We all have our favorite songs that seem to strike a chord in our hearts and memories. It could be the words, the melody that recalls a memory, or the lead singer’s voice. What was it that you loved about the singer? Their vigor, electricity, stage presence? Historians recently rated the best lead singers of rock groups according to several frontmen/women so see if yours made the cut.
Here Are Some of Rock n Roll’s Most Electric Figures
- Robert Plant. The rock group Led Zeppelin understood it wasn’t just sound but presence. When they picked Robert Plant, they picked a winner. His range, his electrifying presence and of course his hair….made him ranked among the highest in greatest frontmen of all time. “It’s not some great work of beauty and love to be a rock and roll singer. I got a few moves from Elvis, one or two from Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Howlin’ Wolf and just threw them all together,” said Plant.
- John Lennon. On the album, “Please Please Me” by the Beatles had been working on the album (1963) for 12 hours and Lennon’s voice had become very raspy. He decided to go ahead and record the famous “Twist and Shout” song to change up the sound of his voice. He was known to recreate himself in very different ways to keep everything creative. One time he recorded upside down to give his voice a unique sound.
- Mick Jagger. He can certainly pull off some iconic moves on stage as the frontman for The Rolling Stones. That’s where the song came about, “Moves Like Jagger.” Along with that large mouth, came very impressive lyrics to songs that made the charts for 60 years! Yes, he’s still doing it even after heart surgery. Lenny Kravitz once said of him, “His vocals are stunning, flawless in their own kind of perfection. There are certain songs where he just becomes a different person. Take ‘Angie.’ I’ve never heard that tone from him since, and it wasn’t there before.”
- Bruce Springsteen. He has been a favorite for different generations from his songs about real-life combined with that scratchy voice since 1972. In 2018, to celebrate his Springsteen on Broadway run, he played a three-hour show in front of a crowd that housed the likes of Oprah Winfrey and company. The tickets sold for as high as $40,000 on secondary market sites and contributed to 236 sold-out performances of his play.
- Jim Morrison. Lead Singer for The Doors died at a very young age but his songs are still heard on the airways. His sultry voice and poetic lyrics on war, death, and love make him a favorite among teens today. Known as “The Lizard King” his posters can be bought at most record stores while still in demand for excellence in rock legends.
- Kurt Cobain. Recognized as the alternative grunge frontman, one can hear how ostracized he felt by society. Maybe that’s why his followers relate so well to his music. Another singer that died way too soon, his band Nirvana is still going strong.
- Stevie Nicks. The female frontwoman for Fleetwood Mac remains one of the top-selling concerts in 2019. She was voted #1 as the most favorite female lead singer of all time, according to Paste Magazine. She had an amazing solo career apart from her #1 songs on the charts with Fleetwood Mac. Her mysterious enigma is part of her attraction to her fans. On performing live, Nicks said: “You know, when I walk out on the stage it’s like that’s when I’m really me…People say to me there’s never a look on your face like there is the look that is on your face when you’re on that stage.”
- Steven Tyler. Known as the “Demon of Screamin” Tyler has been the frontman for Aerosmith since it’s beginning in the ’70s. His stage presence draws attention unlike most. He is known as the greatest showman in rock history from his scarves to his incredible vocal range.
- Bono. This lead singer celebrates his strong beliefs and takes a strong stance on making the earth a better place. Fronting the group U2, Bono has a distinctive sound from his lyrics on war to raising money in the millions for charitable causes. Billie Joe Armstrong once raved in Rolling Stone that “He gets lost in the melodic moment. He goes to a place outside himself, especially in front of an audience, when he hits those high notes. That’s where his real power comes from – the pure, unadulterated Bono.”
- Other mentioned singers that rated very high were Debbie Harry, Freddie Mercury, Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Axl Rose, Elvis Presley, and Steve Perry.
Ref. history 101.com/rollingstone.com/musicradar.com/billboard.com
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