Top 10 Greatest Singer/Lead Guitarists Ever

Music is magic. The right combination of lyrics, melody, and a killer riff can change the world. But you know what's even more awe-inspiring? A musician who can slay on lead guitar AND belt out incredible vocals at the same time.

These multi-talented musicians deserve all the respect! They've mastered two challenging skills, weaving them together to create those unforgettable anthems you just can't stop listening to.
The Top Ten
1 David Gilmour David Jon Gilmour is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He joined the progressive rock band Pink Floyd as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1968.

David Gilmour is an example of the perfect way to blend a great singer with legendary guitar skill. Is he the greatest singer? No, I think that many, like Phil Collins and Sammy Hagar, are much better singers. But David is still a great singer.

His guitar work is completely unparalleled, however, and he definitely deserves the #1 spot on this list.

The most soulful guitarist ever. He made sure the music in his songs stood by itself before adding words to them. Is he the best singer? No, but he sang predominantly with his guitar. The words and human voice to the songs are an add-on.

2 Mark Knopfler Mark Freuder Knopfler is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer. He is best known for being the frontman of the British band Dire Straits.

Are you kidding me? Listen to:

1. Sultans of Swing
2. Brothers in Arms
3. Private Investigations

And give your comments, please.

Combines a divine voice with playing skills second to none.

Amazing, tasty technician. Clean and melodic.

3 Billie Joe Armstrong Billie Joe Armstrong is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actor who is best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Green Day, which he co-founded with Mike Dirnt. He's also in side-project groups such as The Network, Foxboro HotTubs, Pinhead Gunpowder,... read more

Who has not heard of the song Boulevard of Broken Dreams? And who also doesn't know all the words?

All Jared Leto is getting is a bunch of girls that think he's hot for his looks. In reality, come on, people, he and his band are trash. Guaranteed everyone will forget about them all in a couple of years.

Of course, he's a great singer and guitarist, but he's more of a rhythm guitarist nowadays, with Jason taking lead. He sometimes takes a solo for himself on some of the older songs, though.

A singer who can play guitar and sing with perfection! He deserves #1! He is probably the best singer punk rock has ever seen! HAIL Green Day!

4 Jared Leto Jared Joseph Leto is an American actor, singer-songwriter, and director. He is well known for being the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Jared is a new-gen singer no one can beat. His look and hairstyle are amazing, those eyes. He experiments with various genres and gives a new trend to rock music. Metal is now boring.

Jared is more than just amazing, but I guess if Kurt were still alive and I had the chance to see him live, I would have voted for him.

A true talent! That voice, those eyes! And he plays the guitar like no one else. In concert, he is in complete control.

5 Rik Emmett

This vote seems more like a popularity contest than a true measure of the greatest singer/guitarist. Without a doubt, Rik Emmett was the greatest singer/guitarist.

Want to know why? Watch him and his band, Triumph, in their concert videos and compare them with any other band. Look at those insane guitar riffs, solos, or improvisations.

As for vocals, I dare you to find one singer-guitarist with that range and effortless high singing. Seriously. Watch their Live at US Festival from 1983. All songs sung by Rik Emmett were incredible, let alone his guitar playing.

6 Pete Townshend Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead guitarist and songwriter for the rock band The Who.

Really showed the world how to get excited. The real power chord developer in my book.

Brilliant writer/singer/guitarist. Enough said.

One of the best guitarists and songwriters, and he has a good voice too.

7 Gary Moore Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a singer, songwriter, and virtuoso rock and blues guitarist.

Gary Moore is the complete all-around package, the best singer, songwriter, rock, blues, and electric guitarist there has ever been. Albums Wild Frontier and After the War are his best work. Other great guitarists can play well but can't sing.

For the guitar, everyone knows about Gary Moore. Have you listened to "Murder in the Sky" and "Shapes of Things"? The lead singer is Gary Moore himself! He is a great singer.

Very gifted. A guitar god, so much soul in his performances, incredible voice. He has it all. "Still Got the Blues" is an example of his skills.

8 Peter Lennodo Peter Lennodo is a British musician. He is also a composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known as the vocalist, lead guitarist and main songwriter of the rock band The Arcana.

