Top 10 Best Metal Singers

The Top Ten
1 Bruce Dickinson Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, (born 7 August 1958) is an English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster. He is most well known for being the lead singer in heavy metal band Iron Maiden and his solo career.Outside his career in music, Dickinson has pursued a number... read more

Bruce is the epitome of a frontman. His range and unique cackle are accented by his ability to hit the high note and stay on key. Nicknamed the "Air Raid Siren," Bruce has some of the most epic screams in metal and rock history, with "The Number of the Beast" being the greatest. Bruce can also handle the rapid-fire lyrics of the insane Steve Harris. Yes, Steve, you are insane, but in a good way, and you have taken full advantage of Bruce.

Bruce learned from Ian Gillan about looking people in the audience in the eye, person after person, and then everyone thinks Bruce is looking at them. He is. And he has you captivated.

Bruce is also talented off the stage. As a certified airline pilot and captain, he has flown commercially between tours and concerts, including piloting "Ed Force One" on their world tours. Bruce is also a world-class fencer, author, and entrepreneur.

I can appreciate Bruce being a pilot, as my father flew for Eastern Airlines from the '60s to the '80s. I like that Bruce has a healthy respect for the responsibilities of a pilot to the passengers.

2 Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona; July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American heavy metal singer, songwriter and musician. He fronted and/or founded numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture... read more

Ronnie James Dio is really cheesy. Before someone calls me out, I honestly think it's an intentional design choice, and I'm fine with that.

If anything, Dio's cheesiness works because he has the power and energy to back up his style and tone. So yeah, he's cheesy in a good way. Also, being cheesy isn't inherently a bad thing.

Another thing I want to address is that DragonForce isn't bad because they're cheesy. Yes, they are cheesy, but like Dio, I think it's intentional, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The greatest metal voice of all time. Like seriously. I really enjoy Bruce Dickinson and Iron Maiden overall, but I still prefer Dio's voice by a lot. He's the metal voice and will always be.

Such great songs, especially combined with Tony Iommi's or Ritchie Blackmore's riffs, it's so unbelievably awesome. I have to admit that I fell in love when I heard him for the first time. And for a reason. Just take a listen to any of his songs... and you'll also be caught in his voice, those harmonies, so unique. Love them.

3 Rob Halford Robert John Arthur "Rob" Halford is an English singer and songwriter, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest and famed for his powerful wide ranging operatic voice.

He isn't called the metal God for no reason. He earned that name and deserves it. Possibly the most powerful voice in all of metal. No one else on this list has proven they can do the more insane things that Rob can with his voice. They're almost inhuman (compare the scream in "Dissident Aggressor" to the growl from "Halls of Valhalla" for an example of his range). The songs "Painkiller" and "The Mower" are perfect examples of something no one else can do quite like him.

The natural talent and skill he has to sing in many different styles is immense. He's sung blues rock, angelic ballads, and even thrash metal and nailed it every time. He is the most metal voice there is - just listen to the "Painkiller" album. He also pioneered the power metal vocal style. There was no one in rock music like him before (or since, for that matter). Number 1 in my book, and it would appear that my opinion is shared with many others. Long live the metal God.

4 James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

A big joke that Hetfield is at no. 6. All the voters are blind. Hetfield can sing hard, medium, and soft. He's hard in Creeping Death, Master of Puppets, medium in Ride the Lightning, Welcome Home, Enter Sandman, and slow in The Unforgiven II, Nothing Else Matters.

He is the best live performer. Metallica is the best band in the world and they are the gods of metal. Hetfield deserves the 1st position on this list. He is the best vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and member of Metallica. The name of Metallica is enough.

James, more than anyone else, has a powerful voice. Regarding attack and aggression, he is unsurpassed. Even with that said, he finds a balance so that with this aggressive roar, you can also hear his enunciation, verbalization, and pronunciation of the lyrics.

James is the master of rhythm not only with his guitar but with his voice too. A perfect example of this is "Metallica - Blackened (vocals only)" on YouTube.

