Top 10 Backing Vocalists in Rock and Metal

Some backing vocalists are very good - maybe not better than the lead singers but still.
There are backing vocalists who:
1) Released solo albums as lead singers
2) Are lead singers for another band (usually less known)
3) Sang whole songs for the same band as lead singers (studio or live)
4) Sang big parts of songs for the same band as lead singers (studio or live)
5) Provide great backing vocals.

The Top Ten

1 Jason Newsted - Metallica Jason Newsted - Metallica Jason Curtis Newsted is an American metal musician, known for being the third bass guitarist with the band Metallica from November 1986 until his departure in January 2001, he was also a part of Voivod and Flotsam and Jetsam.

Long-term Metallica bassist who sang some of their songs live as a lead singer. Not bad at all. - Metal_Treasure

Made their live concerts 10x better

No one can shout die! die! die! better than him. - say10

2 George Harrison - The Beatles George Harrison - The Beatles George Harrison was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

How ironic; one of the greatest musicians of all time, but only the third best in his own band.

Check out "Something" - The Beatles. - Powerfultekin

3 Jerry Cantrell - Alice In Chains Jerry Cantrell - Alice In Chains Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. is an American musician who is best known as the lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter for the rock band Alice in Chains.
4 Roger Taylor - Queen Roger Taylor - Queen Roger Meddows Taylor is an English musician , multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter born on April 26th,1960 in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. He was the drummer of the band Queen and wrote few of many hits such as including Under Pressure, A Kind Of Magic and Radio Ga Ga. Despite being well known in Queen more.

His high vocals and vibratos complete all the Queen songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, I want to break free and Somebody to love. - Plonderss

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5 Glenn Hughes - Deep Purple Glenn Hughes - Deep Purple Glenn Hughes is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known as a member of Deep Purple and the rock pioneers Trapeze, and his solo career. Hughes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple. He is acclaimed for his wide vocal range.

He was the bassist and backing vocalist during the Coverdale era. Later he started a solo career as a lead singer and bassist. - Metal_Treasure

He did lead vocals on an entire Black Sabbath album (Seventh Star, 1986). - Metal_Treasure

Unrivaled voice and huge contribution to all bands involved with.

6 Eric Clapton - Cream Eric Clapton - Cream Eric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. He has also been a member of Derek and the Dominos.

Jack Bruce is up front in most of Cream's songs, with a few notable exceptions..

7 Richie Sambora - Bon Jovi Richie Sambora - Bon Jovi Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora is an American rock guitarist, producer, singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years.

Bon Jovi guitarist released solo albums. - Metal_Treasure

8 John Frusciante - Red Hot Chili Peppers John Frusciante - Red Hot Chili Peppers John Anthony Frusciante is an American guitarist, singer, producer and composer.He is best known for his time with the Funk Rock California based band the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

No one can hit high notes like fur isn't especially as a back up vocalist. His singer in desecration smile, under the bridge, and other side are incredible

John has very good backing vocals. Especially in Can't Stop, Sir Psycho Sexy, Venice Queen and Knock me Down.

By the way and snow are two of my favorites, great background vocals - Flea does a good job too but not as good.

Listen to his vocals in Midnight and come back here

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9 Mike Shinoda Mike Shinoda Michael Kenji "Mike" Shinoda is an American musician, rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, graphic designer, manager and film composer.
10 Kai Hansen - Gamma Ray, Helloween Kai Hansen - Gamma Ray, Helloween V 1 Comment

The Contenders

11 Adrian Smith - Iron Maiden Adrian Smith - Iron Maiden Adrian Frederick "H" Smith is an English guitarist, best known as a member of Iron Maiden, for whom he writes songs and performs live backing vocals on some tracks.

He backed up vocals in Iron Maiden and was the lead singer of a band called Urchin for 8 years. - Powerfultekin

12 Mat Sinner - Primal Fear Mat Sinner - Primal Fear Mat Sinner is a bassist, vocalist, songwriter and record producer from Stuttgart, Germany. He is best known as the bassist and primary songwriter for the metal band Primal Fear.

Primal Fear bassist is the lead vocalist for his band Sinner (mostly hard rock). Check out:
Sinner - Every Second Counts, Born To Rock, All Men Are Heroes, Call My Name - Metal_Treasure

13 Dave Grohl - Nirvana Dave Grohl - Nirvana David Eric "Dave" Grohl is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer. He is best known as the drummer for the grunge band Nirvana and the vocalist/guitarist for the alternative rock band Foo Fighters.

This man is a rock god in and of himself... There is no other.

14 Brian Head Welch Brian Head Welch

Korn's besting backing vocalist seperated and formed Love and Death.

15 Jon Schaffer - Iced Earth Jon Schaffer - Iced Earth Jon Ryan Schaffer is an American heavy metal musician. He is best known as the guitarist and last remaining original member of the Florida-based heavy metal band Iced Earth, which he formed in 1985 under the name "Purgatory".

Rhythm guitarist who sang entire songs for Iced Earth (ex., Stormrider) and provides lead vox for his side project 'Sons Of Liberty'. Not bad. - Metal_Treasure

Check out the song Stormrider, his vocal performance is fantastic! - Metalmaniakkk

16 Daron Malakian Daron Malakian Daron Vartan Malakian is an Armenian–American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer.

He sometimes defines the songs just with his vocals, it blends so perfectly with Serj's vocals.

Well he was / is the lead guitarist of System of a Down and he also sang in many of the bands songs along with Serb.most notably lonely day and lost in Hollywood.he also started a solo project - Toucan

17 Chris Fehn - Slipknot V 1 Comment
18 Timo Tolkki - Stratovarius Timo Tolkki - Stratovarius Timo Tapio Tolkki is a Finnish musician best known as the former guitarist, songwriter and producer of the power metal band Stratovarius.

Provided lead vocals for 10 years (1985-1994) and then backing vox. He handed over lead vocal duties to Kotipelto because Tolkki was handling all lead and rhythm guitars, and at times bass guitar (until 1993). Tolkki wanted to concentrate on his guitar work and songwriting because he was almost the sole composer of the band. - Metal_Treasure

19 Richard Wright - Pink Floyd Richard Wright - Pink Floyd Richard William "Rick" Wright was an English musician, composer, singer and songwriter. He was the main keyboardist and a backup vocalist for the psychedelic and progressive English rock band, Pink Floyd .
20 Jen Ledger - Skillet Jen Ledger - Skillet
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List StatsUpdated 22 May 2017

100 votes
48 listings
284 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. George Harrison - The Beatles
2. Roger Taylor - Queen
3. Eric Clapton - Cream
1. Richard Wright - Pink Floyd
2. George Harrison - The Beatles
3. Roger Taylor - Queen
1. Jason Newsted - Metallica
2. Brian Head Welch
3. Chris Fehn - Slipknot

View All 5


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