Boiling Point: The Whitney Houston / Mariah Carey Debate

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Whitney Houston Mariah Carey TheLavaLizard
Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey

During the last two decades, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey have been continuously compared by the media as well as their fans, thus causing a seemingly neverending debate. Even today, months after Houston’s sudden passing, parallels are still being drawn between the divas. Yet, are those comparisons justified?

The only way for us to truly get to the root of the Houston/Carey debate is for us to take a journey through time and reflect on the beginnings of their respective careers. Yes, I know that this is Thursday and Way Back Wednesday was yesterday but memory lane has great shopping for consumers of knowledge so strap on your comfortable shoes and let’s take a stroll.

When Houston blasted into the music scene in the  mid-1980s, she was an artist that the industry had never seen. With a powerful voice that could be scaled back from a booming belt to a soft coo in one swift swoop, a tone that was readily adapted to both the Pop and Urban radio formats, and the looks of a supermodel, she was the complete package.

In fact, Houston had what most other female artists lacked – talent and marketability. Prior to her arrival, we had Aretha Franklin who ruled in the 1960s with a voice like thunder but she didn’t have the ideal look of a Pop star. Diana Ross definitely possessed the latter quality but her voice was lighter than Chris Brown is on his feet.

The only woman who had similar facets to Houston was Donna Summer but the business model used to market her was not adequately refined to help her survive the fall of the Disco era and her success quickly waned after 1984 as the music landscape rapidly changed. Thankfully, with the genius of Clive Davis in her corner, Houston excelled where Summer failed.

“There was really nobody who could rival Houston’s mix of ability and marketability…until the arrival of Carey in 1990.”

So, now we understand why Houston so easily outperformed her contemporaries from the moment of her debut and easily competed with the already established Michael Jackson and Madonna. There was really nobody who could rival her mix of ability and marketability. Well, at least not until the arrival of Carey in 1990.

After years of searching, Columbia Records boss Tommy Mottola finally found his answer to Houston in the form of Carey and she even outmatched her predecessor in many ways. Not only could Carey hit every note in Houston’s massive range but she could sing far higher as well as lower than her peer. Also, the tone of Carey’s voice was incredibly distinct and remarkably colourful yet colourless.

In fact, Carey’s voice equalled her looks, which leads us to the next point: she was more marketable than Houston. The latter singer followed in Summer’s footsteps and helped to break colour barriers in the media so that African-American women could enjoy airplay on television, particularly on MTV. However, despite her achievements, Houston was still limited by her obvious ethnicity.

However, don’t think for a second that Houston was mainly rejected by certain white audiences. Her black fans were the people who denounced her work during one of the peak periods of her career. Who remembers when she was booed by patrons of the Soul Train Music Awards in 1989 because her music was “too white”?

This is where Carey’s ambiguous features gave her the edge. Is she white, black, latino or a species of Pokemon? We just couldn’t class her during her early career – and many people still can’t – so she shifted easily between the formats. Carey’s label clearly understood that fact and she became of face of MOR (Middle of the Road) music without ever sounding too Pop or too Urban; even her music was colourless.

With that little history lesson explained, we can now discuss how the media easily turned Houston and Carey’s fans against each by igniting the most bitter feud since Prince vs Jackson in the early 1980s. This is actually quite easy to do if we review our notes: Houston and Carey both had massive voices and incredible technical control, and they were both beautiful women who targeted similar audiences.

Despite the fact that Houston and Carey were completely different performers and their music became progressively dissimilar by the mid-1990s as the latter continued to explore the sounds of Hip-Pop while the other ventured into Adult Contemporary R&B, the media continued to fuel their imaginary feud. Of course, their labels enjoyed the extra publicity because it helped to drive record sales.

Still, anybody who took the time to look beyond the propaganda would have quickly realised that Houston and Carey were drastically different. The former had a rich, powerful, clear and refined mezzo-soprano that was basically spotless. Carey’s voice, on the other hand, was far from perfect but that helped her to standout among the singers of the era. Indeed, her instrument was husky yet light, agile yet strong, colourful yet soulful and nobody could agree about how to class it. In other words, Carey was and still is a freak of nature, and I say that with love.

I always use this analogy when people compare Houston and Carey’s voices: imagine two people baking a cake. One person makes the perfect cake that matches the recipe in the book to the last word without  error. The other quirkier person breaks the rules and creates a cake with an innovative recipe that was never considered but it tastes just as good. Who gets an A grade: the model student (Houston) or the risk-taker (Carey)?

If you need another example then think of America’s Next Top Model (Cycle 3) when Tyra Banks had to  choose between Yaya and Eva for the prestigious CoverGirl contract. Yaya (Houston) was perfect by every standard but the judges picked Eva (Carey) because of her unique and interesting appeal. It really is just a reflection of taste.

“Where Carey regularly tried to match her recordings during her live concerts, Houston was more natural and focused on delivering the best possible show for her fans.”

Regarding their approaches to singing, Carey definitely outclassed Houston as a technician because of her thorough understanding of her range but Houston was the better live performer. Where Carey regularly tried to match her recordings during her live concerts, Houston was more natural and focused on delivering the best possible show for her fans.

Honestly, Carey experiments so much with her vocals and musical stylings in the studio that sometimes I wonder if she forgets that she has to sing those songs live. Houston thought like a true entertainer and although her music was more one-dimensional when compared to Carey’s material, she knew how to bring it to the stage.

In the end, after a few paragraphs of my rambling, it’s clear that Houston and Carey did have their similarities but they were very different artists. The media simply preyed on the minds of those fans who weren’t able to look beyond the basic parallels and think about their favourites artists without the added thrill of a possible feud.

Watch Houston and Carey perform ‘When You Believe’ below and see if you can spot the points I highlighted about their voices:

Thoughts?

  • Stoney-Brie

    Whitney will always be the best, Mariah is good don’t get me wrong, Mariah came close but never better or tied with Whitney.

    • Yuli

      Not really. Whitney was a better performer, but Mariah is a great lyricist, had a wider range, and has a better catalog. Mariah is the best tbh.

      • gabriel

        Stones brie you are so right. Even though Trey wrote this biased crap. Even using the fact that Whitney was booed by a bunch of haters as Whitney not taking risks! What an idiot…..haters are haters. Yet does he not mention how Mariah gained so much success????? By marrying her CEO, it wasn’t until then did she know what it was like to even be close to as popular as Whitney. Mariah C,Emotions,unplugged…..all were lukewarm (compared to Whitney) but marriage and then Columbia markets her by any means necessary and Whitney still stepped it up with the bodyguard sdtrk. Remember when Columbia would discount Mariahs singles? Releasing them at 99 cents for all those #1 debuts. She left Sony and hasn’t debuted at #1 since. Bottomline Whitney Houston had it going on…….no gimmick, no strategy just a voice that captivated the world like no other can or will period.

      • James

        I think your comment is unfair Gabriel. Mariah always sold pretty well, even at the beginning of her career. Mariah’s catalog of music has generally been better than Whitney’s, especially when you compare both artists during the 90s. Mariah’s albums from 1990-1998 were pretty much all perfect. Whitney was good too, but her most memorable stuff was her debut, second album, and The Bodyguard soundtrack. Not being mean, being honest. I do think Whitney was the better live performer though.

      • gabriel

        James …….I’m sorry you find the truth to be unfair. I hate to have to point out reality but some of you guys really try and downplay Whitney in order to try and make Mariah the greater of the two and she wasn’t. I don’t doubt that Mariah sold well I just know that Whitney sold better and her influence on music allowed Mariah step in and have her own shot greatness. Mariahs songs more memorable geez then why is that the 99 cent hit One sweet day hasn’t been mentioned since its run at #1 yet I will always love you is still gives people goosebumps today. We won’t talk about the greatest. love of all, I wanna dance, shoop, my loves your love, and countless others……dont just say random nonsense to try d ga a pointp.

      • James

        You come across as sounding stupid Gabriel. Mariah DOES have the better music catalog overall. Most people would agree with me. Doesn’t mean Whitney didn’t have great hits, but Mariah was the best as far as great singles AND albums.

