The world of rock is chock-full of vocalists whose talent is undeniably captivating and powerful. Many of these singers have impacted millions and millions of fans all over the world. But oftentimes people forget that these hardened mega stars are still singers, and thus capable of doing more than yelling and screaming into a mic.
And that is what is article will focus on. This list celebrates the most dynamic and best pure singers in all of rock music, who all have incredible voices. Of course, not everyone’s favorite will be included on this list, but we feel these are 10 of the best.
10. Ozzy Osbourne
First up is none other than Ozzy Osbourne, who was made famous in the early 1970s as the frontman of Black Sabbath, who were widely considered to be the first heavy metal band of all time. He possesses not only a unique and strong voice, but is also capable of singing beautiful and breathtaking ballads. After being fired from Sabbath in 1970, Ozzy went on to have an extremely successful solo career where he was able to show more and more of his natural singing abilities. He has had one of the most long and successful careers of any metal performers, and thus has informally earned the title “Godfather of Heavy Metal.”
9. Mikael Akerfeldt
Opeth frontman and singer Mikael Akerfeldt may possess one of the most bipolar vocal cords in rock and heavy metal history. To start, Akerfeldt has arguably the most demonic guttural yells in all of metal, which definitely have their place in some of the music and songs he performs. However, he is also a fantastic singer in the traditional sense of the word as well. In fact, in his more mellow moments, his voice is angelic to say the least. He still has a dark and mysterious sense to his voice when he sings as opposed to screaming, but not many people would believe that his two voices come from the same person.
8. Rob Halford
Halford is the frontman of the legendary British heavy metal band, Judas Priest. Halford is considered by many to be one of the most powerful singers of all time, who also possesses an extremely wide vocal range. This range allows him to not only sing the harder and deeper aspects of heavy metal songs, but to sing his trademark high pitched, almost opera-like screams. Not only is he capable of singing at both levels, but also has masterful control of both, which lets you know he has put the work in to make sure he can not only sing at different levels, but do it flawlessly.
7. Serj Tankian
Serj Tankian is best known as the frontman and singer of the American rock band, System of a Down. Out of anyone on this list, Tankian has the most “unique” voice. While some people might not be a fan of it, we absolutely love the variety and strangeness of his voice and singing style. He also has incredible range compared to most rock singers, and nothing is out of reach for this Armenian rocker. In a video put out in 2009 of Tankian singing with his father, we are also able to see the pure beauty and passion in his natural singing voice.
6. Bruce Dickinson
Dickinson was the frontman of the insanely popular band Iron Maiden and is, without a doubt, one of the best pure singers in rock history. Despite receiving absolutely zero formal vocal training, Dickinson still possessed a fantastic vocal range, which was headed up by his world famous almost opera-like tenor style. He was one of the first to use and adopt this style, which many have since done. His vocals changed a bit during his solo career when he elected to use a raspier and unpolished tone, but has returned to how it used to be once he rejoined to Iron Maiden. In addition to being known for his kickass voice, he is also known for his stage presence and the fact that he can consistently put on good shows, despite his older age.
5. Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio is a career frontman who has fronted numerous groups including Black Sabbath and Dio. He is also credited with popularizing the “metal horns” hand gesture in metal culture. Dio passed away in 2010, but while he was alive, he possessed a powerful and extremely versatile range that was capable of singing both the harder rock singles and the lighter and mellower ballads. His song “Holy Diver” is simply one of the greatest rock songs in history. His longevity was nearly unmatched, as his career has spanned over 50 years and he received a large number of awards. He also sold tens of millions of albums throughout his lengthy career.
4. Corey Taylor
Corey Taylor is the frontman of two popular bands: Slipknot and Stone Sour. In fact, the voice and talent of Corey Taylor has brought him to the apex of both the metal and hard rock worlds. With Slipknot, Taylor’s injection of angst and heavy sound connected with a young worldwide audience, which helped the band’s debut album to achieve double-platinum status. On the other hand, Stone Sour focuses on alternative rock and even ballads, which inspired Taylor to show the range of his vocal abilities. Listening to him with Slipknot and then with Stone Sour, it is near impossible to imagine that the same singer occupied the vocal booth during both recordings.
3. Dave Grohl
Dave Grohl is without a doubt the most varied and talented rock star of all time. Not only was he the drummer for one of the most popular grunge bands of all time, Nirvana, but he is also the singer, frontman, and face of the Foo Fighters, who are also among the best of modern rock. He sings with perhaps more passion than anyone else on this list and it really helps him connect with fans and critics alike. He is capable of singing soft and quiet ballads, and belting it out with the best of the best. His spot on this list was guaranteed from the get-go with how amazing his natural singing voice is.
2. Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor might surprise some people with his spot on this list, but he is just phenomenal. Reznor is known best as the frontman and face of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails since their inception in 1988. In addition to that, he has also been in charge of the soundtracks and scores for numerous films, which is a testament to his skills and musical knowledge. He is also in rare company of people that have won Grammies and Oscars. He has great range and tone in his voice, but his performance of “Hurt” is one of the most fantastic and emotional performances of all time, which cemented his spot at number two on this list.
1. Freddie Mercury
Coming in at number one is Freddie Mercury, who was the frontman for the legendary rock band Queen. Now, the style of Queen might not be that similar to the hard rock standards of today, but he rocked plenty hard in his hay day and his talent and voice NEEDED to appear on this list. Mercury is without a doubt the most inspirational frontman, who was capable of controlling the crowd like anyone else. He had a four octave range and was extremely good at singing both extremely high pitched notes and taking it lower for more serious and powerful tones. Not only is Mercury far and away the best rock singer of all time, he is among the best singers of all time in any genre.