He definitely has an unusual playing style. It's difficult to know if he's holding a pick or strumming and fingerpicking. Great licks and incredible style, like he's not even aware the guitar is there and it's playing by itself.

This guy comes up with the most fantastic riffs and has an awesome voice.

Amazing talent. Really second to none. Both voice and guitar are very pure.

9 Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter.

Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most... read more

Jimi Hendrix is the reason you have rock and roll. Jimi Hendrix was a legend, a god walking amongst men, and there is nobody in the world that can deny him that praise.

Every single artist on this page, apart from Jimi, has been inspired by Jimi Hendrix. Those throaty vocals, the smooth ravaging guitar style. Stay true to your blues. Vote for Hendrix.

Oh, God! I always try to take this website seriously, but come on! Hendrix placed 88 so far. What the hell went wrong?

The greatest guitarist ever and the most underrated singer should be in the top 5, in my opinion. Top 10, no damn question. Respect Gilmour, Cobain, and Jack White, but this is a joke.

10 Eric Clapton 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.

The only guitarist who can stand on the same level as Hendrix and is a much better singer. He was also a more prolific writer, if for no other reason than he stayed alive long enough to gain the life experience needed to do your best writing.

Also, Eric Clapton is the only person ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with three different acts.

Clapton is a master of blues guitar. He has so much emotion while singing that it could make anyone relate to his songs.

Saying Eric Clapton is not a top 5 singer/guitarist is just ridiculous.

The Contenders
11 Matt Bellamy Matthew James "Matt" Bellamy is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He is most famous for being the main vocalist in alternative rock band "Muse".

No doubt Matt is the best one. Such mastery of playing guitar, plus composing the best guitar riffs ever - from pure metal riffs to heartbreaking mellow ones - plus such presence as a frontman, like a god landing on earth to relieve our poor souls and bring us into a state of pure bliss!

Bellamy was ranked #19 on Gigwise's list of The 50 Greatest Guitarists Ever. Total Guitar readers voted Bellamy #29 on a list of the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time.

Bellamy's riff from "Plug In Baby" was #13 in Total Guitar's poll of the Top 100 Riffs of All Time. Known as one of the sexiest people in rock, Bellamy was named "Guitarist of the Decade" and was proclaimed to be "the Hendrix of his generation."

12 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

Playing complex guitar riffs while singing isn't easy. Most on the list do one task well at a time, while Dave can do both simultaneously with little effort.

He is not really a good singer, but for his music, he is. However, he is by far the most talented guitar player and musician than the eight above him.

Only he can play such riffs while singing, and no one else. Check Holy Wars. It's so hard to sing while you play Holy Wars riffs.

13 Lindsey Buckingham Lindsey Adams Buckingham is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer, best known as lead guitarist and one of the vocalists of the musical group Fleetwood Mac from 1975 to 1987, and then 1997 to the present day.

Some say he's without a doubt the best male singer ever in Fleetwood Mac and possibly the best vocalist in general. Although Stevie Nicks is a great vocalist too, their harmonies together are amazing, and Christine McVie is also a good vocalist who is very underrated. But Lindsey, I don't think, gets enough credit for his vocals at all.

His voice is so powerful. He is 65 now, but he sounds like ten years ago. One guitar is enough for him!

Watch "Go Your Own Way," and anyone would put him at number one.

14 Tommy Shaw Tommy Roland Shaw is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and performer best known for his work with the rock band Styx.

This man is just amazing! He's got a beautiful voice, he's great at the guitar, and even after forming his own solo band, he's still done some amazing music! My favorite Tommy Shaw song is Are You Ready for Me. This guy is just awesome!

Tommy Shaw is the best combination singer, guitarist, and songwriter in rock for the past 40+ years. He has the most amazing voice, writes amazing and memorable songs, and can hold his own on the guitar!

He would be my #1 if he were the only guitarist in his bands. His vocal leads and harmonies are outstanding, and he is very versatile on electric, acoustic, mandolin, etc.

15 Mark Farner

Better than most people think, and he knows how to blend with the song and phrase correctly.

