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.

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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
1,280 434
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock - Simon and Garfunkel

2
396 398
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
ejlinehan added Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop - "D 12"

3
578 583
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music - The Beatles

4
749 744
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music - The Jackson 5

5
566 569
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock - The Beatles

6
522 519
Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
MarleneAureliePfeiffer added Pop music, Rock music, Rockabilly

7
257 259
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap - N.W.A.

8
552 552
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae - Derek and the Dominos, The Yardbirds, Cream

9
544 541
Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Hip Pop R&B, Synthpop, New Wave - No Doubt

10
174 178
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Rock music, World music - The Beatles

11
484 482
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music - Genesis

12
452 451
Sting is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Medieval music, Classic rock, New Wave - The Police

13
482 480
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock - Black Sabbath

14
351 349
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
MarkLuscombe added Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

15
299 302
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock - The Beatles, Traveling Wilburies

16
222 221
Steve Perry is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock - Journey

17
370 370
Jon Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Glam metal, Classic rock, Rock music - Bon Jovi

18
330 329
Debbie Harry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, New Wave - Blondie

19
478 474
Stevie Nicks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music - Fleetwood Mac

20
295 294
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Coolza added Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music - Eurythmics

21
284 283
Iggy Pop is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Punk blues, Garage rock, Protopunk - The Stooges

22
323 325
Robert Plant is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock - Led Zeppelin

23
355 356
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
The Supremes

24
346 344
George Michael is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop - Wham!

25
312 312
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge - CSNY, Buffalo Springfield