Over the past few of months and culminating in the Christmas tree lighting event at the Rockerfeller Centre in New York last week there has been a lot written and said about Mariah Carey and the supposed demise of her vocal ability.
Of course the majority has been penned by those with scant musical ability so their views can then only be understood to be general hate. Mariah has been too successful for too long, made too much money and now as far as they are concerned she needs to be brought down.
I have never met her but I have been a fan of her since her first single Vision Of Love. I loved her voice. She could do things that my vocals were not designed for and believe me I tried.
What endeared me further was knowing that she wrote her own music. On one of her albums she wrote a song with legendary Carole King. For a true songwriter it is and epic event just to meet her let alone collaborate.
The song that most know her for these days is All I Want For Christmas Is You. The production of this song had a Phil Spector, Wall Of Sound feeling and I confess that I initially thought it was a cover version when I heard it first and thought so for many years. Once the fact became apparent my veiw changed. She was crowned a songwriting genius in my mind and had achieved what so many of us dream of. She had written a song in humble conditions that then found its way out into the world and became a staple in people's lives.
Few achieve this and those who do have my respect.
During her performance someone on the production team had the nerve to record her isolated dry vocals, put them online and, of course, it went viral.
I watched with sadness. No singer wants anybody to hear them when they are not at their best but the show must go on.
What I heard was vocal damage and tiredness. I can be turned around.
I witnessed the same with another of my favourite singers who at one point sounded shrill and raspy and then at a performance a couple of years later her voice was clear, strong and had the agility she needed to display her musical gifts. And she was not a young woman.
Why is it acceptable to attack and humiliate somebody when they have a moment of being off target? Does this suddenly discredit the work and ability that created their success?
Maybe it is because we have built public figures into deity and when they show any human traits they are lambasted and there is a pleasure and seeming justification in it.
Is it because we hold an inherent envy?
Whatever happens in her life Mariah Carey created something that will outlive her good days, bad days and last days.
Until the decision is made to finish with Christmas it will be the gift that keeps giving to us all.
Thanks for reading.
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