Greatest Singers

This list combines the presence of being the frontman, singing ability and voice.
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1.
Freddie Mercury
Soundtrack, Metropolis
Freddie Mercury was born on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, sent him off to a private school in India, from 1955 til 1963. In 1964 Freddie and his family flew to England. Freddie was very delighted to come to England. In 1966 he started his education at the Ealing College of Art...
“ Queen

* #18th Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time ” - Paul Hamell
 
2.
Robert Plant
Prior to Hobbstweedle (a pickup blues band formed to honour a gig at West Midlands College Of Education) Robert was the frontman for The Band of Joy - featuring Percy, John Bonham, Paul Lockey (bass), Chris Brown (keyboards) and Kevyn Gammond (guitar). The BOJ were on verge of making a record deal when they split a little acrinmoniously...
“ Led Zeppelin, solo

* #15th Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time ” - Paul Hamell
 
3.
Axl Rose
Born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana, W. Axl Rose is the pure embodiment of decadent late 1980s rockerdom. Brash, slightly misogynistic and notoriously wild, Rose grew up in a maniacally dysfunctional household - molested by his own father at age two; beaten by his abusive stepfather. When Axl was...
“ Guns N' Roses ” - Paul Hamell
 
4.
Bono
Soundtrack, Moulin Rouge!
Bono was born Paul David Hewson in Dublin, Ireland on May 10, 1960, to Iris (Rankin) and Brendan Robert Hewson. He has been the lead singer of the rock band U2 since 1976. U2 has won 22 Grammy Awards to date, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Lauded by fans and critics as an outstanding performer and songwriter...
“ U2

* #32nd Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time ” - Paul Hamell
 
5.
Michael Jackson
Thanks, This Is It
Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson, had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Jackson (née Katherine Esther Scruse). Together...
“ Jackson 5; solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
6.
“ * #13th Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time

Elvis Presley and Bono both stated his voice was the greatest and most distinctive they had ever heard ” - Paul Hamell
 
7.
Paul McCartney
Music Department, A Hard Day's Night
Sir Paul McCartney is a key figure in contemporary culture as a singer, composer, poet, writer, artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and holder of more than 3 thousand copyrights. He is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for most records sold, most #1s (shared), most covered song, "Yesterday," largest paid audience for a solo concert (350,000+ people...
“ The Beatles, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
8.
Sam Cooke
Soundtrack, Hitch
Sam Cooke was born January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was one of eight children of Charles Cook Sr., a Baptist minister. When Sam sang as a little boy in church, everyone made note that his voice had "something special". He sang in church and in local gospel choirs until a group called the Highway Q.C.'s asked him to sing with them at various venues...
 
9.
Marvin Gaye
Soundtrack, Se7en
 
10.
 
11.
John Lennon
John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia (Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was of Irish, and some Welsh and English, ancestry. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, which he attended) who, with the addition of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, later became The Beatles...
“ The Beatles, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
12.
Ray Charles
Music Department, Ray
A tragic fate may have given this visionary a heightened sensitivity, perception, awareness, even expansion to his obvious musical gifts that he may have never touched upon had he not suffered from his physical affliction. Whatever it was, Ray Charles revolutionized American music and was catapulted to legendary status by the time he died in Beverly Hills at age 73...
 
13.
Elton John
Music Department, The Lion King
Sir Elton John is one of pop music's great survivors. Born 25 March, 1947, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, he started to play the piano at the early age of four. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. His first band was called Bluesology. He later auditioned (unsuccessfully) as lead singer for the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Gentle Giant...
 
14.
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Presley (née Gladys Love Smith) and Vernon Presley (Vernon Elvis Presley). He had a twin brother who was stillborn. In September 1948, Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he attended Humes High School...
 
15.
“ The Four Tops ” - Paul Hamell
 
16.
Prince
Soundtrack, Batman
Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer and social worker, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist and pianist. His father's stage name was "Prince Rogers". His parents were both from African-American families from Louisiana. They separated during his youth...
 
17.
Stevie Wonder
Soundtrack, Die Hard
Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, United States, to Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway. Due to being born six weeks premature, Stevie Wonder was born with a condition called retinopathy of prematurity, which made him blind. Stevie Wonder, even with this disability, made his landmark to be a pioneer and innovator in the music industry...
 
