The male voice is generally lower than that of the female. Popular music therefore has a large number of singers who managed to seduce with their honey-sweet bass voice. But the male voice can do a lot more and in some genres like metal a good high-pitched scream is essential. What are the ten best singers of all time?
10. Ray Charles
Ray Charles was an American pianist and singer who became a star in the 1950s. Charles became blind at the age of seven and would always wear sunglasses during performances. Musically he knew how to combine rhythm & blues with gospel, which suited his enthusiastic and rhythmic way of singing very well. On hits like “Hit the Road Jack” you can perfectly hear how his voice changes from bland to gritty. His raw catchphrases were also very influential.
9. Barry White
Barry White started his career as a producer for the women’s group Love Unlimited. When he had written a number of songs for a male singer, he let himself be persuaded to sing them himself. The single “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby” on which White sings very relaxed, made him a soul sensation. In the 1970s he would focus on singing successful disco productions like “Let the Music Play” with his deep voice playing a seductive lead.
8. Otis Redding
Soul singer Otis Redding really grew into a legend after his tragic death. In 1962 he released his debut album but his breakthrough seemed, like that of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, to take place at the Monterey festival in 1967. After this successful performance he recorded ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay ‘ on. Sadly, Redding was killed in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. The melancholic “(Sittin ‘On) The Dock of the Bay” would become the first posthumous number 1 hit in the United States. Despite his short career, Redding is known as the King of Soul.
7. James Brown
The Godfather of Soul was a great showman whose elastic movement has influenced generations of pop artists. In addition, he had a very characteristic way of singing that fits seamlessly with the funk sound of his band. James Brown had an arsenal of exclamations and screams with which to use his voice as an instrument. Often imitated but rarely equaled.
6. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson performed at an early age with his brothers who formed The Jackson 5 and scored a number of hits such as “ABC”. In the seventies he would continue as a solo artist and become a world star with the disco record Off the Wall. Jackson developed enormously as a singer and, like James Brown, would use a lot of vocal tics and high notes, which often makes his lyrics unintelligible. Thriller and Dangerous would make him one of the most successful singers of all time.
5. Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison was an American country singer who created a furore from the 1950s with his specialty: the ballad. No one has such a nice gasp in their voice as Orbison on songs like “Only the Lonely”, “In Dreams” and “It’s Over”. After the sixties Orbison seemed to have been forgotten, but in the eighties he made a glorious comeback, partly because his songs were used in films such as Blue Velvet and Pretty Woman. Orbison was praised by fellow musicians with whom he often performed together until his death in 1988.
4. Nat King Cole
Like many black singers, Nat King Cole came from a pastor family. He would make a career as a jazz singer in The King Cole Trio. He then decided to focus on ballads like “Nature Boy” and “Unforgetable” that would sell him millions of records. His characteristically deep voice turned him into a superstar. In addition to singing, he would often play in films and present his own television series, something that was unimaginable in America until then. With his relaxed singing technique, Nat King Cole has been a major influence on almost every ballad singer.
3. Freddie Mercury
Farrokh Bulsara would become world famous as Freddie Mercury, charismatic singer of the rock group Queen . Mercury knew how to play his audience like no other, with his characteristic microphone being an indispensable attribute. But he was also a gifted singer who knew how to use all facets of his voice (his range of four octaves is exceptional.) Ballads, hard rock, disco, opera and even Arabic singing he managed to sing effortlessly, often with a wink. Queen’s performance at Live Aid 1985, in which Mercury thrills the entire Wembley Stadium, is often seen as the best rock performance of all time.
2. Elvis Presley
The King is the founder of modern pop music. Like no other he knew how to bring rock ‘n roll to the masses. His infamous hip movements and handsome face played a big part in this, but Elvis was also a phenomenal singer. In his first period he managed to supplement the stirring music with typical outbursts that brought his audience into ecstasy. Later he would focus more and more on ballads like “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” For which his deep voice turned out to be particularly well suited. Elvis is still the best-selling singer of all time with more than 1.5 billion records sold.
1. Frank Sinatra
His nickname The Voice already betrays that Frank Sinatra was an exceptional singer. It is often forgotten that he was a teenage idol early in his career. After that period in the 1940s, his singing career seemed to be coming to an end. Sinatra turned out to be not only a talented singer but also an intense actor. His comeback was started through popular films such as From Here To Eternity. Sinatra then focuses on gigs in Las Vegas where he befriends such singers as Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. During that period he records a number of legendary records full of melancholic songs that perfectly match his warm and tender voice. No one sings as effortlessly as Sinatra.