      • gabriel

        I come across as sounding stupid? First let me tell you something “lamb” if you can’t handle the truth you should stay out of its path.Also if you want to start insulting just to make a point then I suggest you point your insecurities in another direction, i dont have time for the immaturity. Therefore if you can’t maintain your composure as an adult don’t respond to my posts. Bottom line there’s one singer who is referred to as the greatest of all time….. One singer is referred to as the “voice” and the eighth wonder of the world, and one person who influenced a generation of vocaliststo give it all they got including Mariah, one singer who was and I quote “whitney Houston was one of the single most important entertainment phenomena of the twentieth century……..her death marks not only the loss of a great performer but the of an era not only in entertainment but also in modern culture.” Perhapsn you should feel “stupid” trying to rationalize Mariahs popularity in comparis to Whitney Houston the definitive voice of our generation….period.

  • Diva20

    There both incredible legends, why compare them !!!

  • Great post! I agree with basically EVERYTHING that was said! No corrections from me lol

  • Theman

    These Mariah/Whitney post are very very played out. It’s been tired………… Mariah duplicated what she did in the studio live on countless occasions. Thats part was off. They are both equally as talented. They both have certain aspects that make them unique in their own way. Whitney’s a performer, with her stage presence almost being uncanny. Mariah is the technician, she’s more focused on doing things to the “T”. They are two different kinda performers.

  • AMorris

    I totally agree with everything you said, Trent. I’ve always felt that Whitney’s voice was more powerful than Carey’s, but Mariah was the more versatile singer. Both are absolute legends though, true masterclass vocalists.

  • Sam

    Trent, once again, you’re right on the money. Perfect article. There will never be another Whitney (RIP) and NEVER another Mariah. Sadly Mariah doesn’t get the recognition she deserves because she’s still going strong and often overshadowed by her “diva” persona that most people don’t get. Mariah is a living legend. End of story.

  • Sam

    @Theman Good point. I actually did disagree with Trent on that note lol. Mariah has proven time and time again that she can perform her songs live. Maybe not so much anymore but let’s just re-watch MTV Unplugged.

  • Cliff

    i love em both but i am a bigger Mariah fan, where’s Celine ? they always leave her out

  • DOMOdotSCORE

    Great article!

  • Danny LeGuen

    People always seem more legendary when they are no longer here, but I much prefer Mariah as a vocalist.

  • LOVE!

    I love Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Whitney had such a rich and powerful tone; she could make any song come to life even, if she did not write it. I agree that Whitney was the better performer; she was born to be on stage. However, her catalogue was not that great and one could say that her best songs were, on the many soundtracks that she had done.

    Mariah Carey is not the best performer and she hardly tries to out do herself live. She is very timid live and she holds back too much. For Mariah every single note, runs, and high note has to be perfect. So much, so that she rarely let’s go on stage like Whitney did. Now, she has had some great live performances, however, most of which were in intimate settings (that is where she truly shines).

    All though, Mariah lacked the natural performing ability that Whitney had, however, she possessed something that Whitney did not. Mariah is a writer and composer, something that Whitney rarely did. Also, Mariah voice is, as trent said ” a freak of nature….” her range and different textures of her voice is what makes Mariah, Mariah.

    In the end, Whitney is “The Voice” because of her rich and powerful tone. Whitney is a performer is every sense of the word; she could bring any song to life. Mariah is a true “Songbird” because of her writing and composing talents. Mariah is an artist in every sense of the word; her range and many different textures of her voice is unmatched.

    SN: What if Whitney and Mariah were one person? Imagine the talent that they would have!

  • Bee

    Excellent article Trent. An insightful and interesting read that had a rather objective approach. The article is not about comparing which is the better artist but about highlighting the differences between the two that make each so unique and special and appreciating that fact. Because often times the comparisons are not justified at all.
    People love to compare the two, although as you highlighted, they are completely different artists. They don’t need to be compared, that does not do either artist justice. You don’t need to pit Whitney and Mariah against each other to make the other look great, they are great on their own and shine their own bright light. Appreciate both for the incredible talent that they bring to the music world.
    It’s unfortunate that you have some people that feel that because they love one, they must hate the other. How immature and incredibly shallow! Appreciate the legends and just enjoy the music!

  • Kayla

    I never thought in the whole wide world that I would find a bigger Mariah fine than me! I have been listening to Mariah since I was 11 and I am in my thirties. I have seen many come and many go but MC is a true talent, period!

  • Liberiangirl

    They are both great artists. Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey have carved their own niche in this industry. There are no comparisons just like Trent said about the cake. They are both legends!

  • theman4u

    this was clearly written by a Mariah fan, first of all mariah could never match, let alone outmatch whitney as a vocalist, as an artist YES, but NEVER as a vocalist. and her tone clearly wasn’t distinct because she was constantly compared and accused of trying to sound like whitney and whitney herself even said Mariah had a similar tone and did some of the same kind of runs she did, so stop that.

    And Whitney was never limited as an artist, she crossed all genre’s and mariah lack of an identity actually worked against her when she never identified with being black UNTIL later in her career when she wanted a “hood pass”

    and how did she “ouclass” whitney as a technician when Whitney was perfection live and Mariah resulted to using backing tracks and lip-synching less than 10 year into her career. Whitney knew her voice and how to use it and in later years even when she was off she still knew how to deliver with what she had left because of her masterful technique and she knew how to deliver within her boundaries.

    Hopefully Mariah lives a long and beautiful life but if something was to happen to her she would NEVER be called the best singer ever, one of the greats, yes, but the best, never something that has been said by many about whitney even before she passed.

  • goser

    Well written I don’t think I can disagree with anything you wrote there. I could never understand fans going at each other as to who is the best as you say at the end of the days its about “taste”

  • LOVE!

    @theman4u “she never identified with being black….” Really? Check this out ——> http://youtu.be/6_fesQ8ExpA?t=4m25s. I get sick and tired of black people getting mad at mixed people (who are part black) for not picking one race when, they belong to more than just one (hence, the term “mixed”).

    So, @theman4u would you be happy if she denied her white/irsh side of the family? Like you claim she did her black side? Would that not be hypocritical?

  • LOVE!

    Also, people only say she never “identified with being black” because she is so pale. If she had Alicia Keys’ complexion this would not be a issue.

  • Mariah, hands and feet down.

    Whitney was excellent, don’t get me wrong. She has a legendary voice. But Mariah always had the better material (that of which she ALWAYS wrote and produced) and I think that always gave Mariah the edge.

  • Boop

    Lets see….

    Power – Whitney > Mariah
    Musicality – Mariah > Whitney
    Musical Interpretations – Whitney > Mariah
    Melismas and runs – Mariah > Whitney
    Belting – Whitney > Mariah
    Low Notes – Mariah > Whitney
    Head Notes – Whitney > Mariah.
    Musical discography – Mariah >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Whitney.
    Classic material – Mariah > Whitney
    In terms of personal preference – Mariah >>>>>>> Whitney

    Whitney may have not been the artist Mariah was but at least she knew exactly how to bend and mold a song to fit her voice, and interpret it. That takes a lot of skill (something there contemporary Celine still hasn’t mastered after 25 years).

    But, as Whitney once put it, they are nothing alike because Mariah does a lot of “inflections”. She could harmonize anything.

  • C-D-C

    “Honestly, Carey experiments so much with her vocals and musical stylings in the studio that sometimes I wonder if she forgets that she has to sing those songs live.”

    By far the most insightful comment I’ve read here. Case in point: vocal layering. Adds so much richness to the recording; almost as if the singer was echoing or answering his/herself. Since it was Mariah’s voice only, choosing which lines Mariah was to sing and which her background singers would take were unclear. Easy observation in her early performances, until they apparently settled on who should take what as time and performances progressed.

    I like this article. There’s nothing to argue about here. A good (but a tad short) essay that disproves rather than instigates. I really think you should continue with these debates as a series. It’ll be nice for someone to dispel rumours and rivalries that linger in the royal court of pop music (we’ll leave the hip-hop rivalries for Entertainment Tonight). Obviously the women will be much more fun!

  • Soul Girl

    I like Mariah’s music better, but for me, it’s not even a contest. Whitney imo blows Mariah away vocally.

    Sure Mariah is a wonderful singer and can hit those dog whistle notes, but Whitney is a much more powerful singer if you ask me. Mariah tends to sound whiney when she hits her upper register whereas with Whitney, her voice never falters. When she was at her peak, she could not be topped.

