Friday, June 8, 2018

Christina Grimmie: "I Will Always Love You"

I'm glad Christina Grimmie's YouTube page reposted her beautiful rendition of the song "I Will Always Love You" which has an especially poignant and personal sense as we approach the second anniversary of her death.

Christina recorded this in 2012 on YouTube, when she was just 18 years old.

It was the only time she sang a cover with karaoke background music rather than arranging and performing the instrumental parts on her own keyboard. This cover was a tribute to Whitney Houston, who had just died, and Christina wanted to concentrate entirely on the vocals in order to do honor to the great singer who had left her mark on a whole era of popular music.

In the end, however, this was more than a tribute to Whitney. Christina did what she always did, what she couldn't not do. She made the song her own.

By 2012, she had a good microphone, but otherwise there was little in the way of high production for this song. The relative spontaneity of the "early days" of YouTube was still the rule. Nevertheless, it sounds terrific. This is a precious recording entirely because Christina Grimmie sang it, and poured into it her musical genius and passion.

She sang this song with her own unmistakable voice, with her own soulful, melodious resonance, her own combination of strength and sweetness, her own seemingly effortless modulation between soft and powerful tones, and her command of the whole range of volume, dynamics, and the entire palette of sonic nuance her voice could employ.

The voice of Christina Grimmie was unique, inimitable, and—like Whitney Houston—worthy of the word great.