Top 10 Rock and Metal Singers Whose Voices Aged Well

Voice is the most delicate music instrument. While some famous singers has never actually had great and powerful voices, some others still sounded great even after a certain age.
Aging is a natural process - phisical body ages as well as the voice. Signs of aged and tired voices - vocal range shrinks and usually it's harder to hit high notes, unwanted rasp appears, power of the voice is not the same, and so on.

This list is about singers whose voices were still good and even great after 40, and especially after 50 and 60. This part of the vocal skills is called endurance and is one of aspects used in breakdowns to compare singers' abilities and decide who's a better singer (besides range, power, versatility, etc).

What to take into account here:
1) age - if two singers sounded equally good on two selected songs, the older one wins (if the first one sang the song at 45 and the second one at 49)
2) difficulty of the material they have sung
3) whether the material is potentially harmful to the vocal folds (for example, metal material is the most harmful)
4) how often and for how long the singer has performed live - frequent live shows exhaust the voice more than recording in the studio because you don't record new albums every day.

The Top Ten

1 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 more.

Such a shame he had to pass away at 45 but even when he was dying his voice was incredible proving how great of a vocalist he truly was and probably is the greatest singer ever - christangrant

He died at 45. When he sang 'The Show Must Go On' he was already dying and was barely able to walk but his voice was still there - huge and incredible. - Metal_Treasure

After Elvis died, Freddie Mercury was the 2nd king of rock ‘n’ roll.

THE one and only. The greatest singer of all time.

2 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).

Hands down. He sounded very good at 65 and pretty decent at 70+.
His voice at 48:
Deep Purple - The Battle Rages On, Anya (1993). Moreover, most of the songs on this album were intended for another singer (i.e., not written for Gillan voice but he nailed it).
His voice at 55:
Live albums from 2000-2001 prove it (In Concert with The London Symphony Orchestra, Live at the Rotterdam Ahoy). - Metal_Treasure

3 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 more.

Yes on the song "Metal Will Never Die" which was the last dio song recorded he still sang incredibly - christangrant

At 65, several months before his death of cancer, he still sounded very good even live. - Metal_Treasure

4 Hansi Kürsch 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 more.

In fact id say he gotten better with age :). Just listen to At the Edge of Time and Beyond the Red Mirror albums his voice is so incredible - christangrant

I agree very much with christangrant, at least several aspects of Hansi singing got better. I noticed some unusual things (and other people noticed them, too):
1) after 30 he widened his vocal range (after 1996)
2) after 35 he started singing mostly in his higher register (after 2000)
3) after 35 his voice sounded more agile
4) after 40 his vocal harmonies got better (2006 onwards) - Metal_Treasure

His voice was incredibly fresh at 48, after 30 years of singing difficult metal material with high-pitched gritty vocals and brutal screams - these 2 vocal styles are very harmful but he obviously has a very good vocal technique that saved his voice.
His voice:
At 40, Blind Guardian - Fly, Another Stranger Me
At 44, Blind Guardian - Wheel Of Time
At 48, Blind Guardian - Miracle Machine, The Throne (songs recorded in 2014).
The beginning of Miracle Machine demonstrates everything you need to know about his voice endurance - smooth clean voice that sounds like spring water. - Metal_Treasure

5 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.
6 Bruce Dickinson Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, 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.

Just incredible. I took my wife to her first Maiden show in 2008. She couldn't believe he was that athletic running around on stage and never pitchy once in the show and that's he was 50 at the time. - stmalice

In 2014, at 56, he recorded an album with tongue cancer. He sounded very good for a metal singer at his age and with the serious health problem he had, which was related to the singing ability. - Metal_Treasure

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

He has always sounded great, since the 80s now (he's 50 in 2017). Currently Michael Kiske and Hansi Kürsch sound equally good but I put Hansi higher for 3 reasons:
1) Kiske never sang material that is potentially very harmful while Hansi did
2) Kiske never did gritty vocals and brutal screams while Hansi did them very often
3) Kiske was a very active live performer only for 6-7 years (1987-1993), whereas Hansi has toured non-stop for 30+ years. Kiske wasn't a very active live performer in the 90s because he left Helloween. Again, in the 2000s and 2010s Hansi had more live shows than Kiske. - Metal_Treasure

8 Chris Cornell Christopher John "Chris" Cornell was an American rock musician and singer-songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band Soundgarden and as former lead vocalist and songwriter for the supergroup Audioslave. His vocal range was C2 to A5, while more.

Hands down. At 50 he sounded great even live. His material is less harmful than metal material but still. - Metal_Treasure

9 Joe Lynn Turner Joe Lynn Turner is an American singer, known for his works with hard rock/metal bands Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and Deep Purple.

At 32, Rainbow - Can't Let You Go
at 39, Deep Purple - Fortuneteller, The Cut Runs Deep, Love Conquers All
at 62, Avantasia - The Watchmakers' Dream (2013) - Metal_Treasure

10 Klaus Meine Klaus Meine is a German vocalist, best known as the lead singer of the hard rock band Scorpions. He and guitarist Rudolf Schenker are the only two members of the group to appear on every Scorpions album.

Oh yes definitely he has been singing since 1969 and he still sounds good to this day what a great singer possibly the best singer for Ballads - christangrant

I saw The Scorpions this year and Klaus still has it. - Userguy44

The Contenders

11 Dee Snider Daniel "Dee" Snider is an American singer-songwriter, screenwriter, radio personality, and actor. Snider came to prominence in the early 1980s as lead singer of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister. He was ranked 83 in the Hit Parader's Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time.