    Whitney’s voice had such strength and clarity. She hit those high notes SO EFFORTLESSLY, which is more than I can say for the likes of Mariah and Christina Aguilera who sound like they’re really forcing to hit those high notes.

    Whitney is my all time favorite female vocalist. At her peak, she was just incredible. Amazing tone, range, power and perfect diction.

    I still get goosebumps whenever I listen to her old records. What a gifted singer.

  • Soul Girl

    Also, writing and singing are different things, I never understand why people think that singers should write their own material. A singer brings the material to a higher level. And there is a reason we have a job title called songwriter.

    In classical music almost nobody sings their own material, it’s only with pop music that singers should write their own material. Never got that.

  • Nippy’s Receipts

    Whitney is a better overall vocalist than Mariah could ever be.

    IMO, the best vocalist:
    Ella Fitzgerald > Aretha Franklin > Mahalia Jackson > Whitney Houston > Mariah Carey

    I agree that Mariah is more involved in the production process, but really she’s not a writer. For a while, she was getting sued like every 3 months for claiming she wrote tracks that really she got through Sony and just added her name to. Beyonce does that, Madonna did it, Lauren Hill did it. A lot of people do it, so I’m not down on Mariah over it. After Mariah left sony & got divorced from Tommy her lyrics and writing hasn’t really been the same. I also remember Mariah being Oprah and saying she had “never been in love” and Oprah asked her how she wrote all those songs about love and she could barely explain.

  • C-D-C

    @ Nippy’s Receipts:
    You can’t prove that. That is by far one of the dumbest accusations I’ve heard. As far as I know, there have only been four cases in which Mariah has been accused of plagiarism: Emotions, Can’t Let Go, Make it Happen and Hero. All have been settled, none ever proving in the accuser’s favour. Embarrassingly enough, the accuser in the Hero case was forced to PAY Mariah has a result of the dismissal of his case. And to be clear: those accusations were never for lyrics, they were for melodies, chord arrangements. And it’s not particularly difficult for someone to appear out in the wide open space and claim that something on the radio sounds like something of their own. And what reason would Mariah have TO steal lyrics or melodies? She has been one of the most innovative samplers since her early years and has had no problem with granting production credits to the sampled song’s original writers, even if it means extending the writing credits to ten (see We Belong Together, which mentioned songs by Babyface and Bobby Womack).

    In fact, if you were to contact all of Mariah’s collaborators, they would tell you that she is a musician/writer/producer full body. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have said it; Jermaine Dupri has said it; Carole King has said it; David Foster has said it; and of course Walter Afanasieff, who, upon reflecting on his musical relationship with Mariah, stated that his duties were reserved until after Mariah wrote the bulk of the song.

    But how exactly can Mariah’s lyrics not be the same since her first divorce when you had just accused her of plagiarizing her entire catalogue? After the divorce, her image changed, her voice changed, her persona changed, so naturally, her lyrics would too.

    Enough of your hypothesizing and mind/body language reading, all evidence contradicts your statements. Such a desperate attempt to degrade Mariah’s superior musical abilities.

  • Nippy’s Receipts

    @C-D-C

    Beyonce’s cases always got settled too and people whom she’s worked with have commented on her so called “song writing” ability, that doesn’t make me believe she writes any more than Rihanna. Money can stop a lot of things from being exposed. Mariah had one of the most powerful man in the music industry by her side at the time so of course she would win those cases.

  • C-D-C

    @Nippy’s Receipts
    Again, unless you can provide proof, then your position is as much speculation as the reports in The National Enquirer.
    In the case of Beyonce, she declared to an attentive audience that she wrote Irreplaceable, but was countered by Ne-Yo (sp?) who said her efforts in the song were minimal. Speculating Beyonce’s credentials is understandable, since someone “inside the circle” (so to speak) discredited her claim. People throwing lawsuits aren’t likely to be “in the circle”.
    Anyway, Mariah’s musicianship has been verified, publicly confirmed and well documented. She said that most of the songs on her debut were written when she was in grade school. When she was 16-17-18 shopping around her demo tapes, Vision of Love was among them. Do you mean to tell me that Mariah even as a penniless teenager managed to employ ghostwriters?

  • sam

    “@Boop says: Classic material – Mariah > Whitney”

    Oh please! Mariah doesn’t have a true classic like I Will Always Love You.

    Anyway….singing is art, art is subjective. I prefer Whitney’s voice because it was more rich, soulful and had more emotion. Her glorious head voice & powerful vibrato was a bonus!

    I also think she was a lot more versatile…Mariah could hit the higher notes but when has she sung opera like Whitney did at the rainforest benefit in 1994! Whitney experimented a lot in her concerts…on her 1999 tour she was doing full on REGGAE! She was THE Voice because she could sing ANYTHING.

  • Don’t Mess with my Bey

    @CDC AND NIPPy RECEIPTS

    What do Beyonce have to do with this debate? Ne-Yo also said she arranged the song which many people like to ignore but anyways. And there are many many interviews where Beyonce credited Ne-Yo as the writer of “irreplaceable” in many interviews before and after she accidently slipped up to the audience and said she wrote the song.

    @NIpp Receipts

    Beyonce in many interviews have said she loves the melody and arrangement part of making a song which is considered songwriting in definition. (Lyricist and songwriter are two different things.) And there’s also a small clip of a B’Day writing session on youtube that shows Beyonce is a part of that part of the process as well.

    Anyways, I say Mariah as an overall artist is better than Whitney and Whitney had the better voice.

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  • DRB

    Whitney had a stronger, heavier voice but Mariah was more versatile. Whitney has more memorable songs but Mariah’s catalogue is better.

    Anyone who thinks Mariah can’t write a song —>

  • theman4u

    i dont care who wrote what or who has the better material when it comes to the points being made in this article, its bull.

    How was mariah more marketable when the top selling cd of all time by a female belongs to whitney, she starred in one of the highest grossing movies of all time, how was mariah more marketable?

    why bring up the soul train awards without mentioning that same company named whitney their artist of the decade during the same 10 years of mariah’s dominance?

    and then you praise work mariah did in the studio? a studio can make britney spears sound like a competent singer the true validity of any vocalist is what they can deliver live

  • C-D-C

    @theman4u
    The author was NOT referring to auto tune and similar vocal synthesizers. And to be fair to Britney Spears, modern day machinery cannot perform the work of God. All those stereotypes you’re so familiar with from the television are far and away over exaggerations.

  • C-D-C

    @theman4u
    The author was NOT referring to auto tune and similar vocal synthesizers. And to be fair to Britney Spears, modern day machinery cannot perform the work of God. All those stereotypes you’re so familiar with from the television are far and away over-exaggerations.
    He was referring to Mariah the technician, scientist

  • C-D-C

    @theman4u
    The author was NOT referring to auto tune and similar vocal synthesizers. And to be fair to Britney Spears, modern day machinery cannot perform the work of God. All those stereotypes you’re so familiar with from the television are far and away over-exaggerations.
    He was referring to Mariah the maker and technician. What you’re trying to do is compare the two as performers and entertainers.
    To expand on the author’s point, Mariah has proven to be one of the most experimental artists in pop music, even if some people are blinded/deafened by just the voice and diva demeanour. Some of the most familiar record arrangements that we take for granted today were derived from Mariah’s own mind and/or research.

    Greatness isn’t always calculated by how louder someone can sing over another.

  • Nora

    @theman4u “why bring up the soul train awards without mentioning that same company named whitney their artist of the decade during the same 10 years of mariah’s dominance?”
    If its the same company, I’m guessing you’re talking about The Soul Train Awards, of course they’re going to say WH. She’s BLACK! The Soul Train Awards are FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY. Mariah’s Black also, but she’s white too.
    Mariah was named Artist of the Decade by the BILLBOARD AWARDS. That’s EVERY COMMUNITY, not just the Black community. She EARNED that award, fair and square.
    Think about it: Mariah topped the charts in ONE DECADE with 15 #1 singles. (She had more than Madonna.) She sold over 150+ albums in ONE DECADE. She also garnered 2 Diamond albums (Whitney & Mariah both have 2 Diamond albums), and her 11th #1 single became the Song of the Decade because it was at #1 for 16 straight weeks. No one has come close to beating that record, except for Whitney’s IWALY and Mariah HERSELF with We Belong Together. Those both were 14 weeks at #1. Not trying to start any arguments, but you have to take ALL of those facts into consideration.

