Of course our amazingly talented, power balladeering, shoulderpad-wearing divas of the 80’s and early 90’s were heavily influenced by the soul sisters of the 60’s and 70’s – women who could deliver a blistering, heart-wrenching performance without the need for writhing around up on stage almost naked or turning the air blue with profanity for attention; their sheer vocal talent was enough. These were days when the ladies we all looked up to didn’t have to go around covering one eye or flashing signs to Baphomet.
And these ladies simply oozed class and sophistication. They set a standard that very, very few could ever hope to achieve. Even to this day, you wont walk into your local pub on a Karaoke Thursday night and hear someone belting out a classic Aretha, Patti Labelle or Gladys Knight tune and think to yourself, ‘You know what, if I close my eyes that could almost be the real thing up there.’
However, up and down the country – in fact, all over the world – there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of very passable Amy’s, Adele’s, Rihanna’s, Beyoncé…in fact a number of the karaoke going girls I’ve witnessed have done a better job singing the song live than the ‘star’ they are imitating!
And that is the difference between a star and a diva – a diva is inimitable.
Of course, you will be able to do a very passable version of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ or ‘Roar’ (especially after a Lambrini or two) but one cannot ever hope to come close to the talent of a true diva. Simon Cowell often advises the wannabes on the likes of X Factor, ‘Don’t attempt to do a Whitney song’. The show is littered with those who have crashed and burned attempting to sing (with so many key changes and so little Whitney-worthy talent) Run to You / I Have Nothing!
The thing is…who will today’s potential divas have to look up to?
Katy Perry and Taylor Swift?
As Stevie once sang, ‘Heaven help us all!’
All live performances, without today’s wizardry, autotune and backing tapes – real musicians, real instruments and real voices. WONDERFUL.