The Internet wasn’t exactly happy with Christina Aguilera’s tribute to Whitney Houston at the American Music Awards over the weekend (Nov. 19). Many critics attacked her for attempting to recreate Houston’s classic songs. But if you ask, the late singer’s former vocal coach, Gary Catona, at least she tried.
Catona is notably credited with helping Houston shape her voice for her comeback album, I Look To You. He reportedly told The Blast that he was happy to hand out an “A” for her effort. But with that being said, he thought she deserved a “B-” overall, because of her various problems with pitch and diction.
“Whitney is the gold standard vocally and artistically, so in my opinion, Christina fell below that,” he explained. “Christina had some pitch issues, phrasing difficulties, and she over-used Whitney’s trademark ‘melisma’ singing.”
Instead of her rendition, he said he “would have advised her to sing the song in her own way and not try to copy Whitney as much as she did.” As for whether there was anyone else that would have been up to the task however, Catona thinks Adele may have made the perfect substitute.
Even with Adele’s stellar vocals though, Catona admits that no one can match Whitney Houston’s power and legacy.