Singing The Praises Of Female Vocalists Of The Past

Great music is often times an expression of great pain and sorrow. Some of the most influential and powerful musicians have also been some of the most troubled. Some would point out that it is the musician’s sensitivity to the world around them that made them so great. This sensitivity that allows them to feel pain, channel it and push it back out to an audience is what makes them so susceptible to depression and troubled lives offstage. Another unfortunate common feature of a great musician is one of a troubled childhood in which music was a welcome solace and therefore the musician immerses themselves completely into their art form as a way out.

Putting Sorrow To Good Use
Billie Holiday, arguably the best female jazz vocalist of the 20th century, if not of all time, knew how to convey emotion. Her music pushed people to change. When she sang it wasn’t to sell records or sell potato chips, she sang to push herself and others to new heights and that kind of passion and talent is rare. Her song “Strange Fruit,” a powerful and distressing song about the lynching of African Americans in the South, is a hallmark of Holiday’s conviction to her art form and pushing the boundaries. A student of jazz can see that Holiday was drawn towards a darker side of the world. Many of her songs reflected her troubles with her own relationships. And while these song’s intense emotional qualities may make them hard to listen to for some, it’s exactly what some listeners are looking for.

Making An Impact With Story
Another great female jazz vocalist that had the ability to pierce right through the hearts and minds of audiences all over the world was Nina Simone. Her hypnotic and sensational performances were well known during the years that she performed. As a pianist and singer she was truly a captivating performer and storyteller. In her later years, thanks to the Internet and compact discs, Simone’s music received a renewed enthusiasm and audience. Listeners of every age and generation embrace her powerful yet melancholic performances.

Singers For The Future
A female jazz vocalist in the past had to compete with many opposing forces to be heard. The foundation that performers such as Simone and Holiday laid has allowed the performers of today to explore and push new boundaries. These women would have been proud and delighted to see that today’s music industry and popular culture is dominated with the positive and powerful influence of female vocalists and performers.

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