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.
  • Karen Carpenter1

    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

    More Karen Carpenter 

    #113 of 213 The Best Current Female Singers#2 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

  • Dave Grohl2

    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

    More Dave Grohl 

    15 Crazy But True Stories About Nirvana#164 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

  • Phil Collins3

    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

    More Phil Collins 

    The Best Phil Collins Songs of All Time#85 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • Don Henley4

    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

    More Don Henley 

    The Best Don Henley Albums of All Time#26 of 355 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • Levon Helm5

    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

    More Levon Helm 

    #189 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock#39 of 70 The Greatest Mandolinists of All Time

  • Roger Meddows Taylor6

    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

    More Roger Meddows Taylor 

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

  • Peter Gabriel7

    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

    More Peter Gabriel 

    The Best Peter Gabriel Songs of All Time#850 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • Ringo Starr8

    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

    More Ringo Starr 

    The Best Ringo Starr Albums of All-Time#79 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

  • Roger Taylor9
    Roger Taylor is an English fiction and non-fiction author. He was born in Heywood,...  more
  • Micky Dolenz10
    George Michael Dolenz Jr. (born March 8, 1945) is an American actor, musician, television...  more

    More Micky Dolenz 

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

  • Chris Cornell11

    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

    More Chris Cornell 

    Chris Cornell’s 12 Most Amazing Vocal Performances#1563 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • Sheila E.12

    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

    More Sheila E. 

    #155 of 188 The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today#273 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

  • Taylor Hawkins13

    Taylor Hawkins

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

    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

    More Ginger Baker 

    Insane Stories About The Unhinged Life Of Cream Drummer Ginger Baker#340 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

  • Peter Criss15

    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

    More Peter Criss 

    #120 of 154 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time#49 of 77 The Best Metal Drummers of All Time

  • Stewart Copeland16

    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

    More Stewart Copeland 

    #10 of 57 The Most Musically Gifted Children of Musicians#44 of 105 The Best Musical Artists From Virginia

  • Buddy Miles17

    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


    #17 of 25 The 25 Most Popular & Influential Black Drummers#38 of 105 The Best Musical Artists From Illinois

  • Don Brewer18

    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

    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

    Gil Moore

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

    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

    The Rev

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

    More The Rev 

    #159 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely#69 of 152 The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 40

  • Megan Martha White23

    Megan Martha White

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


    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

    More Chicago 

    #41 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands#37 of 265 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Caroline Corr25

    Caroline Corr

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

    More Caroline Corr 

    #176 of 271 The Sexiest Musical Artists of All Time#10 of 59 History's Greatest Female Drummers, Ranked