age of 16, was the original vocalist of Over the Rainbow. Her sweet, rounded, thick contralto voice, with its perfect phrasing and strict adherence to the melody gave the world a master class in effective singing, belying her youthful years. Until this day her rendition has never been matched for its purity or ability to communicate the innocent, almost naive, sentiments of desire and hope the lyrics speak on.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Patti LaBelle demonstrates why she is the Don Diva as she duets with Lady Gaga on "Over the Rainbow"

Patti LaBelle and Lady Gaga singing "Over the Rainbow" together

Below is a snippet of Ms Patti LaBelle and Lady Gaga performing the Wizard of Oz classic Somewhere Over The Rainbow after the CFDA Awards. It still amazes me how a diva as distinguished as Patti has managed to remain so warm, welcoming and personable at this stage in her career. There are plenty of other divas- included a few much younger than Patti- who would treat another singer on stage, especially one that is younger and currently more successful than them, as competition, singing all over the place to assert their dominance. But not Ms Patti. She always seems to embrace and respect whoever she's on stage with regardless of age, success or talent. Diva's take note; if you've got the goods, don't feel threatened when another female joins you on stage!

Saturday 11 December 2010

[Vocal Profile] Patti LaBelle

Vocal Type: Dramatic Soprano
Vocal Range: 3 Octaves 3 notes and a semitone (Bb2-E6)
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Pluses: LaBelle is distinctly known for her explosive, powerful and incredibly emotive voice. Having started her long-standing career in vocal groups such as ‘Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells’ and ‘LaBelle’, this singer has built an excellent level of musicality in regards to harmonizing. A skill which has served her well, even once a solo star, thanks to her fondness for duetting and collaborating with others. A notable pairings was that which occurred with Cyndi Lauper when they sang Time after Time. Here, LaBelle showcased her skill to fuse her own vocals with another's in a way that was both complimentary and sympathetic to her duetting partner's own voice. Considering the natural power that lies behind LaBelle's instrument it shows the great skill, control and restraint she has as a singer.

The lower extremities (Bb2 – E3) can sound somewhat less projected in comparison to the upper range, with this area tending to sound dry and distended. However due to her impeccable technique the notes sound healthy and well placed, if not entirely full. As the voice ascends towards the mid-range it quickly thickens connecting the voice to the mid-range.

In the mid-range LaBelle’s voice becomes somewhat fuller, more dynamic and takes on a notable and distinctive sound. This part of the voice is entirely unique to LaBelle in that not only is the voice full and powerful enough to cut through an orchestra, but it is typically deeper and more fulsome when compared to other sopranos. However due to LaBelle's excellent artistry she can alter the sound to best fit the material she is singing, for example on Oh People LaBelle displays a softer more nuanced edge to her voice in comparison to her Two Steps Away tribute where this section is more full, pronounced and direct.

The head voice and upper range is where LaBelle displays her skills as a vocal behemoth. This area, including the belting range, is incredibly powerful , full and elastic. Again displayed in her ‘Two Steps Away’ tribute, LaBelle shows an uncanny ability to flip straight up into high octave belts, all the whilst adopting an impressive technique that allows her to hold high notes with great ease.

The rare ability to project a full-sounding belt, right up to the soprano C6 is an incredibly impressive feat, and LaBelle has consistently shown able to do so with apparent ease. This upper-register extends right up to E6, which is marked with a dramatic, rounded and potent sound.

Overall, LaBelle is an exceptionally adept technician who has honed her skills via decades of experience in the industry. With exceptional control over every aspect of her voice- including its dynamics, tone, timbre and phrasing- she wields it with freedom and an instinctive edge. Able to hold notes, jump threw registers, use interesting and complex melisma, and perform vocal tricks (like octave-spanning glissando), it is little wonder that Patti is revered amongst singers and non-singers alike. It's also due to her technique that she has maintained much of her voice as she has aged, including her ability to heavily load belts in the upper regions. Though there has been a slight deterioration in power, she still remains a vocal force to be reckoned with.

Vocal Negatives:The nature of LaBelle’s powerful upper octave belts can be somewhat off putting to some, for example her performance of the Star-Spangled Banner displays her attacking style that can be a tad overbearing. Also the characteristics of the voice as a whole can be an acquired taste, particularly in the mid-range.