I’m just now detangling myself from the remaining cobwebs of the holiday weeks. Ten days in and it already feels like a long year. I figure I’ll get back on schedule with a return to the music meme and the difficult task of narrowing down to fave male singer.
Immediate thoughts jump to Michael Jackson and Prince–the men of my formative years. Growing up, I met MJ in utero since my mom is a huge fan. My father’s Jackson 5 45s were the first records I pawed with my grubby fingers. I snapped up anything he or the group of brothers put out and dreamed of marrying Michael (though I was willing to settle for Marlon just to get into the family).
Prince came into my life circa fourth grade when my sister somehow convinced mom to let her buy 1999. A few years later, I failed at my first attempt to get Purple Rain since mom had a habit of making the clerk let her listen to parts of albums before purchase. The clerk I got had a vicious streak and landed the needle on Darling Nikki. Upon finding out Nikki was a sex fiend as well as a fan of acting out in hotel lobbies, mom killed that day’s dream. Yet she would not stop my pursuit for everything Purple One related. I was in love. Who couldn’t be with a man fearless of posing on the cover of an album in a trench coat and not much else?
Over the years, there have been other male performers who catch my ear from the beauty of their voices…Jimi Hendrix, Luther Vandross, El DeBarge, George Michael, Tevin Campbell or more recently Gavin DeGraw, Chris Daughtry and Elliott Yamin…yet I fall back to my first loves. Their voices and talents are so distinct that when you hear the first word (or moaned whimper in Prince’s case), you immediately know who it is.