MADONNA – Madonna has established herself as music’s most intriguing and unconventional persona. She sets the trends, speaks taboos, sings the importance of independence and self-expression, and shocks. She has never run out of ideas to shock us, and in a few instances of her shocking moments, she never failed to deliver a statement, be it political, sexual, ambitious.
I never really understood what “reinvention” meant in the context of real music. True, she “reinvents” her image, and her sound, but not her -music-. If you strip down the beats, and sounds, her lyrics, way of singing, and messages are all the same. It’s the same music dressed up in a different way. Also, her shock method has always been effective (except in American Life), and we are always entertained. She doesn’t have a good voice, but props to her for keeping music not just music.
Madonna redefined music.
WHITNEY HOUSTON – Whitney has probably the best-known tone in the whole world. When she sings, we listen. She’s a true diva on stage: confident, strong, and commanding, in a beautiful way. For turning a country song into one of the most beloved tunes of all time, her voice is legend.
Whitney’s strong and confident persona is a facade, a mask that disguises the weak woman who succumbs to crack, alcohol, and husband. The stage is the only place where she can validate her perceived strong image, because in reality she’s not that strong. Her only asset, her voice, was wasted on alcohol, bickering, and crack. Her marriage and image are a regular punch line of late-night jokes. But no matter how she fares in the future, her name and the legend that is her voice are already written in history.
Whitney is a legend in her own right.
MARIAH CAREY – Mariah is my textbook definition of “diva”: she writes good music, has one of the greatest voices, beautiful, and classy. If there were a school for divas, Mariah would graduate as valedictorian. She is one of music’s leading vocal powerhouse, has the widest vocal range for any pop singer, hits the highest notes in recorded music, 16 big #1 hits, 2 of which became the longest running #1 of 2 decades, 200+ million records sold in just 15 years, 5 #1 albums, and numerous legend awards (even more than Whitney’s and Madonna’s combined). Of records, numbers, and octaves, Mariah is an undeniable force in music.
Like any top honor student, Mariah has always been driven by the need to be #1. She traded fame for love, traded ambition for sanity, traded dreams for family. She’s obsessed with perfection and control. She doesn’t want to disappoint anybody, while trying to please everybody. She’s a control freak, a workaholic who doesn’t need to be. While most divas have found family and love in life, she’s remained in her bubble, working non-stop to carve a place in music, which she doesn’t realized is already there. Big-voiced divas with big hairs aren’t supposed to last as long as Mariah has, but it seems there’s still more that she can do with her elastic voice and pen.
Mariah made the most out of music. She has the career and success that most legends can only dream of having.