Top 10 Best Grunge Singers
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.
Regardless of how you feel about alice in chains to nirvana, or to soundgarden or pearl jam, or mother love bone etc, Layne deserves to be number one why? Were talking about vocal talent here and this guy not only had a big range but he also had a voice that would grab you and take you away from whatever you were doing. Jerry cantrell said he would make awesome vocal melodies just like that, and despite his drug addiction he was still able to keep a great voice, some times better than others though. Plus he was a great song writer, he had so much emotion and passion when he sang and you could feel his pain.R.I. P Layne, Andrew, Kurt.
Layne may have been one of the best vocalists for all grunge, hardcore, and metal with great deep lows and unbelievably great highs. Unfortunately his highs are what killed him. If he sobered up and AIC toured the world they may have been one of the best to ever play and AIC would be collectively worth 100 million. I loved his music it topped charts and they even beat out a lot of pop music when they would be in the number one spot on Csrson Daily's top ten videos on MTV. Layne died and I heard some tributes on the radio but he deserved much more than a couple days of tributes. At the time MTV barely reported. Love you Layne!
Well...my two favorite bands of all time are Pearl Jam and AIC, because Eddie Vedder and Layne Staley have/had the ability to tear right through my heart. Trying to be obective about it, I'd still put Layne at number 1. He had the range, the emotion, and did a lot of stuff that other people just wouldn't or couldn't pull off (listen to Dirt ffs, it was crazy what that guy could do with his voice). I'd probably put Chris Cornell in second place based on range, and Vedder in 3rd. Beyond that I don't know--Cobain deserves a spot in the top ten, guy was a genius. But talking about vocals alone, he wasn't in the same realm as Staley, Cornell and Vedder.
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
Easily the best of the genre and frankly it's not even close. I absolutely love Layne and AiC as well, but Cornell is simply better than Staley in every quantifiable way. He could belt notes that Staley couldn't even get near in falsetto, his mid chest voice had more power and he could hold notes for longer. If people prefer Layne because of the music that's one thing, but claiming that Layne was better than Chris in any technical sense is just objectively wrong.
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.
Listen to Slaves and Bulldozers. Seriously, just listen to it and close your eyes. When you hear Cornell sing "NOW I KNOW WHY YOU'VE BEEN SHAKING", you shiver in astonishment at how high and raspy his vocals get. I actually wrote a five-paragraph essay on him at school. He is that good. Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger album is his highlight. In my opinion, he is tied with Layne, but Staley is already Number One, so rock on, Cornell!
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.
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.
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 .
People keep saying Cornell had better range, and Cornell, may he rest in peace, did have an amazing voice. However, Ed's voice is just as amazing, and people don't understand that octaves and note ability make up the whole package. Ed's voice, to me, along with his writing ability and his electrifying stage presence, is incredible. The way the music flowed through him visibly back in the day... there's no comparison. Staley's voice can't be compared to these guys. It was mostly deep, gritty, and yes, powerful, but to me, in a more basic way. That being said, I also love Layne's music. AIC is great. Kurt's voice was quirky and perfect for Nirvana, but technically not as good.
Eddie is...Wel let's put it that way, PJ is the best Grunge band, classic rock band and Eddie made the best solo album I've never heard thanks to his voice, wonderful lyrics, a few guitars and an ukulele: "Into The Wild". We're all in the 30's, 40's now and I there isn't a single PJ album that sounds like another one! They're also the masters of ballads, rock folk, in fact, PJ isn't a "grunge band" anymore but became in a few years one of the best "Rock Band", and even if I still love listening to Nirvana, Foo Fighters and co, I now have the impression I always listen to the same alsbums! This don't mean I don't like them, I still love them but I recognize the 2 bands who did something else than metal-grunge are PJ and AIC! AIC made 2 of the best EP from the 90's: Sap and Jar Of Flies!
Eddie vedder is the best because of his lyrics. But Chris cornell has the best voice. Love layne staley and no one else sounds like him but a lot of people forget that Cantrell wrote Alice in chains songs.
He has a very unique voice, and extra points that now, he is about the only grunge/90s alternative singer left now that Chris Cornell is dead, and he was the only singer of the grunge era not to get hooked on heroin.
Only 5% for one of the best voice of the grunge bands? Even if he never was the lead singer, 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"!
Just listen to Jar of Fly's Nutshell to feel this man's spirit. To harmonize with Layne the way he did was pure magic.
Not even the actual singer of AIC but still an amazing backing vocalist. Him and Layne did some of the best harmonising in music.
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
I mean, Scott Weiland should be switched with Jerry. He had such a powerful grunge voice. Extremely versatile with not only great range but also with the vocal attitude and power that came with the movement. And probably some of the greatest stage presence and charisma to come out of the 90's.
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!
By far the most versatile. 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.
From STP to Velvet Revolver to his solo career this guy has the most diverse range. He can sing soft with smooth balanced vocals, and he can sing loud and rock arenas.
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 combined with ultradistorted and uberoverdubbed guitars is just what makes SP stand out from all the 90s groups. It's like combining the old things (Black Sabbath/Dio/Randy Rhoads/Sonic Youth/The Smiths/Joy Division) along with some 90s neopunk attitude. That's what makes Gish, Siamese Dream, and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness my favorite albums of the 90s.
His voice is one of a kind, very unique.
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?
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.
Guy's got one hell of a voice.
Amazing voice. Such great range and power. Also check out his solo covers.
He's just a one of a kind, I don't really know that this is grunge, though.
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
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.
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
He deserves number uno
16th? Really? He's the best singer
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.
Underrated vocalist and better than most of the vocalist listed here.I would put him in at #5 behind Vedder.And majestic red hair
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.
An amazing song-writer and vocalist. Love his voice!
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.
He's got a very solid grungy voice that I think deserves some attention on this list.
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.
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!
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.
Chad kroeger is better
The best of the best
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.