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Is the "Superstar" over?

Will there ever be another Elvis, Barbra, Liz, Michael, Madonna, Janet, Whitney or Mariah? Could there ever be another Beatles?

Or is the media today just so vast and segmented that it renders it impossible to have such a wide audience?

Even if you didn't like some of those entertainers, you'd have to admit that in their heydays they seemed to be everywhere.

I think there are big "names" today but I don't think any of them have the familiarity that the legends truly have.

by Anonymousreply 7103/06/2013

Gaga, Beiber, Britney, Rihannan, Angelina, blah blah blah.

by Anonymousreply 102/27/2013

I don't think there will be another genuine superstar actor. People don't fork out for expensive movie tickets because they want to see a particular actor, the only reliable box-office draws are franchises. Hollywood discards actors as soon as they have a dud or two, and another flavor-of-the-month hits town.

How are things in the music business, any hope of longevity there?

by Anonymousreply 202/27/2013

They don't have faces anymore.

by Anonymousreply 302/27/2013

[quote]Will there ever be another Elvis, Barbra, Liz, Michael, Madonna, Janet, Whitney or Mariah?

That's a pretty long list to declare over.

by Anonymousreply 402/27/2013

Elder-ghey lamenting their lost youth thread.

by Anonymousreply 502/27/2013

Bieber is a HUGE superstar. With all of his Twitter followers, he's one of the most influential people in the world.

by Anonymousreply 602/27/2013

35 million followers to be exact

by Anonymousreply 702/27/2013

There will never be another superstar on the level of Michael Jackson or Madonna. The Internet and 500 channels changed everything.

by Anonymousreply 802/27/2013


by Anonymousreply 902/27/2013

If Adele can maintain her stardom for another decade she would easily be that legendary.

She has the right combination of being very popular and being respected.

by Anonymousreply 1002/27/2013

From the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties, we had about 5 or 6 superstars who were simultaneously at or near their peak. MJ, Madge, Springsteen, Whitney, Prince and Janet. Then the it started to get watered down with the internet and 1000 channels, but these were the last superstars.

And I mean no disrespect to Gaga, Rihanna, Mariah, Celine, Britney, Beyonce, Usher or Timberlake who were, in various ways, the trying to mimic these last superstars.

by Anonymousreply 1102/28/2013

Agree with Springsteen and Prince. Madonna, Jackson and Whitney are not "superstars." They are very poor role models. Two of them dead because of their own excesses and the other one's career might as well be dead. Superstars are those that can sustain their popularity, even with a few ups and downs in their careers. Cher, David Bowie, McCartney and Mick Jagger, and, yes even Streisand should be counted if just for their longevity alone. Janet? What a laugh. She's not even in this picture.

by Anonymousreply 1202/28/2013



Shouldn't a superstar have talent ?

by Anonymousreply 1303/01/2013


All of them are one Brony named Chester who has 34,999,999 accounts on Twitter.

by Anonymousreply 1403/01/2013

Don't you remember you told me you'd make me gravy

Told me you'd be heaping on gravy...

Gravy, gravy, gravy, oh gravy

I love you...

It's food I don't have to chew.

by Anonymousreply 1503/01/2013

Most definitely over.

You know, I was feeling nostalgic for Whitney Houston, and so I looked up some videos of her performing.


This woman was something like what we'll never see again. Same for Michael Jackson, and Jimmy Hendricks, and John Lennon, and Janis Joplin. These people were superstars.

Today's "superstars" are nothing more than corporate creations. They may have a little bit of talent, and with the right manipulation, they can become big.

But people like Whitney? One in a million. Pardon my nostalgia, but I'm going to post a few videos of what I think is a real superstar...

by Anonymousreply 1603/01/2013

Britney was the last superstar. Her debut video "Baby One More Time" closed the chapter on the 20th Century, which had begun with the Exposition Universelle in Paris, 1900.

by Anonymousreply 1703/01/2013

The superstar still exists. It's just that as you grow older, you notice it less.

by Anonymousreply 1803/01/2013

Whitney again..

#2. All the Man That I Need on SNL.

Simply incredible.

by Anonymousreply 1903/01/2013

The media buiz will always provide the general public with idols they can worship, because the PR media people and companies make money with that concept.

by Anonymousreply 2003/01/2013

Whitney showing her extreme ability to improvise.

"I Go To The Rock."

This is really why she was a superstar...

by Anonymousreply 2103/01/2013

Last one. My personal favorite and indulgence. "I Believe In You and Me" on Saturday Night Live.

It's my fave because she's so heartfelt and sincere... they just don't make performers like this anymore.

Nowdays, it's all cookie cutter and formulaic. Whitney sang from her heart and soul, and that's what made her a star in my eyes.

