Amy Winehouse is reportedly 5’3” tall. She looks taller because she is so slim. That and her hair-piled-high coif. Stefani Germanotta – the artist known as Lady Gaga – goes listed at 5’1”. She also looks taller, perhaps, owing to her slender physique. Last but not least is Christina Aguilera. She’s another gal who is not particularly tall, measuring a purported 5’1½” in height.
These women are not what you would describe as on the tall side. They are all small packages. Hearing their voices, however, you might think they were giants. While vocal quality is to a large degree in the ears of the listener, I think most people would agree these singers all have extraordinary voices.
I like referring to Lady Gaga by her birth name, the reason being that I see “Lady Gaga” as a performance art persona. Don’t get me wrong. I like my fair share of Gaga music. However, I think Stefani is so good at doing the Gaga thing people may not realize how vocally talented she is.
In fact, in years to come, I wouldn’t be surprised seeing an album released titled simply, Stefani. I imagine it as a collection of bluesy torch songs. I see Ms. Germanotta sitting alone at a piano, dressed simply and belting her heart out. Actually, she could do this and still keep Gaga alive. She’d keep her original fans and gain new ones based on the quality of her voice alone.
Christina Aguilera has a magnificent voice. It has always amazed me how someone so small could produce such powerful vocals. Christina may not be tall, but she sings with heart, power and might.
And then there’s Ms. Winehouse. I think she has one of the great voices of our times. Not only is it full bodied and bold, it is unique without relinquishing any of its unbridled power. (Note to self: These descriptions are starting to sound like wine reviews like, “a subtle bouquet, with hints of coffee and toffee.” Ugh! Please stop. Then again, Wine, Winehouse. Okay, now I really need to stop.)
The size of the singer apparently does not dictate the splendor of their voice.
We have become such a visual society, sometimes I feel we’ve stopped focusing on the actual voices of our best vocal talents. Whatever the case, though, I am convinced that world class voices can come in small packages. And many good things do come in small packages, packages well worth listening to.
You can reach me with your questions and comments at Jay@CYinterview.com Like today’s column? Check back frequently.