Carlos Santana: Beyonce Is a Model, Adele Is a Singer

Carlos Santana: Beyonce Is a Model, Adele Is a Singer
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Was Beyonce really robbed at the Grammys?  Maybe the judges got this one right.

Adele won an astounding five Grammy Awards on Sunday night, with Beyonce considered the big loser.  Critics blasted Grammy judges for dismissing Beyonce’s album Lemonade, and even Adele paid tribute to the singer while accepting her award.

But is Beyonce really a singer?  Or just a model and entertainer?

Now, 13-time Grammys winner Carlos Santana says this all boils down to raw musical talent.  And when it comes to actual singing, Adele is in a totally different league.  “I think that Adele won because she can sing, sing,” Santana told the Australian Associated Press this morning.

“With all respect to our sister Beyonce, Beyonce is very beautiful to look at and it’s more like modelling kind of music – music to model a dress – she’s not a singer, singer, with all respect to her.”

+ Grammys 2017: The Complete Winners List

The blunt comment comes from one of the greatest guitarists of all time.  And, a Grammy winning musician whose career has spanned decades, both as a soloist and member of his self-named group, Santana.  That certainly gives him credentials to comment, though the line between ‘entertainer’ and ‘musician’ is often debated.

Are the Grammys Racist and Outdated? Macklemore the Latest to Protest

Meanwhile, the Grammys are getting slammed with accusations of racism, largely over the ‘Beyonce snub’.  That resembles earlier charges against the Oscars, though the latest charges may be misplaced.  Among the big winners at Sunday’s awards ceremony was Chance the Rapper, who won Best New Artist.

That said, major artists were missing.  Ahead of the ceremony, marquee talent like Frank Ocean, Drake, Justin Bieber and Macklemore opted against participating.  In the case of Frank Ocean, the absence was part of a protest against a ‘racist’ and ‘outdated’ event.

That said, the 59th Grammys hardly seemed like a racist affair.  Through the evening, a multi-racial group of artists performed, with messages of unity and inclusion.  That boiled over in a rap performance that included Busta Rhymes, who publicly attacked ‘President Agent Orange’ and specifically his immigration bans.

For the record, Beyonce did claim an award for Best Urban Contemporary Album.

42 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    I like Beyonce but pretending her album was better than Adele’s is just silly.

  2. Vindictus

    Beyoncé is a fraud. She doesn’t write or compose music, and she can’t really sing. Santana’s right. She just dances around. But it’s very predictable that they’d scream racism. Everything is racist now. So boring.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      The racism accusations were a stretch in my opinion. Frankly, I think the Grammys were pretty inclusive, and finally giving a nod to some newer talent (thinking Chance the Rapper). And yeah, people are going to disagree with the decisions. It’s subjective in the end, though Adele is a good singer.

      • harold

        good singer? I’d say great singer. If she’s only good, who’s better ,celine dion, whitney? all three are great, not good.

        • Dump Bey

          You are deaf if you think Beyonce can sing as well as Celine Dion, let alone Whitney Houston. Dion is overly mannered for my taste because of her French Canadian background, but she still nailed the Titanic song, and some others.

          Whitney Houston was a bona fide monster talent in her prime. She could literally sing anything. Incredible range with incredible vocal quality, she made it sound effortless for about 7 years until she began the long cocaine slide.
          She did ballads, but also pop. She could sing jazz. She was incredible at her peak.

          Jennifer Hudson is the best known female singer of this age, and she needs a lot more spotlight than that god awful overrated Beyonce, who needs to retire.

          Thank You Carlos Santana, (a genuine guitar genius) for speaking the truth and my feelings for years. It’s not just Beyonce. Britney Spears was one of the first hot singers who was hotter than she was a good singer by a mile. Christina Aguilera, in contrast, could actually sing well, minus her often rotten selections. Anyway, there is a modelling industry, and that’s where Beyonce belongs, or maybe in Vegas, but not at the center of the pinnacle of serious American music, even pop music. She just isn’t good enough.

          • Dear

            First of all before you go any further. I have to ask if you know a single thing about music?? Carlos is tone deaf if he thinks Adele is better singer than Beyoncè, Adele has a tone to die for, but that’s the only thing good about her voice. Since you know nothing about music, I’ll spare the rest. It’s seems music these days has lost it’s sense, Adele even admitted that Beyoncè is a better singer than her. KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT NEXT TIME!!!

          • Lol

            You’re obviously a hater. JHud, with all her God-give talent, cannot even reach the soles of Beyonce’s vocal mastery.

        • Dump Bey

          Sorry, Adele is equal to Dion, maybe Whitney Houston. Adele has basically done one song in my mind, and I’m pretty sure she won’t branch out. She’s already acting like a dinghy diva.

    • Ben

      I agree that the racism accusations are a stretch and think it’s a fair criticism that she doesn’t write her own music (though many artists, past and present, don’t write much music either), but saying she can’t sing? That’s absurd. She uses dancing and theatrics a lot, but when she does put her vocals front and center, her singing is much better than Adele’s. I say that even as I prefer Adele’s voice.