Thanks for making this thread, op. You let me indulge in my absolute adoration of this REAL superstar.

by Anonymousreply 2203/01/2013

Whitney was not a superstar. She never did much after the Bodyguard.

Mariah is a superstar. She was able to come back from a total disaster - Glitter.

Same with Ben Affleck, he's a movie star of the old time status.

Madonna has retired to retro-icon with Ringo, Paul and the Rolling Stones.

There really isn't any real singing stars today. A true superstar is known to cross generations of people. None of the stars since 2000 have cross over except for the few from before 2000.

Even the most brain dead people knew the Beatles or Madonna or the Stones. Even the youngest cool kids knew of the old time stars like Sinatra.

But you don't have that today.

by Anonymousreply 2303/01/2013

Whitney Houston...

"I have Nothing"

by Anonymousreply 2403/01/2013

Cuntface Beyonce thinks she's a superstar for the ages, but she's WRONG.

by Anonymousreply 2503/01/2013

"Madonna, Jackson and Whitney are not "superstars." They are very poor role models. Two of them dead because of their own excesses and the other one's career might as well be dead."

Yeah, because having the #1 tour of 2012 is sign of a dead career. Most artists would kill to have a "dead career" like that.

by Anonymousreply 2603/01/2013

[quote]They are very poor role models

Well, we've never had a Superstar who was a poor role model!

by Anonymousreply 2703/01/2013

Saying the Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Whitney weren't superstars makes you silly. No one but some old theater queens would agree with you.

by Anonymousreply 2803/01/2013

Benedict Cumberbatch.

by Anonymousreply 2903/01/2013

There will be no more superstar film actors, as I've said above. Is TV capable of producing a genuine superstar, that is, someone who draws an audience in multiple ventures?

A TV star is generaly a star for the run of one series, and it's rare that lightnight strikes twice in the same place and one actor gets two successful series. Has a TV actor ever had THREE hit series? Or maintained a star career by alternating series and other projects?

by Anonymousreply 3003/01/2013

I would have thought the true superstar in music was a thing of the past, but Lady Gaga certainly fills that bill. She's massive around the entire world.

by Anonymousreply 3103/01/2013

It's sad that OP did not mention DIANA ROSS in the list. She started the whole superstar-diva thing. Respect that.

by Anonymousreply 3203/01/2013

Lady Gaga is falling off already; unless her next offering is massive, she's pretty much on the downturn.

by Anonymousreply 3303/01/2013

Sinatra, Garland, Elvis, The Beatles, Jagger, Prince, Springsteen, Streisand, Whitney, Madonna and Michael Jackson were all superstars.

Don't argue that Whitney Houston is not a presence with a voice never to be forgotten, no matter how long her fall or where she landed.

Listen to this medley. Everyone in that room knows that she is a superstar talent and that they are hearing purity of tone, amazing vocal power with a stunning flexibility - gorgeous in her low register, a chest belt that defies logic and that beautiful trilling head voice.

She has the breath control and virtuosity of a great mezzo soprano and the soulfulness of her gospel roots. She looks like a star, and generates mad electricity and confidence that puts her alongside the greatest. Diva is a small part of it. No one sings like this.

And yeah, I think the Superstar is over.

I Loves You Porgy/I am Telling You/I Have Nothing.

by Anonymousreply 3403/03/2013

O.M.G., R34.

I'm speechless. Simply magnificent.

by Anonymousreply 3503/03/2013

Britney. Christina. Katy Perry. Taylor Swift. Even Mariah and Adele.

Absoutely shit.

BEHOLD... a real superstar... there really is no one like this anymore.

by Anonymousreply 3603/03/2013

Say what you will, Rhianna is a superstar at the moment. Will it last? Who knows. Diana Ross and Cher don't really have a chart presence with new material, but their old material is legendary. Everyone knows who they are. Madonna is a superstar, Maria Carey is too, so is Bette Midler, Janet Jackson and Stevie Nicks. Say what you will about them, they made a big impact for a variety of reasons and have achieved a legendary type status. I'm not the Stevie Nicks troll, but I see people act awestruck in her presence on TV.

Men? Prince, certainly (another one where people act awestruck as if in the presence of a deity) but also Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Axl Rose and Tony Bennett. They seem to transcend regular stardom almost like royalty.

by Anonymousreply 3703/03/2013

I love this comment:

"At 2:53, Mariah becomes Whitney's backup singer.... lol"


by Anonymousreply 3803/03/2013

R32tNo, Diana Ross did not start the whole superstar-diva thing.

Watch Barbra Striesand's concert in Central Park in 1967. That's when and where the concept of the modern superstar diva was born.

See the link's 1967... the voice, the gown, the hair, the mannerisms, commanding a stage alone, filling a huge venue, the adulation...

