Best Grunge Singers

The Top Ten

Layne Staley - Alice In Chains Layne Thomas Staley was an American musician who served as the lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. ...read more.

I've never heard a singer be able to convey their emotion through singing quite like Layne. Listen to the chorus of "Frogs" (especially the MTV Unplugged version) or "Would?".

He’s amazing ,a truly gifted singer, songwriter and artist , you feel his music , it’s so emotional, it stirs something within of beauty and pain. What a truly amazing shining star he was and such a huge loss to us all . How lucky we are to hear abc feel his gift

Let's be honest here, this discussion should come with an asterisk stating #1 is Layne Staley, and we can argue about everyone else. No one else sings with the same raw emotion or overpowering harmonic greatness as Layne Staley.
Nirvana may have started the 90s rock movement, and Pearl Jam may have become the most consistent group to emerge from Seattle, but no one had more of an impact on future rock & metal bands than Alice In Chains. The guy was just that rare, once-in-a-generation voice that comes along where everyone who is stopped dead in their tracks when they hear it for the first time.
From the tortured screams of 'Them Bones'; the surprisingly melodic 'Man In The Box'; to the soulful channeling of 'Rooster'; or the soaring harmonies atop the thundering 'Would? ', no one did it as well as Layne Staley.

AIC beigng my favioute band had no impact on why I feel Layne had the best voice (most power, control and how unique).
My order is Layne, hris cornell, kurt&eddie then scott.

Chris Cornell - Soundgarden Christopher John "Chris" Cornell was an American rock musician and singer-songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band Soundgarden and as former lead vocalist and songwriter for the supergroup Audioslave. His vocal range was C2 to A5, while ...read more.

A truly unique voice, amazing range . Powerful lyrics, so much depth showed vulnerability in his voice so gentle listening to sun showers to so gritty and unique in when in sound garden to even more depth and edge in like a stone , highway , pretty much every track off audio slaves first album. Sadly missed gave us all so much. Such a distinctive amazing voice , what a gift to us all especially seeing him sing with his beautiful daughter

Nothing compares to Chris. He is really the rock star everyone will miss. He is very charismatic that even when he sings effortlessly he can really make a deep connection with you. Very humble guy, loving father & a man of real talent. If I could have just one wish, It would be for you to be alive again, bring again your musics live. I will really wish to rock it live with you. We really misssss you, Chris!

Chris is my #2, a HUGE number of famous Grunge bands would've never been heard outside of Seattle if Chris Cornell and Soundgarden didn't exist. This pioneer and his band was a driving force behind the genre. Not only does he have a unique sound with technicality and a range untouched by anyone on this list (aside from Layne), his creativity alone is enough to put him high on anyone's list of most influential artists. Not many artists can standalone and captivate an audience equally with/without their band. We lost Layne, but we still have Cornell and he is never going to stop cranking out new material. Kurt had a good sound going for him with Nirvana, but as a stand alone vocalist, he doesn't come close to Cornell or Layne and he shouldn't be in the top #3 vocalists. Nirvana deserves to be a notable band in Grunge, but if someone thinks that they created the genre or was the best out of them all, then they are just on the bandwagon. Real Grunge fanatics know Soundgarden set it in ...more

Much higher vocal range than Layne Staley. As a matter of fact, Chris Cornell is one of the greatest singers to have ever lived!

Eddie Vedder - Pearl Jam Eddie Vedder is an American musician, singer and songwriter best known as a member of the rock band Pearl Jam, with whom he performs lead vocals and is one of three guitarists.

Eddie Vedder is a fenominal vocalist and I would argue is the greatest vocalist ever in grunge. His versatility as a singer is amazing. His voice is still great at his age. He can go really high and really low and yes even though Cornell could hit higher notes Vedder knew when to hold back and not over show his singing ability to the point where it took away from the song plus his voice itself can be really powerful and then go very soft. I get that cornell and staley are higher on the list and they were both amazing vocalists in their own right but I feel Vedder doesn't get enough credit for his voice because he's still alive while Cornell, Staley and Cobains vocals are often look apon more fondly (god bless their beautiful grunge souls) but once Eddie Vedder has passes away more people will say he was the greatest grunge Vocalist and frontman ever which he is.

A gifted singer and song writer, amazing voice , gentle yet strong a true story teller
Get lost into another world another time when I hear black and release me .

