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  #1  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:01 PM
gytalf2000 gytalf2000 is offline
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Female singers with low voices

We have had some threads about high falsetto male voices, so I guess turnabout is fair play--- what female singers have good low voices? Cher immediately springs to mind, of course, but I can also think of Toni Braxton and one of the Pointer Sisters (remember the song "Automatic"?). Who else would make the list?
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:03 PM
interface2x interface2x is offline
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Lisa Gerrard can hit some unearthly low notes. Also, Allison Moyet (formerly of Yaz, now solo) has a good, husky low quality.
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:06 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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Marlene Dietrich . .
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:12 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Tina Turner can growl it out with the best of them. Many jazz singers can hit the smokey notes, as well.
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:14 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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Patty Austin.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:21 PM
neofishboy neofishboy is offline
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Johnette Napolitano.
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  #7  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:22 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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If you accept that singing in musicals makes you a singer, there's Bea Arthur -- who, when she was in "Maude" had a running joke that she was mistaken for the man of the house every time she answered the phone.
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  #8  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:29 PM
Eats_Crayons Eats_Crayons is offline
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Depends how low you mean. Like Toni Braxton really low or just not-Avril-Lavigne-screech low.

There are a few indie artists that I know of:
Lorna Vallings has a nifty lower range with a slight husk. Her official site has a rough mix sample of one of the lower tunes here and at CD Baby.

Faith Nolan is another indie artist with a great lower register.

IIRC, Doria Roberts has a good lower range too. And Allison Tartalia does too, when she uses it.

None of these woman sing exclusively in their lower range, but they are a nice alternative to the Avril Lavigne-like sound.

There are also some great jazz and blues divas who can get some great velvety smoothness on the low notes!
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:33 PM
Eats_Crayons Eats_Crayons is offline
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Sniffs_markers wanted me to add:

Annie Lennox
Lucinda Williams
Etta James
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:36 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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Granted, she's not in current vogue, but I can't believe no one has mentioned Anne Murray.

I have a friend who is a talented singer/songwriter with a lovely and very distinctive contralto voice. We're all amazed that she's not famous beyond the circles in which she performs.
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  #11  
Old 11-26-2003, 12:58 PM
Eats_Crayons Eats_Crayons is offline
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Oo! Oo! Bonnie Tyler!

(Er, another that's not in current vogue.)
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2003, 01:03 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eve
Marlene Dietrich . .
Dammit Eve! Every freakin' time...

I will add Talullah Bankhead to the list. Both of her notes were low ones.
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2003, 01:44 PM
unwashed brain unwashed brain is offline
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Fiona Apple's got a great bottom end.
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  #14  
Old 11-26-2003, 01:45 PM
Kizarvexius Kizarvexius is offline
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Karen Carpenter pretty much sang tenor.

Pat Carroll, who was the voice of the Sea Witch in Disney's The Little Mermaid, got away with playing Falstaff on stage.
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2003, 01:57 PM
Eats_Crayons Eats_Crayons is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by unwashed brain
Fiona Apple's got a great bottom end.
Yeah, and her lower vocal range is good too!
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  #16  
Old 11-26-2003, 01:59 PM
unwashed brain unwashed brain is offline
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Perfectly executed, Eats_Crayons!!!
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  #17  
Old 11-26-2003, 02:59 PM
Qburn Qburn is offline
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Tracy Chapman (Fast Cars ).
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  #18  
Old 11-26-2003, 03:04 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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kd lang
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  #19  
Old 11-26-2003, 03:10 PM
stpauler stpauler is offline
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Ferron's got a great low voice and if you've never heard Ain't Life A Brook you haven't heard a great breakup song.
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  #20  
Old 11-26-2003, 04:29 PM
wolf_meister wolf_meister is offline
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Sometimes, Carly Simon can reach some sultry low notes. (Rather nicely too).
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  #21  
Old 11-26-2003, 04:38 PM
bytheway bytheway is offline
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Chrissie Hynde, Stevie Nicks, Aimee Mann
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  #22  
Old 11-26-2003, 05:46 PM
medstar medstar is offline
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I've never quite understand the high esteem that a soprano voice is held in, to the detriment of lower female voices. Is it just because sopranos are rarer and harder to maintain? I hope I'm not offending anyone, but I much prefer to listen to female singers with low voices because I can understand what they're singing--female singers singing soprano sometimes sound like screeching cats.
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  #23  
Old 11-26-2003, 06:06 PM
Equipoise Equipoise is offline
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Re: Female singers with low voices