In 1967 Diana Ross was still a member of a girl-group.

by Anonymousreply 3903/03/2013

R36 Most of the moments on that clip are examples of how NOT to sing. They are screechy vocal gymnastics designed to wow. It plays to the least sophisticated level of taste.

Whitney Huston and Mariah Carey were the death of good singing.

by Anonymousreply 4003/03/2013

The video at R38 is the difference between a superstar and a "product" of the music industry.

Mariah is all about formulas and notes. There is absolutely no passion behind her music. With Whitney, there is life, and soul, and emotion, and feeling, and musicality.

For some reason, people nowdays just don't get it. Especially those in the music industry. They think it's all about "swag" and "Cristal" and autotune.

Whitney was a superstar because she moved people. Today's "musicians" and "stars" are manufactured, fake, and untalented.

And I'm grateful to know the difference, because I grew up when good music was the norm, not the exception.

by Anonymousreply 4103/03/2013

[quote]Elder-ghey lamenting their lost youth thread.


You kids and your loud music! You call that a melody!

by Anonymousreply 4203/03/2013

R42 Nowhere did OP mock any of todays artists. No reason for you or R5 to sound so defensive and angry.

Why don't you or R5 tell us who the superstars of today are?

by Anonymousreply 4303/03/2013

Speak for yourself, R40. I don't think good music is anything I can do myself, as well or better. It isn't Whitney's fault people (try to) imitate her singing style to death.

by Anonymousreply 4403/03/2013

Whitney Houston was the master of melismatic singing, which is not to be confused with vibrato.

Melisma is the suble multi toned sounds produced on a single note like she did most famously on I,yi,yi, will always love you, oo oo. When done well it is like a ripple across a note of music, with very small variations upon that note.

Whitney could also do the most fluid runs from deep in her diaghram all the way up into head voice with no break in the clear tone of her voice. And she could do them in reverse too! She used runs and melisma both tastefully and meaningfully when singing. She sang from her heart and did not do vocal gymnastics for effect only. She grew up a gospel singer and was anointed by the vocal gods. This sound became more prevalent in her singing when she broke free of the whitebread pop princess image that she was packaged as by Clive Davis.

The most famous use of melisma in popular music is Mariah Carey's "Vision of Love", where barely a single note is sung as a syllable and she riffs and trills and glistens on everything. It is astonishing, but not everyone likes it. And she does it way too much.

Jennifer Hudson is not as vocally gifted but way over utilizes runs and has a very unpleasant "screaming" tone to her sound when she puts the gas on and adds power to her voice. I am not a fan.

Christina Aguilera is also a great one to over indulge in these techniques at times, where the vocal sounds can blot out meaning, and lyrics are secondary to the tricks. Yet they are all arguably soulful. Aguilera actually has a higher range than Streisand, in that she is a soprano and yet the timbre of her voice is smokier, so it seems deeper.

Celine Dionne is the most influenced by Streisand, hitting soaring high notes with a thin and very precise vibrato. It is most about the precision placement and she is a very studied singer. She has a gorgeous, slightly nasal voice like Streisand but lacks in musical interpretation and spontaneity. She has said many times that Whitney is her favourite singer.

Mariah and Celine have the largest ranges, with Whitney and Christina both having larger ranges and more powerful voices that Streisand. Houston's voice is undoubtedly the most powerful and at her best she does not have a weak spot in her range. It is not hyperbole that she could easily have sung opera with training.

What I am trying to say is that many singers have been compared to Whitney Houston, but Whitney Houston has been compared to no one.

She sang from her heart with amazing skill, instinct and an unmatched voice. Singing is a measurable talent, even if our tastes are subjective.

If you think they all sound the same, or tend to use the word 'caterwauling" then there is usually some discomfort with black singers going on to put it politely. (Patti Labelle caterwauls if you must use it.)

Whitney could sing pure noninflected pop any day but she had too much talent and soul to not show off sometimes. NO one sounds like Whitney Houston. Nope.

by Anonymousreply 4503/03/2013

Whitney Houston

pretty pop princess

"The Greatest Love of All"

by Anonymousreply 4603/03/2013



by Anonymousreply 4703/03/2013

Soulful gospel Whitney, rehearsing...

"This Day"

by Anonymousreply 4803/03/2013

Idiot at r12. Michael Jackson is one of the greatest superstars of all time. Among singers, second only to Elvis.

by Anonymousreply 4903/03/2013

R49: And among pedophiles, second only to Catholicism.

by Anonymousreply 5003/03/2013

R45 re: caterwauling

Aretha Franklin (in her prime) understood how to use her big voice to great effect...she knew exacly when to pull out the stops. The same with Gladys Knight.

Both respected lyrics and told the story. Magnificent phrasing. It was not about them.

Houston was only occasionally good... but she was mostly without taste.