I'm aware that most grunge fanatics look at eddie and PJ as the softer side of the genre, and I would have no problem what so ever in putting any of the top4 in the number one spot of this list. Chirs cornell was technically the most gifted having the widder range of them all, layne was probably the one to sing with more emotion and had a versatility that was second to none, although he only did shine the brightest when next to cantrell, kurt had the grungiest voice, as in the most imperfect yet amazing one, but the only real reason he is even is this discussion is due to romantic figure he has become, and last but definitely not least eddie vedder, for me the best voice in grunge, he might no be as edgy as others in here, but the melody in his tenor and baritone deep voice, in my opinion, gets the first place every time, not to mention that he is the only one out of the four that truly rose from his music and sheer talent alone and not because his self destructive, angry charisma ...more

People keep saying cornell had better range and cornell, may he RIP did have an amazing voice but eds is just as amazing and people don't get that octaves and note ability make up the whole package. eds voice to me and writing ability and my god the electrifying stage presence and literally how the music moved thru him so visibly back in the day...no comparison. staleys voice no way compared to these guys it was mostly deep, gritty and yes powerful but to me in a more basic way. saying that I love laynes music too. aic great. kurts voice quirky and perfect for nirvana but really technically not so good.

Kurt Cobain - Nirvana Kurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1987, he started the grunge band Nirvana, which became one of the most successful bands ever. He was a talented yet troubled grunge performer. Kurt Cobain became a rock legend in the 1990s with his band. He committed suicide at his ...read more.

he was the voice of a generation. His voice is just so raw but that's what so iconic and awesome about it. His talking voice is so different. He should be #1. Also I know he didn't start grunge, but it was Nirvana's Nevermind that put grunge into the mainstream and made the other grunge bands get more attention because before they were just little known rock bands from the Washington area.

Voice of grunge... with Layne and Chris Cornell . All are so talented and so hot ! All such distinctive amazing voices . Evoke such much emotion and energy .

The way his talking voice is kind of course goes to show you how much he is dedicated to singing. For instance listen to the song Territorial Pissings to show you how far he goes for music. If you are talking lyrical wise listen to Heart-Shaped Box or Polly.

Kurt Cobain was the voice of a generation and his vocals have a visceral power to them that CANNOT be surpassed. AIC fans may be tired of nirvana and soundgarden fans, but we are equally tired of you jealous Alice in Chains fan boys too. I think all the grunge bands are special.

Scott Weiland - Stone Temple Pilots Scott Richard Weiland was an American musician, singer and songwriter. During a career spanning three decades, Weiland was best known as the lead singer of the band Stone Temple Pilots from 1989 to 2002 and 2008 to 2013.

So many memories of good times listening to stone temple pilots, a unique voice, so much talent . Music so much better than today’s music

By far the most versatil. Enchanted us with his vocals in Plush, Creep, Sex type Thing, surprised us with his vocals on Tiny music album, his voice was changed in No.4 and Shangri La Dee Da and he still surprised us with songs like Sour Girl, Atlanta, Wonderful

One of the most underrated voices of that era. I list him a close 3rd, behind Cornell and Staley. Scott's voice was very Bowie-esque, with a layer of Jim Morrison (two of his biggest influences). A vocal chameleon, his voice could go from gritty and powerful; most notably with STP's "grungier" Core debut and songs like "Sex Type Thing" and "Dead and Bloated", to a little bit Country; think "Big Empty"; to open and crooning in songs like "Atlanta" and "And so I know" - which truly showcased the depth and range in his voice, and then all out rock and roll in Velvet Revolver's "Slither" and the hauntingly powerful "Fall to Pieces". - Not to mention the fact that he wrote everything. A literal aresenal of timeless hits and lesser known beauties. And if you ever saw STP live in their heyday, you couldn't deny he was one of the best frontmen ever to grace the stage. RIP

Scott Weiland has the most diverse range. From his soft acoustic versions of Sour Girl, Wonderful, Atlanta or Kitchenware and Candybars, to the fast and powerful Sex Type Thing, Meat Plow, No way Out, Dead and Bloated, etc... Then he can do great pop melodies like Big Bang Baby, Trippin on A Hole, Interstate Love Song and Days of the Week. Who else on this list can pull off all those songs, not only in the studio, but in one live setlist as well!
Amazing performer, writer, vocalist!

Jerry Cantrell - Alice in Chains Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. is an American musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist best known as the founder, lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains.

Only 5 % for one of the best voice of the grunge bands? Even if he never was the leadsinger, his voice is so important! And let's not forget: he wrote and sang with his partner Layne grunge/blues, grunge/rock, grunge/Gospel, NOT ONLY metal! I think people should have to listen more to "Sap" and"Jar Of Flies"!