5 Ozzy Osbourne John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948. He is also known as ''The Prince of Darkness''. Ozzy is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath. Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath... read more

BLACK SABBATH. Listen to this song and you'll see that James Hetfield, Bruce Dickinson, etc., should be number three and four (second should be Roy Khan). Ozzy beats anyone on this list (except Roy Khan). We love you both!

He is the angel of metal vocals. His voice is appealing, and he still gets the metal across the line with a high-pitched tone. He deserves the number one place. Enough said.

First off, this guy invented metal! He is truly amazing! But, I think he should be number two next to Jonathan Davis (Korn), who should be number one.

6 Corey Taylor Corey Todd Taylor was born in December 8, 1973. He is an American musician, author, and actor best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the Nu-metal band Slipknot and hard rock/alternative metal band Stone Sour.

Corey's scream is as close as you can get without actually yelling and ruining your voice. Given how angry Slipknot's music is, listening makes for a very immersive experience. You feel the genuine rage that the band feels, especially on Iowa.

But what he is less known for, and underappreciated for, is his expressive singing. He has a distinct voice, one of the most distinct ever - very easy to pick out. He doesn't have a great range, but he sure knows how to use what he has. He sings with a lot of power.

He is a member of Slipknot. This makes him special. I love the others, but I like Corey, too. I don't know why I clicked to vote for Corey (because I love the others). It was just random. Anyway, I love Corey.

I know almost everything about him. And what about Slipknot? I really love that band! And their songs are the best! I don't care if they're Satanists or if they don't believe in God. I don't care about Christianity. Actually, I'm an atheist. So, I don't care about this! I love the way they scream! I would like to be in a metal band and scream like them!

7 Phil Anselmo Philip Hansen "Phil" Anselmo is an American musician who is best known as the former lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Pantera. He currently is the vocalist of heavy metal bands Down and Superjoint Ritual.

Superjoint Ritual
The Illegals

No one else is this diverse. Heavy metal, hard rock, hardcore, extreme metal, death metal. He even writes lyrics differently in each band. Respect to Dio, Dickinson, Halford but Phil gets my vote for consistency, versatility, and musical integrity. By the way, Hetfield is way overrated.

1. Phil Anselmo
2. Ronnie James Dio
3. Rob Halford
4. Bruce Dickinson
5. Mike Patton (same reasons as Phil)

Anger, beauty, and awesomeness - those are his vocals. He's the coolest-sounding vocalist, in my opinion, which just makes the songs sound heavier and overall cooler. He used to hit the notes. Just listen to Cemetery Gates. But then he moved to much more badass and cooler songs. He is at least a top 5 vocalist.

8 Geoff Tate Geoff Tate is a German-born American singer and musician who rose to fame in the 1980s with the progressive metal band Queensrÿche.

No metal vocalist could do what Tate did. Geoff infused operatic vocals with theatrical emotion and combined them with power, range, and melodic maturity. His 4-octave vocal range was on full display in the EP and followed into their debut full-fledged album The Warning with powerful vocals on the title track, fantastic emotion on songs like Child of Fire and Road to Madness, to the iconic and instant classic Take Hold of the Flame.

No vocalist in hard rock or metal has had the ability to change vocals like Geoff Tate did. Many singers in yesterday's and today's metal scene claim Tate as their main influence, and rightfully so. No one did it better.

9 M. Shadows Matthew Charles Sanders, better known by his stage name M. Shadows, is an American musician, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter and founding member of the American metalcore/alternative metal band Avenged Sevenfold.

Not to be disrespectful to the other great singers on this list, but I think Matt has the best voice out of all of these singers and more. I've been a fan all my life, and I'm not planning on changing. Matthew Sanders has the most amazing vocal fry of anyone I've heard. If anyone came close, it'd have to be either David Draiman, Ivan Moody, Adam Gontier, or Tim McIlrath. A7X forever.

M. Shadows, in my opinion, should be at least 3. He has a powerful voice and uses it the way he should. On the Hail to the King album, his vocals are just amazing. It's not like any other metal singer. This is raw power. If the Rev was still here and he sang on Hail to the King, he would be number 1!

