No Longer Pitch Perfect: Singers Who’ve Lost Their Voice

68 Comments
August 27, 2013 ‐ By Kelly Franklin

 

"Marah Carery pf"

“WENN”

There’s nothing like listening to famous crooners belt out lyrics to one of your jams. But when you hear your favorite singer struggle to reach a high note, it makes you want to cover your ears.  If a vocalist makes their fans cringe every time they open their mouth, it’s time to give it on up.

Of course every singer is entitled to an off day. Who knows, they may have just been caught with a scratchy throat or have experienced a serious medical setback that affects their vocal chords? But for most of the singers who’ve lost their voice on this list, the change seems to be a bit more…permanent. Would you agree?

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  • 7pillars

    Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey are longtime heavy closet smokers. Whitney was smoking over two packs a day when she died. Adele was a heavy smoker too, and probably still is. Stupid and ignorant for singers to underestimate the impact of smoking on their instrument. It’d be like injecting tar and particulates into the hands of a guitar player 50 times a day. Wouldn’t be playing at a very high level for long.

  • lish

    their human beings like the rest of us. they can’t be perfect all the time

  • MissTruthHurts

    Alisha NEVER had a voice in the first place…Her stank breath a$$ dont do sh*t but holler & yell

  • Rosie

    Uhhhmm excuse me but Lauren Hill made this article look ridiculous! That woman rocked the house in Philly! I was so glad to see her after all of this time and still doing her thang……………which ironically was being a mistress lyricist! Or did time make us forget that. This woman is an amazing performer and has not missed a step. Looks amazing after all of dem babies and all those years. Gone head Lauren; you are still the boss lady! Wyclef, where ya at?

  • Zm

    I think its an uneducated article based on the opinion of the media.
    Singers like Lauryn Hill who internalized a timeless lyrical and
    rhythmic phrasing will always be acknowledged by true professionals, some artists step away from their labels because of corruption.
    People who publish messages like these are paid to promote ignorance,
    anyone who hasn’t worked in Music long enough should really stay
    clear of writing bs like this.

  • Zm

    I think its an uneducated article based on the opinion of the media. Singers like Lauryn Hill who internalized a timeless lyrical and rhythmic phrasing will always be acknowledged by true professionals, some artists step away from their labels because of corruption. People who publish messages like these are paid to promote ignorance, anyone who hasn’t worked in Music long enough shouldn’t really stay clear of writing bs like this.

  • Shady-Thinking

    I was suspect when I saw Mariah as the first one. Not only is she number 1 she is also number 5. Alicia Keys aka One Note Keys never had any range to begin with. Some of these artists like Ms. Keys had marginal range and limited talent from the jump. Lets face it, it’s all about sex appeal, looks and autotune. Beyonce and Taylor both have minimal talent They are selling SEX. I heard Taylor’s voice break when she was singing with the great Stevie Nicks. Taylor couldn’t keep up.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/jaheartsjonas Jay

      Very true. See: Miley Cyrus. Who do you see taking about her vocal abilities???

  • me

    I believe that a person’s voice sometimes wears out naturally with age. A forty year old is not going to be able to sing like they did when they were 25.

  • Lawanda Dumas

    although i didnt go thru the whole list, one thing u CAN say about the artists is that, at least at one time they could sing!! some artists never was able to sing(or dance)!! o.a.n cant stand that song by miguel & mariah!! is it me, or does he sounds like rapheal saddiq?

  • Starla Dawn Spangler

    Justin Bieber should definitely BE on this list … er … wait a minute he always has sang like that .. er ..I take that back he is just a terrible singer PERIOD !!!! I think that Justin Timberlake is ten times a better singer than Justin Bieber is . Yeah , Man !

  • Steven Leitner

    Years of drug abuse ruined Whitney Houston’s voice, she should be on this list. Also, Madonna’s voice used to be high in the 80s, but it got low during the 90s.

  • Yvonne Watkins

    It’s sad when they try to get notes that are no longer theirs. Most of them can still carry a tune so all they need to do is rework the songs so that they can hit all of the notes. Leave the high ones alone.

  • taz

    lets really be real here….Alicia keys was never a strong singer. She just had her gimmick. She was urban and played the piano. Thats about it…she was something different.

  • Dee

    Maxwell..

  • Barbara Codner

    Both Bobby & Chris chose living hard lifestyles over perfecting their crafts. An artist must take care of themselves even more than the average person. That means eating right, exercising regularly, no drugs, no smoking, limited partying, and no heavy drinking.

    Mariah used to have one of the best voices in the world. It’s sad to watch her now. I’m glad to have been witness to her singing ability in the beginning.

    I still love Alicia but her voice isn’t the same. Pretty sad. She needs to give her voice a long rest or retire.

    Adele & Frankie have had medical setbacks so that’s not their faults.

  • LikesToKeepItReal

    Ginuwine was so fine back in the day.

  • Thomcat

    Chris Brown should not be up there. That brotha has range (a very high pitch and he can go low (baritone). Alicia sounds jacked. I just knew that she sounded off key lately…didn’t know ppl were really saying that though. I think she’s burned out, doesn’t have the passion for it anymore.

