Music

The Best Rock Vocalists  

Adam Tyler
Originally by
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List Rules Only vocalists primarily associated with rock music

The best rock vocalists of all time are the frontmen of our favorite rock bands or those solo artists whose voices are some of the best ever. These talented men and women of rock could easily captivate audiences with just their vocals. Their voices set them and their bands above the rest and define them as the best rock singers of all time. List includes both men and women. 

To be included on this list, the vocalists must be primarily known for their association with rock music and (obviously) must have a great voice. That really doesn't narrow down the many greatest rock singers in recent rock music history, though a certain few stand out as above and beyond all the rest. Greats like Robert Plant, David Bowie, Steve Perry and Neil Young come to mind, as do icons like Bono, Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen.

While there are many notable vocalists of today's rock music, arguably many of the best rock vocalists of all time are those from earlier generations. Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury from Queen, John Lennon from The Beatles, Jim Morrison from The Doors and Bob Dylan are only a few of some of the best rock vocalists ever but also some of the most influential singers of all time. Freddie Mercury especially had an amazing voice and was ranked second only to Mariah Carey by MTV for the best voices in music ever.

A perfect combination of range, power, articulation and control is needed to become one of the greatest vocalists of all time. All of those can be taught but the natural ability to have that golden voice, as all of these great rock vocalists possess, is nothing that can be learned. Have a favorite rock singer that we missed? Think one vocalist should be above another? Want to put these singers in your own order? You can do all that and more be voting on, re-ranking and adding rock vocalists below! Rock on!
list ordered by
1
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Regarded as one of the ...more
2
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Robert Anthony Plant (born 20 August 1948) is an English singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Plant enjoyed great success ...more
3
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (, BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry ...more
4
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th ...more
5
Steve Perry is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Stephen Ray Perry (born January 22, 1949) is an American singer and songwriter. He is best known as the lead singer of the rock band Journey during their most commercially successful periods ...more
6
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Stephanie Lynn Nicks (born May 26, 1948) is an American singer and songwriter. Nicks is best known for her work as a songwriter and vocalist with Fleetwood Mac, and also for her chart-topping ...more
7
Jim Morrison is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, songwriter and poet, who served as the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors. Due to his poetic lyrics, ...more
8
Chris Cornell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
ginny1986 added
Christopher John Cornell (né Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. He was best known as the lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden ...more
9
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967; they have ...more
10
Steven Tyler is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Steven Tyler (born Steven Victor Tallarico; March 26, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and former television panelist. He is best known as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock ...more
11
Ronnie James Dio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Ronald James Padavona (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) known professionally as Ronnie James Dio or simply Dio, was an American heavy metal singer-songwriter and composer. He fronted or founded ...more
12
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as the rhythm guitarist for ...more
13
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as bass player for the Beatles. His ...more
14
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
John R. "Johnny" Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music ...more
15
Roger Daltrey is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Roger Harry Daltrey (born 1 March 1944) is an English singer and actor. He is a founder, member, and lead singer of the rock band the Who. Daltrey is known for his powerful voice and energetic ...more
16
Ann Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Ann Dustin Wilson (born June 19, 1950) is an American musician, best known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Heart. Wilson was listed as one of the "Top Heavy Metal ...more
17
Mick Jagger is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Sir Michael Philip Jagger (born 26 July 1943) is an English singer, songwriter, actor, and film producer who gained worldwide fame as the lead singer and one of the founder members of the ...more
18
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American rock, soul, and blues singer-songwriter, and one of the most successful and widely known rock stars of her era. After ...more
19
Prince is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker. With a career spanning four decades, Prince was ...more
20
Axl Rose is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
W. Axl Rose (born William Bruce Rose Jr.; raised as William Bruce Bailey; born February 6, 1962) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and musician. He is the lead vocalist of the ...more
21
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Patricia Mae Giraldo (née Andrzejewski; born January 10, 1953), who goes by the stage name Pat Benatar, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and four-time Grammy Award winner. She ...more
22
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's musical career has spanned seven decades with his fame and commercial success beginning as half of ...more
23
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne (born 3 December 1948) is an English singer, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of ...more
24
Eddie Vedder is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Eddie Vedder (born Edward Louis Severson III; December 23, 1964) is an American musician, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter best known as the lead vocalist and one of three guitarists ...more
25
Bon Scott is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
Adam Tyler added
Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott (9 July 1946 – 19 February 1980) was an Australian singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, best known for being the lead vocalist and lyricist of the ...more