19.
Mick Jagger
Soundtrack, The Departed
Michael Philip Jagger was born in Dartford, Kent on 26th July 1943. When he was 4 he met Keith Richards until they went into secondary schools and lost touch. But one day in 1960 they accidentally met on the Dartford train line and both realized that they had an interest in rock n roll combined with blues...
“ The Rolling Stones, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
20.
“ Jeff Beck, solo

Having a unique raspy-voice he was still able to become a great singer. ” - Paul Hamell
 
21.
“ Aerosmith ” - Paul Hamell
 
22.
Al Green
Soundtrack, Pulp Fiction
 
23.
“ Simon & Garfunkel, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
24.
Neil Young
Soundtrack, Philadelphia
Neil Young is one of the most respected and prolific rock/folk guitarists of the late 20th century. Raised in Canada, he first became well-known as a guitarist and occasional vocalist for the band Buffalo Springfield. After the band's breakup, Young became a solo performer. However, he also has spent more than 30 years performing with the super-group Crosby Stills Nash & Young...
 
25.
Roger Daltrey
Roger Daltrey is noted as a founder of the legendary rock band The Who. After leaving London's Acton County Grammar School in 1963, he formed a skiffle band called The Detours, then displayed an early genius by putting together unusual elements into a world-class performance. The unusual elements included Daltrey on vocals...
“ The Who ” - Paul Hamell
 
26.
Diana Ross
Best known as the the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group The Supremes, Diana Ernestine Earle Ross was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, the second of six children of African-American parents Ernestine Lillian (Moten), a schoolteacher, and Fred Earl Ross, who served in the army...
“ The Supremes, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
27.
Ben E. King
Soundtrack, Stand by Me
“ The Drifters, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
28.
David Bowie
Actor, Labyrinth
David Bowie is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of pop music. Born David Jones, he changed his name to Bowie in the 1960s, to avoid confusion with the then well-known Davy Jones (lead singer of The Monkees). The 1960s were not a happy period for Bowie, who remained a struggling artist...
 
29.
Jim Morrison
Soundtrack, Cast Away
Jim Morrison was born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida, to Clara Virginia (Clarke) and George Stephen Morrison, a U.S. Naval Officer who fought in World War II. Jim eventually became so estranged from his parents that he would later claim that they were dead. Not much is known about his early years...
“ The Doors ” - Paul Hamell
 
30.
“ Bad Company, Free ” - Paul Hamell
 
31.
Stevie Nicks
Soundtrack, School of Rock
Stevie Nicks was born in Phoenix, Arizona. From an early age, she showed a love and aptitude for music, singing country and western duets with her grandfather when she was 4 years old. After moving to San Francisco, she began songwriting and performing at Menlo-Atherton High School, where she met her future long-time companion...
“ Fleetwood Mac, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
32.
Steve Perry
Soundtrack, Moneyball
“ Journey, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
33.
Thom Yorke
Soundtrack, The Prestige
“ Radiohead ” - Paul Hamell
 
34.
Buddy Holly
Soundtrack, Big Fish
 
35.
Little Richard
Soundtrack, Casino
Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as Little Richard, the self-proclaimed "Architect of Rock 'n' Roll", traveled in his early days with the legendary vaudeville star Spencer "Snake" Anthony. One of Richard's early bands had the young, then unknown singer James Brown (the Godfather of Soul), a fourteen-year-old keyboardist named Billy Preston...
 
36.
Brian Wilson
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
Brian Douglas Wilson was born on June 20th 1942 and has gone on to become one of, if not the greatest, musical geniuses in the world. It was while growing up, while being physically and psychologically abused by his father, that he discovered music as a way of shutting out all hurt and pain that he was feeling at home...
“ The Beach Boys ” - Paul Hamell
 
37.
“ Them, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
38.
“ The Four Seasons ” - Paul Hamell
 
39.
 
40.
Tina Turner
Soundtrack, GoldenEye
After almost fifty years in the music business, Tina Turner has become one of the most commercially-successful international female rock stars to date. Her sultry, powerful voice, her incredible legs, her time-tested beauty and her unforgettable story all contribute to her legendary status. Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush...
 