  • zina

    Keys sounds horrible in the video above. Also, it was so hard to see Frankie straining to sing knowing his medical issues. I could not watch the whole video. I felt so bad. Mariah has been singing in the sage zone for years. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed it. Something was definitely off with Ginuwine. The way that the piano player was singing over him….was quite sad. Brown was ok…Chris that is. Bobby needs to be put out of his misery. And finally, I only saw JoJo fall in the beginning. When did KCI fall?

  • My2cents

    In my opinion there is a difference in being able to really sing and just being able to carry a tune. To me AK has always just barley been able to carry a tune and now it seems she struggles to just do that anymore.

  • Moe

    If you continue putting ads in the middle of your articles, preventing one from reading the content, you will surely lose readers. You are definitely on the verge of losing this one!

    • freemon williams

      you should just get an ad block for your browser

  • Tony Williams

    Fat black women and fat white women have the best voices. i dont care, i dont care i dont care who i offend its true.

    • hollyw

      I’d tend to agree, except other than Aretha, all the best have been thin, I.e. Whitney, Mariah, Christina, etc…

      • Tony Williams

        Off course their natural gifted people like Toni Braxton, and Whitney, and people like that. but 7/10 times. Its like larger women have like more Lung room or 4 lungs or something. THEY can shut the room DOWN!!!!!!!! ADELE, Kelly Price, On and on.

        • Greg Williams

          saw the incredible patti labelle twice. she was not a heavy woman, maybe not a stringbean like whitney and xtina, but she was powerful enough to be heard in an area with a mic.

    • Chanda

      I usually disagree with your posts but this is true. You don’t come across too many larger female singers that can’t sing. With the exception of a few, the really skinny female singers just can’t belt it out unless she’s “gifted”.

  • Greg Williams

    chris brown was never some great singer anyway, same for ginuwine. couple of good dancers that sang well enough to have a music career. alicia always sang so hard during performances that i wouldnt have been shocked to see her lose her voice mid song. no surprise if shes burned out her vocal cords already. overall, if youve been knocking it out of the park for 20-40yrs, it is understandable that you will not have the same voice

    • Thomcat

      What? CB has range… you cray…

    • realadulttalk

      I agree regarding Chris and Ginuwine…Alicia’s vocals were never that good to begin with either–she was a mediocre singer at best who happened to also play an instrument. The piano and her look got her signed…not that questionable vocal ability.

  • juicey

    Alicia always looks like she had a stroke wit her lopsided smile

  • Fadil Mazrekaj

    Freudlich toll

  • Cedes

    I’m sorry but Chris is a great singer he’s going though some things in his life so I understand why he’s not 100% but he is a very talented entertainer sorry he shouldn’t be on this list.

  • Charlene

    Why is Adele even on this list?

  • Michelle Cooke

    Ummm Ginuwine CAN sing, he’s always had a distinct voice, he always could blow. He sung welI on that show even, despite his twitching. I don’t even want to read the rest of this list; you lost credibility on the first damn page, smh.

  • Kim

    I do not agree with most of this list. They may have had bad moments, but 90% of this list are still good singers.

  • Caramel Empress

    This article is in such poor taste im suprised you didn’t go one blow lower and include Miss Houston on the list aka The Voice! You sure would have caught heat for that one so just as well you didn’t go there! A person’s voice is their instrument, so if you wouldn’t expect a guitar not to have a lil wear and tear after years of use why should the human voice be any different? Only difference is these artist can’t take their voice to a repair shop and have it repaired or purchase another one at the store! It is perfectly natural to experience vocal decline after years of non stop singing. Let us be thankful they shared their gift with us in the first place instead of ridiculing them because they have supposedly “lost it”! smh very negative and unnecessary article!

  • Caramel Empress

    This article is in such poor taste im suprised you didnt go one blow lower and include Miss Houston on the list aka The Voice! You sure would have caught heat for that one so just as well you didn’t go there! A person’s voice is their instrument so if you wouldn’t expect a guitar not to have a lil wear an tear after years of use why should the human voice be any different? Only difference is these artist can’t take their voice to a repair shop and have it repaired or purchase another one at the store. It is perfectly natural to experience vocal decline after years of non stop singing. Can we not just be thankful to they shared their gift with us in the first place instead of ridiculing them because they have “lost it”! smh very negative and unnecessary article!

  • Guest

    This article is in such poor taste im suprised you didnt go one blow lower and include Miss Houston on the list aka The Voice! You sure would have caught heat for that one so just as well you didn’t go there! A person’s voice is their instrument so if you wouldn’t expect a guitar not to have a lil wear an tear after years of use why should the human voice be any different? Only difference is these artist can’t take their voice to a repair shop and have it repaired or purchase another one at the store. It is perfectly natural to experience vocal decline after years of non stop singing. Can we not just be thankful to them for sharing their gift with us instead of ridiculing them because they have “lost it”! smh very negative and unnecessary article!

