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Obscure Singers That Deserve Recognition
The American music industry is a very fickle thing. It's a community where money, rather than talent, is the driving force that will propel an artist to the top of the charts or crush a career before it ever gets off the ground. Only in this business can ‘singers’ who depend on computerized voice enhancements (auto tune) become superstars while genuine artists who really can sing slip through the cracks. Which really is a shame since there are some really great performers in the world that will never get a chance.
With that said, I would like to introduce you to four very talented women that never really got a chance to have their fifteen minutes in the American lime light. People whose musical gems are being looked over because they may not have the right look, show enough skin or have enough of a sassy attitude to really get themselves noticed.
Does the name Lea Michele sound familiar? No? How about Rachel Berry? Does that ring a bell?
With Glee's popularity fading, and the announcement of the final season, Lea has certainly picked the wrong time to release her debut solo album ‘Louder’. With one heartfelt, thought evoking and well written album under her belt, Lea is proof that a name alone isn’t enough to secure cross over stardom. I’ve been listening to her album almost nonstop since it was released, but sadly, very few people seem to realize the talent they’ve been missing out on. What many thought was going to be an over sung, Broadway based album, actually turned out to be a clever, almost perfect pop album that surprised just about everyone. I'm not sure if her role on Glee discourages people, or if her personality turns people off, but a single listen through of her album will change the minds of many. It certainly changed mine.
Do you know who Melanie Thornton is? Watch this video from a song that was very popular in the 90’s.
Remember her now? After La Bouche’s second album failed to achieve the success as their debut, Melanie decided it was time to go at it alone. Melanie’s debut album ‘Ready to Fly’ is a mixed bag of tricks that’s sure to please the ears of many. Based in Germany, she had found herself a decently sized fan base, but sadly, Melanie died in a plane crash in 2001 before the album could reach listeners worldwide. We were cheated. The album really shows of her sweet, powerful vocals instead of being hidden behind some flashy dance music. Her singles 'I Love How You Love Me' and 'Heartbeat' got some noticeable attention, and her next single 'Wonderful Dream' was picked up by Coca Cola to be their German holiday song for 2001. Melanie had a lot of talent, and it saddens me to think of not only the life lost, but at the wonderful music she'll never be able to share with the world.
Remember Emma Bunton? Perhaps this video can spark your memory.
That’s right, the cute blonde formerly known as ‘Baby’, is all grown up now. When the Spice Girls decided to take a well-deserved break, Emma took the opportunity to launch a solo career all her own. Even though Emma’s music has achieved some decent success overseas, nothing has really taken hold on our shores (except for a little blip we had with ‘Maybe’). Having made three solo albums, Emma has proven that she has the ability, just nowhere near the recognition. Which is disappointing since she has produced some really great music all on her own. Emma doesn't have the strongest voice, but her sweet, lighter than air sound fits pop perfectly. While I'm not sure that the younger audiences would 'get' Emma's music, she could fit in nicely with the adult contemporary crowd. There is definitely an audience for her, she just has to hone in on it and take ownership of it.
While the name Melanie Chisolm may slip you, the word ‘Sporty’ might help a memory resurface.
Indeed, Melanie Chisolm is none other than 1/5 of the widely popular girl group The Spice Girls. Known as ‘Sporty’ back then, the track suit wearing, back flipping and high kicking girl has traded all that in for some sexy dresses, heels and a chance to crack the market as a solo act. Her debut album ‘Northern Star’ was released here in the States, receiving some decent exposure, but the album never really took off like she hoped. Thus her next six albums stayed mostly in the UK and Germany. Her spice name has turned off a lot of people, but it’s a shame because she deserves to be successful. With a tendency to release the wrong song at the wrong time, Melanie C seems to be a victim of circumstance. She's had a few songs that could have really taken off in America, but she's hesitant to risk the expense. Although I can't really blame her, I want the public to really give Melanie her due as a performer and as a song writer and put her Spice persona in the past.
- Melanie C's Music: 'Northern Star'
More famously known as Sporty Spice, Melanie C decided that she was going to make a name for herself. When the Spice Girls decided they were going to take a break (two of the girls were pregnant) Melanie went back to work and released her first solo.
- Melanie C's Music: 'Reason'
After a well deserved rest from touring her debut album 'Northern Star', Melanie C resurfaced in 2003 with her highly anticipated sophomore album 'Reason'. Settling on a less diverse musical route, she seems happy in the light pop adult contemporary.
- Melanie C's Music Review: The Sea
Melanie C's fifth album 'The Sea' is by far her best work. It's a shame that many will go without hearing this audio treasure.