Top 10 Greatest Vocal Performances of All Time

These are vocal performances that show off the singer's true talent, range, and ability including vocals that go beyond the the limit and truly unforgettable.

The Top Ten

1 Nessun Dorma - Jackie Evancho Nessun Dorma - Jackie Evancho Cover Art

Jackie was actually 11 when she performed this at BGT. Forget her age as on this poll she is being compared to the greats. I'm sure if Luciano Pavarotti had witnessed Jackie's singing that night be would have smiled broadly. Make no mistake, this was a world class performance by the best singer I've ever heard.

Nessun Dorma is an opera aria written for male sopranos. Not supposed to attempt it before the age of 30.
Jackie Evancho sang it when she was 10 years old, and amazed everyone with the power and beauty of her voice.
I submit that as one of the greatest vocal performances of all time. Watch it on YouTube and be amazed!

Better yet, see her PBS Great Performances "Dream With Me - In Concert" on DVD or Blu-ray (five stars on

The greatest vocal performance of Nessun Dorma is by LUCIANO PAVAROTTI. Everyone knows that.

2 Bohemian Rhapsody - Freddie Mercury

In any best vocalist/singer/vocal performance list, the first two spots HAVE to go to Freddie and Rod (who's too good for you all, I see) then there are a number of other vocal performances that are absolutely amazing (just not as amazing as the two I've already mentioned).

Umm, it seems you mentioned 2 singers but not 2 performances.
And no, it's unreasonable to believe that any 2 specific performers HAVE to be placed in the first 2 spots of such a list - especially when they don't necessarily deserve the exaggerated praise.

This is simple. It's not the song it's his voice that needs credit. He was just a unique talent.

Much better, than Jackie Evancho.

Dude, the things Freddie does with his voice in this song ar amazing!

3 The Show Must Go On - Freddie Mercury

What a jaw dropping vocal here. Freddie's voice a gift to us all and especially here when he was in his last few months of life and in a lot of pain. It is truly great and by definition a refusal to let his illness define him

This song has such a strong and personal message that Brian May wrote for Freddie. It was one of the last songs he ever sang and he couldn't even stand on his own when they recorded it. It is his best vocal performance and a powerful song that will give you goose bumps. Easily my favorite by Queen, they saved the best for last with this one!

Mercury did this on his deathbed, but he sounded more badass. Respect him forever.

How could this be the voice of a dying man? He really gave it all he had. Amazing.

4 Painkiller - Rob Halford
5 Rainbow In The Dark - Ronnie James Dio

Simple phenomenal

6 Hallowed Be Thy Name - Bruce Dickinson

An extremely demanding song - Requires the singer to shout lyrics with syllables that last micro-seconds (As Steve Harris loves to do in many of his songs) and requires the emotion of a man about to be killed to be felt. The pacing of the song often changes, and there are long periods of speaking combined with pitch changes that can easily strain a voice and leave the singer virtually breathless ("Running low-OWW-Yeaaahh! "). Bruce Dickinson deserves the recognition for this one. Go find the live version from Beast Over Hammersmith '82 on youtube. It's an amazing vocal performance from when the band was young and hungry for success!

Up The Irons!

7 A Day In the Life - John Lennon
8 Bridge Over Troubled Water - Art Garfunkel

Challenging melody flawlessly and calmly delivered before such a massive audience

This performance by Art Garfunkel is timeless and beautiful. It deserves to be at the top of this list.

Unbelievably beautiful performance by Art Garfunkel. His finest recording moments without doubt. Is there anything better?

There are stronger singers out there (Freddie) but there is no other performance that breaks your heart like this one.

9 Child in Time - Ian Gillan

No word's can describe it.

Not as wonderful as Freddie Mercury's in "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "The Show Must Go On", but definitely top 3! I mean, it's wondrous!

Phenomenal performance! Twice I've seen him do it live.

Nice to see this song so high.

10 Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston Cover Art

She should be number 1

Whitney is one of the best vocalist that ever lived

Such vocal strengths should not have ever departed from this world

I think she is the best

The Contenders

11 And Then There Was Silence - Hansi Kürsch
12 Twist and Shout - John Lennon
13 My Last Sunrise - Hansi Kürsch

Chills guaranteed right here. If you are not familiar with this song, don't miss the chance - I'm sure it would be a great addition to your collection of great vocal performances. This is the most passionate vocal performance I've ever heard. Hansi's voice is breathtaking - a unique combination of the most angelic and most demonic voice you've ever heard. This is an incredibly powerful but also emotive, expressive and divine tone.

14 Beat It - Michael Jackson Beat It - Michael Jackson Cover Art

The best, the legend, the genius

The king

15 (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman - Aretha Franklin

It's what brought me to this list

16 Oh! Darling - Paul McCartney

Sing what you mean, mean what you sing, that's all you need

The best

17 Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney Cover Art

Honestly, this should be above John Lennon's songs. A Day in the Life is an incredibly written song, but when it comes to actual vocal performance, this song is raw emotion.

Just listen to it, it should be in the top ten no question about it

18 My Immortal - Amy Lee

Any Lee is THE top rock vocalist today, bar none. I just wish she'd record more.

One of the most beautiful voices. Amy Lee is perfect.

19 Caravan - Van Morrison Caravan - Van Morrison Cover Art

This is true artistry - beyond any of the others!

20 Yesterday - Paul McCartney
21 Dream On - Steven Tyler

Best vocals ever

22 Into the Mystic - Van Morrison Into the Mystic - Van Morrison Cover Art
23 Without You - Harry Nilsson Without You - Harry Nilsson Cover Art

Yes he is a good piece of song I like it

24 Stargazer - Ronnie James Dio

I really can't believe this vocal masterpiece is in 103 place...

Just listen to it.

Another level from any other.

One of the best ever - RIP RJD

25 Heaven and Hell - Ronnie James Dio
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