Music

The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated March 18, 2020 63.9k votes 4.9k voters 102k views 183 items

List Rules Only musicians who were the lead singers of other bands. Rank them on their solo careers.

Music groups, no matter how successful they may become, tend to have an expiration date. When a rock band or rap group eventually breaks up, not too many of its members go on to have solo success. This list, however, celebrates that small group of musicians who have managed to break out as a solo artist and reach the top on their own. From Sting to Stevie Nicks, every musician on this list are solo artists who used to front a band.

Icons like Neil Young, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Joan Jett and Ozzy Osbourne are great examples of musicians who had success with an earlier outfit but continued on to achieve success on their own as well. All of these artists have been critically and commercially lauded for their solo work and sometimes, their solo material is greater and more popular than the output they had with their original band. The aforementioned artists are great examples of this.

There are plenty of great solo singers on this list who had varying degrees of success with their first band or group or collective. But, we're trying to measure who had the best solo career, not overall career. That's why the frontmen or frontwomen on this list should be judged primarily on their solo careers.

This is the list of the best solo artists who used to front a band. If you notice someone is missing from the list, feel free to add him or her as you deem fit. Vote or re-rank this list according to the artist's solo career only.
list ordered by
1
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
2
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
3
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
4
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
5
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
6
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
7
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
8
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
9
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
10
Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
11
Beyoncé Knowles ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
12
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
13
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
14
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
15
Sting is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
16
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
17
Rod Stewart is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
18
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
19
Jon Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
20
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
21
Joan Jett is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
22
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
23
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
24
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
25
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band