It is easier to define Dionne Warwick by what she isn't rather than what she is. Although she grew up singing in church, she is not a gospel singer. Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan are clear influences, but she is not a jazz singer. R&B is also part of her background, but she is not really a soul singer, either, at least not in the sense that Aretha Franklin is. Sophisticated is a word often used to describe her musical approach and the music she sings, but she is not a singer of standards such as Lena Horne or Nancy Wilson. She is a pop singer of a sort who probably could only have emerged out of the Brill Building environment of post-Elvis Presley, pre-Beatles urban pop in the early '60s.
William Ruhlmann for Allmusic.com
Cousin of Whitney Houston. Sister of legendary gospel and background singer, Cissy Houston (Whitney's mother).
The soft-voiced romantic crooner who set hearts aflutter.
The most popular solo music artist of all time.
The 5 octave diva of highly polished soaring R&B/pop hits.
The term covers subgenres like hard bop and free jazz.
Black music finely crafted and packaged for the masses.
The sound of young America masterminded by Berry Gordy.
Combines rhythm & blues and gospel music styles.
Soul gets high.
Rock loses the roll but gains amplitude and attitude.