I post this so happy people vote for this

12 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 .

His singing material is very safe - it isn't potentially harmful but his voice was very good even after 50 so I had to add him. - Metal_Treasure

13 Tim 'Ripper' Owens Timothy S. "Ripper" Owens is an American heavy metal singer who first gained attention as the lead singer of Judas Priest, and then Iced Earth. He took the nickname "Ripper" from the Judas Priest song "The Ripper" during his time in the tribute band "British Steel". He currently performs with Beyond more.

His voice was still incredible in 2008, at 41:
Yngwie Malmsteen - Be Careful What You Wish For, Death Dealer - Metal_Treasure

14 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. more.

He still had an amazing voice at 41. R.I.P - 3DG20

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

Yes! I just saw them a few days ago, and holy crap, they sounded amazing. Testament's new stuff also sounds a lot better than their old material. Chuck's an icon. - benhos

16 Tina Turner Tina Turner, née Anna Mae Bullock, is a singer, dancer, actress and author, whose career has spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and numerous awards.

Not a typical rocker but she has sung some rock songs so she's eligible. - Metal_Treasure

17 David Coverdale David Coverdale is an English rock singer most famous for his work with Whitesnake, the commercially successful hard rock band he founded in 1978. Before Whitesnake, Coverdale was the lead singer of Deep Purple from late 1973 to 15 March 1976, when he resigned from the band and established his solo more.
18 Ralf Scheepers Ralf Scheepers is the vocalist for German heavy metal band Primal Fear. He has a relatively high-pitched tenor-esque singing voice and sometimes uses a shriek reminiscent of Judas Priest's Rob Halford, although it is his baritone lows which give him a near four-octave range in the modal register.

At 46 (in 2011) he covered a Judas Priest ballad that Rob Halford had sung at 27 and Ralf sounded pretty amazing (Scheepers - Before the Dawn). - Metal_Treasure

19 Jeff Scott Soto Jeff Scott Soto is an American rock singer of Puerto Rican descent. He is most well known for being the lead singer for the group Talisman from 1990 till the end of Talisman in 2007, the vocalist on Yngwie Malmsteen's first two albums, and the lead vocalist for Journey on their 2006–2007 tours after more.

He provided vocals for Yngwie's debut album Rising Force (1984) and 20 years later, in 2003, he sang LIVE Queen's The Show Must Go On. This song is very hard to sing and while his vocals aren't better than Freddie's, his rendition is one of the best Queen covers vocal-wise. And it was live. - Metal_Treasure

20 Tom Araya Tomás Enrique "Tom" Araya Díaz is a Chilean American musician, best known as the bassist and vocalist of the American thrash metal band Slayer.
21 Jon Oliva John Nicholas Oliva, known as Jon Oliva, is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer. Co-founder of the metal band Savatage and the rock opera Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He's got a real 4 octave range, able to morph the sound of his voice to any style, from John Lennon and Freddie Mercury, more.

He was born in 1960 so:
His voice at 41, Savatage - Morphine Child (2001)
His voice at 50, Avantasia - Death Is Just a Feeling (2010) - Metal_Treasure

22 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.

His voice changed a lot, but sounds still great. It wouldn't be very bad to see Metallica live these days. They're still good. - Userguy44

I had ONE opportunity to see them in my city, but it was a Thursday night. BOO! - PhoenixAura81

Haha no - benhos

23 Bonnie Tyler Bonnie Tyler is a Welsh singer. She is known for her distinctive husky voice, resulting from an operation to remove vocal nodules in the mid-1970s.

Her powerful and extremely husky voice hasn't lost anything of its unique sound and she still sounds great live
(She has done pop as well but was rock when she worked with Jim Steinman). - Martin_Canine

24 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.
25 Bobby Blitz Ellsworth Robert Ellsworth, mainly known as Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, is the lead vocalist of New Jersey thrash metal band Overkill.

His voice has sounded pretty much the same since the late 80s - BossDj0

As of 2019 he sounds almost like in the 80s. - Metal_Treasure

26 Blaze Bayley Blaze Bayley is an English singer, musician, songwriter, and lyricist. He was the lead singer of Wolfsbane from 1984 to 1994, and currently from 2010 following reunions in 2007 and 2009. Bayley was also the lead singer for Iron Maiden from 1994 to 1999. Since then, he has embarked on a solo career.

Have you heard Blaze's solo stuff recently? His voice is so mellow, yet so powerful. He could be in a musical if he wanted to.

27 Biff Byford Peter Rodney "Biff" Byford is an English singer, musician, and composer. He is mostly known as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Saxon.

His voice aged incredibly good. Give a listen to any song from the 2018 album Thunderbolt. He still sounds pretty much like in the 70s and 80s. All my respect. - Metal_Treasure

28 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.

When I listened to Anthrax's Discography joeys voice during the albums in the 80s and early 90s wasn't that great however when he came back on Worship Music his voice was incredible in fact say he got better with age - christangrant

29 Suggs
30 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.

He’s 40 and is only improving more! - 3DG20

31 Robert Plant Robert Anthony Plant (born 20 August 1948) is an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin. He's actually an example of the opposite - he lost a lot of his voice too early (by 30-35 years of age). In the 80s his voice was kinda gone. And it's painful to listen to his vocal performance in 1992, at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. He sang Queen's songs Innuendo, and Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
I didn't add him to this list and I wouldn't. - Metal_Treasure

32 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.
BAdd New Item