Quote:
Originally posted by gytalf2000
We have had some threads about high falsetto male voices, so I guess turnabout is fair play--- what female singers have good low voices? Cher immediately springs to mind, of course, but I can also think of Toni Braxton and one of the Pointer Sisters (remember the song "Automatic"?). Who else would make the list?
Lower than just about any female singer I know, and one of the only female singers I know who could be named in this thread AND a "Female singers with very high voices" thread:

Happy Rhodes

Exclusively low song:
Beat It Out

Very low and very high song:
'Til the Dawn Breaks

Several others, all showing her range:
Happy Rhodes song samples

(She knows I share her music, and is ok with it. I've been doing it since 1988.)
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  #24  
Old 11-26-2003, 06:47 PM
Eats_Crayons Eats_Crayons is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by medstar
I've never quite understand the high esteem that a soprano voice is held in, to the detriment of lower female voices. Is it just because sopranos are rarer and harder to maintain? I hope I'm not offending anyone, but I much prefer to listen to female singers with low voices because I can understand what they're singing--female singers singing soprano sometimes sound like screeching cats.
Your opinion is actually shared by many. A lot of people prefer voices that are closer to the normal speaking range of frequencies. I know a lot of people who even prefer musical arrangements that consist of instruments that also fall within the regular human vocal range (like a viola sounds "friendlier than a violin," cellos are "sexy" because they are in the lower range).
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  #25  
Old 11-26-2003, 07:16 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Joss Stone
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  #26  
Old 11-26-2003, 07:21 PM
threeorange threeorange is offline
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I'm surprised noone has yet mentioned Joan Armatrading.
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  #27  
Old 11-26-2003, 07:23 PM
Why A Duck Why A Duck is offline
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Diamanda Galas will scare your voice into submission.
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  #28  
Old 11-26-2003, 07:36 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Marian Anderson was arguably the world's greatest contralto.
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  #29  
Old 11-26-2003, 07:38 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Alison Moyet.
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  #30  
Old 11-26-2003, 08:22 PM
Baldwin Baldwin is offline
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The late, great Nina Simone.
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  #31  
Old 11-26-2003, 08:31 PM
k.os k.os is offline
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Nina Hagen.

She does both growling low and screeching highs, and has a very distinctive style and voice.
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  #32  
Old 11-26-2003, 08:45 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Isabel Sanford.

Surely she's sung something in her life.
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  #33  
Old 11-26-2003, 09:03 PM
Eats_Crayons Eats_Crayons is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by threeorange
I'm surprised noone has yet mentioned Joan Armatrading.
*hangs head in shame*....

Oh... Oh..., please, please don't tell Sniffs_Markers! She has been a Joan Armatrading fan for years and years. Armatrading is one of Markers's greater musical influences.

Don't tell Markers I didn't even think of Armatrading. She'll beat me with a guitar string!

k.os -- Hagen can do some astonishing things with her voice! Her mom was an opera singer and Nina got lotsa classical training too. The stuff she can do is truly amazing.
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  #34  
Old 11-26-2003, 09:22 PM
yBeayf yBeayf is offline
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Otep, though she screams a bit more than she sings.

Joan Osborne.
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  #35  
Old 11-26-2003, 11:29 PM
look!ninjas look!ninjas is offline
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Cassandra Wilson. Man, what an amazing voice. Nina Simone as well, of course. And Liz Phair, but she sort of talks more than she sings, or at least she used to.

