Please give just ONE offering and state your reasons why you like this performer. No lists! Whittling it down to just one is part of the challenge. Lists and possibles may attract deletion - you have been warned!!
Decks: Salvation + London Reference | 301 + Ortofon 2M Mono SE Digital & Preamp: Lindemann Musicbook SOURCE Amplifier: Lindemann Musicbook POWER 500 Speakers: Bastanis Sagarmatha Duo with with twin 15" baffle-less bass drivers per side | MarkaudioSOTA Viotti Tower
Her early and mid-period albums. She rather lost the plot in her later albums, where the vocal setting became increasingly cramped and clumsy. She was a singer/songwriter, now retired from performance to devote her energies to saving the planet.
Celtic/folky featuring a colourful mix of eastern and western musical instruments, with a wonderful very tuneful directness. She produced her own albums on her own label, Quinlan Road, usually with excellent sq. Her concert DVD Nights from the Alhambra is a masterpiece both for the ears and the eyes.
loreenamckennitt.com/ 'Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, is a Canadian musician, composer, harpist, accordionist, and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined and clear dramatic soprano vocals.'
[I've assumed the thread requirement is for non-classical]
I've given it some thought and plumped for Sarah McLachlan. Her performances on the albums Surfacing, Afterglow and Shine On are simply sublime. It's her vocal control that impresses me - just listen to Answer from Afterglow and wonder at her controlled emotional delivery. I've never heard her perform live but would love to.
Nina Simone . . . . closely followed by . . . . many others
It's not just her talent, it's her personality and her determination to not give up despite the battles she endured to achieve what she did. Obstinate and extremely difficult to handle yes, but nonetheless a very rare talent.
I often wonder how her life would have turned out as a concert pianist if she hadn't been subjected to racism, but I like to think the world got a better deal - not so much for Nina maybe, but who knows?
Well, the list was long, but there can be only one. So it has to be Natalie Merchant.
I always enjoyed the intensity of her performance with 10,000 Maniacs, but she really came into her own once she left. That intensity is still there, and she really does live the songs she performs whether they be comments on social injustice, history or an interpretation of a children's nonsense rhyme.
Here is a fine example of that intensity in action.