  • Boop

    @C-D-C
    ‘Greatness isn’t always calculated by how louder someone can sing over another.

    Greatness isn’t always calculated by how louder someone can sing over another.”

    I was with you until that. Whitney was more than just a loud singer with a diva demeanor. She was an expert at her craft. She WAS A FIRST CLASS Virtuoso and musician. Being a musician is not always about writing. the wya Whitney was able to take a song and interpret it was phenominal. that takes a lot of skill as I stated in an earlier post.

    Whitney had everything that a vocalist could wish for! She had the perfect timbre, great control, athleticism in her voice that is incomprehensible, the power, rich belting tone, and complex use of the melisma. She is the greatest vocal talents of the past 27 years. She proved to everyone on why she’s called “The Voice.” Her use of dynamics are incredible and her phrasings. This is why she’s one of my favorite singers. I love other singers, but she inspires me the most vocally.

    Each dynamic, harmony, phrasing and any other virtuosistic feat was placed in an extremely musical manner in order to define solid ideas. This is what makes Whitney the most creative singer of the past 27 years.

    I also believe whitney was held back by Clive. The woman was a fucking great piano player and no one knew about that talent she possessed. She plays at 1:30 in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeUJY3k9hFc&feature=player_embedded

    And i remember clive saying a quote “Singers shouldn’t write.” With what whitney went through i believe she had a lot to say that she wasn’t able to express.

  • redsimba

    LOL @ “Is she white, black, latino or a species of Pokemon?” I agree with Trent! Even though I’ve always preferred Mariah, I’ve had mad love for Whitney too. Both were friends so I see no need to perpetuate this war. Both are legends who each brought something different to the table.

  • Boop

    Lol, and speaking of Beyonce. I would say Beyonce is to Whitney as Rihanna is to Mariah when it comes to comparisons (Not in terms of talent).

    Although at a point in there career’s Mariah eclipsed Whitney in commercial success, Whitney was always the more respected artist by her peers and general public and went on to become more of a legend than Mariah. This is how I feel about Beyonce and Rihanna.

  • theman

    Stans are only being stupid stans. ariah owns the upper belt & has far ease than ……Mariah is the more versatile singer because she could go lower,higher and she has the whistle register to go along with it. They both have power, Mariah is powerful, yet agile & light, while Whitney just has sheer raw power. @TheMan4u is clearly a bitter azz hater. Period……. Mariah could sing any genre. What he mean’t by her being more marketable, is that you couldn’t really tell what she was.

  • theman

    Whitney was more respected by her peers? You are out of your mind…….. Just as many artists respect Mariah’s musicianship/artistry/voice just as much if not more. She is a complete artist, not just a singer. The Rihanna/Beyonce comparison is trivial.

    • gabriel

      I’m sorry that it seems unfair but the truth doesn’t need my defense nor your rebuttal because it stands alone. I understand that there are some serious lambs here (like the author of this biased and unfair article). Mariahs Career is awesome and her story once in a lifetime……but there is no comparing that story to the fairytale of Whitney Houston. It’s a shame that lambs are so delusional thinking that because of that whistle she’s the best and her career can be compared.f

      • gabriel

        To that of Whitney Houston.

  • Boop

    @theman4u

    Mariah does not get the respect she deserves especially amognst the younger crowd, let’s not be delusional. Even when Whitney was on crack you always had people praising her. During appearances and award show performances Whitney didn’t even have to utter a single note and people would stand. Mariah always had to earn her standing ovations. So my Beyonce/Rihanna comparison is correct. Hell, a lot of people don’t even know Mariah writes her own music. I was listening to “My All” a few months back and a friend of mine said “this song is cool but I don’t like singers who don’t write” I surely read him his rights afterwards but you get what i’m saying. I prefer Mariah’s music over Whitney but let’s not act like Mariah wasn’t always considered 2nd tier to Whitney. Even back in the day when celebrities would get asked “Mariah or Whitney?” they would say Whitney.

  • Beyfan

    FUCK BOTH THEM TIRED ASS NOBODY SELOUT BITCHES, QUEEN BEY, SHE SHITS ON DEM HO’S AND GOT A BETTER VOICE THAN THEM BOTH DEM HO’S AINT NOBODY EVEN CHEKIN FO THEM, EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD WANTS BEY, CAUSE BEY CAN DANCE TOO, AND SHE CAN ACT AND THEY CANT, SHE’S THE BEST IN THE WORLD AND YOU BITCH ASS NIGGAS NO IT TO.

  • mikemike

    One reason why Whitney overshadowed Mariah is that before the drugs Whitney always seemed to give a flawless performance and for Mariah it was always a hit an miss thing… I dnt care how INCREDIBLE the song sounds on the cd if u cant get on stage and deliver that song then I wont appreciate u as an artist and that was my problem with mariah sometimes should would and sometimes she wouldn’t. I am not saying whitney didnt have bad performances but in the earl years of her career those were few and you can’t expect a normal listener to understand the technical stuff that Mariah did. As I said dont get me wrong on Mariah she is a beast but I am just stating the things that broke the tie between the two and another thing was how effortless Whitney was she never seemed like she was straining for a note or even trying ( watch the National Anthem she was smiling the whole time ) every other singer including mariah seemed to be struggling an dfinally lets call it what she is a lot of times Mariah screamed a note like just because its unbelievable high STILL dont make it singing…u cant compare singing and screaming sorry no shade but ask any body who stuies and knows music…Mariah does things that are not considered singing where as Whitney gave u all singing so sorry trent sometimes all that “experimenting” went beyond the realms of music. Its kinda like how beyonce talks certain notes like she often does in me myself and I performance where she yells “calling me”..it sounds amazing but its still a yell with some growl she sings up to it and yell that part. They are both legends regardless and very different but I put it this way no one could scream or go as high as Mariah but for some its like no one could sing like whitney

  • m2derr

    WHAT DOES BEYONCE HAS TO DO WITH THIS?!

  • m2derr

    *have

  • Boop

    @mikemike

    Mariah screaming? Yeah fucking right. You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. You must have Mariah confused with Christina Aguilera.

  • Boop

    And how can you talk notes? You obviously know nothing about music or the voice be gone. Mariah and even Beyonce are able to apply vibrato to these notes you say they scream so no it’s not screaming dumby.

  • Mario

    Mariah is far more talented as a musician, but Whitney has the best voice.

    If I had to choose, it would be Mariah hands down. When it comes to artistry you have to take into consideration many things. Mariah writes her material and is a hell of a singer (those harmonies on her songs are sublime). Don’t get me wrong, I think Whitney was better live but her catalog does not do much for me. And Mariah always seemed nicer than Whitney. She was more of a diva but had greater sense of humor.

    They are both legends and Mariah could still have a long way. I imagine that with time she will be more respectful and she will turn into jazz or other genres and get the recognition she deserves.

  • xx

    I prefer Mariah. if you wrote this article this time last year, it wouldnt be as firey.

  • Chimier

    Regarding Whitney being “limited” by her ethnicity, what was mentioned in the article was a criticism, which isn’t the same thing as a limitation. Mariah faced some similar criticism when she came out as well. She was seen by some as “a white girl trying to sing black”. So I don’t understand how Mariah was more marketable due to her ethnicity.

    The reason Mariah was mostly compared to Whitney was because Whitney came on the scene with a unique pop-gospel singing style, and five years later, Mariah came on also with a mix of pop and gospel vocals. That’s why Mariah was said to have “sounded” like Whitney. It wasn’t due to the specifics of their timbre.

    And from the mid-90s onwards, Whitney sang R&B, gospel, she experimented with hip-hop on the MLIYL album, and of course, kept a little of the pop torch song. Regardless of what they experimented with or touched upon musically, both women kept an R&B base in their music from the mid-90s onwards, which is probably also a reason they were/are still compared.