I'm not sure why soprano is the most desired female range, but I know that I wanted to be one when I was younger. It took a long time for me to get comfortable singing in my regular voice, which is a fairly low contralto. Even then, my voice teacher was always pressuring me to sing up in soprano range. I think it's just because low voices are not seen as being feminine.

I will say, though, that I don't think sopranos are rarer than altos. I think the ability to sing at the extreme end of the vocal range, be it low or high, is rare.
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  #36  
Old 11-26-2003, 11:45 PM
doctordoowop doctordoowop is offline
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Earl Jean McCree of the Cookies. Sang background for Little Eva-"The Locomotion"- & on Turkey Trot(1962) sang BASS. Deepest female voice I ever heard. BTW, the Cookies did the original "Chains"-done later by the Beatles. The Cookies made the Beatles sound like rank amateurs.
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  #37  
Old 11-27-2003, 03:18 AM
jovan jovan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by look!ninjas
Cassandra Wilson.
That's the first person I thought of. She defines "low female voice".

Mercedes Sosa has a huge, beautiful voice.
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  #38  
Old 11-27-2003, 07:41 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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Nina Simone's "I Put A Spell On You," is a great example.

And no one's mentioned Judy Henske? "'Til The Real Thing Comes Along," really moves MY lower register, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
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  #39  
Old 11-27-2003, 01:14 PM
Second Guest Second Guest is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by stpauler
Ferron's got a great low voice and if you've never heard Ain't Life A Brook you haven't heard a great breakup song.
I would characterize Ferron's voice as gravelly and quiet more than "low", but I agree completely about Ain't Life a Brook. I think I like the second version on Still Riot more than the original, even though it's not quite as gut-wrenchingly depressing.
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  #40  
Old 11-28-2003, 12:29 PM
gentle gentle is offline
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Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star has a quiet, sultry voice.

Lisa Germano has a deeper, occasionally more unearthly voice.

Both great.
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  #41  
Old 11-28-2003, 12:33 PM
Lord Ashtar Lord Ashtar is offline
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What about Maryanne Faithful?

Although her low voice is the product of about 40 years of smoking. Younger folk may know her from the cameo she did with Metallica a few years back.
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  #42  
Old 11-28-2003, 02:56 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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Oh, how could we all forget the great Alice Faye?
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  #43  
Old 11-28-2003, 03:58 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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Margo Timmins
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  #44  
Old 11-28-2003, 04:13 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eve
Oh, how could we all forget the great Alice Faye?
Beat me to it. But even lower, Eve, her contemporary Lee Morse, she of "T'Ain't No Sin to Take of Your Skin and Dance Around in Your Bones" and "He's Still My Baby" fame.

(And I'm thrilled to see Diamanda mentioned of course; she's one of my personal divas.)
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  #45  
Old 11-28-2003, 05:17 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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Ah--and the mention of Lee Morse shook my wee brainie loose and reminded me of the lovely, deep-voiced and deadly Libby Holman!
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  #46  
Old 11-30-2003, 08:03 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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You probably think of her first as a comedian, but she sure can sing: Bette Midler.
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  #47  
Old 11-30-2003, 08:58 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by AHunter3
You probably think of her first as a comedian, but she sure can sing: Bette Midler.
. . . Ah, my age is creeping up on me; I think of Bette as a singer (I bought all her albums back in the '70s) who later got into acting . . .
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  #48  
Old 12-01-2003, 12:35 PM
Götterfunken Götterfunken is offline
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PJ Harvey can hit some pretty low notes.
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  #49  
Old 12-01-2003, 01:06 PM
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Has no one yet mentioned Sarah Vaughan?
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  #50  
Old 12-01-2003, 01:08 PM
Magnolia B. Magnolia B. is offline
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Anita Baker
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