41.
Steve Winwood
Soundtrack, Rush
“ Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
42.
Eric Burdon
Soundtrack, Zodiac
Eric Burdon has one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in rock and roll. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 1994, and hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Voices of All Time, Burdon's music forged new territory while also topping the charts for over 5 decades. Highly prolific...
“ The Animals, War ” - Paul Hamell
 
43.
Ronnie James Dio
How many rock stars can brag about recording and touring consistently in six different decades? That's just one of the many claims to fame enjoyed by Ronnie James Dio. Born on July 10, 1942, this Cortland, New York native began his recording career back in 1958. Even back then, the seeds of Ronnie James Dio's future musical excesses had already been sown...
“ Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio ” - Paul Hamell
 
44.
“ Eagles, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
45.
Aretha Franklin
Several Grammy award wins, the first women to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and dubbed as the Queen Of Soul. Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Aretha was born to parents, Barbra Singers homemaker, and Clarence Franklin a baptist minster. Aretha Franklin started to sing due to her father being a minister...
 
46.
“ Creedence Clearwater Revival, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
47.
Willie Nelson
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
This versatile, eclectic, rather wanderlust country crossover star known for his classic ballads ("Always On My Mind"), autobiographical road songs ("On the Road Again") and catchy rhythms ("Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys") started out life as Willie Hugh Nelson on April 30, 1933...
“ The best voice in country music history. ” - Paul Hamell
 
48.
Sly Stone
Soundtrack, Zodiac
“ Sly & the Family Stone ” - Paul Hamell
 
49.
Morrissey
Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Davyhulme, Manchester, England, UK. At a very early age, he took an interest in writing. His top priority was poetry, though he would have his biography on James Dean, "James Dean Is Not Dead", published by his early 20s. His literary influences ranged from Oscar Wilde to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...
“ The Smiths, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
50.
 
51.
Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey was born in Long Island, New York. She is the daughter of Patricia (Hickey), a singer and vocal coach, who is of Irish descent, and Alfred Roy Carey, an engineer, who was of Afro-Cuban ancestry. Mariah attended Greenlawn's Harborfields High School. In June of 1990, Mariah made her debut with "Mariah Carey" which entered at #73...
 
53.
Christina Aguilera
Soundtrack, Get Smart
Christina Maria Aguilera was born on December 18, 1980, in Staten Island, New York, to Shelly Loraine (Fidler) and Fausto Wagner Xavier Aguilera. Her father is Ecuadorian and her mother, who is American-born, has English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry. Her parents divorced when she was young and she lived with her mother...
 
54.
“ Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver

"If you asked me who I truly believed were the great voices of our generation, I'd say it were he, Layne [Staley], and Kurt [Cobain]," ~ Billy Corgan

"I just thought he was a great singer, and he'd always been on my mind for this band. He was the one vocalist that I knew had the kind of voice that would serve what we were going to do: he had a John Lennon-ish quality, a little bit of Jim Morrison, and a touch of almost David Bowie. He was the best singer to come out in a long time in my opinion." ~ Slash ” - Paul Hamell
 
55.
Ozzy Osbourne
Soundtrack, This Is the End
Born in Birmingham, England, after leaving school and having many odd jobs he ended up in a band with Geezer Butler. This group then split leading Ozzy and Geezer to join Tony Iommi and Bill Ward in a new band that went under several names (including Earth) that ended up being called Black Sabbath after a song of the same name that appeared on their first album (released 1969/70)...
“ Black Sabbath, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
56.
 
57.
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants Natalina Della (Garaventa), from Northern Italy, and Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, a Sicilian boxer, fireman, and bar owner. Growing up on the gritty streets of Hoboken made Sinatra determined to work hard to get ahead. Starting out as a saloon singer in musty little dives (he carried his own P.A...
 
58.
 
59.
 
61.
David Ruffin
Self, Live Aid
The man most of us know by his unmistakable, calming yet disturbed raspy voice was born Davis Eli Ruffin on January 18, 1941, in Whynot, Mississippi. His father, Eli Ruffin, was a Baptist minister. Only months after his birth his mother Ophelia Ruffin died, and his father later remarried, to a schoolteacher...
“ The Temptations ” - Paul Hamell
 
62.
Curtis Mayfield
Soundtrack, Superbad
Rhythm and blues performer/songwriter credited with defining 1960's Chicago sound in hits like "It's All Right" and "Gypsy Woman." His style influenced other artists from pop to hip hop. Has been a quadriplegic ever since he was struck by lighting rig during outdoor concert in New York, 1990. Member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame whose 1968 hit "We're A Winner...
“ The Impressions, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
63.
Dusty Springfield
Soundtrack, Pulp Fiction
Dusty Springfield was an enormous cat lover. She left behind her twelve year old pet cat, Nicholas. She had suffered from drug and alcoholism during the seventies. She was the first person to bring the sound of Motown to England in her variety music show. She performed "Mockingbird" with Jimi Hendrix...
 
