Posts Tagged ‘Labelle’

Nona Hendryx – Transformation

 

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 There’s some music that gets in your head and never leaves.  Long after radio forgets it and deejays stop spinning it – you hear it in your own mind from time to time and remember what you loved about it.  Nona Hendryx’s Transformation is one of those songs for me.  This experimental, 80’s dance tune is the perfect mix of that edgy funk/rock blend Hendryx has always dabbled in well.  As one of the original members of Labelle, Nona Hendryx is a R&B music icon. Never satisfied with labels, she has consistently pushed musical boundaries.  She has collaborated with pretty much every musician and singer who matters, but has always walked just outside of success as a solo artist.  Nonetheless, she shined brightly in Transformation.  Hendryx is proof that black girls really do rock!  Love.

Top 5 R&B Female Singers

These women offered signature sounds during a time when there was a place in popular music for vocalists who sounded like themselves.

 

Phyllis Hyman

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Phyllis Hyman is my favorite singer of all time.  Her haunting and pain soaked vocals stand alone and have yet to be duplicated.  I once heard a critic compare her voice to a stained glass window.  Hyman could wring the emotion out of any note in any octave. She could bring you really low or lift you higher than you thought possible.  She believed in the listener accompanying her on her journey. Often, that journey was a walk through the ups and downs of love.

Anita Baker

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Anita Baker is The Songstress.  Her sweet alto broke through barriers in modern music and inspired up and coming singers to embrace their lower range.  The quality of Baker’s vocal soaks through every lyric.  She leaves behind a deafening silence when she’s not recording.

Chaka Khan

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When I think Chaka Khan, I think powerhouse. She makes it look so easy.  Chaka has never been one to bend over painfully belting out her dynamic range; she just smiles as her notes effortlessly flow as long or as high as she feels necessary.  Chaka Kahn is one of the most imitated vocalists in modern R&B but there is nothing like the original.  When she first stepped on the national music scene as a member of Rufus she was compared to Sly Stone, a male singer.  Now it’s clear, there is no comparison of any kind to Chaka Kahn.

Angela Bofill

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Angela Bofill is one of my favorites.  Her dramatic delivery jelled perfectly with what were often theatrical musical backdrops.  Bofill is a visual singer, songwriter and percussionist.  The innocence in Angie’s voice can turn on you so quickly; making it easy to understand why she had to repeat her promises to be sweeter.  She’s more than the first Latina to have chart-topping success in Rhythm and Blues music; she’s an original soul sister.

Patti LaBelle

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Patti LaBelle and her former group, Labelle, will appear on another one of my “top 5” lists as well.  She’s one of those artists who I feel is impossible to categorize.  She stands alone.  Patti’s voice is not only unmistakable; it’s necessary.  While everyone knows she can take it to church, Ms. Patti can also sing you a lullaby.  From her legendary stage performances to her signature classics, the love is in the details and Patti gives a lot of love.