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!
- 33,8208,508Freddie 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
- 16,64610,548Robert 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 with... more
- 11,8659,850Stephen 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 from... more
- 9,2938,194Stephanie 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 solo... more
- 12,20711,142David 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 and is... more
- 7,2926,623Ann 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 Vocalists of All... more
- 11,5388,862Christopher 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 and... more
- 10,5329,880Sir 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
- 9,6368,930Sir Elton Hercules John (born 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30... more
- 10,0169,403Steven 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 band... more
- 7,3696,978Prince 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 known... more
- 7,7687,580Janis 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 releasing... more
- 8,2568,074John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold... more
- 7,2757,340Roger 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 stage... more
- 10,95511,285Elvis 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
- 7,0977,163Eddie 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 of... more
- 4,7624,746Robert Clark Seger (born May 6, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter and musician. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob... more
- 4,9294,803Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician known for his impassioned singing style, complex song structures, and dark, emotional ballads.... more
- 4,8764,994Donald Hugh Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and founding member of the Eagles. He was the drummer and co-lead vocalist for the Eagles from... more
- 5,7335,907William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first hit and signature song of the same name, he has led... more
- 5,8316,245Patricia 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 has two... more
- 4,8114,861John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Together with Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and his brother Tom Fogerty, he founded the band Creedence Clearwater... more
- 9,51910,518James 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, distinctive... more
- 4,9364,863Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,... more
- 9,59610,432John 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 the... more