Top Ten Most Overrated Rock Musicians

The Top Ten

1 Kurt Cobain 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 Totally agree here he's called the greatest guitarist and singer ever when he is neither and terrible at doing both. - christangrant

So well deserved considering what ge said about bon jovi, lol. Even if some people don't like their music, Jon is naturally a great singer unlike Cobain. Kurt just moans on his tracks, but may he rest in peace. I will say Smells like teen spirit is a good record. - MC1989

Much overrated as any other singer.

Indeed he is overrated.He doesn't have that much talent as people make it.

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2 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and artist who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.

Agree, overrated only as a singer. His songwriting skills are something different. However, he is overrated even on the Rolling Stone Magazine's "100 Greatest Singers" - he is at #7, whereas Freddie Mercury is #18. Come on, this shows who's overrated and who's underrated. - Metal_Treasure

So should the list time be "overrated by Rolling Stone Magazine"? I think people on this site overrate the word "overrated" - just because a small sampling of opinions rate someone "too high" doesn't make that someone generally overrated. - Billyv

He is pure garbage. Again, proof that people in the 60's were on drugs, if they thought he had any talent. He must have paid Rolling Stone magazine some money or had blackmail on someone there for them to even list him in the top 1 million.

He is a quite good songwriter, but a terrible singer!

Terrible, terrible, terrible.

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3 Jimmy Page Jimmy Page James Patrick Page is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

Nope. Deserves all the credit he gets, no matter how much.

4 Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Elvis Presley was an American musician and actor. Known as "The King" He was mostly known for his number 1 singles including "Heartbreak Hotel" "Hound Dog" "Jailhouse Rock" "Love me Tender" Elvis debuted in the movie "Love me Tender" and focused less on his music and continued that way. ...read more.

Overrated? He is the one that did give Rock and Roll an image. He invented while at SUN records a new style ( Rockabilly, which didn't exist before him and which can be concidered as the primitive form of Rock and Roll ). And don't tell me that he is overrated for his voice. This singer could sing everything ( Rock, Gospel, Ballads, Blues... ) and when you are listening to old rockabilly songs of the fifties it is obvious that almost rockabilly singer was trying to copy his style of singing. The statement of his " overrating " lays maybe in his later work ( mainly the 70's and his 70's shows ) but this had more to do with his tragic lifestory ( people around him and people of the music business who were taking the decisions, his manager etc... ) but certainly not overrated for his talent. He is the King and he is still and will remain this for eternity. LONG LIVE THE KING OF ROCK!

80.000 people visited Graceland for the vigil of his 40th ( 1977-2017 ) years since he died and you're saying that he is overrated. Of which other singer could you say that the social cultural impact he had on this world is more important than him? Chuck Berry? Don't make me laugh, as much as I love Chuck Berry he would never had a white audience ( and for that matter influence ) if Elvis hadn't existed. And please, try to listen more of his work ( especcially the period 1954 -1958 ) because saying that Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock are his only Rock and Roll records is ridiculous. 80% of his songs in that period are Rock and Roll. Don't listen just to his hits! The King of Rock and Roll can never been overrated. Without him this list would not even exist!

He just stole from black people so otters wanted to listen to rock and roll music. It was racist back then. He couldn't even write his own songs. - 445956

They were all over-rated and Presley is the best example.

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5 Billie Joe Armstrong 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.

Absolutely nothing special. An OK singer and guitarist (at best). - Metal_Treasure

He is overrated,but not more than Kurt Cobain - zxm

He has pretty good guitar skills,but only in punk rock,he didn't even play solos.and his voice is pretty much harsh.so how come he is rated top on best guitarist and vocalist lists - zxm

6 Slash Slash Saul Hudson, known professionally as Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He is little bit of overrated - zxm

He sucks

7 Ozzy Osbourne 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.

I don't know about the entire rock genre but he's definitely the most overrated metal musician - he isn't a very talented singer and he didn't invent metal music as many believe. Ozzy doesn't play any instrument and he can't even read notes. He's wrongly credited for many things achieved by other people. - Metal_Treasure

@zxm - of course Gillan is a way better singer not only because Gillan has a 4 octave vocal range but also because Gillan voice is more powerful and his vocal skills + technique are 100x better. Ozzy and Gillan even play in different leagues so to say. And Gillan was very influential towards establishing the metal singing style whereas Ozzy wasn't - for reasons you can imagine. - Metal_Treasure

I heard his octave is only 2.so how come he is the one of the best metal singers.Ian Gillan is way much better than him - zxm

Maybe he should've stick with the black magic.and his little mousy friend. - zxm

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8 David Bowie David Bowie David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer born in London on January 8, 1947, and was the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He died in New York on January 10, 2016 at the age of 69, a hero to millions. ...read more.