  • mikemike

    any body who is trying to tell me that Mariah carey has never screamed on stage is fucking delusional point blank period..Im am not saying that she screamed all the time or as bad as Christina but she has before which is why she has been off pitch a few times GTFOH http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDGYvaBClcI watch this and tell me she MEANT for that note to sound like someting just bit her wtf

  • mikemike

    @boob I have studied music for six years and been apart of a classical choir for four I am well aware of what Vibrato is and most importantly I am well aware of what Pitch is and as I said Mariah has had some fucked up moments where she has been off pitch and screams the problem is because she does it in a extremely register the general listener is amazed by it but a true musican can recognize that it was a damn mess. Sopranos face the same problem in every single choir because they often sing in their high register the general audience are always wowed by them and thing they are amazing even when the mess up big time

  • Liberiangirl

    Some of you people need to read and re-read this article. Trent isn’t putting Mariah and Whitney against each other for a debate. He simply stated each singers talent and how each is a great singer and that there is really no comparing the two. He has complimented both artists. And why is Beyonce’s name even in this? Beyonce is a talented artist and good singer but lets be clear and play a game called “keep it 100%” Beyonce will never match up to Whitney and Mariah’s vocal ability. It just will not and cannot happen. Beyonce has a great voice and I am a fan of her work but Whitney and Mariah will sing Beyonce into a vocal coma!

  • Whitney & Mariah!!!!

    As person born in the early/mid 80’s Whitney is the 1st female voice I remember hearing that really impressed me. I was about 3/4 when “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” came out and on British radio that was the only stuff I really remember rivaling MJ’s “Bad”.

    In my opinion, this Boiling Point is very spot on. It highlights things that only someone with musical know-how would be able to comment on. The only real rival Whitney had was Janet Jackson, as Janet catered for the millions of Black girls out there who couldn’t sing but loved good music and loved/were great at dancing.

    As for Mariah being more marketable than Whitney I somewhat disagree. I recall articles and interviews about Whitney during her “My Love is Your Love” era where she was described as being the first female artist to have Black, White and Brown girls singing into their hairbrushes trying to be her (boys too!). Whitney was modeled to look like a White woman with each new single! By the time her second album came out and she debuted the blonde extensions in the “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” video I think everyone was getting deluded as to what appeared to be happening to our Black stars (Michael Jackson had returned in “Bad” drastically lighter than he did in his last video, “Thriller). Unlike Michael however, Whitney’s music had no real Urban edge (see “Love is a Contact Sport) and THAT’S the main reason she was booed at the 3rd Soul Train Awards. In Whitney’s case there may also have been jealousy as she was a stunning Black woman with beautiful eyes, high cheekbones, unusual, wavy hair, a megawatt smile and a supermodel’s figure. According to some people (women) her lack of “Black” curves, a la Beyonce, further distanced her from her own community.

    In regards to their voices and music a lot can be said. People tend to say Mariah’s discography is more impressive but I disagree because in my opinion Whitney’s songs are far more memorable. As a British guy who has lived in Europe nearly my whole life it’s fair to say that around this continent (and maybe worldwide) you’re far more likely to find a Whitney tribute than a Mariah. Ask people whose songs they can name the most and maybe the year Whitney is likely to come out on top. “Saving All My Love”, “How Will I Know” “The Greatest Love of All”, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?” “Dance With Somebody”, “So Emotional”, “One Moment In Time” “It’s Not Right” “I Will Always Love You”, “I Have Nothing”, “I’m Every Woman” “My Love Is Your Love”, and that’s only some, are well known to do whole tributes on. With Mariah, however, you tend to find people saying “Hero” first then maybe “Can’t Live”, “Emotions”, “Dreamlover” and “I’ll Be There” (3 of these are from one album, another only a year before). These are the only ones of her songs you’re likely to hear on the radio. Maybe you can add “Butterfly” and “We Belong Together” in too.

    The problem is that Mariah’s multiple album’s in the 90’s made it impossible to keep track of how great her music was and it almost became like she was a singles artist despite the fact she outsold Whitney. Unlike Whitney who became known for great albums inc. “Bodyguard” Mariah’s work is “Which song is she doing now?” This brings me to my next point.

    Mariah’s music was always FAR more predictable than Whitney’s. Even though she used rappers the type of singing she’d do seemed very repetitive. Her albums went something like this: Track 1) Uptempo song with Queenriah demonstrating her entire range: breathy, to mid to belt to mix to whistle, Track 2) a slow song with the same vocal tricks just elongated. You’d always find a sentimental ballad in there and if you’re lucky you may get one more dance song (she’s added more nowadays) but I found it too easy to forget her music whereas Whitney’s music to me, really stood out. It was hard to forget Whitney’s vocals on the “I’m Your Baby Tonight” album, her duet with Stevie Wonder, the video for the title track, the way her songs were so different but were distinct.

    Vocally, to me, Whitney had the better voice not just because she had a unique style and flare as the above video of “Dance” shows. She also knew how to colour the song because her voice was soulful, I don’t think Mariah’s is. Mariah’s voice is more like a building with different levels. You can’t settle on any of those levels as it’s in seeing all Mariah has you see how great the building is. With Whitney I feel one “room” of her vocal building is enough to convince you she’s the greatest (or up there with them) “Someone For Me”, “How Will I Know”, “Dance With Somebody” “Broken Hearts” “Miracle” “I Belong To You” “Run To You” in evey part of the song Whitney makes life hard for her competitors. with. Even on songs such as “Who Would Imagine a King” Whitney would leave you shocked as to just how much versatility there was in the 3 octaves she used. With Mariah, however it all seemed very ordered despite the fact she did experiment on live showings. When she did do something amazing it felt more showy/expressive than impressive, as if she wasn’t really in sync with the flow of the music. Whitney as the better performer of the 2 vocally rode the beat and you could feel that in her voice. MJ was like this too and you can compare the way MJ and Whit sang “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” around ’87 on their respective tours. Dead BODIES!!!!!

    Mariah has THIS advantage, she can sing ANY Whitney song, albeit with less soul…but Whitney can’t sing hers!!!

    I could go on forever but it goes like this. As Trent said it comes down to a matter of preference. Mariah for all of the threat she posed to Whitney was almost forgotten about when the songs from “The Bodyguard” dropped. It was very clear, Whitney couldn’t be replaced even with nearly 2 octaves less than Mariah.

    As a fan, I love them both…but prefer Whitney to learn from, she’s more vocally relateable!

    Sidenote: Whitney often outsold Mariah in the UK, with multi-platinum albums whereas Mariah tended to not go past Platinum (300,00) in the UK.

  • Sorry for double submission!!! Ooops!!!

  • John valentain

    Mariah will always be the best, Whitney is good don’t get me wrong, Whitney came close but never better or tied with Mariah.

  • C-D-C

    @Boop
    That wasn’t a dig at Whitney. It wasn’t anything specific worth deciphering, but rather a broad and general sentiment.
    Take for example, “The Voice”. They put two singers in a boxing ring (literally) and yell, holler and scream and practically battle it out until one croaks or until their eyes roll backwards. Who would the judges in the end choose?
    Referring to theman4u, it’s evident that they measure vocal prowess (entertainment value) while ignoring the other 270 degrees that complete the circle.

  • shade note – it takes a village to write a song

    “what is it called when they move you from coach to first class?” “oh yeah, upgrade [you].” #writingbybeyonce

  • LegallySane93

    It really just depends on your taste…Vocally..It’s too hard for me to decide because they both go neck to neck..so maybe a tie…Artistically, I would say Mariah wears that crown…Live, goes to Whitney..even at her worst, she gave it a 1000% ALWAYS…Memorable hits goes to Whitney…

    Overall, I pick Mariah..she was smart to keep up with today’s music…which is not a logical enough explanation to pick her over Whitney..I just picked Mariah bc she’s more of my taste..but I love some Whitney too…Mariah just has more personal songs bc she wrote most of them which naturally so makes them more relateable…

    Still both very good artist, and when both are gone, still NONE can compare..Even if both their success and talent is outmatched, they will ALWAYS remain legends bc little do these other stans want to admit it, Mariah & Nip are their favs favs

    But dead @ y’all stans going in!

  • Roxie le Fox

    It’s funny! In England (where i’m from) “When you believe” was Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston and in thw USA it was Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.

