Which Diva Do You Favor?


By Todd Camp

When Turtle Creek Chorale takes the Dallas City Performance Hall stage June 20-22 for this season’s final performances, they’ll be running on pure grrrl power. The Divas Gone … But Not Forgotten performance will channel a diverse array of legendary female vocalists, from Amy Winehouse to Tammy Wynette. But if your diva knowledge is limited only to Judy or Babs, you better brush up on at least two of these legendary ladies whose work will be featured in the show.

Whitney Houston

Diva status: Superstar Props: Cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most awarded female act of all time (a total of 600 awards!), Houston’s somewhat limited catalog (only six studio albums, a holiday album, and three soundtrack albums), boasts nearly 200 million record sales worldwide. She’s also the only artist ever to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. Signature song: So many contenders to choose from, but her iconic cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,”from the original soundtrack to the film The Bodyguard (in which she also starred), is untouchable and is only the best-selling single by a woman in history. Personal struggle: Her volatile marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown and her public battle with substance abuse made her the subject of ridicule late in her career, but after her tragic drowning in a bathtub in 2012, brought on by complications from heart disease, Houston’s effervescence and powerhouse vocals are something for which she will never be forgotten.

Karen Carpenter

Diva status: Underdog Props: Together with her brother Richard, under the band name The Carpenters, Karen was not only an amazing singer, but an accomplished drummer as well. With 11 studio albums and her own solo album, Karen and her siblings were major stars in the ‘70s, racking up several No. 1 hits. Signature song: There’s no definitive answer here and fans will definitely debate these choices, but it would probably be a toss-up between their No. 1 hit “(They Long to Be) Close to You” written by the legendary songwriting duo of Burt Bacharach and Hal David; and their No. 2 hit “We’ve Only Just Begun.” Personal struggle: Though her brother’s struggle with drug dependency affected the duo’s touring shows, Karen’s lifelong battle with anorexia nervosa ultimately caused her death by heart failure in 1983 and sparked a national discussion on the issue.

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