      • This

        Thank you! People seem to confuse preference over vocal ability. I get some people prefer Adele’s voice and singing style over Beyonce (Adele’s songs are more geared towards ballads and centers ON the vocals) but people are seriously, seriously tone deaf if they think Adele is the better singer. Or perhaps most people don’t really know music technically and just bought into how Adele – does ballads = singing well, Beyonce – does all genres, most are quicker beats = not a singer.

        I guess Adele is more soul-baring in her delivery but yeah, Beyonce is significantly better in terms of being a vocalist.

        • Dump Bey

          You are clearly deaf. I’ve spent plenty of time trying to hear something important in Beyonce’s voice, and it’s not there. I hear it in adele, rihanna, christina aguilera, ellite goulding (lights is an incredible beyonce wishes she could duplicate). Beyonce specializes in a musical style that is so bankrupt, basically childish rap/R&b crossbreed. It really is horrendous. She’s not the only to do it, but she has done way too much garbage music. The only one who’s done more awful sing songy material is Gwen Stefani, and even she could once sing.

          Here’s someone who DESTROYS Beyonce – Jennifer Hudson. She is literally TEN times a better singer. I can tell Beyonce tried and has studied, but it’s not enough. Her voice is her biggest liability. She has everything else, except musical judgement, though she certainly knows how to move product.

          • Anonymous

            it’s because she oversings, everything. maybe she has a church background, so that could be why.

          • IDGAF

            Lol. Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce sang a song together and Jennifer was annihilated . But that’s okay, you tried.

    • JRJ

      lip sync and auto tune. we have no real singers here in 2019.

    • LOL

      lol what? this actually makes the point she is a fantastic vocalist. Because honestly, anything of Adele’s (a little more than 2 octave range, poor pitch at times, poor breath and vocal control) cannot compare to anything Beyonce (a little over 4 octave range, excellent control in pitch and breathing techniques vs. Adele) can do on a technical level in terms of vocal ability. I’m not sure if it’s stubbornness, deafness or what with this argument with people like yourself. Stop confusing your preference (subjective) over ability (objective and measurable).

      It’s all well and good you prefer Adele’s voice and emotive singing style (yes, it’s a wonderful tone and she sings so expressively and it’s beautiful) but anyone with any technical musical background or EARS can blatantly tell Beyonce > Adele over singing ability.

      • Anonymous

        “Beyonce (a little over 4 octave range”

        My keyboard’s got a little more than 7 — but it’s still just a machine.

        • IDGAF

          Ohh did you crop out the “excellent control in pitch and breathing techniques” part? Lol.

      • Anonymous

        Adele is a very talented capable singer who sells songs and albums on her voice. Wears the same dress night after night at sold out concerts. B has to produce elaborate videos with sound mixing to get the same results. B is absolutely talented but not Adel talented.

  3. Truth

    Kind of a ridiculous comparison. I think those who understand music and are serious vocalists can clearly tell that Beyonce is the better vocalist in terms of range, ability, breath control, runs, etc.

    In that respect, Beyonce is better in terms of technique and ability by a landslide. Having twice as big of an octave range than Adele, Beyonce is hands down, in terms of vocal technique and ability, the winner.

    If we’re discussing PREFERENCE, with those who prefer Adele’s very passionate/emotive singing voice, we’d have people saying Adele is the “better,” singer which simply means one enjoys her type of voice, expression and ballad types of songs, but no way is she a better technical vocalist nor does she have the ability Beyonce and other great singers have.

    So if Adele is judged as a “better,” singer by any means, it’s only because people prefer the emotion behind her singing and not her actual ability, which is pretty shabby for a professional vocalist (professional as in she does this for a living). If we’re debating preference that’s kind of a dumb question because that’s entirely subjective. By vocal ability, Beyonce is the better vocalist. You may dislike her music and it’s not made to focus strictly on the vocal singing (like Adele’s is) but Beyonce has greater vocal ability than Adele, by far.

    i.e. with instruments, Adele is like a guitarist playing with a wonderfully warm sounding guitar but the guitarist is not too skilled, hasn’t been playing the guitar for very long but has a rare, wonderfully sounding instrument. In this way the guitar has a nice warm sound but can be out of tune, lack the skills to do incredible riff solos, etc. You’d still enjoy it because you love the warm sound of that particular guitar.

    Beyonce is like a seasoned guitarist who is playing on a top notch guitar, always in tune and having all the dexterity and skill of a top guitarist, but depending on your preference, you may still prefer the warm sound of an older, less skilled guitarist using a special guitar.

    Technical ability is not debatable, it is quantifiable. You can prefer Adele’s voice and sound, but to say Adele is a better singer is pretty much denying that vocalists, opera singers, every instruments and all matters of keys, notes do not exist on some quantifiable scale, which is ridiculous. It’s like telling someone a High School Diploma is better than a College Degree because you just say so. Vocal talent is measurable, preference is not.

