Karen Carpenter

Found on afterellen.com


Karen Anne Carpenter was an American singer and drummer. She and her brother, Richard Carpenter, formed the 1970s duo Carpenters.


My favorite vocalist, by far, is Karen Carpenter. Her voice has an inherent melancholy quality which makes it perfect for the Carpenters' many melancholy and sad songs. She has such a vulnerability in her voice that it makes me want to give her a comforting hug.

Nowhere will you find a voice as smooth and silky as hers. Some people say Barbra Streisand's voice is "like butter. " I believe that distinction belongs to Karen.

But Karen's voice possesses so many qualities and facets that I love. It is mellow and comforting, loving, gentle, and sweet. And sometimes when she hits those super-low notes, it sends a chill up my spine to this day.

And at other times when she is singing tenderly, her voice crackles, and again, you hear that vulnerability.

Some other adjectives I can use to describe her voice are warm, sincere, touching, caring, and soothing. It wraps around you like a fluffy blanket on a cold day. The emotion in her voice is inherent. ...more - jonk0469

Just pure elegance, as if God put her on this earth to sing so that others can hear perfection. If only someone could have helped her, we'd still be blessed with her talent. The fact that she didn't understand all the worship only makes it that much more enchanting.

The greatest voices are not just heard they are felt deep inside and that's what Karen's voice does. She reaches into your soul and brings forth the most exquisite feelings of innocence, longing, regret, hope, vulnerability and does it in a quiet soothing way. Her voice is pure and clear on it's own and when layered takes on an almost celestial quality that can bring you to ecstasy or despair in the blink of an eye. Karen's ability to "read" a song was flawless. Truly she has the best voice I have ever been privileged to hear.

There is something so touching, soothing and comforting about Karen's voice... Something I have yet to hear another singer come close to. When I hear the yearning in her voice, the perfect intonation and the "presence" of her voice, it sends chills down my spine just about each and every time. Singers that "shriek" or "flutter" like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey or Celine Dion do not elicit such feelings, even though, granted, they do have good control over their respective voices. For overall sound, in my humble opinion, Karen was (and is) in a league of her own.

Karen Carpenter's voice is rich, full-bodied, silky smooth and pure.

She sings in true and pure tones.

Karen Carpenter is a singer's singer.

Others may have a wider range and can sing higher notes... But being able to sing those super high notes does not automatically make you a great singer. I think a great singer should possess clarity of tone and natural ability. Many of those who hit the high notes only do so because of studio production, it's not natural or real.

Karen Carpenter's voice was real. She sounded exactly the same when she sang live in concert... And unlike others her live concerts were not lip-synched. - RickHH

Karen Carpenter had a one-in-a-billion voice; as many have noted, she was instantly recognizable, and stood apart from other singers. Just the fact that so many people miss her, and wish she were still alive and recording screams volumes. The measure of how great a performer is has to do with the legacy they leave behind. Even after so many years, she is still being discovered and appreciated by a younger generation. In terms of singing perfection--yeah, she's definitely the singer's singer. The best of the best of the best--a very high standard to meet.

These lists are a joke. As I write this comment Karen sits at 32nd place, when she clearly belongs at the top. She sang with absolute tonal clarity. Placing her below the likes of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion - all of whom had lovely voices, but never sang a straight note in their lives - is a travesty.

There is more genuine emotion conveyed in a single Karen Carpenter performance than these other women managed in their entire careers. I'll happily put up with listening to her brother's cheesy 70s pop arrangements for the rest of my life, just to hear her voice, rather than tolerate the likes of Houson, Carey and Dion vainly masturbating at the microphone.

Karen Carpenter opens her mouth and I weep. That's without even thinking about her tragically short life. The voice by itself is enough.

Without a doubt one of the very best female vocalists of all time with her range and perfect pitch. What a tragedy she was taken so early in life, and we could not enjoy that perfect alto voice. My wife and I were married in the fall of 1970 (I know old folks and still going strong after 40 years) and "we've only just begun" was our song.

