Italian music legend Mina has saluted late soul-pop superstar Whitney Houston as an “angel” who invented a new way of singing. The reclusive star who writes a weekly column for Italy's Vanity Fair said,
I want to keep her in my memory as I see her: tall, beautiful, talented beyond measure. I don't know much about her life. But I know everything about her music. An angel who sings like that should have had something that sometimes seems an unattainable prize: a self-aware existence, a happy life.
“She really invented a way of singing, by no means easy, that they all tried to imitate. She became the touchstone, the litmus test, the model. Untouchable.”
Mina, 71, who bewitched audiences in the 1960 and '70s and has released sporadic recordings since, is reckoned by many the finest female pop singer Italy has produced. Louis Armstrong once called her ”the greatest white singer in the world”.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.
I know nothing about Mina – or her singing . However to call that screaming drug addict an “angel” is the height of stupidity .
Perhaps the greatest stupidity, Johnny Trolly, is not to be able to apreciate music for what it is. Whether she was an addict or not is not an issue, unless you are a gossip cow. Indeed, you know no-thing. Not to know Mina is the basest musical illiteracy. Grow up!
Translation from Italian to English ‘was changed, Mina says something else before you offend a person must inquire especially when a language like Italian is more’ complex of English
Ciao Matteo, non capisco il problema… La traduzione è di ANSA e mi sembra molto fedele. Il pezzo prima era quando Mina dice che non vuole sapere di cos’era morta, ma solo ricordare l’artista. Mina non stava offendendo nessuno… anzi!
I liked Whitney Houston and I like Mina. Mina is still thought of as the greatest here in Italy and I am sure she does not use this ridiculous quote of Louis Armstrong. I have had to hear this from fans here and they don’t think twice about what it means. Why would he say such a thing? Did it mean he felt black voices to be greater to be the only ones. He himself with his wonderful distinctive voice was in fact making music with what would be considered either a damaged voice or learnt disphonia. He loved Peggy Lee’s voice and indeed she sang at his funeral. She had a voice of great expression that went through different styles and was intelligent. Mina and Milva two great singers of Italy in the sixties were known as the “screamers” when they came out but Milva who has a much smaller following took the step and learned to act and to put the acting into her voice, this came by working with the great Strehler. Mina remained in the niche of love songs. But I return to what I said, I do not know what this senseless quote means.
As for someone being a drug addict, yes she did ruin her life but this happens with many singers, as they have a schedule that makes them take uppers and downers ,
they all do this on the other hand they are not telling anyone to do what they do, with one song they can redeem themselves giving life more meaning and creating beauty, this far outweighs the squalor of drugs.
Thanks for such well considered comments, and for reminding us of that other great Italian singer, Milva, who stopped singing in public just last year.
We have never heard of “Mina” in the United States….the fact that Houston was a musically uneducated screamer and drug addict is a fact..”Grow up” ? Can`t you think of something more original than that silly comment ? How about..”Wake up and smell the coffee” ?