I recently saw Willie Nelson on TV, from his performance at The Glastonbury Festival. He was singing 'standards' like Blue Skies.
Now part of the attraction of well known songs is that the audience can sing along and I tried to.
His phrasing, whilst very nice to hear, was so individual as to make singing with him very difficult, if not impossible. Listening to him singing these songs made it very obvious quite how distinct was, his timing and intonation.
Why and how is it that some singers can retain this very individual style of phrasing in the face of more conventional styles and not get it beaten out of them? Being told for instance that you are 'not doing it right'.
Or is it more a question of this individual style developing with time and encouragement?