Oh lordy, Dionne Warwick has an opinion about kids these days.
In a video interview with Essence posted this week, the undisputed legend openly pondered the classic nature of contemporary music, wondering, “I don’t know if 10 years from now, anybody can actually sing the songs of our babies today.”
Is that throwing shade, Auntie Di?
“That’s not, as you guys say, ‘throwing shade,’” she said. “It’s looking at it with reality.”
“When you get into the 50- or 60-year range, that’s when you can start saying, well maybe there’s a classic hidden somewhere amongst them, but at this very moment, I don’t see it.”
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The thing about divas of a certain age and stature is they say this stuff (never forget Aretha Franklin’s read of Taylor Swift: “Great gowns, beautiful gowns”), and sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong, but always they are amusing so you have to just sit back and let the 78-year-old veteran speak and take it with a grain of salt. This is fun, this is all fun.
Well. The thing is, you can’t really say that Beyoncé is anything less than a god among us and have it remain fun for everyone. Dionne Warwick implied that Beyoncé is less than a god among us.
“I have an admiration for Beyoncé Knowles... Carter now,” said Warwick. “Watching her growth has been quite refreshing. It’s wonderful to see how she’s been able to create what and who she wanted to be and who she is… very proud of that, I really am.”
“Now sustaining and becoming a big icon that a Gladys Knight, or a Patti LaBelle, or a Johnny Mathis, or a Frank Sinatra, or Sammy Davis Jr. is? I doubt that,” Warwick said.
“I really do,” she said.
But do you love her to death?
“And I love her to death.”
“And like I said I can appreciate her talent. But that iconic status? That I just mentioned... those names? A long row to hoe,” Warwick added.
This caused a twittering on Twitter on Thursday, resulting in Warwick clarifying her comments in a tweet, according to Vibe. Her since-deleted words read: “What I said is in quotes. What @Essence said is not. It takes a long time to reach and achieve iconic status. That’s not to say that Beyoncé isn’t well on her way. She is a gifted performer. That was a reach from Essence.”
I love love love love love love, “What I said is in quotes” as a way of deflecting. I LOVE IT!!! That’s an icon! “Yes, my words were things I said... with quotes around them. Are they quotes denoting a lack of serious or emphasizing that those words are mine? I’ll never tell.”
Meanwhile, Warwick reports that she is “thrilled” with her “new CD,” She’s Back, which features a, yes, iconic remake of her 1979 hit “Déjà Vu” featuring Bone Thugs member Krayzie Bone.
And you know what? Regardless of her opinions, anyone who shows up to a red carpet in head to toe fur and open toes?
Icon. Plain and simple.