Top 10 Rock Frontmen of All Time


Who is the greatest rock frontman of them all?


So, who exactly is the greatest rock star to front a band?  It's a topic that has caused much debate and many heated discussions over the years, so we've decided to settle this matter once and for all, with our own list of the greatest ever frontmen to grace a stage!

Based on their vocals, performances, popularity, and appeal, here's our list of top 10 frontmen who ever graced the stage, and you'll probably notice that there isn't any room for Dio, Jagger, Springsteen, Elvis, Joplin, Berry, Bowie, Morrison, or Dylan. Well, we never said it was going to be easy...

By David Hinckley, Planet Rock.
 

10. Bono


Love him or loathe him, Bono has become one of the most well-known and dynamic frontmen of the last 30 years. U2 ascended from punk beginnings to the apex of stadium rock in the 1980s and beyond. Behind those trademark shades, there’s a singer who really believes he can change the world, and from his numerous charitable endeavours to U2’s early Apple collaborations, Bono certainly has.


9. Kurt Cobain


The 90s saw a big shift in power within the rock world. Kurt Cobain and Nirvana swooped aside the big haired metal, and rather shallow rock scene, and introduced us to the gritty and simplified sound of grunge. Cobain never wanted to be a rock star, and perhaps that was ultimately his downfall. Nirvana were most responsible for taking punk and college rock to the mainstream in the early ‘90s, and -- for better or worse -- guitar music has been turned on its head ever since.


8. Ozzy Osbourne


Ozzy Osbourne rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the pioneering band Black Sabbath. His unique vocal grain and on-stage presence made him a true heavy metal icon across the 70s and 80s. The original metal frontman was such a polarizing personality, he basically had to start his own genre. As far as live performances went, not many came close to the Prince of Darkness in his peak, not even his Sabbath successor, Ronnie James Dio.


7. Bruce Dickinson


Another extremely gifted vocalist makes it onto our list at number three. Iron Maiden's best ever front-man, Bruce Dickinson, has been immense throughout a long career, entertaining packed out stadiums and leading one of the most successful British heavy metal bands of all time. Bruce's vocal range is so wide, that he could quite easily have conquered many other musical genres, and there aren't many frontmen who could whip up a crowd storm quite as well as Dicko.


6. Robert Plant


Led Zeppelin’s legendary frontman had the whole package -- a tremendous vocal range, flowing rock star locks, and magnetism for miles. At first a reluctant lyricist, Plant took over Zeppelin writing duties for Led Zeppelin II, when the band assumed the mysticism and grandeur that only he could offer. Plant grew into quite the performer on stage, with his trademark moves and broad vocal range. You could argue that Plant was the first of his kind, and the perfect template for future frontmen to follow.


5. Prince 


If you do not think Prince is a worthy addition to any greatest frontmen list, then you might need your head checking. Prince was without doubt one of the most diverse, dynamic, and energetic performers to ever grace a stage,ad his legend will live on forever. Also, his guitar playing skills are hugely underrated, which is a travesty in itself. Prince should be held up alongside the six-string greats like Hendrix, Page, and Blackmore - yes, he really was that good!


4. Axl Rose


We prefer to remember the Axl Rose of the late 80s and early 90s. This was the Axl Rose who performed on stage as if his life depended on it. With his snake-like moves, screeching vocal tone and hugely talented writing skills, Axl will always be remembered as the king of the rock world during his time at the top. No one, not even the rock star greats could touch Rose in his peak, which made his rapid decline from 1993 even sadder.


3. Jimi Hendrix


Hendrix opened the doors to experimental guitar technique and was one of the driving forces behind rock’s dramatic overhaul from the start of the ‘60s to the end of the decade. Soloing in ”Voodoo Child” and singing lead in the Jimi Hendrix Experience? Yeah, he’s a legendary frontman, and his legacy will probably never be matched - Not even close!


2. Steven Tyler


When it comes to pure singing ability and range, Steven Tyler is certainly one of the best on this list. With a diverse vocal range and superb on-stage performing skills, the Aerosmith front-man has become a key figure in world of rock, and still goes strong even today. Ask most frontmen, famous or not, who the greatest frontman is, and most of them will tell you the same thing - Steven Tyler.

1. Freddie Mercury


Who else could possibly have made the number one spot other that the legend himself, Freddie Mercury. The Queen front-man had flair, finesse and a belting voice to match. If there was ever a man that could entertain and bring a whole stadium to its feet, that man was King Freddie. If you're one of those types who labels him as pop, then you really are missing the point, quite frankly.



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