  • theman

    Mariah has the most versatile voice & she owns the upper belt. Her voice has so many different textures to it. Whitney’s songs aren’t nearly as complex as Mariah’s. Again it goes back to Mariah being the technician and Whitney being the performer. Mariah has out did herself on many occasions live, where she would hit higher notes on a song as opposed to what she did in the studio. Her music also has more variation. Mariah’s songs are just simply more complex, due to how they are composed. She has given tons of brilliant performances. Whitney songs are less complex.

  • MADEYOURELEVANT.COM

    Mariah Carey has sold almost double the records, she is a very under-rated vocalist and songwriter…her “All I Ever Wanted” is just as beautifully song as “I will always love you”, it was just never heard, her “I Wish You Well” is just as beautiful as “I have nothing”…..While Whitney had a beautifully perfect voice back in the day…..she just seemed formally trained, i’ve always loved Mariah slightly more….her imperfect life transferred over to songs about not being perfect and heartbreak….just touched something in my soul. “Looking in, fly like a bird, Mine Again, All I Ever Wanted, Love takes time to heal”….are the songbooks for my life. Love whitney also…but Mariah…..’s heartbreak can bring tears to my eyes. Loved This article.

  • Girrrl

    Whitney—better voice

    Mariah—better artist

  • theman

    Mariah the best technique/artist/musician/more-versatile voice/overall

  • Richard

    WHITNEY IS NOT THE VOICE! SHE CAN’T SING MARIAH’S SONGS! duhhhhhh! Mariah can because she covers all of houston’s range! MARIAH IS THE VOICE! Great article btw, Whitneys voice is very powerful but Mariah slayed her in general. Honestly.

    • Matthew Charlery-Smith

      @Richard you don’t seem capable of critical analysis. Whitney was called “The Voice” simply because no one drove home their instrument like her. She was a culmination and combination of every great vocalist before her. As Trent said, Whitney is perfection but Mariah is the wildcard that’s just as good in his cake analogy. Even Mariah said that “none of us would sound the same if Whitney Houston hadn’t put out a record.”. It’s not just about range, Xtina and Celine Dion use wider ranges most of the time but no one could justifiably put them above Whitney.

  • I think I sounded too harsh @Richard. Sorry!

  • wayno

    why is this REVISITED again? The world has already confirmed who had the GREATEST VOICE VOICE OF ALL TIME OR OUR TIME…Mariah is great, but she’s not in Whitney’s world. Hopefully Mariah can find her hit making skills on a new cd. I hope Mariah lives a long and lovin life, but if she died today– what will be her signature song that everyone would associate her with: Hero or We Belong Together. Only 2 to choose from…Whitney had classics: Greatest Love of All, Saving All My Love, One Moment in Time, Star Spangled Banner…IWALY…and it continues…There will never be another Whitney, but I can’t say their won’t be another singer like Mariah…I think had Teena Marie and Brenda K Starr

  • Theman

    You are out of your mind, Mariah has a ton of classic songs. “Vision Of Love”, hello being a staple. “Fantasy” “One Sweet Day”, “My All” “Butterfly” and so forth. Mariah has just as many classics as Whitney if not more. Mariah isn’t in Whitney’s world because she’s in her own. Teena Marie and Brenda K Starr sound nothing like Mariah. If thats the case then JHud and Deborah Cox sound like Whitney. Lol ignorance…….

  • larry

    YEEEEEESSSSSSSSS TTTHHHHIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS at the point u said that MC forgot that she had to sing some of her songs live! I think thats why her voice just getting weaker because her studio voice is INCREDIBLE!!! but harder to do it all in a concert! Whilst Whitney was not as hard and why she banged out live shows

  • MCLamb4ever

    EDIT:
    GOD DAMN IT. I absolutely HATE IT when you “BLOGGERS” decide to compare Whitney’s Voice with Mariah’s Voice WHEN YOU /DON’T/ EVEN KNOW HOW TO PICK THEIR BEST PERFORMANCES!!!!!!

    GET IT THE F**CK RIGHT.

    Mariah’s performance of ‘Love Takes Time” was CLEARLY CHOSEN in ORDER to pale in comparison to Whitney’s UPBEAT “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” in ORDER to make THE FOLLOWING (BIASED) ARGUMENT: “Mariah’s and Whitney’s voice are different and here are 2 DIFFERENT weak performances from both females that show you why.”

    This is the MOST insulting, ignorant, retarded article I’ve read in a long time regarding these two vocalists.

    MARIAH’S BEST performance is either her 1992 Grammy Performance of “If It’s Over” OR her 1991 Grammy Performance of “Vision of Love”. FOLLOWING those two powerful performances are her 1993 THANKSGIVING concert performance of “Make It Happen,” her 1993 Jay Leno Performance of “Hero” (AND the thanksgiving concert one), her 1994 “Endless Love” performance with Luther Vandross, her 1992 Oprah Performance of “Vision of Love”, her 1994 Performance of “Joy To The World” at St. John The Divine…(as a matter of fact – her ENTIRE thanksgiving special) ETC ETC. YOU GET THE POINT.

    You FOOLS who call yourselves “experts” in comparison to us “lesser beings who can’t tell when the media manipulates us into believing certain things” ALSO forgot about the SIMPLE fact that MARIAH CAREY has VOCAL NODULES while Whitney Houston does/did not. Do your f**king research.

    Different performers – yes, DUH, that’s f*cking OBVIOUS. Different “SINGERS” – HARDLY. Why the HELL do you think they were constantly being compared? Whitney Houston HERSELF admitted that Mariah was “one hell of a singer” and that “in some areas, [they did] sound alike.”

    Mariah:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18he0V-9ZTI
    @1:50

    vs.

    Whitney:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YjSHbA6HQQ
    @3:31

    OR.

    Mariah:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3CQqkLndMI&feature=related
    @1:35-onwards

    vs.

    Whitney:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS-R7SM_-M4
    @1:23-onwards

    YOU, ignoramus, deliberately chose 2 of Mariah’s weakest performance to further your OWN point. Which honestly doesn’t surprise me. Alluding to Whitney’s recent passing in an attempt to GUILT TRIP your readers and put WHITNEY on a PEDESTAL to make it seem as if Whitney really was, in all, better (vocally) than Mariah is MORE unsettling than your INVALID, WEIGHTLESS, BIASED claim.

    Mariah wipes the FLOOR with Whitney when it comes to belting in the UPPER register, which WHITNEY was NEVER really comfortable with…

    For instance:
    Whitney @5:20: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk2uOdglJYs

    vs.

    Mariah @2:07-onwards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZwMDq3XMcc

    And also:
    1) Anytime You Need A Friend (1993)
    2) Oh Holy Night (1994)
    3) You’re So Cold (1991)
    4) There’s Got To Be A Way (1990)
    5) Vision of Love (1990)
    6) Whenever You Call (1997)
    7) So Blessed (1991)

    Now…I, myself, could have easily concluded that Mariah was better than Whitney by providing and comparing the following two performances (WHO could POSSIBLY FORGET ABOUT WHITNEY’S and MARIAH’S PERFORMANCES ON OPRAH WHEN THEY WERE BOTH /OUT/ OF THEIR PRIMES!)

    Whitney @2:12-onwards:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq_CSnA_HKs&feature=related

    Mariah @3:16-onwards:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1YANyZ2BXU&feature=related

    Yes… exactly. But I’m not like you.
    So, A MUCH BETTER comparison would be the following:

    Whitney @1:50-onwards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOl9onNx6rA

    Mariah @1:54-onwards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqT_8f5vpw8&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqT_8f5vpw8&feature=related

    Now THAT’S a comparison.

    Get your SH*T together and quit posting performances that are NOT Whitney’s greatest or Mariah’s greatest (performances that downplay the SUCCESS AND IMPACT they both had in the music industry).

    WHITNEY’S BEST performance (HANDS DOWN) is:
    One Moment In Time (1988 Grammys)

    MARIAH’S BEST PERFORMANCE (HANDS DOWN) is:
    If It’s Over (1992 Grammys)

    Don’t f*cking get it twisted and EDUCATE yourself.

    • Matthew Charlery-Smith

      @MCLamb4ever I can’t believe you think it appropriate to write such a disrespectful, profanity filled comment on a post which praises your fave so much. Why is it people obsess and worship these celebrities can’t hold their minds or tongues together?

