The 10 Greatest Singers in Rock and Roll History

Best Rock Singers of All Time

What makes a great rock singer? Green Beans looked through about six decades of rock and roll history and found the ten band frontmen/frontwomen who’ve driven crowds the craziest.

It’s part breaking boundaries, part stage presence, part slinging hits from a deep songwriting catalogue. Overall, they’ve made us feel amazing things -- most of all, inspiration.

So, here are the ten most influential, dynamic, and game-changing rock singers of all time...  

10.  Kurt Cobain
Nirvana's frontman never wanted to be a rock star, but he certainly was one. The grunge trio 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.

9.  Jim Morrison
In The Doors’ late ‘60s heyday, Morrison pushed the boundaries of rock’s lyricism and made himself into a living legend. L.A. cool, baritone voice, tortured personality, and yes, leather pants -- Morrison helped define the rock star persona for years to come.

8.  Axl Rose
By 1993 Axl was on top of the rock and roll world - simply untouchable -- and despite the Seattle grunge scene halting the hair rock legacy, there can be no denying that the Guns N' Roses frontman was among the very greatest stage performers of all time in his peak.

7.  Mick Jagger
Would we even have rock stars without Mick? In the early ‘60s, Jagger’s swagger brought a style and sexiness to rock music that he built on for decades, and fifty-plus years on, makes the Stones the rock and roll band and Jagger the rock and roll frontman. Jagger is simply an iconic figure of the rock and roll world.

6.  Elvis Presley
Music was changed forever when the future King of Rock and Roll dropped “Heartbreak Hotel” in 1956, as the mainstream fusion of country and R&B was underway. And he wasn’t called Elvis the Pelvis for nothing; his thrusts and croon pushed the boundaries of how sexually a singer could act onstage.  Elvis is probably the single main reason the rock and roll frontman exists today.

5.  Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin was an artist who shared her soul with her audiences and left nothing to hide. The psychedelic era would never have been the same without her, and anyone who saw her rock “Piece of My Heart” live would probably attest. Had she lived longer than her 27 years, no doubt she would have continued to break musical ground.

4.  Steven Tyler
The ‘70s were full of flamboyant rock frontmen and Tyler was among the most exhilarating. Regarded by many as the best rock vocalist of all time, he even had the moves and stage performance to match. Tyler has the whole package, and there can be no denying his place amongst the very best rock frontmen.

3.  Freddie Mercury
Whether you regard him as pop or rock, it really doesn't matter. Did we ever have a better showman than Freddie Mercury? Aside from fronting Queen with his four-octave vocal range, Mercury was also an accomplished songwriter. Queen’s members often shared duty, but on classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions,” he made his indispensable mark.

2.  Chris Cornell
Chris Cornell was a hugely talented musician, singer and songwriter. He was best known as the lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, and regarded by many fans and critics as possessing the best rock voice of them all.  Perhaps underrated in many quarters, many of us only began to really appreciate Cornell after he was gone. 

1.  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.  His stage performances captivated audiences worldwide, and took Led Zeppelin to unparallelled heights.

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