MY AFFLATUS TODAY: THE DIVAS THAT HAVE ALWAYS FASCINATED ME. Diana Ross, Renée Fleming, Whitney Houston, Shirley Bassey, to name a few prominent ones. Then add Aretha Franklin, Maria Callas, Patsy Cline, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, all golden voices. Does one have to have a great voice to become a diva? Ask Janis Joplin, or Cher. All these ladies have the ability to enthrall an audience, and their music certainly enthralled me over the years. Diana Ross, for instance, was just 1 ½ years younger than me, and all through the Sixties I swooned over her wonderful sweet voice. If I had ever had the good fortune to be alone in the same room with her, I likely would have passed out from the pressure of my fantasy. Both Dolly Parton (who wrote it) and Whitney Houston recorded “I Will Always Love You.” There is no way to determine which is better, since they are both out of this world. As for the opera stars, Fleming has the sweeter soprano and Callas the stronger. Both incomparable. There are some subjects that resist being evaluated and listed in any kind of meaningful order, and that is so for the great divas of our time. Notwithstanding observable differences, each has to be judged individually, and each grades out at A+.
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