Oh Say Can You Stop

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Over the years, I’ve tried to defend Ashanti’s vocals. Well, let me rephrase that: I made the case that she’s not the best singer, but even every squealing hamster has its share of good days.

I mean, listen to that. She sounds decent…dare I say, good.

Of course, I’ve heard much worse from her. Her cover of Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” from VH1 Divas comes to mind. I’m still shocked the supreme diva didn’t place a hit out on her for butchering the song.

Horrid covers aside, I would still try to make the case that like it or not, Ashanti tends to match the vocals found on her records. Not that she’s exactly wailing on any of her songs, but airy monotone vocals or not, she matches them.

Then I saw this performance, and decided, yeah, this girl doesn’t have a prayer of building any vocal strength. Bless her heart.

Speaking of prayer, Ashanti reminds me of a church choir: Every choir has that one member that doesn’t deserve a solo, but because everyone does, you have to hold in your laughter when their time comes for fear that you might be struck down — or at least be caught in the crossfire when that person is struck down for messing up the song.

That’s Ashanti.

I remember Patti Labelle saying she had worked with Ashanti on her vocal chops — that explains the screaming. She might now sing of miracles, but it’s obvious she can’t perform them.

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