Foremost Female Award

sia

Sia’s Face in all its Glory

I gave Beyonce the title within a year of Destiny’s Child’s disbandment shortly after she infiltrated my iPod with “Irreplaceable.” Then, Rihanna took it from Queen Bey upon her release of “What’s My Name?” and “Rude Boy.” Having held it until late 2011, Ri Ri passed it to Karmin’s lead vocalist, Amy Heideman who held it briefly until I was forced to give it to Amy Winehouse, posthumously. My personal celebration of the ‘Foremost Female in Music’ has been quiet for some time due to a lack of effort on my part and the latest recipient’s unfortunate inability to make more music. Without further ado, Sia is, in my opinion, the best current female vocalist and is hereby awarded as this moment’s ‘Foremost Female in Music.’

This title and award is not meant to be offensive, so, if it offends you, I am sorry, please comment with a less offensive, but catchy, award title and I will change it. Importantly, my recognition of this award says more about my music listening habits than anyone else mentioned herein. To explain, I tend to have a singular focus with my music—one song; one album; one vocalist; and one group at a time across the different genres I enjoy. I will listen exclusively to Jay-Z, for example, but no other hip-hop artists for months at a time. I am intensely loyal to my musicians for short periods.

Now, let’s go back to Sia. Hailing from Southern Australia, she sang with 1990s acid jazz band Crisp, and then released her debut studio album before teaming up to form the duo Zero 7. [1] In 2000, her solo career took a more recognizable shape and has moved upward and onward ever since. Most appreciated by me are her most recent hits of the last 3 years. She released her album 1000 Forms of Fear, which included “Chandelier,” a symbolic song about her struggles with alcohol and pills. The “Chandelier” video now has more than 1.2 billion views on YouTube. Later, she officially won me over by teaming up with Eminem for a cut on the Southpaw soundtrack, “Guts Over Fear.” Her booming, inspiring voice forced me to listen more closely.

Aside from her apparent vocal gift, her ability to write real, somber songs distinguishes her from some of today’s other female singers whose lyrics don’t really get under my skin. From all appearances, her priority is as a musician and not fame. She takes great lengths to keep her face from being viewed publicly.[2]  Sia blows me away with her voice, gets deep with her lyrics and some of her songs make me want to dance. Her special combination of talent and ability make her rare in this time of voice altering technology and simple, catchy song writing.

Sia officially received the title of ‘Foremost Female in Music’ upon the release of the striking hit “Elastic Heart” and soothing “Salted Wound,” both of which arrived on the Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack. Her art just keeps coming. She joined Fetty Wapp for an EDM laced song “Bang My Head” in which she steals the moment. Nothing against Fetty, but he may as well have been her back up singer for that one. It has not stopped. Her newest album This is Acting includes lyrically in-depth numbers and ones just for partying. Each song on it illustrates her distinct sound and vocal range. Sia is set to keep the ‘Foremost Female in Music’ title for the foreseeable future as she shows no signs of slowing down.

Because this award is given out and voted on by me only, I decide when it gets passed to someone else. There are no term limits. Sia will keep the title as long as she keeps doing what she is doing. If not, Kaela Sinclair (M83) and Neko Case (because she is awesome) could be Sia’s successors. All told, I realize it may be healthier to spread my attention amongst several female vocalists at a time, but I am a one girl guy. For now, Sia gives me the music I need. She is the ‘Foremost Female in Music’ of May 2016.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sia_Furler

[2] Ellen Degeneres Show; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3340830/Sia-reveals-never-shows-face-public-Ellen-DeGeneres-tries-coax-wig.html.