I love this because undoubtedly legend MC was a prime ‘vocalist’ in the 90s but u could equally and convincingly make the argument that she’s a better.. singer in the 2000s. take a song from the early 90s interpreted in the 00s - theres so much more color texture & naturalism to her voice over methodical polished pop pitch perfectionism
e.g. the way she used to whistle versus how she used whistles later on. Before it was sort of a showboat kind of frill - I mean really impressive but also - like… why? Part of it was I think like, someone might ask “Why would we want you if we already have Whitney and Celine” & her response would be “look what I can do.” so it came off as excessive and tacked on. hence why at the end of this video she says they used to tell her just leave the last high notes off, because back then it was superfluous. And then compare it to like here or here where its less an ornament and more convincingly an emotive or dramatic tool, sounding like a cry or a desperate plea almost. It reminds me more of how Lisa Fischer incorporated high notes/quasi-whistling.
& back in the day she could open her mouth & it’d be beautiful but afterward she had to really know every inch of her voice. by the mid 00s it could sound incredibly thin and damaged but at the same time I have zero reservations saying a song like “fly like a bird” is a 10x better vocal & emotional performance than many of her vocally perfect songs from the 90s