10 Michael Kiske Michael Kiske is a singer best known as the former lead vocalist for the German power metal band Helloween.

Some decent picks are on here, but then there are a lot that are just vocalists in popular mainstream bands that aren't actually that talented. At least Bruce Dickinson is around where he should be. The problem with Kiske is that he hasn't done much with metal since Helloween.

However, you should listen to Ultrasonic's Light of Dawn album. His voice has aged better than most, as though he's been in suspended animation all of this time.

Matt Shadows? Corey? Who are they next to the great master Kiske? He is easily one of the best vocalists out there! Even Deris, who is an amazing vocalist as well, has some difficulties singing the other vocalist's songs. Just try to achieve the high notes of Eagle Fly Free, Halloween, and A Tale That Wasn't Right, then you'll see what a real vocal master is.

The Contenders
11 Chester Bennington 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. Before he was known for Linkin Park, Bennington was the lead singer of post-grunge act Grey Daze who was heavily inspired by Stone... read more

Chester is not a metal singer. He is METAL!

His voice is technical, aggressive, melodic, powerful, and unique. Every song he made is majestic, and there is no voice like his in the entire history of music. Linkin Park is the best band ever, and it's so unfortunate that their talent isn't recognized as they deserve in the metal world, only because they do other genres too.

What? Why is he at 150? He should be at least in the top 50 to top 100. Why is he so far away here at 150? I can't believe this! He needs more votes! As for me, his voice is one of the most amazing voices ever, so I guess he deserves to be at least at a higher place than this.

12 Joey Belladonna Joey Belladonna is the American Thrash Metal singer, best known for leading the band Anthrax. He also sings and drums for the cover band Chief Big Way.

Dude, seriously, only 25? What is all that baby metal crap? Hetfield, Ozzy, Mustaine, they are all legends. But they are in no possible way better than Joey. I mean, this man can reach high notes like a god. Don't believe me? Listen to the first part of Armed and Dangerous in the first buildup. Man, those notes give me goosebumps every single time I absorb them.

You'd have to be either deaf or totally ignorant to rank Hetfield or Mustaine above Joey. Hetfield isn't bad, but Mustaine is a complete joke as a vocalist. Joey should be top 5 for sure.

13 Maynard James Keenan Maynard James Keenan, often referred to by his initials MJK, is an American musician, record producer, winemaker, and actor, best known as the vocalist for Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool. He also is the singer of A Perfect Circle and Puscifer bands that vary in style.

He always seems to pour deep emotion into his songs, which to me seems to be one of the determining factors of a good singer. Pure talent and singing range are good, but to have that and be able to put forth that emotion is something else.

Dude, it's Maynard for crying out loud. He can sing incredibly well, and nobody can match him for range, ability, and pure talent! And what a unique voice too - a lot of new singers try to imitate him. The top spot should totally go to MJK. If you don't know who he is, check him out!

Of course, there are singers with a bigger vocal range, but every single note MJK sings is spot on. Furthermore, he knows how to deliver certain emotions like only very few beside him. He easily belongs in the top 5.

14 Hansi Kursch Hansi Kürsch, born Hans Jürgen Kürsch, is the lead singer, lyricist, co-composer and bassist for German power metal band Blind Guardian . Heavily influenced by Freddie Mercury, he creates a huge choir effect by overdubbing his own voice multiple times in complex, overlapping vocal harmonies. He records... read more

Hansi is better than most of the singers on this list. In my opinion, he should be number one, even above Halford, Dio, and Dickinson, because Hansi sings with so much passion, and the choral effect he creates by overdubbing his voice 1000 times is just epic. He's versatile, with a wide range.

He sings heavy songs with a voice so mean and aggressive it sounds like Satan himself, and then on the ballads, his voice becomes the softest and most beautiful voice I have ever heard. Truly, Blind Guardian would not be what they are without Hansi's voice. Just listen to Bright Eyes, Battlefield, Lord of the Rings, or Time Stands Still. Hansi is a god among insects.

15 Chuck Billy Charles "Chuck" Billy is an American vocalist, who is best known as the vocalist for the thrash metal band Testament.

