Our 10 Favorite Rock Singers With The Widest Vocal Ranges

Our 10 Favorite Rock Singers With The Widest Vocal Ranges

Feature Photo: Brian Patterson Photos / Shutterstock.com

Our 10 Favorite Rock Singers With The Widest Vocal Ranges presents a list of rock singers who could hit those super high notes with full resonance while sounding wonderful on the low end.  It’s not a list of the best rock singers of all time, as there are so many with killer voices, but their ranges were limited simply because of their biology. There are so many factors that define a great singer as an artist. Soul, style, originality, and more are all determining factors that fans love. Some people love the voice of Tom Waits, and others cringe. What the individual hears in a singer’s voice makes them a fan or not. However, the range is less subjective. You can either hit the note or not. What is subjective is how that particular singer sounds when hitting high or low notes. These ten of our favorites give us chills when they hit those high notes. When something magical happens…….

# 10 – David Bowie

We open our 10 Favorite Rock Singers With The Widest Vocal Ranges list with the legendary David Bowie. Have you ever heard another singer in classic rock history that sounded like David Bowie? The answer is no. David Bowie was an original with a golden voice that resonated wonderfully in the low and high registers. He made it sound so easy. His artistry was so high that his voice was often overlooked as to how good it was. If there’s any doubt listen to his performance on “Wild is the Wind.”

Read More: Top 10 David Bowie Songs

# 9 – Bruce Sprinsteen

Because of his gravely sounding voice, many people do not realize Springsteen’s vocal range. Unless you ask any singer trying to cover a Springsteen song who couldn’t hit any of the high notes or had to drink a gallon of iced tea after singing a couple of Bruce songs. The man is in his 70s and still hitting all those notes. His vocal performance on “Born in the U.S.A.” has long been considered one of his greatest. However, the album that defined his vocal talents was Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Listen to his vocal on “Something In The Night.”

Read More: Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Songs

# 8 – Laura Nyro

Laura Nyro was always known as such a brilliant songwriter that her vocal talents were often overlooked among critics and fans. She could hit the high notes with as much soul as any other Motown singer I’ve ever heard. Listen to the album she recorded with LaBelle. Every song on that album is outstanding.

Read More: Top 10 Laura Nyro Songs

# 7 – Chris Cornell

Where does one start with Chris Cornell’s music?  I remember the first time I heard Soundgarden, I said to myself, “wow, this is the band I’ve been waiting for since Led Zeppelin broke up.” They had that same grit and groove, and their lead singer, of course, Chris Cornell, had the same soul and range that Robert Plant had in a modern way. Well, out of all of his legendary work with Soundgarden and, of course, so many of his extraordinary solo albums, it’s this track off the single Temple Of The Dog album that we thought really demonstrated his unbelievable vocal range.

Read More: Top 10 Chris Cornell Songs

# 6 – Sammy Hagar

If there is one singer on this list who resonates with me the most personally, it is Sammy Hagar. As I have written many times before on this site, I saw Sammy Hagar in 1977  open for Boston. He completely blew my mind. He was just so good. I became a huge fan then and bought every album he has ever put out since. I think he took Van Halen to an entirely new level musically. It’s tough to pick just one Sammy Hagar song to present here because his whole body of work is simply fabulous. Nonetheless, his vocal performance on “Get Up” remains such a classic.

Read More: Top 10 Sammy Hagar Songs

# 5 – Ann Wilson

Do you remember the first time you heard Heart in 1976?  If you were a teenager back then, you definitely remember hearing “Magic Man” on the radio and saying to yourself, “Who is that?” The song was so good that it almost overshadowed Ann Wilson’s vocal range. We learned that pretty quickly as we started listening to the rest of the songs on the album, like “Crazy on You” and more; this was a female singer like we had never heard before. Of course, that debut album was no fluke, as they came soaring back with the Little Queen album and would become one of the greatest rock bands of all time, led by one of the greatest rock vocalists in history.

Read More: 10 Essential Heart Songs

# 4 – Steve Perry

Boy, is it tough putting these singers in any order because each one is so good and legendary in multiple ways? With Journey, Steve Perry was one of the most loved singers ever. He delivered some of the most iconic vocals in classic rock history on songs like “Who’s Crying Now,” “Don’t Stop Believing,” and so many more. It’s sad what happened between him and Journey. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for us to be able to go see Journey with Steve Perry again? That’s not a knock on their lead singer now, but we’re talking Steve Perry here. When Steve Perry recorded his first solo album, he showcased the lower end of his voice more than he ever had done with Journey. There was a soulfulness on that record that shined through. The lead single, written about his girlfriend then, “Oh Sherrie,” was simply magnificent.

Read More: Top 10 Steve Perry Songs

# 3 – Freddie Mercury

We could not have composed this list without having Freddie Mercury in at least the top three. In terms of just sheer objectivity of vocal range, Freddie Mercury wins this one hands down. We just liked the next two on this list a little more. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that Freddie Mercury had the most incredible range of any rock and roll male singer of all time. No one sounded like Freddie Mercury; no one wrote songs like Freddie Mercury, and nobody entertained like Freddie Mercury. He was as unique as they came. It’s so sad that we lost him at such a young age. While “Bohemian Rhapsody” was Queen’s biggest hit of their career and Mercury’s most famous vocal performance, I always thought Mercury’s performance on the follow-up album’s lead single “Somebody to Love” was spectacular and highly underrated.

# 2 – Maria McKee

If you’re a fan of Maria McKee, then you won’t be surprised at this pick. However, many people will be surprised because Maria McKee is not as well known as most of the singers on this list. And that’s sad because she is one of the greatest musical artists we have ever listened to. Many rock fans first got to know her when she was the lead singer of Lone Justice. She delivered killer vocals on their two albums, but in her solo career, one will find most of her most brilliant stuff. Her last album, La Vita Nuova, is stunning.

It was tough to pick one from her because there’s so much great material. Nonetheless, there’s just something very beautiful and enchanting about the song “Breathe.” I promise you this: by the time you get to the end of the video, you will have fallen in love with Maria McKee.

# 1 – Robert Plant – Led Zeppelin

We close out Our 10 Favorite Rock Singers With The Widest Vocal Ranges list with the lead singer of our favorite band of all time. And let me tell you, that played a significant factor in choosing Robert Plant in the number one spot. As we said in the opening, this list is a mix of objectivity and subjectivity. From the objective side, there’s no doubt that Robert Plant had an incredible vocal range, especially when he was younger. Nonetheless, it’s how he hit those high notes that mattered. It was just something so magical and so rock god-ish when you listened to Robert Plant sing. You would understand that even more if you had seen them in the 70s.

Robert Plant delivered brilliant vocal after brilliant vocal on every song he sang  from Led Zeppelin 1 to In Through The Out Door.  If we had to pick one song to introduce someone to the voice and soulfulness of Robert Plant who has never heard him sing before, it would be the one below.

Read More: Top 10 Led Zeppelin Songs

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