      Just so you know, the owner of this blog is a massive Mariah fan and I thought this post would be a “Mariah’s better than Whitney fest

    • Matthew Charlery-Smith

      @MCLamb4ever I can’t believe you think it appropriate to write such a disrespectful, profanity filled comment on a post which praises your fave so much. Why is it people obsess and worship these celebrities can’t hold their minds or tongues together?

      Just so you know, the owner of this blog is a massive Mariah fan and I thought this post would be a “Mariah’s better than Whitney fest” but it wasn’t. He’s mentioned Mariah’s nodules on a Way Back Wednesday post months and months ago!

      Those performances he picked we’re to demonstrate their unique gifts like Whitney being a better showperson than Mariah. Everyone knows there are better performances out there but the post wasn’t to prove who’s better, it was to prove how they were different entertainers with similar gifts and this post showed that really well.

      You could be grateful. Mariah has been all but written off as a has-been by many music critics over the last few years and a blogger takes the time to respectfully convey her in a positive light and you think it’s ok to come on here (his own blog) and be so rude? Lamb? Not the animal I’d choose to describe your behaviour.

  • MCLamb4ever

    Oh… and let’s not forget about the ending of Jesus What A Wonderful Child (1994) from Mariah’s Christmas album.

    I’m done here.

    You people ALWAYS fail to pick the performances that DISPLAY Whitney’s TRUE talent and Mariah’s TRUE talent.

  • cherishme

    Mariah Carey’s music was no more deep han Whitney’s. Both were considered to sing Middle of the Road Music when they first came out. Mariah later caught on to the success of Mary J Blige mixing hip hop and pop so she switched it up to stay on the charts while Whitney didn’t want to have anything to do with that. Despite the switchup, “Touch My Body” is still not what I call deep. Also, Mariah was not a better vocal technitian. The only thing Mariah did differently was use her whistle register, which even Whitney could have done if she wanted. If you google whistle register, it is a vocal technique that can be accomplished through practice, regardless of range. There was nothing ‘risky’ about it either, because singers such as Minnie Ripperton (who I believe did it better and more clearer) were already famous for it. And Whitneywas at one point considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, regardless of color, so her voice did indeed match her talent. With her tall, slender frame and lovely face, she used to be a professional model who modeled for the likes of seventeen magazine (and she people called her gorgeous without her having to dress like a hoochie which would indicate how beautiful she really was).

  • emberroses

    Honestly, the only people who are comparing Whitney and Mariah today are Mariah fans. When i watched the coverage of Whitney’s death and life and achievments, Mariah is not mentioned anywhere in them. Peopel are just talking about how Whitney is possibly the greatest pop vocalist of our generation. Read the news articles and news coverage. No one is even thinking about her competitors right now. This guy who wrote this article is a Mariah fan trying to make up some bull that isn’t even true.

    Nora said, “If its the same company, I’m guessing you’re talking about The Soul Train Awards, of course they’re going to say WH. She’s BLACK! The Soul Train Awards are FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY.”

    @Nora I think you misunderstood what the poster said. He was saying that the writer of this article stated that some blacks didn’t support whitney in her ealier career when they booed her at the Soul Train Awards, but the poster was explaining that it was unnecessary to mention that, because the same awards show named her artist f the decade proving that the black community did support her. Also, Whitney wasn’t just popular among blacks (you don’t sell almost 200 million albums worldwide off of 7 albums with an audience of ONE ethnicity). Whitney is the most awarded female artist of ALL TIME. She has the most American Music Awards (which the last time I checked is a predominately white established show) and has THREE diamond albums (whitney houston, whitney, and of course, The Bodyguard which happens to be the highest selling of any female artist). Whitney’s IWALY was the longest running song on Billboard till Mariah’s DUET with Boyz II Men. Mariah has garnered few more fans, becuase she continued to put out more material (at least 14 studio albums, remix albums, and greatest hits albums yet sold only tens of millions more than Whitney) and do duets and collabos with rappers which was not exprerimental. That was the trend, started by MARY J BLIGE. Mariah followed suite to stay on the charts. While other artists had to continue to put out music, even if it is oversexalized and lackluster, and try to ‘reinvent’ themselves to stay relevent, Whitney’s legend was built on the backs of just THREE albums which happen to be ALL listed in the 50 highest selling Albums of ALL TIME. She didn’t to do anything more after 1994 to be one of the most influential vocalists of all time. She hasn’t had a hit on the Billiboard Top 100 in years, but 12 year olds are still saying they wanna sing like her simply, becuase her work and live vocal performance were that memorble. And let’s not forget her Superbowl National Anthem, which made this black artist America’s Sweetheart at one point. I disagree with the writer that Whitney’s color hindered her. Maybe the writer himself has a prejudice that didn’t allow him to connect to Houston’s WELL DOCUMENTED AND MUCHED beauty and voice, but nearly 200 million albums, the title the VOICE, being the first artist to sell a million albums n one week, the only artist with 7 STRAIGHT number ones (without the help of a damn rapper), starring opposite KEVIN COSTNER, the most popular white actor at the time as his love interest in one of the highest grossing movies at the time, THE BODYGUARD as well as two other well known films, and being known INTERNATIONALLY as “The Voice” CLEARLY shows that she broke whatever color barriers before her to become a HUGE COMMERCIAL SUCCESS. The fact that she had to overcome some people’s prejudice made her success all the better.

  • emberroses

    I meant to say that Whitney Houston’s Beauty and Voice were ALWAYS Well documented and Praised. She was a professional model modeling in Seventeen magazine as a teenager for crying out loud! Kevin Costner waited an entire year and completly rejected Madonna just to get whitney for the Bodyguard becuase she was just that pretty and talented. And to think that Whitney was called a beauty without even dressing provocatively.

  • emberroses

    “Mariah has THIS advantage, she can sing ANY Whitney song, albeit with less soul…but Whitney can’t sing hers!!!”

    I have to disagree. Mariah may have been able to reach all the notes in I Will Always Love You or One Moment in Time, but no where near as effectively as Whitney. This would truly make her unable to sing all of her songs. There’s plenty of people with the range, but lack the tonal quality and type of voice to pull this off. Her voie is too thin, not rich and clean enough to strongly carry off that ballad. That is why Kevin Costner asked Whitney to play the part and sing the song and not any other, including Mariah (Mariah had already been out for two years and had a hit album so she probably was considered like Madonna but Csotner clearly knew only Whitney would fit the bill.)
    Also, to the person who said Whitney’s discography was subpar, you must have forgotten about I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU , Saving All My Love For You, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, The Greatest Love Of All (Still sung at countless graduations), countless other Whitney songs that still play on adult contemporary radio and are used as audition pieces by countless others. Alot of her songs have been very memorable and continue to stay in public consciousness. Vision of Love and Hero are probably Mariah’s most memorable songs. Also, the stregnth of her discography One Sweet Day, Fantasy, Honey, and others lie with her collaborations (one sweet day’s success can be attributed to Boys II Men as well, who were also very popular at the time and had another number one hit close to the time that song hit). Mariah’s collabos with rappers, other vocalists have seriously helped her at the charts with at least five or six of her hits. Don’t forget the one with Bone Thugs and Harmony and Twista and that one British boy group when she sang Take a Look At Me Now. All of Whitney’s number ones were from her and her alone.

    • gabriel

      Well said. People have a hard time digesting that Whitney Houston was the definitive voice of music of our era and the greatest singer of all time. Mariah wouldn’t sing live for sooooo long when she came out while Whitney said gimme and let me set the par! A rich powerful soprano with a vibratto so powerful it should her entire body when she sang. A transition from head to chest voice so flawless it is talked about in reverance today. She just had It going on!!!!

      • reiko

        Whitney’s a mezzo lolz.

      • gabriel

        Hmmmmm……Aretha Franklin stated and I quote “and when she hit the soprano (saving all my love for you) I said okaaaay Cissy’s little girl can sing!” I think that ReeRee would know what she’s talking about. Lolz….

