Best Radio Voice

Renée BlancheNight Tides, KCUR 89.3

For 18 years, Renée Blanche has lulled radio listeners into a zen state (or sleep — her insomniac fans love her) on the Sunday-night FM staple Night Tides, on KCUR 89.3. The recordings on this locally produced show are "contemplative instrumental & electronic music," according to the show's website, which we hear as a pleasantly alien, post-New Age drone. But it's Blanche's soothing, seductive voice that we crave. Her training isn't theatrical ("I was studying modern dance, not voice," she says), but she was lured into radio after a college professor told the Detroit native, "You're so intelligent. Why don't you speak like Barbara Jordan?" Blanche got the hint and has never stopped talking — beautifully.

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