Last night on American Idol, Mariah dismissed "Like a Prayer" as being "not a big singing song." Look, plenty of Madonna's songs, including indelible pop classics like "Into the Groove" or "Borderline," could fairly and objectively be classified outside the "big singing song" category. Not so with "Like a Prayer," which even without its big singing choral aspect has plenty of opportunity within its verses for belting (and which features one of Madonna's best vocal performances ever).
For Mariah Carey to sing a song, she almost always insists on oversinging it. Give her "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" and "fellow" would have 18.5 syllables.
Mariah Carey is/was a very good singer with a remarkable range. Madonna is a great pop singer with an underrated range of expression, even if she is no belter and can be a wild pitcher, with some good, some great, some meh vocals live.
But I would much rather listen to not only Madonna, but many other less, um, gifted singers than Mariah Carey, because as much as having a modest voice or occasionally hitting a bum note can annoy those who are gifted or classically trained or just attuned to flawless vocals, listening to someone scream, dog-whistle and/or holler (basically, anytime the hand is going up and down like Horshack's) annoys me.