They call him the kamelion whilst he only changed his clotes but he kept singing the same songs about spacemen. - phr

9 Paul McCartney Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer . With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential groups in the history of pop and rock music .

Very overrated. Nothing really special about him.

Most successful musician of all time, including writing, performing, and producing.

10 Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 5th September 1946 - 24th November 1991) was a Zanzibari-born British singer of Indian descent, songwriter and record producer, known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the British rock band Queen. He also became known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave ...read more.

Definitely overrated. Rolling Stone magazine had him rated as the #16 rock singer, which is about right. Strictly a middleweight in his own era, when Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and even Elton John were much more popular.

As for an "operatic style", Roy Orbison also had one, and his voice was much better than Freddie's too. Orbison did not have a brilliant guitarist like Brain May making him look better than he was, and did not die tragically of HIV complications, which gained Freddie major sympathy.

No, Freddie Mercury isn't overrated in the slightest. On the contrary, there are signs he is actually underrated. For example, on the Rolling Stone Magazine's "100 Greatest Singers" he is at #18, lower than Bob Dylan (! ) at #7, Mick Jagger at #16 (?!? ), and some other people that definitely aren't better singers. Freddie was also underrated in the 70s-80s because his operatic singing style was different from the mainstream style. His singing material was more difficult than the average. - Metal_Treasure

Roger Taylor has good vocals, he plays drums and guitar. Bass and keyboards too. But doesn't even get 1/4th credit like Freddie Mercury. - zxm

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The Contenders

11 Mick Jagger Mick Jagger Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger is an English singer, songwriter, and actor, best known as the lead vocalist and a co-founder of the Rolling Stones.

Anyone who thinks Freddie Mercury was a greater or more important rock singer than Mick Jagger is delusional.

Oh come on, Mick Jagger's voice isn't even good...
I'm not a huge fan of Freddie either, but he's at least not out of tune most of the time as Metal_Treasure said

I agree with zxm - there were many good and even better singers. OK, I have nothing against Mick Jagger but he's kinda overrated as a singer, even on the Rolling Stone Magazine's "100 Greatest Singers". He is at #16 and Freddie Mercury at #18. You don't have to be an expert to understand that Freddie voice is way bigger and powerful, Freddie range is wider and overall, Freddie vocal skills - significantly better. - Metal_Treasure

There were a lot of good singers at that time - zxm

He looks Ugly,Ugly Ugly Ugly

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12 Marilyn Manson Marilyn Manson Brian Hugh Warner, better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, is an American musician, songwriter, actor, painter, multimedia artist, author, and former music journalist.
13 Chester Bennington 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. 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.
14 M. Shadows 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.
15 John Lennon John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE was an English singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He was assassinated by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980 at age 40.
16 Lars Ulrich Lars Ulrich Lars Ulrich is a Danish drummer and one of the founding members of the American thrash metal band Metallica.

Lars is the most untalented drummer of all time. The ONLY reason why he gets the praise he does is because he's the drummer in Metallica a.k.a. the most recognisable metal group on the planet. If he was in an obscure group he would be completely frowned upon.

He is a knob.

Overrated.there are a lot of good drummers - zxm

17 Jimi Hendrix 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 celebrated ...read more.
18 Axl Rose Axl Rose William Bruce Rose Jr., better known as 'Axl Rose', is an American singer born on February 6, 1962, in Lafayette, Indiana. He Is the founder and lead singer of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. He is a celebrated but controversial figure in the world of rock.
19 James Hetfield 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.
20 Lou Reed Lou Reed Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was the guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, and his solo career spanned five decades. ...read more.
21 Corey Taylor 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.

I don't think there was ever a time I went to Loudwire where his name wasnt mentioned - bigmike137

22 Jimmy The Rev Sullivan Jimmy The Rev Sullivan James Owen Sullivan (February 9th, 1981 - December 28th 2009), better known by his stage name "The Rev" (Short for "The Reverend Tholomew Plague") was an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the former drummer, backing vocalist and co-founder of the American alternative metal/ metalcore ...read more.
23 James LaBrie 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.