  • I LOVE MARIAH CAREY TO PIECES!! MY FAVORITE SINGER OF ALL TIME, HOWEVER, WHITNEY HOUSTON COULD SING BETTER THAN ANYONE!!! WATCH HER YOUTUBE VIDEOS AND THEN COMPARE! NOBODY COULD SING BETTER THAN WHITNEY, PERIOD.

  • Ben

    You forgot to mention that Mariah co-writes and co-produces all of her material. Whitney rarely ever contributed as a songwriter or producer. I think that both are great, but I think Mariah is more of an artist and a risk-taker than Whitney was. That being said, I have an enduring respect for Whitney because she is a better live performer than Mariah. I know that Mariah also had a huge amount of respect, love and appreciation for Whitney – and I think the feelings were mutual. So I really don’t appreciate attempts to turn Mariah and Whitney and their fans against each other :/

    • gabriel

      I agree Ben. I hate it because its just drama I love Mariah to pieces and her love for Whitney makes me love her more. I discovered Whitney first and believe she deserves respect as she worked hard for it. But I love them both. Blame Trey for this.

  • Ben

    And let’s be clear…Mariah NEVER passed for white. She was always up-front about her background from her first interviews in 1990 and continued to be asked about her “racial identity” during many many subsequent interviews, so don’t start any of that “she tried to pass for white” garbage.

  • Ben

    And I would also like to correct the commentators who say that Mariah Carey started incorporating hip-hop into her music as a ploy to sell more records. If you look at her record sales, “Butterfly” (1997) sold half (5 million) of what “Daydream” (1995) sold (10 million). And “Butterfly” is the first record where she aggressively integrated hip-hop onto the album. And the record sales continued to plummet as she continued to incorporate hip-hop even more aggressively – “Rainbow” (1999) sold 3 million; “Glitter” (2001) sold less than 1 million. So tell me…why would she continue to relentlessly pursue hip-hop as a means to sell more records if it was so ineffective? That argument really doesn’t hold up based on Mariah’s 1997-2004 sales trends.

    It wasn’t until “The Emancipation of Mimi” (2005) that Mariah saw her record sales go up again because the type of music and collaborations she had been pursuing for the better part of a decade just happened to start being trendy again.

    Mariah was always influenced by R&B/Soul – the “Emotions” (1991) album was straight up R&B. But she started to incorporate hip-hop into her music in 1994/95 with the Fantasy Remix with Ol’ Dirty Bastard and the original version and remix of Always Be My Baby, which she recorded with Jermaine Dupri.

    It really irks me that people want to create this false dichotomy between ballad Mariah and hip-hop Mariah. Hip-hop has now been a part of Mariah’s music since 1995. It’s 2012, people. Get your shit together.

  • James

    Whitney had about 15-16 years of greatness whilst Mariah had about 9-10. Whitney had the better voice, Mariah had the better music overall. Whitney was at her peak vocally and image wise for a longer time than Mariah. I think Mariahs vocal and image peak was 1990-1992. Musically though her peak was 1990-1998.

  • Gabriel

    Trent this was just another attempt to get you and the rest of the lambs rowled up to diss Whitney so just call it is. Your article was in no way without your natural bias against Whitney. I respect Mariah and her friendship with Whitney and therefore refuse to say anything other than watch their performances at the Oscars it speaks for itself. “Overmatched her predecessor” thats probably the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever read….. Especially since she wouldn’t even sing live for the longest which actually made her NOTHING like Whitney. SMH…….lame.

  • Anderson

    Mariah Carey has way better voice than Whitney Houston’s.

  • Janel

    It’s great to know that Mariah is the best. Great article 🙂

  • Gabriel

    @Anderson- and she displayed at the Academy awards (sarcasm). Anyway its nice that at the very least her fans have her back and you should….. I have her back in everything but this subject. Also Anderson has Do you know how many songs Whitney wrote/cowrote? Very uninformed comment above. Trent great rally of nonsense……. @ Janel— Oprah, Celine,Madonna, Patti Labelle, Clive Davis, Cyndi Lauper, Toni Braxton, Simon Cowell, Britney, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Puff Daddy and Mariah herself seem to have different opinions……… Sorry they only call one person “the voice,” and it wasnt/isnt Mariah.

  • Gabriel

    @MCLamb4ever says….. go take your medication. This article is soo funny and I love the way people kind of make up their own facts to prove their point. If it is so easy for Mariah to sing a Whitney song why hasn’t she? Not at her funeral nor any of the many tributes that have been held for Whitney?

    @Nicole- I respect your comment
    @Ben- First off I truly respect your comment………but…..She took over radio, television, and film, every album had an accompanying world tour……..including the bodyguard where she had to hit North America TWICE….. Dont downplay her massive contribution you dont take more risks in entertainment than Whitney Houston did.

  • will

    Whitney can out sing Mariah in her sleep

    • gabriel

      And wide awake just watch the Academy award performance and it will tell the story…….. Denial is a sad place to be.

  • nahum

    star spangled banner,1988 grammy one moment in time,and im telling you im not going 1994 ama,1994 i will always love you.etc.pls tell me any mariah carey performance can outmatch this whitney houston tour de force performances.People are missing the defination of true artistry,its the ability to intepret a song and make it your own,Mariah obviously lacks that.its upsured to say that mariah can sing any whitney song just because she can sing every note,bcauze she does not have the voice,its like saying a coloratura soprano who sings every note,can sing a whitney song.peole pls use your brains.And mariah fans wont even bother to watch this videos mentioned above,because they will be ashamed of themselves.Now tell me any mariah live performance that sent chills down your spine…they aint any.what a joke,”mariah is a great artist because she writes her songs and versatile.so versatile that i would want her to attempt opera singing to see her awesome soprano voice…can she take a song like i have nothing and make it her own,not just beacuse she hits evey note?No,but whitney can take emotions,and even though she wont squill that whistle notes,she would bring that rendition into a confident coloratura alto,yes confidence!!!Whitney,I love you baby,rest in peace,dont let your legacy be compared to frauds,studio worms,skin showing skanks…

    • gabriel

      i truly respect your comment people let obsession distort reality.

  • kevin

    whitney the best vocalist of all time,

  • musicfan

    Mariah was more marketable because she looked white? Er how come she never matched the hight of Whitney’s success?

  • Jaylen

    Wow! Whoever you choose, Mariah or Whitney, one thing is clear there is no other artist who compares to these two! They are the greatest singers! Most comments here are pretty fair. Mariah is the most successful of the two win you think of hits and sales and Whitney was the supreme vocalist and performer. Their sound, independently, cannot be duplicated.

    • gabriel

      I’d have to strongly disagree with you as to which one of them was more successful. People need to think back (or do some research on how massive Whitney Houston really was. She was huge her first two albums alone sold 45 million copies!!!!! She has one album that by itself sold 45 million copies. She was THE highest paid African American actress in hollywood when she signed a 10 million dollar deal for TPW. Cinderella was the most watched made for TV movies EVER. She is the most awarded female singer of all time for a reason…who has won an Emmy for a performance on the Grammy’s. When u talk success you need to think about what you’re saying because in all actuality there is no comparison…..Whitney Houston’s career is not matched by anyone, not Mariah, not Celine no one. She was a tour de force,who put out half as many albums as Mariah because her albums would stay in the charts for years. There’s no comparison….Whitney Houston takes the cake. We won’t talk about performing because there’s never any milli vanilla with Whitney no matter what her voices condition and I truly respect that. She was the real deal!!

  • theman

    Mariah has sold more, and is worth over half of billi, she also has many more number ones, thus making her more successful, although they are both massively successful. It isn’t a competition. Mariah can do just about anything vocally.

    • gabriel

      Buddy you need a reality check. Just because you like her more doesn’t dispute facts. I know its hard to swallow but Whitney’s career involved conquering all aspects of entertainment. We are not going to talk about Mariahs voice she wouldn’t go on tour for years and lip-synch (not all the time but more than every now and then), but if in your head Mariah had the more successful career then go ahead because she didn’t. Without Whitney there would be no Mariah. Mariahs entrance in to the entertainment was nowhere near as massive as Whitney’s. But you “lambs” will make upo anything. Half a billion dollars?? Another exaggeration. She has not once made Forbes list of wealthiest celebrities. Though I know she’s rich……half a billion……you wish!!!

  • Very good post. I certainly love this website.
    Continue the good work!

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