Dionne's voice is more than slightly nasal. And her phrasing is horrible.

by Anonymousreply 5103/03/2013

r34 nailed the superstars, though I would drop Prince from that list. He didn't really transcend generations the way the others did.

by Anonymousreply 5203/03/2013

The Internet and 500 channels, both television and music, ended the era of the mega-star. Entertainment is very fragmented now, and people are doing their own thing. Even big music stars of today like Rihanna or Lady Gaga don't have the huge cultural impact that Michael Jackson or Madonna did back in the day. The public is much more jaded now, and don't get shocked as easily as they once did. Madonna shocked people. Prince shocked people. That factor really isn't around anymore.

by Anonymousreply 5303/03/2013

R34 Whitney's "I Love You Porgy" in that clip is just awful.

She's OK when she moves into "And I Am Telling You" etc... it's showy, over the top, tasteless but she's effective if you fall for that kind of "singing"... the Gershwin however is simply dreadful.

by Anonymousreply 5403/03/2013

Tig Notaro, ladies and gentelmen.

by Anonymousreply 5503/03/2013

And what am I?

by Anonymousreply 5603/03/2013

r54 = Lips pursed tighter than a cat's asshole.

by Anonymousreply 5703/03/2013

r39, this is a difference of cultural background. This WHOLE topic is.

by Anonymousreply 5803/03/2013

[quote]The superstar still exists. It's just that as you grow older, you notice it less.

This. Every generation has its own version of superstar; albeit, the definition and media may change. Older generations won't be as tuned in to stars that aren't meaningful or relevant to them.

by Anonymousreply 5903/03/2013

I honestly don't get people like R54. There are truly terrible singers in great numbers out there who deserve every ounce of outrage and hate, but be real.

by Anonymousreply 6003/03/2013

R60 I don't hate Houston. Her early stuff, her 1980's pop stuff was wonderful.

"I Will Always Love You" was good (although I prefer Parton's thoughtful countryfied version).

But despite the indisputably magnificent voice, Houston was not a great songstress.

by Anonymousreply 6103/03/2013

I think her live shows actually demonstrate the contrary. I may not be entirely sure how you define a 'great songstress', but to me she certainly stirs something beautiful deep down within. I suppose it comes down to the kind of music and singing I like.

by Anonymousreply 6203/03/2013


To illustrate: go to R34's link. Listen to Houston sing "I Love's You Porgy". She's all over the place.

It's all about vocal tricks and nothing about the lyrics.

There is no phrasing. The meaning of the song, what the song is about, is completely lost. She might as well be singing the phone book. Yes, she can go from a low note to a high note in an instance. So?

Now listen to Nina Simone sing it (link below). Simone manages to do a soulful version, but she is absolutely true to the meaning of the song.

She tells Bess' story. It's not about Nina Simone trying to convince us of what great range she has.

Note, how suddenly the meaning of the song becomes clear in the hands of an actual artist:

by Anonymousreply 6303/03/2013

Well Nina Simone does not have a great range. Added to that, some people may just not sound somber and sad. I've heard both before, and I like how Whitney sings it, too.

I don't know what went through her head when she sang, but it's presumptuous to say all she wanted was to show off her range and vocal tricks. I also think this 'meaning' of songs concept is suspect. I'm not arguing anything here by the way, I appreciate your take music, but I find Whitney's vocal tricks just fine.

Another version of Whitney singing the same medley in Milan 1993.

by Anonymousreply 6403/03/2013

The best rendition of "I Loves You Porgy" was done by Helen Lawson in blackface on the Jack Parr show.

by Anonymousreply 6503/03/2013

R65 I remember that.

And then as a joke, Jonathan Winters showed up in blackface too.

Jack Douglas and Reiko had no idea of what was going on.

by Anonymousreply 6603/03/2013

"Superstar" and "Great Singer" are not the same thing.

by Anonymousreply 6703/03/2013

Media hyperproduces celebrities all the time,but the true star quality is not in everyone. For that you need to be patient.

by Anonymousreply 6803/03/2013

R [19] & {34}

WHITNEY without question was the last superstar.

There are now many stylists, Celine and Mariah, and now Adele.

Whitney was the last vocal superstar and as a previous poster stated :"Whitney was never compared to anyone." That is simply a fact. She had 5+ octaves, could use them effortlessly, in ways previously unseen amongst singers, all thanks to her gospel roots. It was a combination that shattered existing musical standards and raised the bar for generations.

Dont Deny it, instead honor this woman's talent.

She was a once in a generation talent, and not even the Steisand fans will take that from her, and most certainly not the 3 note Madonna stans either.

by Anonymousreply 6903/03/2013

You said it r69, better than I.

Whitney Houston, somewhere in mid fall.

"Abraham, Martin and John"

Far from gone.

by Anonymousreply 7003/04/2013


by Anonymousreply 7103/06/2013
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