64.
Jackie Wilson
Soundtrack, Sweet November
Jackie "Sonny" Wilson was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Highland Park, the only son of Jack and Eliza Mae Wilson from Columbus, Mississippi. His father was an alcoholic and constantly unemployed, and his mother, who had lost two earlier children, doted on Jackie and became a powerful influence in his life...
 
65.
Smokey Robinson
Soundtrack, Platoon
Multi-talented performer/writer/producer Smokey Robinson's career, and life, is inextricably tied up with Motown Records' founder Berry Gordy (his first two children are named Tamla, for the Gordy-owned label Smokey recorded for, and Berry, for Gordy himself). He and Gordy have had a professional and personal relationship since the late 1950s...
 
66.
“ The Allman Brothers Band, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
67.
Levon Helm
Levon Helm was in the right place at the right time. He saw the birth of rock and roll and, though he was too much of a gentleman to say it, his role in helping to keep that rebellious child healthy was more than just instrumental. On May 26, 1940, Mark Lavon Helm was the second of four children born to Nell and Diamond Helm in Elaine...
“ The Band ” - Paul Hamell
 
68.
Dion DiMucci
Soundtrack, Road House
 
69.
Luther Vandross
Soundtrack, The Goonies
He was the heartbeat of R&B during the 1980s and 1990s, yet led a productive singing and songwriting life prior to this preeminence. The soul balladeer's strong commitment to the art of music continued on its Grammy-winning course, even after an acute stroke in 2003 left him severely incapacitated and unable to continue public appearances...
 
70.
Donny Hathaway
Music Department, Maude
 
72.
Joe Cocker
Soundtrack, Iron Man 2
 
73.
“ Electric Light Orchestra, Traveling Wilburys ” - Paul Hamell
 
74.
Patsy Cline
Soundtrack, The Departed
Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932 in Winchester, Virginia. Her brush with show business came at age four when she won a prize in an amateur tap dancing contest. By the time she entered grade school, her family was fully aware of her musical talent. On her eighth birthday...
 
75.
Madonna
The remarkable, hyper-ambitious Material Girl who never stops reinventing herself, Madonna is a seven-time Grammy Award-winner who has sold over three hundred million records and CDs to adoring fans worldwide. Her film career, however, is another story. Her performances have consistently drawn scathing or laughable reviews from film critics...
 
76.
Billy Corgan
Music Department, Ransom
“ The Smashing Pumpkins ” - Paul Hamell
 
77.
Kurt Cobain
Soundtrack, Moulin Rouge!
Kurt Cobain was born on February 20 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. Kurt and his family lived in Hoquiam for the first few months of his life then later moved back to Aberdeen, where he had a happy childhood until his parents divorced. The divorce left Kurt's outlook on the world forever scarred. He became withdrawn and anti-social...
“ Nirvana ” - Paul Hamell
 
79.
Bruce Springsteen
Soundtrack, Jerry Maguire
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born September 23, 1949 in New Jersey, USA. His father, Douglas Frederick Springsteen, worked as a bus driver, and was of Irish and Dutch ancestry. His mother, Adele Ann (Zerilli), worked as a legal secretary, and was of Italian ancestry. He has an older sister...
 
80.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Soundtrack, Stand by Me
Jerry Lee Lewis was born on September 29, 1935 into a very religious family . His family, though not very wealthy, sold their house when he was a child to get their son a piano. He loved to play piano. He was sent to a religious school, but was soon thrown out shortly thereafter -- he did a boogie version of a song about Jesus...
 
82.
Mavis Staples
Soundtrack, The Help
 
83.
Lou Reed
Soundtrack, Trainspotting
He formed the group The Velvet Underground with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker in New York in 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol's Factory scene, which housed a great number of the most freaked and experimental artists at the time...
“ The Velvet Underground, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
84.
Hank Williams
Hank Williams was born in September 1923 in a small Alabama farming community about 70 miles south of Montgomery. His father was a railroad engineer who was also a victim of shell shock after a year of fighting in France in 1918 during World War I and spent many years in veterans hospitals. Hank's mother...
 
