We are here today with our good friend, Chris Liepe! Chris has his own successful YouTube channel on vocal coaching, ear training, recording tips, and more. He is very talented, and we are so excited to have him here with us!
Today, Chris and I will be sharing our Top 10 Favorite Rock Singers of all time! To compile this list, we each came up with our top 20 singers, and then looked to see where we overlapped and narrowed it down from there. This list is in no particular order, and contains some truly legendary singers!
10. Bono (U2)
Part of what makes Bono so incredible is that his is all about being in the moment and with the audience. He is less about precisions, and more about that relationship, and he has such an incredibly expressive voices, and really knows how to bring you in.
9. David Bowie
Compared to some of the other guys on this list, he doesn’t always have that vocal powerhouse in his voice, but what he might not have there, he makes up for in his incredible versatility, particularly in his arrangements. So many singers get stuck in a “This is how I sound.” mentality, but Bowie has such a wide tonal variance and does not let himself get stuck on sounding in one particular way. He shows you that through experimenting, you can find that you have multiple great sounding voices.
8. Pat Benatar
When I first moved to America, every female singer that I worked with listed Pat Benatar as her inspiration. One of Chris’s favorite performances for did was he cover of Helter Skelter. When she did that cover, she did not simply copy the song, she learned from it and she brought her own style to it and made it her own, which is something a lot of artists can learn from her.
7. Paul McCartney (The Beatles)
Paul McCartney is one of the first singers that introduced Chris to the idea of a broken voice and how cool a broken voice can be. Listening back over The Beatles’ albums, you can hear how Paul evolved. In the beginning, it was Jon’s intensity, and he was the aggressive one, but Paul’s voice began to evolve – like the way he sounded on Helter Skelter, for example – and while we already knew he had an incredible voice, you can really hear how his voice evolved and how he began to harness that raspiness and intensity.
6. Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin)
When Christ first started experimenting with his own voice, he was one of the guys he could never quite get. But having discovered Helter Skelter and Paul McCartney’s more aggressive side prior to getting into Led Zeppelin, that showed chris that there were a lot of ways to go high. To Chris, Robert Plant is the ultimate example of a thin mixed voice. It is not speech resonance, and it high, but it is not falsetto, it is full and nasal and unique.
Being comfortable with your voice and letting yourself be that performer is what lets you come up with these eternally memorable characters, which is what Robert Plant is, because he was never afraid to try something strangely different.
5. Annie Lennox (Eurythmics)
The first time I ever heard Sweet Dreams on the radio, I was hooked! Annie Lennox is an icon in so many ways. That new wave, post punk sound that Eurythmics had was so exciting for the time, and it just fulfills everything that I love about music.
4. Steven Tyler (Aerosmith)
Steven Tyler has this way of covering so much ground and getting food rasp, and character and personality, and he is super quiet. Steven Tyler’s voice is truly iconic, and is a signature sound. If you listen to Aerosmith’s early albums, he sounds very clean, but as you move forward more of his signature raspy sound comes through. As her is experimenting with his voice and his sound he learns how to achieve that raspiness on command and how to truly control his voice to sound how he wants it to.
3. Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company, Paul Rodgers)
For Chris, Paul is another one of those confusing sounds. His voice is so powerful, but he also has this breathiness, and sheeny rasp in his voice. He can also carry such beautiful pop melodies. His voice has the agility to do multi-note runs, but he adds all of that so subtly that you can hear the restraint in his voice and he is not going over the top, but is just adding those in subtly where he feels they fit best.
2. Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog)
Chris Cornell is the reason Chris got into singing. When listening to him, Chris felt like with every note, Cornell was reaching right into his throat and chest and was so amazingly connected to how he felt. But at the same time, he was never animated on stage. He would simply stand there with his guitar, and his incredible voice would just carry it.
1. Freddie Mercury (Queen)
Anyone who has been watching my videos for any length of time should not be surprised that Freddie Mercury is on the top of this list! Queen has been incredibly influential to me ever since I was a child, and is the reason I got into music. Freddie Mercury is such an incredible singer. I don’t think we have ever heard him sing out of tune, because he is just so self-aware that is he hears himself going a little north or south of the note, he uses a little bit of vibrato to cover it.
Part of this is also his confidence. Some artists will work against themselves, either out of nerves or fear, but I don’t think Freddie ever worked against himself. On top of that, it is not necessarily that there are no pitch problems but Freddie Mercury also gives himself so entirely to the audience and the performance and you are completely mesmerized by everything he is doing!
Watch the video below to learn more about Our Top 10 Favorite Rock Singers of All Time!