Music
84.7k voters

The Best Rock Vocalists

Updated July 13, 2020 1.3m votes 84.7k voters 838.9k 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!

...more
  • 1
    Freddie Mercury
    36,411
    8,724
    Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Freddie Mercury 

    Regular People Who Met Freddie Mercury Describe What He Was LikeSecrets Behind Freddie Mercury's Wardrobe

  • 2
    Robert Plant
    17,610
    11,067
    Robert Anthony Plant (born 20 August 1948) is an English singer, songwriter, and musician,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Robert Plant 

    The Best Robert Plant Albums of All Time12 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Robert Plant

  • 3
    Steve Perry
    12,641
    10,173
    Stephen Ray Perry (born January 22, 1949) is an American singer and songwriter. He is best... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    David Bowie
    13,083
    11,685
    David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More David Bowie 

    The Best David Bowie Songs of All TimeFun Facts You Didn't Know About David Bowie

  • 5
    Stevie Nicks
    9,936
    8,301
    Stephanie Lynn Nicks (born May 26, 1948) is an American singer and songwriter. Nicks is best... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Stevie Nicks 

    Fascinating Stories From Stevie Nicks’s Love LifeThe Best Stevie Nicks Albums of All Time

  • 6
    Chris Cornell
    12,058
    9,098
    Christopher John Cornell (né Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017) was an American musician,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 7
    Ann Wilson
    7,641
    6,814
    Ann Dustin Wilson (born June 19, 1950) is an American musician, best known as the lead singer... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Ann Wilson 

    #24 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#66 of 211 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

  • 8
    Elton John
    10,361
    9,296
    Sir Elton Hercules John (born 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Elton John 

    The Best Elton John Songs, Ranked by FansAll Of The Inaccuracies In 'Rocketman'

  • 9
    Steven Tyler
    10,579
    9,694
    Steven Tyler (born Steven Victor Tallarico; March 26, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    Paul McCartney
    11,302
    10,387
    Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Paul McCartney 

    The Best Paul McCartney SongsThe Best Paul McCartney Albums of All Time

  • 11
    Prince
    7,875
    7,076
    Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Prince 

    The Best Prince Songs of All Time10 Songs You Had No Idea Were Written by Prince

  • 12
    Johnny Cash
    8,836
    8,301
    John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Johnny Cash 

    The Best Johnny Cash Songs of All TimeThe Best Johnny Cash Albums of All Time

  • 13
    Janis Joplin
    8,282
    7,817
    Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American rock, soul, and blues... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Janis Joplin 

    The Tortured, Painful Life of Janis Joplin, The Baddest Woman In Rock History#4 of 29 Members of The 27 Club

  • 14
    Don Henley
    5,221
    4,834
    Donald Hugh Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 15
    Elvis Presley
    11,726
    12,129
    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Elvis Presley 

    The Best Elvis Presley Songs of All Time#131 of 162 1970s Christian Pop Artists

  • 16
    Roger Daltrey
    7,704
    7,637
    Roger Harry Daltrey (born 1 March 1944) is an English singer and actor. He is a founder,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Roger Daltrey 

    #217 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time#15 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

  • 17
    Eddie Vedder
    7,509
    7,366
    Eddie Vedder (born Edward Louis Severson III; December 23, 1964) is an American musician,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    Billy Joel
    6,164
    6,057
    William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Billy Joel 

    The Best Billy Joel Songs of All Time#9 of 136 Famous Accordionists

  • 19
    Pat Benatar
    6,213
    6,486
    Patricia Mae Giraldo (née Andrzejewski; born January 10, 1953), who goes by the stage name Pat... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    Roy Orbison
    5,223
    4,925
    Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer, songwriter, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Roy Orbison 

    The Best Roy Orbison Albums of All Time#329 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time

  • 21
    Bob Seger
    5,067
    4,813
    Robert Clark Seger (born May 6, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter and musician. As a... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Bob Seger 

    The Best Bob Seger Albums of All TimeThe Best Bob Seger Songs of All Time

  • 22
    Tom Petty
    5,278
    4,898
    Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    John Lennon
    10,317
    11,138
    John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More John Lennon 

    28 Facts You Didn't Know About John LennonThe Best John Lennon Songs

  • 24
    Paul Simon
    5,584
    5,902
    Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

    More Paul Simon 

    The Best Paul Simon Solo Songs of All TimeThe Best Paul Simon Albums of All Time

  • 25
    John Fogerty
    5,067
    4,950
    John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button