God bless you Karen and Richard for your gifts of music to the world.

Best female singer of all time in my opinion. Sang from her heart and grabs your's as she sings. Killer contralto voice. When she sings low tones I can feel them all the way through me. She grabs your attention with her first note and its like shes singing to only you from just a few feet away. Lots of other good singers here but Karen just isn't known by the younger generation as is evidenced by her lower rating than many singers who can't hold a candle to her angelic voice with perfect pitch and tone control. I dare anyone to spend a couple of hours listening to her classic songs and not come away impressed and maybe addicted to that perfect voice. So soothing, warm, sexy and truly one in a billion.

There has never been a voice such as beautiful as her's and I doubt we will ever hear one like her again. I often wonder how she would sound today if she had lived. Her voice got better as each album came out. If you want to hear Karen at her best pick up or download the Carpenters 1975 album "Horizon". Karen never sounded better here and the the highlight track which showcases her vocals beautifully is "Solitaire". Simply perfect. Her voice will live forever...

As perfectly described in the documentary "Close to You", when Karen sang (live or recorded) you felt like she was singing over your shoulder... a melodic whisper directly into your own ear. It is like this with every song, every time, from the first release until now. Regardless of the song, you can instantly tell it is Karen from the first note. Great singers have this quality. This list is about the "best singers", not the best production artists or most provocative personalities. Karen's voice withstands the test of time, as mesmerizing now as it was 40 years ago. When it comes to pure singing, Karen Carpenter has very few equals. Her tone and expression are beyond compare. She deserves to be much higher on this list.

Karen Carpenter has a quality to her voice that no one can lay claim to. So expressive and lush with a deep and soulfull sophistication- while at the same time sounding casual and effortless. When she hits those deep notes such as can be heard in the wiord "down" on Rainy Days and Mondays always get me DOWN that you become forever floored.

Hands-down, Karen Carpenter was the finest female vocalist in the past 50 years. She didn't shriek like Whitney or Celine -- she simply and effortless had the most perfect voice ever recorded.

This list seems to be more of popularity contest rather than a true critique of the artist's voice. What tells me most that this is the case is the absence of Ella Fitzgerald in the top ten. Voices have many characteristics to be sure and I like listening to some of the above entries but many of them do not share the precision of Karen's voice. Karen's voice was pure, controlled, and a timbre that is all hers. In contrast to many of the above she could hold a note, draw it out and sometimes gently bend it with grace. She never tried to put her voice above the music to the point where the song was more about her than the composition. She may not be #1 but her along with some others legitimately deserve to me much higher on this list.

Karen Carpenter is many times left out of the conversation. She's been gone for so many years, but the fact is she is absolutely one of the greatest singers of all time. Her delivery and interpretation is flawless. Along with Richard Carpenter's genius in the studio, Karen's heartfelt vocals are as touching and warm as can be put on tape. Had she'd not been taken from us The Carpenters would still be selling out venues all over the world.

Like many... I can see where this list is driven by a younger generation that are unfamiliar with Karen as a result of her untimely death. Karen's contralto voice was absolutely FLAWLESS. Her breath control, caramel smooth tone, intonation and the sheer feminine whisper and hushed intimacy to her voice... as well as the trademark warmth and sadness that could be heard... made her both unique and absolutely breathtaking to listen to.

When you listen to Karen Carpenter you feel how she feels... sad or happy. She didn't need a seven octave range... she didn't need soaring vocals... when she sang the words flowed from her heart effortlessly. RIP Karen... hope you've found the peace of mind and love that you were denied while you were here.

You can tell all the teenage kids are voting the most. If you go strictly on voice alone Karen Carpenter is #1 Hands down. You may not care for her music but no one can deny her voice. And no, sorry love Whitney Houston but not even she comes close to KC. And I have a very versatile taste in music I listen to all kinds R&B Jazz rock Motown country for 50 years. You young folks can put whoever you want up there but anyone, whether you like her or not can't deny her #1. I doubt anyone else will ever top her.