    • Caramel Empress

      Apologies everyone for posting this 3 times i was correcting my grammar and thought the others were deleted!

  • Ladybug94

    A couple of these weren’t pitch perfect to begin with. ijs.

  • Just saying!!

    I’m offended by this article. This list is just hurtful. I mean how is it okay to make an article about something people were once good at but can’t do anymore. **** happens. As a singer myself, I understand that the demands of Hollywood are essentially vocal suicide and I certainly wouldn’t want to be mocked for that. Even though I’m still young, I understand why these things happen to some people. I don’t feel the need to point it out and say “this person doesn’t have their voice anymore”. How is this information helpful? This site is supposed to empower black women I thought. Why are we mocking them? Especially TALENTED ones who deserve respect for what they’ve done. Sorry to be all emotional about it but as a singer the title itself just rubbed me the wrong way and I can’t even look at the list.

    • Ladybug94

      I agree, some of this journalism needs to be mocked.

    • bluekissess

      That’s MN for you. Constantly making hypocritical articles

    • mac

      “This site is supposed to empower black women I thought.”

      lol this site is as much about black empowerment as Bossip or Necole Bitchie is.

      • hollyw

        It has gone progressively down with time… I thought it mighta been the new staff… o.O

    • http://www.SassyGirlTees.com/ rockwyld

      I don’t know WHAT i was thinking to read this article. I have stayed away from MN for some time but recently have seen a few interesting articles. More and more articles are divisive and reek of and come from some strange self image issues. I cannot read articles like this any longer, and I’m sorry I read this.

    • TooSensitive

      LOL awww come on. This article’s all in good fun.They don’t have to be PC alllll the time.

  • VitD

    Are u kidding me?!! Ms Hill is still AMAZING!!

    • Rosie

      Absolutely! I agree; and she always was an amazing rapper!

  • Miss_Understood

    I don’t think you should have included artists who were having health issues that directly impact their voices on this list i.e. Frankie Beverly and Adele

  • mac

    Mariah can still hit her signature high note and still has great range. Is it as effortless as it was in the 90s, no. But that’s the thing…it was 20+ freakin years ago.
    You can’t expect these artists who’ve been singing since we were kids, not to have some wear and tear on their voices.

    • Ladybug94

      Unless you are Patti LaBelle, she’s still got it.

    • bluekissess

      Mariah doesn’t perform live anymore which annoys me.

      • mac

        she does, but she relies a lot more heavily on backing tracks nowadays though. Loud ones, I must admit.

        • hollyw

          You right, and she be sounding out of breath for no reason now, too (unless she jogged to her location), and I don’t mean her signature, breathy voice, either… o.O

      • Thomcat

        Trust, at the end of the day she’s doing us all a favor. Her voice is jacked

    • datruth

      Michael Jackson didnt..andp prince should be on this list

    • James Roane

      You got that right. Almost nobody in their 40’s has the same range as when they were 20. Just normal aging. Now, some on this list weren’t particularly great singers to begin with. Of course, many helped with lifestyle abuses. Mariah is just older and her voice is naturally going to get lower and be more difficult, if not impossible, to have the same octave range.

      • Devon Henderson

        I so disagree with the statement of having the same range of voice verses when they were young. Patti LaBelle voice is immaculate the older she gets the better her voice gets. She sounds better older than she did in her 30’s as well Chaka khan, R.Kelly, Brandy, Monica, Freddie Jackson, Johnny Gill as for Mariah Carey she just needs to take care of her voice better no alcohol and no smoking and mess. She can still hit them notes with better breathing and care

  • vanelle22

    I dont know but it seems like ever since A. Keys married Swizz her vocals just got shot down…..karma???? :(

    • Janee

      What goes around comes around, her voice was hot now it’s down….Sad sad day for A. Keys

    • hollyw

      Idk about you, but Keys always reminded me of Mary J. Blige; very soulful, but always a little bit off… ijs. I don’t think much has changed, really

      • randomtandem

        true

      • James Roane

        You are right. Alicia Keys was never a “great” singer. A wonderful musician with incredible looks, she’s very talented. But her range has always been limited and her live performances, for the most part, go off kilter when she tries too hard.

        • Devon Henderson

          I so disagree with the statement of having the same range of voice verses when they were young. Patti LaBelle voice is immaculate the older she gets the better her voice gets. She sounds better older than she did in her 30’s as well Chaka khan, R.Kelly, Brandy, Monica, Freddie Jackson, Johnny Gill as for Mariah Carey she just needs to take care of her voice better no alcohol and no smoking and mess. She can still hit them notes with better breathing and care

  • hmm…

    Adele shouldn’t be on this list. Chris Brown would probably be okay if he’d stop choosing such high keys for songs like he’s still the teenage boy from his first album. I’m not sure if that’s some sort of psychological way to win back the favor of former fans or create some illusion of innocence, but dude is clearly having a hard time keeping up with it. Boo, puberty hit. Long time. Please work with what your given.

    • casprd

      The article doesn’t say she can’t sing, but that she lost her voice, which she did in Paris and had to have laser surgery to repair the injury.