I have been out of the loop in popular music for years. I was watching American Idol, in particular the early auditions, and wondered where this style of singing came from. Who were they all imitating?
Fantasia's roots are true gospel. When she did a turn on the NAACP Image awards, it was pure gospel, the full over the top performance. But these young people who come on the auditions one after the other are clearly not imitating traditional gospel. And forgive me, BC, but they are certianly not imitating Aretha Franklin who is closer to Mahalia than what is going on now.
It seemed really clear to me after I listened to Mariah Carey that she was who they were imitating. I asked the woman at work whose cousin I had listened to, and she reports that her cousin listened "constantly" to Mariah Carey when she was very young. I rest my case.