“For the next generation, there’s a singer that combines the fiery gospel of Aretha Franklin with the stunning elegance and the beauty of lyric phrasing of Lena Horne, and she is Whitney Houston.”
Those were the words of Clive Davis as he first introduced Whitney. During the 80’s few singers could rival the intensity and star power of Whitney. I remember myself, at eight, singing karaoke (multiplex cassette tapes and all) and belting out “All at Once”. Saving All My Love was Whitney’s first hit- and one of my favorite, favorite songs I still listen to. Many local artists have tried to do covers of Whitney’s songs (Regine with Run to You), but with all due respect to our local divas those songs sound best with Whitney, and Whitney alone, on vocals.
Regine Velasquez: Narito Ako & In your Eyes
Chona Velasquez, a gangly teenager sang In Your Eyes during the grand finals of Tanghalang ng Kampeon. She wowed the crowd that night and took the title. Chona, the girl from Bulacan was renamed Regine, and thus started a successful career that would earn her a new title- Asia’s Songbird. I’ve always loved the classic Tagalog song Narito Ako, which she sang superbly. Those two songs are permanently installed in my Nano, that’s for sure.
Vision of Love showcased Mariah’s vocal power and put her on the map. After that, there was no stopping the Diva as she ultimately became the Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium. After a slump (low album sales for Charmbracelet, poor reception of her debut movie Glitter, and a multitude of personal problems) she resurrects with The Emancipation of Mimi. We Belong Together was the first release and my instant favorite. After years and years of playing, Vision of Love never lost its luster to me. They make number five and six of my list.
This is just Part One, watch out for more artists and their unforgettable songs.