    Anyone who knows anything about music on a technical level can easily tell Beyonce is the better vocalist and no, I’m not a huge Beyonce fan by any means but I can appreciate Beyonce’s vocal ability and talent.

    • Dump Bey

      You’re wrong. Adele’s voice may stick to a particular channel, but she has ten times the resonance of Beyonce. Beyonce can’t make a note ring like Adele, or even Rihanna for that matter. Beyonce is not quite a hack. She does have some technique, doing the ‘runs’ you talk about. Her sister Solange does the same fake singing. Rapping a bunch of jibberish with some melody doesn’t make you a singer. Beyonce can move words around quickly, but she can’t belt or emote truly. Whose even better than Adele? Jennifer Hudson. Watch her Purple Rain tribute to Prince. That’s what should have been at the Grammy’s! Can it with the claims to speak for music professionals. I know plenty myself, and I don’t know one that thinks Beyonce is anything but an industry shiny object on a massive ego trip. The best you can say about her is she’s been culturally relevant, mostly to people of average to low education. To compare her to true jazz greats is laughable, and Hudson would not be. Etta James thought Beyonce was hacking up her song. That’s expert testimony right there. Lose the attitude. I know that’s most of what B sells, and all her fans like to do a lot of tough posing.

  4. Anon

    Dumbest comment bait article ever; also Santana so uninformed. Probably hasn’t even listened to her last two albums, when she got genius-retarded good.

  5. Mark

    Both Adele and Beyonce have vocal and performance weaknesses, and have each won more than 10 Grammy Awards for their solo work in a short period of time. It used to be hard to rack up multiple Grammy wins. I don’t think either one has been cheated. If anything, they’re both winning too much for overrated work.

    • Dump Bey

      I agree, Adele is better, but still really only has 2-3 great notes in basically one song and format.

  6. Party Favorz

    Yet another click-bait article from DMN. There is a certain element in your editorial decisions that reach out to the lowest elements of any musician’s fan base. You did it with Fifth Harmony and now Beyoncé and Adele both outstanding vocalist in their profession.

    If you’re solely on the side of Adele, it’s likely you prefer MOR over Urban. If you’re a strict Beyoncé fan, it’s likely you don’t care for the whitewashed 21st century sounds of the Carpenters, Lionel Richie and Air Supply.

    Personally, I’ve been a music hound my entire life and enjoy most genres and certainly enjoy both artists. Just listen to “Freedom” from “Lemonade” and it will blow your mind. “25” was not Adele’s strongest album. It was carefully culminated to appeal to the sugary sensibilities of a wider audience with little thought to meaning or purpose. Just ask Rick Rubin who played an immense role in shaping the album after what was originally being considered was rejected or sent back for corrections.

    My suggestion is stop trying to fuel a controversy when simply no more than raging in the simple minds of a fervent fan-base a la Lady GaGa vs. Madonna. When a commenter posts video clips as “proof” that Beyoncé can’t sing, which has the opposite effect and actually proves she can sing, DMN expects these types of fan wars to light up their comment section. Congratulations, you succeeded but at what cost to the reputation of serious reporting in your niche?

    If it makes certain people happy on here; Kelly Rowland is a better singer than Beyoncé. I still love Beyoncé and Adele (and Kelly for that matter).

  7. LizH

    I think Santana’s comments are symptomatic of the elitism that seems to be common in the Recording Academy.

    The academy seems to value the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist or “real artists” over artists that may collaborate with different people and combine genres or ideas to create an overall vision. This can speak to many different issues and biases (i.e. women tend to be more collaborative than men). Furthermore, the singer/songwriter archetype lends itself to more likely be someone who is white and/or male. It is also a much more traditional and conservative musical archetype.

    There also doesn’t seem to be much value placed on innovation in the academy. Lemonade was innovative album from the manner in which it was released, to the stories that it told and segments of our society that it spoke to and about, to the fact that it is a VISUAL album (a trend that many other artists are now jumping on). Lemonade also made a huge impact on the cultural zeitgeist of 2016- from the Superbowl to Melania Trump SNL parodies.

    Finally, the issue of racism comes into consideration not by what artists performed that night but who consistently wins the two most prestigious awards: Record and Album of the year. Taylor Swift has two album of the year trophies but Prince, Mariah Carey and Beyonce have none? Coincidentally, Swift won her second trophy when Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly was also nominated. Some would argue Lamar’s album was better but as someone else mentioned much of this is subjective.

  8. GregK

    Did anybody bother to listen to Adele on the Grammy’s? She is completely tone deaf. It’s one thing to lower the tempo of George Michael’s song. It’s another to lower the pitch of nearly every note. If you change both the tempo and the notes, like Adele did (it was no better on the second try) it’s no longer the same song and hardly a tribute.

    • Nomen

      I’ve just watched the video. She applies vocal technique, not perfect and first of all – this is not art of singing. Her vocal expression isn’t very nuanced. But she is pretty, sympathetic and knows how to entertain. By the way, the dress is not appropriate for a visit to a children’s hospital 😉

      • Nomen

        But who cares? The children only belong to the scenery for the promotion.