Jerry was a great singer on his solo albums. I think he is just as good as Layne and now he is the lead singer in Alice In Chains

Not even the actual singer of AIC but still an amazing backing vocalist. Him and Layne did some of the best harmonising in music.

He was also a solo artist. I still think Layne had a greater gift, though.

Listen to his performance in Down in a Hole Unplugged and you will understand why he is one of the best

Billy Corgan - Smashing Pumpkins William Patrick "Billy" Corgan Jr. is an American musician, songwriter, producer, television writer, poet, and professional wrestling promoter best known as the lead singer, guitarist, and sole permanent member of The Smashing Pumpkins.

His whining is just legendary. Maybe he isn't the best for the grunge movement (that's quite a surprise for me as I've known him as part of the alternative movement) but for the music he used to write his voice is the icing on the cake. So much passion and rawness combines with ultradistorted and uberoverdubbed guitars is just what makes SP stand out from the all the 90s groups. Its kust like combining the old things (Black Sabbath/Dio/Rhandy Roads/Sonic youth/the smiths/joy division) along with some 90s neopunk attitude. that's what makes Gish Siamese dream and Melon collie and infinite sadness my favourite albums of the 90s.
Peace out

Dave Grohl - Foo Fighters David Eric "Dave" Grohl is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and film director. He is best known as the former drummer of the hugely popular 90s grunge band Nirvana and the vocalist/guitarist for the alternative rock band Foo Fighters. He has sat behind the ...read more.

What?! Dave needs to be in the top 10! He has such an amazing voice! Get Corgan the hell outta there. Dave is a music icon and along with that has the voice to back it up. This is a shame; listen to the Foo Fighters.

Love him but is it grunge?

Lol he can't sing

He can't sing

Gavin Rossdale - Bush Gavin McGregor Rossdale is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and actor, and is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Bush.

Definitely a post-grunge legend. This guy has been dubbed a Kurt Cobain rip off by most, but if you really listen to this dude his voice is something else.

Actually, most people would consider him more like Eddie Vedder and Bush is somewhere in-between grunge and post-grunge but I agree he does have his own style.

Guy's got one hell of a voice.

One of the most powerful voices of the 90s!

Mark Arm - Mudhoney

Though I believe layne staley is the best singer on this list and alice in chains are the most talented, they were more metal than grunge and even jerry cantrell admitted to that. staleys voice wasn't grungy enough in my opinion. saying that, I believe kurt cobain had a grungier voice than staley, but the man with the best overall grungiest voice was Mark arm. Eddie Vedder even said marks voice was grungier than his and Chris Cornell's (both excellent vocalist) his voice just screamed grunge at its finest. still though, though it makes me happy to see staley at the top of the list, it make me unhappy to see it at the top of of a grunge list ):
Now if the list was the best singer of the the 90s laynes voice wins hand down. IN MY OPINION

Underrated.

The Contenders

Andrew Wood - Malfunkshun

An extremely gifted singer with a most touchingly unique voice. Layne Staley was definitely a far better singer than most of the people on this list ( and Kurt Cobain doesn't even come close to having as magnificent a talent as him ), but in terms of versatility and sheer listening pleasure, I'd vote for Andrew Wood any day. Case in point: "Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns". 'enough said.
P:S - I strongly feel that Andrew should have been listed as a member of Mother Love Bone instead of Malfunkshun.

Best singer of the 90's grunge era lost to soon

Andy wood
Kurt cobain
Layne staley
Mark arm
Eddie vedder

Ed Kowalczyk - Live

Great range, great power, great passion, and some great songs to complete the package, I get chills when I hear the opening of The Dolphins Cry. And nails live performances, one of my favorite vocalists ever, deserves to be top 10 on this list!

Best range by far!

He was great

Kevin Martin - Candlebox

Amazing voice, listen to he calls home, cover me, or far behind, beautiful range and by far one of the most grunge voices out there.

Andrew Wood - Mother Love Bone

Andy Wood opened the door for the grunge bands that followed. Incredible stage presence, with song writing ability and a voice to match. Had he not passed so early on in his career, there would have been no Pearl Jam. But Mother Love Bone would have been just as big.

Benjamin Burnley - Breaking Benjamin Benjamin Jackson Burnley IV is an American musician, composer, and producer, best known as the founder and frontman of the American rock band Breaking Benjamin.

An amazing song-writer and vocalist. Love his voice!

Adam Gontier - Three Days Grace Adam Wade Gontier is a Canadian musician and songwriter. He is the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for Saint Asonia, but is best known as the former lead singer, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter of the Canadian rock band Three Days Grace.

