Rock Star Status: the Top 5 Greatest Male Lead Singers

There’s no doubt that a rock band isn’t a great rock band without a great lead singer. They have voices that are incredibly distinguishable – capable of captivating an audience in concert or on the radio. The top 5 greatest (male) rock lead singers make fans feel like every song was written and performed just for them. These guys hold an audience with both their voices and their stage presence; they are the ultimate showmen and sex symbols that have led their bands to legendary status.

5 Brian Johnson – AC/DC

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When former AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott died in 1980, many – including the band – thought that was the end. Enter Brian Johnson and his throaty vocals, which sounded like a Scottish Yosemite Sam trying to sing heavy metal. Johnson and AC/DC went to work immediately on what would be the decade’s first landmark album, “Back In Black,” in 1980, and he and AC/DC shook everyone all night long for another 30-plus years as the band got a second life and achieved hall-of-fame status. Check out some of Johnson’s best work on “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Back In Black,” and “Thunderstruck.”

4 Mike Love – The Beach Boys

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In the 1960s, Love and The Beach Boys were responsible for creating what has become known as the sound of California. They were one of the biggest contributors to the surfing culture that still lives on today. Love and his family from Hawthorne, CA melodically sang about love, surfing, and just hanging out. He’s not a flamboyant showman like others on this list, but there’s no doubt that Love’s voice and influence hasn’t been matched by anyone. Some of Love’s best work includes “Surfing USA,” “California Girls,” and “I Get Around.”

3 Steve Perry – Journey

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Journey was dead in the water when it started out as a sort of jazz/fusion/progressive rock band formed by former Santana members, keyboardist Gregg Rolie and lead guitarist Neal Schon, in the early 1970s. Then they got wise and hired Perry as their front man in 1977. Thanks to Perry, the band’s record sales went into the stratosphere as their popularity soared for two decades. Perry left the band due to illness and typical band arguments after 1996’s “Trial By Fire.” Some of Perry’s best work includes “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Who’s Crying Now,” “Faithfully,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin,” and “Open Arms.”

2 Mick Jagger – The Rolling Stones

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After The Beatles established themselves in America and the world over during the British Invasion, Jagger and The Rolling Stones came over, pushed the Fab Four aside, and took rock and roll to another level – and much of that had to do with Jagger. There may be no one in the history of rock and roll that has such a voice, influence, and overall stage persona as Jagger. Now an amazing 50 years later, Jagger still has plenty of swagger. The Stones continue to release albums and are constantly doing “Farewell Tours,” so there’s no telling when Jagger and his band mates will finally call it quits. Jagger and the Stones have released a ton of hits; some of the most memorable include “Start Me Up,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Angie,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and “Honky Tonk Women.”

1 Freddy Mercury – Queen

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There was no one like Mercury, whose voice was as smooth as it was hard. The man had a stage presence like no other. From 1969 to 1991 he fronted the British band Queen and helped turn it into one of the greatest rock bands of all time, pounding out legendary songs like “We Are The Champions,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and “Killer Queen.” There isn’t a list around that doesn’t have Mercury as one of the greatest, if not the greatest lead singers of all time. More of Mercury’s best-known work includes “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody To Love,” and “Tie Your Mother Down.”

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