Was Whitney Houston the Best Vocalist of All Time-and Was That a Double-Edged Sword?


Chris Molanphy talks to guest Wesley Morris about Whitney Houston’s vocal genius and crossover means.

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Episode Notes

In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy is joined by Wesley Morris, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, New York Times critic-at-large, and co-host of Still Processing. They discuss the most recent full-length episode of Hit Parade about the chart legacy of Whitney Houston, which was inspired in part by Wesley and his co-host Jenna Wortham’s analysis in Still Processing of Houston’s life, identity, and artistry. Wesley talks about his first memory of seeing Whitney on TV, his respect for the versatility of her voice, and his commiseration with her sometimes-cold reception by Black fans.

Next, Chris quizzes a Slate Plus listener with some music trivia, and the contestant turns the tables with a chance to try to stump Chris with a question of his own. Then, Chris teases the upcoming full-length episode of Hit Parade, which will look at Latin pop crossover on the American charts.

Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email a voice memo to hitparade@slate.com.

Podcast production by Asha Saluja.