The best hard rock singer I have ever heard, number one with james hetfield from Metallica. just listen to never too late by three days grace and you will understand. Adan is awesome!

He deserves to be in top 10 instead of Shaun Morgan. He's scream is so heavy and beautiful. much better then Shauns and Dave's. It's my opinion.

The best vocal ever after Chester Bennington...he is the best..simply the best

The greatest voice in Post-Grunge ever

Mark Lanegan - Screaming Trees

Underrated vocalist and better than most of the vocalist listed here.I would put him in at #5 behind Vedder.And majestic red hair

His voice is just increadible, it's deep, rough, intense..., well you know, he doesn't need to do much effort to sing because even his speaking voice is mesmerizing.

I was expecting at least top five, number one in my list

Awesome vocalist, deep voice and resonates

Aaron Lewis - Staind Aaron Lewis is an American musician, who is the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and founding member of the rock group Staind, with whom he has released seven studio albums.

I am not sure staind is grunge, but AL is amazing, listen to covers of Tool (sober), AIC Nutshell n Pearl Jam, Black or Garden n you will hear what I mean, grunge voice for sure.

Amazing voice. Such great range and power. Also check out his solo covers.

Todd Lewis - Toadies

He's got a very solid grungy voice that I think deserves some attention on this list.

Shaun Morgan - Seether Shaun Morgan Welgemoed, known publicly as Shaun Morgan, is a South African musician and singer for the post-grunge/alternative metal band Seether.

Upon first hearing, Shaun Morgan's voice sounds like every other Kurt Cobain wannabe. But something will compel you to listen longer, and that's just the sheer passion behind the voice. Morgan excels with his incredible full filled and strong voice, making it perfect for heavy rock songs. However it's in the softer acoustic songs where he really shines, he has complete voice control, even in his whimpers. Unlike Cobain in Unplugged, Morgan seems at his most comfortable when he's at his purest. He really is a step above all his peers in this genre, and yes, that include Cobain.

No one has a voice like Shaun... I don't care about who started grunge. Morgan is above them all. I've never heard anyone be so raspy yet soft and tender at the same time, and neither have you. YouTube 'Seether Fake It 98 rock' and click on the first selection. Bottom line... Grunge is about emotion. And Shaun delivers more of that than anyone I've heard.

I would like to vote shaun morgan because no: 1 well he is alive! No: 2: His lyrics and vocal timing is brilliant! No 3: Out of all the recent post grunge band or whatever you call them, he definitely stands out. I would rank him number 1. If Cobain was alive, he would by number 1 for sure.

I suspect that had Shaun Morgan been born in the US or UK, and not in South Africa, then he would have received the recognition that he deserves. He voice is incredible and better than anyone else unplugged.

Tad Doyle - Tad

Easily one of the harshest vocalists, he went hard when considering the fact that Tad as a group seemed to be a very heavy band to begin with. They weren’t quite metal and nowhere near as “nice” as other groups like Audioslave or AIC, but they were the most intense grunge band around. Sadly underrated as a band, Tad’s vocals were rough, and being slightly out of tune much of the time seemed to add to the expression that he sought in the music. I truly enjoy their music and the vocal expression that is put into the sound.

Chester Bennington - Grey Daze Chester Charles Bennington (March 20th, 1976 - July 20th, 2017) was an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known for being the lead singer of Linkin Park. He also participated in side projects like Julien K and Dead By Sunrise. He committed suicide in 2017 after a period of depression. ...read more.
William DuVall - Alice in Chains

Amazing replacement that is often overlooked. It is because of him that one of my favorite bands are alive and well today.

He is a really smart and great fit for replacing Layne.

Underrated vocalist!

Ben McMillan - Skin Yard

Everyone talks about people ripping off Eddie Vedder's voice, but Ben was around before Pearl Jam existed and he hasn't got any credit for his band or voice. Ben should be in the top ten, because his band is an actual grunge band( not like smashing pumpkins, Foo Fighters, three days grace, or seether, don't get me wrong, there good bands/singers but there not grunge).

Skin yard 1984-1992. Gruntruck 1989-1996.

He was the true grunger singer, and the grunge Goldman.

Quorthon Tomas Börje Forsberg, known by the stage name Quorthon (1966-2004), was a Swedish musician. He was the founder, songwriter, vocalist and guitarist of the band Bathory, which pioneered the black metal genre and is credited with creating the Viking metal style. A multi-instrumentalist, Quorthon wrote ...read more.

Now before you all say "That's not a grunge singer! " Take a listen to Purity of Essence, Quorthon's grunge album.

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