Sunday, March 13, 2011

The comeback of "One Shining Moment"

Last year, CBS made the decision to change the cover of "One Shining Moment" from the one used for much of the last decade by Luther Vandross, believed to be his last-ever recording before his health sadly took a turn for the worse, to a new cover by Oscar winner and "American Idol" alum Jennifer Hudson.

For the most part, the new version of OSM was panned - maybe not so much because of what Hudson brought to the song in the way she performed it, but perhaps moreso in the delivery of the OSM package. Hudson, if memory serves, was reported to have been seen on the March Madness retrospective 11 times, in turn denying the use of highlights and moments which made an argument to be included.

And that's the problem.

I have absolutely nothing against Hudson. She's a beautiful woman, a versatile talent without question and boasts a great voice.

The thing about OSM, however, is it's a tradition focused on the best of March Madness - the players, coaches and fans who make it so. It's not about how many times CBS can mix in shots of Hudson performing the song and say, "Hey, look who we've got doing this song!"

I will be very interested to see how CBS handles the controversy this year. Will they retire Hudson's version, kind of like the fairly short-lived run of Teddy Pendergrass, and bring in someone new? Will they even dust off Vandross' version again? Or will they stick with Hudson?

Only time will tell, but it would be a start no matter what they decide to do if CBS takes the focus off the singer. That's why so many people have loved Vandross' cover. With the exception of its debut year, when you saw Vandross sing, "The ball is tipped....", you never saw him again because the focus was on the tournament.

Granted, it's not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. But let's get "One Shining Moment" back to what many of us who have grown up with it know and love.

- Chris Lillstrung


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