Who is the Singer’s Singer? Top 5 Male Vocalists

Michael Jackson
VoiceCouncil Magazine now has a huge community of singers of contemporary genres – so we thought it would be fun to discover the identity of your ultimate singers.

Our survey in June simply asked you to identify the singers who inspire you the most. Here is the countdown of the top 5 male artists – along with some of the reasons you mentioned as to why they stand out for you. Read about the top female singers here.

5. Elvis Presley

Elvis is your “charismatic showman” with a “rich voice” who just so happens to be responsible for changing the course of history with his innovative blend of American folk genres. Bruce Springsteen called Elvis his religion, David Bowie said Elvis was a major hero and John Lennon said that without Elvis there would be no Beatles.

4. Frank Sinatra

Ol’ Blue Eyes is recognised by his smooth vocal tone and impeccable phrasing. He was a founding member of the Rat Pack and is heard in the voices of Michael Buble, Robbie Williams Harry Connick Jr and Jamie Cullum. You respect him for his “style”, “timing” and “sense of ease”, showing that skilful singing is more than vocal acrobatics.200x280-JeffBuckley

3. Jeff Buckley

Jeff is somewhat of a cult figure known for his brooding lyrics and high notes (A.K.A ‘The Flying Buckleys’). Jeff mysteriously drowned in the Mississippi river leaving the world with 1 precious record. You love his “range”, “versatility” and “expression” whilst Bono called him “a pure drop in an ocean of noise”.

2. Michael Jackson

Michael inspired a whole generation of performers: Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Usher, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and Lady Gaga to name a few. You loved not only his expressive and agile voice, but his courage to “be different” and his “authentic feeling”. The King of Pop’s influence still appears in many forms.

1. Freddie Mercury

Freddie topped this poll by a mile with you describing him as a “theatrical power house”. His formidable presence is revered and his stage craft is iconic. Adam Lambert, the American Idol winner and current lead singer with Queen said “he’s got that real strong mid-chest voice. The way he attacks the note, it’s bad ass, it’s sexy”. Below, watch Freddie’s power.

Close runners up included Ed Sheeran, Steven Tyler, Prince and Robert Plant. As seen in the cloud below, the most important traits for you are emotional delivery, a good vocal tone with a large range and a soulful and passionate performance.

fave male cloud

See also: Summer 2015 Singing Competition Winner Announcement and 10 Looping Artists You Need to Know About


  • Robert Jason

    Warms my heart to see some of the truly ground breaking male art its listed. I’ve heard raw vocal tracks of Freddie mercury during overdubs. It’s truly frighteningly good how accurate in both pitch and time he was. A GREAT musician.
    other originals like George Jones, Steve Perry, etc could make this a list of dozens.

    Leaving Celine Dion off the female list is puzzling, but, like the men, there are so many who didn’t make the list that are worthy.

  • Harri Maki

    Marvin Gaye seems to have been missed

  • David Cox

    Paul McCartney comes to mind as a great rock voice.

  • Freya Astrella

    So so many! Let’s just do a top 100 next time!

  • keith cummings

    I note that the list is mostly great performers rather than great singers such as the jaw-dropping voices like Greg Lake (King Crimson/ELP) who said ” I am as proud to have been as influenced by people like Elvis and Little Richard as I am by composers like Copeland and Prokofiev…” and Jon Anderson (Yes). Jon stated, “I’m an alto tenor and I can sing certain high notes, but I could never sing falsetto, so I go and hit them high.” His lyrics are frequently inspired by various books Anderson has enjoyed, from Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ to Hermann Hesse’s ‘Siddhartha’. A footnote in Paramahansa Yogananda’s ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ inspired an entire double album ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’ (1973). Now these guys are the real deal, and there are few, if any, in 20th century popular music that exceed their depth, creativity and skill.

  • Freya Astrella

    Keith could you share some links with us? All of your suggestions sound intriguing!

  • Freya Astrella

    and he seems like a thoroughly top bloke too.

  • Freya Astrella

    I hear ya

  • keith cummings

    Sure… here’s an isolated Greg Lake vocal track from “Epitaph”, perhaps his most iconic musical landmark, amongst a dozen other mountainous gemstones..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfgD3LJ6Xb8

    And again, also heard from a distance of a half century, iconic isolated vocal tracks, acoustic moments within the few remaining shards of our collective memories- Yes / Jon Anderson: ‘I’ve Seen All Good People’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7DvsdXWcIE

  • Anvil

    I think we also forgot Axl Rose from GNR….You may not like his music, as is such the case with King Crimson (Greg Lake), who is incredible as well. I thought I read Rolling Stone’s top singers (as far as ranges go) and AXL was #1. Obviously open for debate, but I felt he was left out of the top 5. Also, as Keith Cummings posted below, these guys do it LIVE nightly, and that’s not an easy task if you’re a singer who sings with the ferocity and the highs and lows both singers hit. PEACE ALL
    As a side note, I feel Elvis P. should not be in the top 5, with his gospel background and singing style, he should be more recognized for his pure influence on music in general, but he is just a really good “crooner” in my opinion, as well as a giant for what he did for the era he was in.
    It’s all debatable, please don’t start flaming me because I have an opinion about the “King of Rock”