Singers 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.

1
1,123 380
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Paul Simon Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock - Simon and Garfunkel

2
317 288
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
ejlinehan added Eminem Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop - "D 12"

3
516 516
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music - The Beatles

4
682 641
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music - The Jackson 5

5
510 498
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock - The Beatles

6
452 452
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
MarleneAureliePfeiffer added Freddie Mercury Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

7
208 202
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Dr. Dre Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap - N.W.A.

8
504 504
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae - Derek and the Dominos, The Yardbirds, Cream

9
490 490
Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Gwen Stefani Hip Pop R&B, Synthpop, New Wave - No Doubt

10
440 431
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Phil Collins Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music - Genesis

11
258 258
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock - The Beatles, Traveling Wilburies

12
408 408
Sting is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Sting Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave - The Police

13
131 131
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Ringo Starr Pop music, Rock music, World music - The Beatles

14
407 407
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock - Black Sabbath

15
329 329
Jon Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Jon Bon Jovi Glam metal, Classic rock, Rock music - Bon Jovi

16
299 299
Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Debbie Harry Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Wave - Blondie

17
272 272
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
MarkLuscombe added Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

18
186 186
Steve Perry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Steve Perry Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock - Journey

19
290 290
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Robert Plant Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock - Led Zeppelin

20
436 436
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Stevie Nicks Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music - Fleetwood Mac

21
261 261
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Coolza added Annie Lennox Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music - Eurythmics

22
254 254
Iggy Pop is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Iggy Pop Punk blues, Garage rock, Protopunk - The Stooges

23
329 329
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Diana Ross The Supremes

24
285 285
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge - CSNY, Buffalo Springfield

25
311 311
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
George Michael Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop - Wham!

26
300 300
Lionel Richie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Lionel Richie Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music - The Commodores

27
243 243
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word - The Velvet Underground

28
266 266
Joan Jett is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Joan Jett Glam punk, Rock and roll, Hard rock - The Runaways

29
247 247
Chris Cornell is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Chris Cornell Rock music, Grunge, Psychedelic pop - Soundgarden, Audioslave

30
143 143
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
hotrodheart added John Fogerty Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

31
148 148
Chrissie Hynde is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Coolza added Chrissie Hynde New Wave, Rock music, Punk rock - The Pretenders

32
392 392
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Beyoncé Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music - Destiny's Child

33
186 186
Gloria Estefan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Gloria Estefan Pop music, Latin pop, Dance-pop - Miami Sound Machine

34
181 181
Roger Daltrey is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Roger Daltrey Rock music, Pop rock, Power pop - The Who

35
185 185
Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Don Henley Pop music, Rock music, Country rock - The Eagles

36
270 270
Rod Stewart is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Rod Stewart New Wave, Rock music, Rhythm and blues - The Faces, Jeff Beck Group

37
171 171
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat - The Who

38
172 172
Belinda Carlisle is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Belinda Carlisle Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music - The Go-Gos

39
245 245
Morrissey is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Morrissey Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rockabilly - The Smiths

40
245 245
Pharrell Williams is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Coolza added Pharrell Williams Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music - The Neptunes, N.E.R.D.

41
136 136
Glenn Frey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Glenn Frey Pop music, Rock music, Country rock - The Eagles

42
261 261
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music - Genesis

43
199 199
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Billy Idol New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock - Generation X

44
221 220
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Ice Cube Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop - N.W.A.

45
126 126
Frankie Valli is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Frankie Valli Doo-wop, Blue-eyed soul, Disco - The Four Seasons

46
213 213
Sam Cooke is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Sam Cooke Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz - Soul Stirrers

47
187 187
Selena is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Selena Mexican cumbia, Pop music, Latin American music - Selena y Los Dinos

48
197 197
Ricky Martin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Ricky Martin Pop music, Latin American music, Latin pop - Menudo

49
274 274
Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Tupac Shakur Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap - Digital Underground

50
161 161
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock - Pink Floyd