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8.1k voters

The Best Singing Drummers

Updated July 22, 2020 40.7k votes 8.1k voters 155.3k views50 items

List RulesRank the list based on their singing prowess, not their drumming skills.

Prepare to be impressed by this list of drummers who also sing. These musicians are both notable as capable drummers and as vocalists. Many of them performed in both roles in a single band, including Ringo Starr (who did vocals and drums on The Beatles' "Octopus Garden" and "Yellow Submarine," among others) and Karen Carpenter. Other singing drummers became notable for their vocal skills only after parting ways with their former band, as is the case with Dave Grohl. Initially known primarily as the drummers for iconic grunge band Nirvana, he stepped out from behind the drum kit to serve as the frontman and lead singer for his follow-up project, Foo Fighters.

Drummers are often the least visible, famous members of a large, popular rock band, making the number of great percussionists who have proven themselves to be great singers rather low. (The number dwindled even further on April 19, 2012, when the world lost the legendary Band drummer Levon Helm.) Vote for your favorite drummer/vocalists, and if you can think of any that haven't made the cut, add them at the bottom of the page.
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  • Karen Carpenter1
    1,731
    1,000

    Karen Carpenter

    Pop music, Soft rock

    AlbumsKaren Carpenter

    Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer who...  more

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  • Dave Grohl2
    2,249
    1,352

    Dave Grohl

    Doom metal, Rock music

    AlbumsFoo Fighters, Probot, Pocketwatch, Touch, Sign of Love

    David Eric Grohl (born January 14, 1969) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and...  more

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  • Phil Collins3
    2,306
    1,389

    Phil Collins

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

    AlbumsFace Value, Both Sides, No Jacket Required, Hello, I Must Be Going!

    Philip David Charles Collins (born 30 January 1951) is an English drummer, singer,...  more

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  • Don Henley4
    2,024
    1,218

    Don Henley

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsThe End of the Innocence, Building the Perfect Beast, I Can't Stand Still, End of the Innocence, Dirty Laundry

    Donald Hugh Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record...  more

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  • Levon Helm5
    1,458
    860

    Levon Helm

    Americana, Rock music

    AlbumsDirt Farmer, The Ties That Bind: The Best of... 1975-1996, American Son, Electric Dirt, Levon Helm

    Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm (May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012) was an American musician and actor who...  more

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  • Roger Meddows Taylor6
    1,061
    728

    Roger Meddows Taylor

    Rock music, Heavy metal

    AlbumsI Wanna Testify, Surrender, Electric Fire, Fun in Space, Happiness?

    Roger Meddows Taylor (born 26 July 1949) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and...  more

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    #306 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists#116 of 532 The Best Drummers Of All Time

  • Peter Gabriel7
    959
    675

    Peter Gabriel

    New Wave, Pop music

    AlbumsPeter Gabriel, Us, Security, Up, Shaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats

    Peter Brian Gabriel (born 13 February 1950) is an English singer, songwriter, record producer...  more

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  • Ringo Starr8
    1,440
    1,066

    Ringo Starr

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsI Wanna Be Santa Claus, Concert for George, Sentimental Journey, VH1 Storytellers, Vertical Man

    Sir Richard Starkey (born 7 July 1940), known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English...  more

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  • Roger Taylor9
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  • Micky Dolenz10
    1,180
    933
    George Michael Dolenz Jr. (born March 8, 1945) is an American actor, musician, television...  more

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    #653 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#129 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time

  • Chris Cornell11
    501
    338

    Chris Cornell

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsCarry On, You Know My Name, Euphoria Morning, Scream, Part of Me

    Christopher John Cornell (né Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017) was an American musician,...  more

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  • Sheila E.12
    698
    627

    Sheila E.

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsRicky Lawson & Friends: First Things 1st, Romance 1600, The Glamorous Life, Sex Cymbal, Sheila E.

    Sheila Cecelia Escovedo (born December 12, 1957), better known under the stage name Sheila E.,...  more

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  • Taylor Hawkins13
    663
    499

    Taylor Hawkins

    Rock music, Post-grunge
    Oliver Taylor Hawkins (born February 17, 1972) is an American musician, best known as the...  more
  • Ginger Baker14
    623
    477

    Ginger Baker

    Blues-rock, Jazz fusion

    AlbumsHorses & Trees, Stratavarious, The Early Cream of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Middle Passage

    Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939) is an English drummer and a founder of the...  more

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  • Peter Criss15
    665
    660

    Peter Criss

    Glam metal, Pop music

    AlbumsOne for All, Peter Criss, Let Me Rock You, Cat #1, Out of Control

    George Peter John Criscuola (born December 20, 1945), better known by his stage name Peter...  more

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  • Stewart Copeland16
    495
    485

    Stewart Copeland

    New Wave, Pop music

    AlbumsKollected Works, Klark Kent: Music Madness From the Kinetic Kid, The Rhythmatist, Orchestralli, The Stewart Copeland Anthology

    Stewart Armstrong Copeland (born July 16, 1952) is an American musician and composer. He was...  more

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  • Buddy Miles17
    328
    375

    Buddy Miles

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsCarlos Santana and Buddy Miles - Live! / Love Devotion Surrender, All the Faces of Buddy Miles, A Message to the People, Blues Berries, Sneak Attack

    George Allen "Buddy" Miles Jr. (September 5, 1947 – February 26, 2008), was an American rock...  more

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  • Don Brewer18
    232
    337

    Don Brewer

    Rock music, Hard rock

    AlbumsWe're An American Band, Shinin On, Born To Die, Good Singin Good Plahyin, Grand Funk

    Donald George Brewer (born September 3, 1948) is an American drummer who is best known as the...  more
  • Eric Carr19
    279
    433

    Eric Carr

    Glam metal, Heavy metal

    AlbumsRockology, Unfinished Business

    Paul Charles Caravello (July 12, 1950 – November 24, 1991) better known by his stage name Eric...  more
  • Gil Moore20
    149
    214

    Gil Moore

    Heavy metal, Progressive rock
    Gil Moore (born October 4, 1953) is a Canadian musician. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada,...  more
  • Mike Portnoy21
    204
    322

    Mike Portnoy

    Thrash metal, Progressive metal

    AlbumsCover to Cover, Live in Tokyo, Cover 2 Cover, Prime Cuts


     
    Michael Stephen Portnoy (born April 20, 1967) is an American drummer and songwriter primarily...  more
  • The Rev22
    258
    403

    The Rev

    Progressive metal, Third-wave of ska
    James Owen Sullivan (February 9, 1981 – December 28, 2009), professionally known by his stage...  more

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  • Megan Martha White23
    139
    216

    Megan Martha White

    Blues-rock, Punk blues
    Megan Martha White (born December 10, 1974) is an American drummer and occasional singer known...  more
  • Chicago24
    191
    285

    Chicago

    Ballad, Ska

    AlbumsChicago Transit Authority, Chicago II, Chicago Christmas: What's It Gonna Be, Santa?, Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits

    Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, calling themselves the...  more

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  • Caroline Corr25
    112
    191

    Caroline Corr

    Pop music, Rock music
    Caroline Georgina Corr MBE (born 17 March 1973), known to fans as the "Chick with Stick", is...  more

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