Absolutely the most talented vocalist in metal. He has mastered the scream/sing technique (à la Hetfield) and has taken it a step further. He can produce a great melodic line and sound absolutely terrifying at the same time. Amazing versatility/flexibility. Listen to a little Testament. (F.E.A.R., Careful What You Wish For, The Preacher) You'll see...

Come on, guys, no one has such a talented voice as Chuck Billy. He may not be as hot as M. Shadows, but he sings way better. This is about real metal singers, not good-looking guys.

16 Dave Mustaine David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own... read more

Dave's voice is amazing, but it's hard to like it. But if you listen to Set the World Afire, you understand me and all Megadeth fans. Five Magics is also a good choice for Dave's vocals. You must think that Dave also plays the hardest riffs and amazing solos, and sings the song. He is a beast.

He might not be at the top, and rightly so, because the likes of Bruce and Rob are simply better. But Dave's got some unique style which I haven't heard before. His voice oozes sarcasm and weirdness, and that works for all those intricate Megadeth riffs.

17 James LaBrie Kevin James LaBrie is a Canadian vocalist and songwriter, who is best known as the lead singer of the American progressive metal band Dream Theater.

James is an amazing vocalist and is severely overlooked in the rock world. Dream Theater's songs are very hard to sing, yet he sings them so high and clear that it makes it look easy. The control he has over his voice is out of this world.

He can go from belting right back to a soft-spoken serenade. He has an incredible range and only seems to improve. The Astonishing is without a doubt some of his best work. He's a tremendous frontman as well, always interacting with the crowd. He exudes joy and passion for what he is doing up there.

Not to mention his regimen for maintaining vocal ability: the running, diet, vitamins, etc. He devotes so much of his life to his ability to sing. So much respect for this guy. Rock on, James!

18 Matt Barlow Matthew 'Matt' Barlow is an American heavy metal singer and police officer. He was the lead singer for Iced Earth in the 1990s and 2000s. He is currently the lead singer for Ashes of Ares. After the September 11 terrorist attacks Matt Barlow decided to become a police officer and contribute to the "real... read more

Whilst probably not THE best, he is undoubtedly one of them. His phenomenal voice has soared into the highest reaches of sound and rumbled in the lowest depths. The masculine thickness of his voice also allows for him to be soft while still menacing and strong. His voice is one of a kind, and it's a damn shame he doesn't get more recognition.

This godlike ability to jump between clean super-high and clean super-low is quite remarkable. It's weird because sometimes it doesn't even seem like it requires that much effort from him. It's like he "pretends" to sing somehow, kind of ventriloquist-ish, haha.

By the way, we got a random example in the opener of the AoA album "The Messenger," where every other line is sung either high or low.

19 David Draiman David Michael Draiman is an American songwriter and the vocalist for the band Disturbed as well as for the band Device.

David needs to be in the top 10. He is one of the best singers of all time and is definitely not getting the love and respect he deserves from this list. Metal would be far different if it were not for David Draiman, the personification of what it means to be a metal singer.

David is not just a metal singer. He is metal. He does not just define Disturbed and Device. He defines a culture and an amazing genre.

David created and carved a path for new metal bands and fans alike. His vocal range is almost unmatched, from low and raspy to high and smooth. Let's not forget all the hits he and the godly band Disturbed have come out with over the years. He belongs in the top ten without question. Look at the song Haze he made with M. Shadows and Device - amazing, to say the least.

20 Floor Jansen Floor Jansen is a Dutch singer-songwriter and vocal coach. She is currently vocalist of Nightwish and leader of Revamp.

Floor Jansen has the greatest range I have ever heard in a singer's voice. She can go from belting to opera to growling without a single problem. Her voice is four to five times more powerful than the average singer as well.

She has a beautiful, soft voice for ballads and a hard, rocking voice for the heavier songs. Listen to After Forever - Beautiful Emptiness, After Forever - Evoke, or ReVamp - Here's My Hell for great examples of her voice.

