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Top 25 Rock Vocalists Of All Time (25-18)

Axl RoseWell, now with the NFL season over, and I can concentrate on other things to write about, I am going to start out with a fun blog. I love musical discussions. I used to play the violin, and won a music scholarship to the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts in Pittsburgh, PA when I was in high school.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out, but I have been a lover of music my whole life. I love most kinds of music with the exception of Country, modern day rap, and what passes for popular music. I am referring to junk like Justin Beiber. My two favorite musical genres in particular are Classical/Opera, and just about any kind of rock, mainly hard/classic rock, and metal.

Of course, like a lot of fans, I have a love/hate relationship with lists. Some lists create great , meaningful discussion, and some lists can be so ridiculous, that they are useless, and want to just create controversy. I hope that this blog, which will be broken into three parts, will create some discussion, and will be fun to read. I have some strong opinions as far as music, so I hope that this blog will create some lively debate.

I will be listing the men and women who I consider the Top 25 Rock Vocalists/Stage Performers of All Time. As many fans know, rock and roll has its roots in the early 50’s with artists such as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, etc. Presley, in particular had a great voice . He could sing just about any kind of genre such as rock and roll (“Jail House Rock”), ballads (“Love Me Tender,” “My Way”), and especially Gospel (“How Great Thou Art”). On a personal note, Elvis Presley is my all time favorite Gospel singer. He won his two Grammy Awards in Gospel, in fact. Presley, from the 50’s to his untimely death in 1977, was an incredible performer on the stage. He was very charismatic, and fans, especially women loved him. He was known for his hip gyrations, and undeniably was a huge influence on rock and roll.

[adinserter block=”2″]All that being said, the men and women I will be ranking will be post-Elvis Presley/50’s Rock and Roll era. I will be listing vocalists/performers who sing in the genres along the lines of Classic Rock, and some Heavy Metal. I consider the 50’s Era the “Golden Era” of Rock and Roll, and that deserves its own category, and it would be another blog for another time. As I said previously, my favorite genre of music happens to be stuff from the 60’s to the present, so those singers will be featured.

The criteria I have used is that even though a singer has to have a great voice, that person also has to have some showmanship. After all, fans don’t pay money to just see musicians stand there and play their instruments, unless they are attending an “Unplugged” session or whatever. There will be those ranked higher or lower than others because of their stage presence, or lack thereof as well

Enjoy the blog, and let the debate begin.

This will feature #25 to #18

First, some honorable mentions who are awesome singers, but did not make the list: Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickenson, Ex Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach, AC/DC’s current singer, Brian Johnson, and Ex-Journey singer Steve Perry

25. Lita Ford

Lita Ford got her start in a group called the Runaways which also featured Joan Jett which disbanded in 1979 over musical differences. Ford eventually embarked on a solo career, and is known amongst Metal fans as “The Queen of Heavy Metal.” Ford would have success with a duet with Ozzy Osbourne, “Close My Eyes Forever, ” which was on a very successful album called “Lita.” Other successful albums were “Dancin’ on the Edge,” and “Dangerous Curves.” I have Lita Ford in this spot as her success with her hits, “Kiss Me Deadly,” and “Back to the Cave” have proven that a women, especially in a male dominated genre like heavy metal can succeed. She also had a very good voice. She was a pretty good performer as well.

24. Axl Rose

Axl Rose is known as the eccentric singer of the 1980’s heavy metal band, Guns N’ Roses. The band is known for their best selling “Appetite for Destruction,” and “Use Your Illusion I and II.” Rose is the only original member playing with the band. I think he was a better songwriter than a singer, as I found his voice to be shrill at times, but he did have a great stage presence about him. Rose’s rather strange stage antics at times could make going to see GNR interesting, but all in all, the man was a great artist. There were songs he sang well such as “Patience,” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

23. David Coverdale

David Coverdale is most famous as the lead singer of the 1980’s hair band, Whitesnake. The band was accused of ripping off Led Zeppelin. Well, who HASN’T ripped off Led Zeppelin? Anyway, David has a gorgeous voice. I love it particularly when he is singing slow ballads such as “Is This Love, ” ” Now You’re Gone,” etc. Coverdale can rock the house with classics like “Fool For Your Lovin’,” “Slow and Easy, ” and “Here I Go Again” as well. He was a pretty good on stage performer, and he did do a project with Jimmy Page also during his career, as well as sing with Deep Purple earlier in his career. Many people think he is a Plant clone because of some songs on “Whitesnake” and his association with Page, but I don’t think so.

22. Bon Scott

Bon Scott is well known as being the lead singer of AC/DC. He definitely belongs on the list as his voice graces such AC/DC classics as “Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap,” “Highway to Hell,” and “It’s a Long Way To The Top (If you wanna Rock and Roll.). He has a very cool voice. I love his sneering, and melodic voice on the old AC/DC classics. Most rock fans are aware that he died on February 19, 1980 in his car in London after a night of drinking. He also was a very good showman from the videos I have seen. The band was working on a new album at the time of his death, which would become the hugely successful, “Back in Black,” with new singer Brian Johnson, and the album would be dedicated to the fallen Scott.

21. Rob Halford

Judas Priest’s lead singer, Rob Halford has an incredible voice. In my opinion, he is one of, if not the best heavy metal singers. When he was away from the band, he had his solo act called Two, and another called Halford. His upper range is second to none, and he is a great performer on stage as well with his coming onstage with the leather outfits, and giving the fans an awesome show. I love his operatic voice, as it has an incredible range. One of the very best.

20. Ronnie James Dio

The late, great Ronnie James Dio had a very versatile voice. He sang for Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, and his own band, Dio. He contributed to “Hear N’ Aid” which was a response to Band Aid and raised 1 million dollars. Dio also contributed to Pat Boone’s “In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy” by singing back up vocals to Boone’s cover of “Holy Diver.” Dio is on this list because of his awesome vocal style. I particularly love his voice on “Rainbow in the Dark, and “Heaven and Hell.” He was a great front man onstage also. His death at age 67 in May of 2010 is so sad. He is sorely missed.

19. Ann Wilson

[adinserter block=”1″]Here is another example of a woman who can rock the house. Famous for her being the lead singer of the band , Heart, Ann Wilson is known for her powerful vocals. She, and her sister, Nancy , formed the group in the early 70s, and her voice graces such strong rockers as “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” and “Crazy On You.” The band fizzled out in the 70’s, but came back with the more pop sounding material such as “These Dreams,” and “Alone,” but Ann’s voice was still at the top . She was pretty good as an onstage performer, even though she suffered from panic attacks due to being stressed over record companies’ and MTV’s emphasis on image, and her weight during their 1980’s comeback. Nonetheless, Ann Wilson has a heck of a voice, and can rock and roll with the best of them. She, along with her sister broke ground as far as women leading a rock band in that time period.

18. Pat Benatar

Well, here is another great female vocalist that I feel to be worthy on the list who can rock the house. She is solo artist Pat Benatar. She is classically trained as a singer, and has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. I hear one of her songs, and I am amazed. Great singer. She is known for “Heartbreaker, ” “Fire and Ice, ” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” She is a groundbreaking performer as far as women being accepted in the male dominated world of rock and roll which is another reason why she is this high on the list.

Well, that is part 1. I hope you enjoyed it. Part 2 is coming up.

Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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  1. Heart's latest albums (such as Red Velvet Car) have seen the band go back to their 1970s roots and skip a lot of the keyboards, and Ann Wilson can still belt out those tunes.


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