I look at the others on this list, and my reaction was to be upset, but you know, it's okay. I don't think Karen would have thought she was the best, nor do I think she wanted the top spot. That idea would almost compel her to the top on modesty alone, but instead it his her unmatched vocal honesty, beauty and melancholy which makes her the greatest vocalist I've ever heard. It's okay the pop-tarts of this day, and their legions of sycophants aren't aware of the beauty and artistry of Karen. True genius is not meant to be consumed en masse. I hope more people have the privilege of enjoying Karen's voice, but I'm just happy and grateful to have been blessed to be exposed to her talent.

I think there is some generational ignorance going on here. Karen died over 30 years ago, so I can understand why some of the younger voters would not be aware of this amazing singer. She sang in a duo more known for "elevator music" than anything else, and the Carpenters music was very polarizing at a time when heavy metal reigned supreme. But despite all of that, the Carpenters were highly successful, and it was Karen's voice that really charmed the masses. Even today, so many years later, Karen Carpenter is the standard by which I judge all other singers. The type of music she sang may have limited her in some ways, but in terms of pure talent, tone, and emotion, she was the greatest female singer of all time.

She had perfect pitch, perfect phrasing, perfect timber. She had such natural talent and could play the drums. Truly a gifted, gifted singer, whose sorrows and desires to be loved colored all her songs and touched something in everyone who heard her. A beautiful voice in a beautiful soul, unfortunately living in a difficult human family that tortured her mind. One of the best, if not the best ever. There was never any gimmicks or crude attempts to substitute for talent as you sometimes see today.

This Woman Owns The Most Wanted Voice of all! I Adore and love her by her angelic voice. She doesn't only sing, she touches our heart. I Dunno' There's something About the way she Sings every Lines, Every words, But She Inspires me to sing even I don't do like hers. She Gives the Spirit to the Carpenters Songs. Without her, There's no CARPENTERS, There' no CLOSE TO YOU! Even Though I Was born on '96. I Really appreciate THE CARPENTERS. I love her! Why do she have to die? I Really Cried When I've Watched her LIFE STORY. She Deserve what she have Received. She is not a PUBLICITY SEEKER. She is the most DOWN TO EARTH Singer I've knowned! She"s Cool! A GIRL WHO PLAYED DRUMS WHILE SINGING! OH! GOD! I REALLY ADMIRE HER! KAREN CARPENTER IS IN MY HEART FOREVER! SHE SINGS CONTINUOUSLY! SHE NEVER STOPS! SHE IS MY NUMBER ONE! IF I CAN VOTE A BILLION TIMES, I WILL :">

Never before and never again. She is the purity of music embodied. Her reading of a lyric, regardless of the subject or period, was more poetic and wise than her years should have allowed. However, the most important thing about her voice is that it touches us deeper and longer than any other singer. She is truly in a class by herself.

It's been said before but there is a subtle almost sad or longing in her voice. She had the real thing; the thing that cannot be faked. All of the great ones had it. I think she had a wonderful voice technically but it was her ability, an effortless unconcious ability, to connect it with her soul that makes you feel what she sings... BEAUTIFUL... I miss you Karen...

I just saw the live concert the Carpenters gave in Japan in 1974 and I just couldn't believe my eyes and ears: sheer beauty. Karen had unique singing talents, acting talents and was also a great drummer, she had the most beautiful smile and was so graceful. Too good to be true. It's as if "on the day that she was born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true... "

She doesn't scream, she doesn't shout, she is a pure vocalist and the sound just oozes like melted butter... I grew up listening to her and I can still listen to her all day...

Makes the current crop of pop-tart fairies seem plastic, fake and a bunch of try hards...

I absolutely love her... Karen - #1 by a big margin to anyone else...