I can't believe Floor Jansen is ranked this low. Have you not heard the new Nightwish album with her? She has the most amazing (not to mention very powerful) voice of any singer I've ever heard. Just listen to songs such as Shudder Before the Beautiful or The Greatest Show on Earth by Nightwish. She has a terrific voice for these songs. She fits with Nightwish so well.

21 Lemmy Ian Fraser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. He was a bassist and a singer known for his raspy voice. He died in 2015 from cancer and other health problems.

Lemmy's voice set the bar for metal. When you hear him live and see people running for the exit sign after an encore with Overkill, you know it's the real deal.

Not being in the top 10 might constitute a criminal act. Talk about fame, recognizability, and walking the walk.

I just don't understand why he is not number one. His voice was so scary, and any song he sang automatically became a metal song.

22 Ben Burnley 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.

Ben Burnley has a voice that can amp you up and put you in a better mood, no matter what is going on. His music and vocals are an inspiration to me, and I cannot wait until he can get back into the studio and make some more awesome music. He is truly an inspiration and hero to many, including me.

His music got me through my GED, and now through two semesters of college. I am getting ready to get "I Will Not Bow" tattooed on me, for him and for Bruce Willis (big fan of both), also because it is my theme song.

Keep rocking, Ben. You deserve the best. Hope you get to feeling better. I am wanting to come to a Breaking Benjamin concert so bad and bring my daughter with me for her first concert. Mine was NKOTB in 1990. I want hers to be you guys.

23 King Diamond Kim Bendix Petersen, better known by his stage name King Diamond, is a Danish heavy metal musician. He is known for his extensive vocal range, usually sung in falsetto. King Diamond was originally known as the vocalist for Mercyful Fate, but has become notorious for his horror themed Concept albums... read more

What is truly amazing about this man is that he has not lost his ability to hit the high notes over 30+ years of singing. Even the all-time greats like Dickinson, Halford, and Dio slowly lost the ability as time went on. It hasn't happened to the King yet.

But I can understand why he might be so low. King Diamond is not exactly mainstream. I can only hope people find him, as I did recently. Not only is he great, but so is his band. Check out the concept album "Abigail." It's a metal masterpiece!

I'm not sure if I'd put him as the greatest, as there's more to singing than hitting high notes, but he absolutely deserves top 10. Possibly top 5.

24 Serj Tankian Serj Tankian is a Lebanese-born Armenian-American singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet, and political activist. He's best known for being the lead singer of the Armenian/American rock band System of a Down. After System of a Down's hiatus in 2006 he began to release... read more

I was going to vote for Roy Khan because he is incredible, but my loyalties will always be to Serj Tankian. System of a Down has been my favorite band since I was 10 years old.

Serj has this incredible range of style and emotion. You get all these different kinds of songs like Question, Spiders, or even crazy ones like Vicinity of Obscenity. And his solo work is amazing, too. The big sound of Elect the Dead, the symphonic Imperfect Harmonies, or the sorta punk rock Harakiri. Serj is an amazing talent.

Serj has shown a wide and expressive vocal ability with many of their hit songs. For example, Chop Suey! has a hard, powerful chorus, and then melodic and equally powerful verses. His unique talent allows him to create such works as I-E-A-I-A-I-O with fast and creative verses and a loud and beautiful chorus.

25 Ian Gillan Ian Gillan is an English singer and songwriter. He originally found success as the lead singer and lyricist for Deep Purple, and the original singer on the rock opera concept album Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber, where Gillan had the leading role (Jesus Christ).

The first metal singer and master screamer. He is the guy who invented the metal style singing - operatic and powerful vocals, with a wide range (four octaves). Bruce Dickinson was influenced by Ian Gillan, not by Ozzy.

Give a listen to "Disturbing the Priest" by Black Sabbath. Really freakish and psychotic vocals.

So many metal singers were inspired by Ian Gillan. I can't remember all of them right now, but I clearly remember that Hansi Kürsch (one of the best metal singers of all time) quotes Gillan as the biggest vocal influence. Hansi said during an interview that Gillan was the only metal singer who moved him "because the way Gillan sings has always had a deeper impact on me."

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