85.
“ Iron Maiden ” - Paul Hamell
 
86.
Sting
Sting was born Gordon Matthew Sumner on 2 October, 1951 in Wallsend, North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, England, the eldest of four children of Audrey (Cowell), a hairdresser, and Ernest Matthew Sumner, an engineer and milkman. He received his name from a striped sweater he wore which looked like a bee...
“ The Police, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
87.
Bob Dylan
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
Robert Allen Zimmerman was born 24 May 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota; his father Abe worked for the Standard Oil Co. Six years later the family moved to Hibbing, often the coldest place in the US, where he taught himself piano and guitar and formed several high school rock bands. In 1959 he entered the University of Minnesota and began performing as Bob Dylan at clubs in Minneapolis and St...
“ Outstanding musician and one of the greatest. Just because he is a great songwriter and story teller doesn't mean he is a great singer. ” - Paul Hamell
 
88.
Iggy Pop
Soundtrack, Trainspotting
Legendary Rock 'n' Roll wildman and substance abuser. Recorded a series of classic rock albums with The Stooges and later as a solo artist. Worked extensively with David Bowie.
“ The Stooges, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
89.
Eric Clapton
Soundtrack, Back to the Future
Eric Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, on March 30, 1945. His real father was a Canadian pilot but he didn't find that out until he was 53. When he was 2 his mother felt she was unable to look after him, so Eric then went to live with his grandparents. When he was 14 he took up the guitar...
 
90.
Bob Marley
Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in Nine Miles, Saint Ann, Jamaica, to Norval Marley and Cedella Booker. His father was a Jamaican of English descent. His mother was a black teenager. The couple planned to get married but Norval left Kingston before this could happen. Norval died in 1955, seeing his son only once...
 
91.
Mary J. Blige
Soundtrack, The Help
 
92.
Elvis Costello
Soundtrack, The Big Lebowski
Elvis Costello was born Declan Patrick MacManus in London, England and raised in Liverpool. The son of British band leader Ross MacManus, Costello took his pseudonym from Elvis Presley and his father's stage name (Day Costello). He began performing professionally in 1969 and was a musician and/or...
 
93.
Alice Cooper
Soundtrack, Scream
Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of a minister. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona, at a young age and still lives in the state today. At age 17, he formed a rock band called the Earwigs, who changed their name to The Spiders and then The Nazz, before finally settling on Alice Cooper...
 
94.
“ Howlin Wolf ” - Paul Hamell
 
95.
Jon Anderson
Soundtrack, Almost Famous
Jon Anderson first joined a small British band, called The Warriors, in the mid-1960s. Towards the end of the decade, Anderson and bass guitarist Chris Squire formed a progressive rock band called Yes. This band went on to have phenomenal success for 11 years. In 1980, Anderson left Yes due to lengthy quarrels over which direction the band should take in the music...
“ Yes ” - Paul Hamell
 
96.
“ Judas Priest ” - Paul Hamell
 
97.
“ Oasis ” - Paul Hamell
 
98.
Paul Simon
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
Born on October 13, 1941 in Newark New Jersey, Paul Simon is one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever. In 1957, he and high school pal, Art Garfunkel, wrote and recorded the single, "Hey Schoolgirl", under the name "Tom and Jerry". After some failures, they broke up. Simon still wrote and recorded music as "Tico and The Triumps" and "Jerry Landis"...
“ Simon & Garfunkel, solo

He is a good singer however it's no secret that he is by far a better songwriter. His singing ability was overshadowed by Art Garfunkel when they had success as the Simon & Garfunkel duo. During his solo career he was able to show off his singing ability but would never match Garfunkel. ” - Paul Hamell
 
99.
George Harrison
A master musician, a film producer and actor, best known as the lead guitarist and occasionally lead vocalist of The Beatles, George Harrison was born February 25, 1943, in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. He was also the youngest of four children, born to Harold Harrison and Louise Harrison. Like his future band mates...
“ The Beatles, solo ” - Paul Hamell
 
100.
Muddy Waters
Soundtrack, Goodfellas
Chicago(USA)-based (from 1943) urban blues singer-guitarist, Waters was later considered among the primogenitors of rock & roll and "soul" music. It was not until the 1960's when he would acquire a modicum of fame.