Music

The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band 

Ranker Music
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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.
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26
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock
Led Zeppelin
27
Steve Perry is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock
Journey
28
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
The Supremes
29
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Richie Betz added
Rockabilly, Pop, Country
30
Gloria Estefan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Latin pop, Dance-pop
Miami Sound Machine
31
Iggy Pop is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Punk blues, Garage rock, Protopunk
The Stooges
32
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Rock music, Country rock
The Eagles
33
Chris Cornell is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Rock music, Grunge, Psychedelic pop
Soundgarden, Audioslave
34
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock
Pink Floyd
35
Chrissie Hynde is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Coolza added
New Wave, Rock music, Punk rock
The Pretenders
36
Justin Timberlake is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Don Davis added
Pop, Contemporary R&B, Hip hop
'N Sync
37
Roger Daltrey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Rock music, Pop rock, Power pop
The Who
38
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word
The Velvet Underground
39
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music
Genesis
40
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock
Generation X
41
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap
Digital Underground
42
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Rock music, World music
The Beatles
43
Ronnie James Dio is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
MarkLuscombe added
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal
44
Pharrell Williams is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Coolza added
Pop, Funk, Hip hop
The Neptunes, N.E.R.D.
45
Ricky Martin is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Latin American music, Latin pop
Menudo
46
Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
Soul Stirrers
47
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop
N.W.A.
48
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat
The Who
49
Belinda Carlisle is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music
The Go-Gos
50
David Lee Roth is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock
Van Halen