Best voice, still to this day, in classic hard rock style!

Farner has the best voice by a long shot, and he plays the heck out of that guitar!

16 Stevie Ray Vaughan Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In spite of a short-lived mainstream career spanning seven years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of music, and... read more

I'm sorry, but this is disgraceful. Why is Jared Leto on top, and SRV in position #40?

Let me tell you, there is nobody on this list, aside from Jimi Hendrix maybe, who can match SRV in terms of soul, passion, and emotion in their singing and playing. He and Hendrix are truly the two greatest guitarists of all time. They were too good for this world. That's why they're gone. May they both rest in peace.

Sorry, but he's too low on the list. Maybe the best blues guitarist and a really good singer.

My take is he's the best blues lead out there. He has real power.

17 Alexi Laiho Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho (April 8th 1979 - December 29th 2020) was a Finnish guitarist, composer, and vocalist. He is best known as the lead guitarist, lead vocalist, and founding member of the melodic death metal band Children of Bodom. He was also the guitarist for Sinergy, The Local Band, and Kylähullut... read more

His riffs are deadly and his vocals are brutal. Why the hell is he not #1!

18 Kai Hansen Kai Michael Hansen is a heavy metal guitarist and vocalist. Hansen is the founder, lead guitarist, and vocalist of power metal band Gamma Ray. He is also the co-founder and former member of German metal band Helloween.

Of course! High-pitched tone of singing with great guitar solo. He is great!

The best lead singer/guitarist. No doubt about it.

19 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.

James might be the best heavy riff meister ever, having come up with the muted crunch, and all others followed: Megadeth, Pantera. The singing, however, is not great.

Anyway, Kirk Hammett is Metallica. Without Kirk's solos, Metallica would still be in the garage.

The new Metallica stuff is amazing, better than a lot of these overrated European bands. Metallica over Megadeth any day. And no more Slayer, thank God. The same whammy bar, Kerry King, like Hendrix diarrhea.

Gotta be Hetfield! Ever see this guy perform live? He stomps his foot in 4/4, chugs his guitar at 240 bpm, and spits out the lyrics against the rhythm. And then the riff speeds up, the time measure changes, and he's right in the pocket! Amazing!

Jared Leto and Bellamy don't have half the talent or staying power of this monster. Thirty years and still going strong.

20 Lowell George

Too bad he died so long ago. He could have been the greatest slide guitarist ever. He also had a strong voice at the low and high ends.

He's got a lot more great songs than just Dixie Chicken!

21 Prince Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21st, 2016) was an American musician, best known for being one of the most popular and influential artists from the 80s, with songs such as "Purple Rain", "Little Red Corvette", "1999", and "When Doves Cry" .

Prince was a bad man! He played amazingly, sang amazingly, and he wrote some of the greatest songs of the 80s and 90s.

"Say what?" Even Prince doesn't get why he is ranked #20. He should be top 3.

Guitar, weep, Prince live. Enough said!

22 Kurt Cobain 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

I don't think anyone could move like he did while playing those solos. Regardless if they were off-key, he still made them work. The same with singing. It was real. It was raw.

Put him at No. 1, man! This guy is responsible for a revolution because of which the very existence of 30 Seconds to Mars and Muse is possible. Kurt was the best!

Kurt Cobain 11th?! Is this a joke? A guy who sings for the band "30 Seconds to Mars" got number 1. This list BLOWS. Where's Jimi Hendrix? Paul McCartney?

23 George Harrison George Harrison (1943 - 2001) was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.
24 Steve Miller Steven Haworth Miller is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, known as leader of the Steve Miller Band.

This guy is simply amazing. He's got a great voice, and he plays some very nice melodies. So many great songs. I love him and his music. He is a fantastic musician.

25 John Fogerty

Based on talent, he should be number two after Eric Clapton. Unfortunately, most voters here are younger and have not been exposed to musicians who are truly talented. This list is just another disappointing example of the musical tastes of some individuals today.

Best ever, hands down. Some may equal him on guitar or maybe songwriting, but NOBODY can match that awesome voice!

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