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The Best Rock Vocalists

Updated July 13, 2020 1.3m votes 84.2k voters 836.0k views603 items

List RulesOnly vocalists primarily associated with rock music

Update: Follow Ranker's official New Rock 2020 playlist on Spotify!

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!

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  • 1
    Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    36,116
    8,611
    Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    17,438
    10,944
    Robert Anthony Plant (born 20 August 1948) is an English singer, songwriter, and musician,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    Steve Perry is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    12,502
    10,062
    Stephen Ray Perry (born January 22, 1949) is an American singer and songwriter. He is best... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 4
    David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    12,980
    11,546
    David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    9,814
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    Stephanie Lynn Nicks (born May 26, 1948) is an American singer and songwriter. Nicks is best... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 6
    Chris Cornell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    11,915
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    Christopher John Cornell (né Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017) was an American musician,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 7
    Elton John is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    10,263
    9,178
    Sir Elton Hercules John (born 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    Prince is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    7,798
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    Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 9
    Ann Wilson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    7,521
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    Ann Dustin Wilson (born June 19, 1950) is an American musician, best known as the lead singer... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 10
    Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    11,198
    10,268
    Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    Steven Tyler is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    10,467
    9,596
    Steven Tyler (born Steven Victor Tallarico; March 26, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 12
    Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    8,206
    7,696
    Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American rock, soul, and blues... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    8,748
    8,204
    John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    5,142
    4,748
    Donald Hugh Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 15
    Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    11,595
    12,057
    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    Roger Daltrey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    7,638
    7,557
    Roger Harry Daltrey (born 1 March 1944) is an English singer and actor. He is a founder,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 17
    Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    6,101
    5,966
    William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 18
    Eddie Vedder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    7,437
    7,280
    Eddie Vedder (born Edward Louis Severson III; December 23, 1964) is an American musician,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 19
    Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    6,144
    6,417
    Patricia Mae Giraldo (née Andrzejewski; born January 10, 1953), who goes by the stage name Pat... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 20
    Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    5,145
    4,864
    Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer, songwriter, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    5,211
    4,817
    Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 22
    Bob Seger is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    4,987
    4,749
    Robert Clark Seger (born May 6, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter and musician. As a... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 23
    John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    5,014
    4,887
    John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 24
    John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    10,234
    11,054
    John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 25
    Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Rock Vocalists
    5,547
    5,818
    Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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