Overrated? He's more underrated.

He's both underrated and overrated. He's underrated compared to singers outside metal but he is getting overrated compared to singers within metal. Currently he is at #17 on the list "Top Metal Singers" but singers with way better vocal skills are way lower than him: Michael Kiske (32), Hansi Kürsch (29), Russell Allen (81), Tobias Sammet (49), Roy Khan (46), Mikael Åkerfeldt (28), to name a few. - Metal_Treasure

24 Jon Bon Jovi Jon Bon Jovi John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., known as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor, best known as the founder and frontman of rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983. He is famous for his band's hit song “Livin’ On A Prayer“ released in 1986. He ...read more.
25 Ringo Starr Ringo Starr Richard Starkey known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles.

Metal_Treasure sorry, but this time I don't agree with you. He is the most underrated member of the Beatles, and after the Beatles disbanded, Ringo were unpopular... absolutely not overrated!

@somekindofaguy: I will explain why I decided he is overrated, at least on the Top 10 lists. He's usually in the top 10-20 best rock drummers (different versions of drummers lists) but many drummers that are better than him are significantly lower. I guess this is due to the effect of popularity - because the band is very popular people just vote for him. I have nothing against him but he is usually higher than more deserving drummers and this speaks "overrated". - Metal_Treasure

Yeah, in this way you're right, but as a musician not that overrated...

Ringo haters are so misguided.
His singular job was to keep proper time to the phenomenal Lennon/McCartney [and later Harrison] compositions, the greatest pop/rock songbook in history.
Any of the so-called "better" drummers of the era, whether Moon, Bonham, Baker, or whoever, would have tried to make it about themselves, the exact opposite of what was required.

26 Amy Lee Amy Lee Amy Lynn Hartzler, known professionally as Amy Lee, is an American singer-songwriter, classically trained pianist and composer. She is also the lead singer to the Arkansas band Evanescence.

crap - Ananya

27 Jonathan Davis Jonathan Davis Jonathan Howsmon Davis, also known as JD and JDevil, is an American musician best known as the leading vocalist and frontman of the nu metal band Korn.
28 Dave Mustaine 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.
29 Geddy Lee Geddy Lee Geddy Lee Weinrib, known professionally as Geddy Lee, is a Canadian musician, singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush.

No I don't think he is overrated. - zxm

30 Fred Durst Fred Durst William Frederick "Fred" Durst is an American musician and film director. Durst is best known as the vocalist of the nu metal band Limp Bizkit, formed in 1994, with whom he has released six studio albums.
31 David Draiman David Draiman David Michael Draiman is an American songwriter and the vocalist for the band Disturbed as well as for the band Device.
32 Rob Halford 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.

I wouldn't consider him as a overrated singer.He doesn't even come on best singer's list on top 20 - zxm

No, he's UNDERrated. - Metal_Treasure

33 Jared Leto 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.

Overrated as a musician not as actor - zxm

34 Troy Sanders Troy Sanders Troy Jayson Sanders is an American musician, singer, and songwriter best known as a member of the Atlanta, Georgia metal band Mastodon, in which he plays bass and shares lead vocal duties with guitarist Brent Hinds and drummer Brann Dailor.
35 Brann Dailor Brann Dailor Brann Timothy Dailor is an American drummer/singer best known as a member of the Atlanta, Georgia metal band Mastodon, in which he is the drummer, backing vocalist, lead vocalist and primary lyricist.
36 Patrick Stump Patrick Stump Patrick Martin Stumph, known professionally as Patrick Vaughn Stump, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor and music critic, best known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, pianist and composer of Fall Out Boy, an American rock band from Wilmette, Illinois.
37 Zack de la Rocha Zack de la Rocha Zacharias Manuel "Zack" de la Rocha (born January 12, 1970) is an American musician, poet, rapper, and activist best known as the vocalist and lyricist of rap metal band Rage Against the Machine from 1991–2000, and after the band's reunion in 2007 until their last show in 2011. He left Rage Against ...read more.
38 Chuck Berry Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. He died on 18 March 2017.
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List Stats

100 votes
38 listings
2 years, 89 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Kurt Cobain
2. Ozzy Osbourne
3. Lars Ulrich
zxm
1. Jimmy Page
2. Kurt Cobain
3. Ozzy Osbourne
Metal_Treasure
1. Kurt Cobain
2. Jimmy Page
3. Marilyn Manson
christangrant

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