Top 10 Greatest Heavy Metal and Hard Rock Singers

Please, if you're going to add to or vote on this list, try to know what you're talking about.
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

One of the most skilled and consistent singers, his vocal range is amazing. He basically invented the light opera singing style in heavy metal and is still unmatched. If you want to understand his greatness, you need to listen to some examples of his skill: The Thin Line Between Love and Hate (amazing vibrato), Chemical Wedding (overall amazing vocal performance), Darkest Hour (shows that he is still very great in what he is doing), Hallowed Be Thy Name (no explanation necessary), and of course, Big Brother (the scream is unbelievable).

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

He's always been number 2 on my list of the 5 best singers ever, right after Robert Plant, but I must admit I love them both. Recently, my parents have been doing a little redecoration of the house and called me to take my old cassettes because they knew how dear they used to be to me. Now, I can listen to "Heaven and Hell" or "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow" in my car, which makes me pretty excited, although it makes my husband a bit nervous. Dio is one of a kind with his powerful voice.

His treatment and his funeral made me truly sad, but I liked the joke about Dio and the devil who wanted to seat him at his right hand. Dio replied, "Satan, get the f*** out of my throne." That one cheered me up after his death. DIO STILL RULES!

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.

Rob Halford has the same vocal range in the studio and on stage, whereas there are two Bruce Dickinsons: one in the studio who sings the highest notes in one-shot performances and the Bruce on stage who sings most of the time the highest notes lower in order to spare his voice or just because he can't. This was even true in live shows in 1982, but he is still a great singer. So, to me, it's 1-Rob Halford, 2-Ronnie James Dio, and 3-Bruce Dickinson.

Judas Priest is the bedrock of Heavy Metal, and Halford is the Metal God. NO ONE can say he doesn't have the Firepower to do his job. He uses his unique wide-ranging voice to the best of his ability. Even at his advanced age, his pipes are still impressive. My personal favorite, but ALL the contenders have their merits.

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.

Not even close to the best singers! But like many best-of lists, if greatest means a vocalist that is best for his band and the type of music they play, he's there! His voice is no less than PERFECT for this band! I even think that his vocals actually shape a lot of their music. Also, just like all-star lists in sports, if you do what you do for one of the BEST teams (or bands in this case), it adds extra qualifiers to the considerations!

I grew up on metal thanks to my older brother, and we would listen to Metallica, Sabbath, Maiden, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax. Then came some great nu metal bands such as Korn, Slipknot, Disturbed, Godsmack, Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Machine Head. So personally, I vote for James (YEAH) because Metallica is my favorite band of all time. But my point is, just look at all these killer metal bands, and I think we can agree that they are all amazing frontmen.

5 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

Wow, this list is a disgrace. Freddie Mercury, the legend, at number 11! He should be number one, no doubt. You cannot tell me that Chester and Shadows are better. The list should be:

1. Mercury
2. Plant
3. Dio
4. Ozzy (I like Ozzy more, but Dio had a better voice)
5. Rose
6. Hetfield
7. Johnson
8. Bon Scott
9. Halford
10. Hagar
At least, in my opinion.

Queen has hard rock songs too: Hammer to Fall, I Want It All, Stone Cold Crazy, Tie Your Mother Down... and Freddie was great in any genre.

Freddie Mercury is the best voice of all time. I think he should be removed from this list because his voice was incomparable.

6 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.

Are you joking?! Robert Plant is the father of ROCK SINGING! All the rock vocalists have been influenced by the style of Plant's singing. And the most important thing is, he did sing hard, but there was a mixture of 'heart and lungs'... Robert Plant clearly sang to the top of his SOUL, not his lungs... Plant planted ROCK in his soul... That's why he is so soulful even after being the lead vocalist of the GREATEST ROCK band ever. So! It's just pure injustice! Robert Plant CANNOT be at no. 4! NEVER! HE MUST TOP THIS CHART!

Robert Plant is unbeatable. He has an amazing range, a great variety of styles, and was the father of hard rock singing, the first real top-of-your-soul screecher. But he could also sing with emotion. His dynamic vocal interplay with the rest of the band's instruments has never been beaten, live or in the studio.

7 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

Come on, I love Ozzy Osbourne, and he is just the best. I mean, I'm not just saying this because my name is Ozzy, but come on, you've got to give him credit. No one is better than him. You've got to hear him play "War Pigs," "Iron Man," "Paranoid," and "Fairies Wear Boots." He rocks! How could you say the best heavy metal singer is the 9th best in the world? I mean, come on, he's better than Bruce Dickinson, by the way. You've got to hear Ozzy sing. He's way better than that Bruce Dickinson. Ozzy and all the Black Sabbath fans better know that he is the most awesome, coolest, and legendary singer ever. He rocks the place's balls off!

8 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.

Stupid list, all of you, check up your head, there are totally problems. Who is here? It's Axl Rose! Bad boy from the '80s, who is the lead singer of the greatest band in the world. No one can sing like him ever. He was the only person who had amazing voices and was a talented star in the world. Bet you what you know about him, kick Bruce Dickinson out of the top 1. If you know what you vote for, think twice, there are two aspects you should think about:

1. What is the ability or something special about the singer?
2. What kind of singer are you voting for? (Heavy metal!)

That's how you rock on the stage, kids. Hit the lights and blow the fans away.

Perhaps put Robert Plant higher on this list. Do not be a brainless guy now, man.

9 Matt 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.

A7X is good, but I highly doubt any of their members are top ten in their field, not even top 20. But Shadows truly deserves to be on this list, thanks to his awesome vocal. He can sing and scream equally great. A future face of the hard rock/metal world.

The best vocalist of all time! M. Shadows has a great voice range, and he is the best. Even in the early metalcore times, his screaming was so great, but now he is even better. Can't wait for the new Avenged Sevenfold album. M. Shadows and A7X foREVer!

What the hell? Matt Shadows is at number 9? He should be in the top three! He is the best vocalist of this time. How can he be in this position? I totally disagree with this list. Haven't you guys heard the songs of A7X?

10 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 Taylor, in my opinion, is one of the greatest male vocalists of all time. He has an insane vocal range, many vocal styles, and can sing anything. On top of that, he's an amazing person in general. He's intelligent, witty, humble, down to earth, passionate, well-spoken, caring, extremely funny, and incredibly handsome (the last one is subjective, but the rest are right on). Seeing him on this list among legends like James Hetfield, Ozzy Osbourne, Freddie Mercury, Ronnie James Dio, Robert Plant, Rob Halford, Axl Rose, Brian Johnson, Ian Gillan, Steven Tyler, and Chris Cornell makes me really, really happy.

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

What? Corey is higher than Chester? Chester is better! Chester has the ability to scream, sing, and growl in different kinds of tunes. No one could ever beat his legendary 18 seconds of scream! No one, I said, NO ONE, could ever beat him! Chester deserves to be the Top 1 of the list. Linkin Park is the best! Case closed.

Everyone switches to a death growl when going to high pitch, but Chester can hold his melodic voice instead of switching to a death growl. But his death growls, grunts, are also smoother than other singers. So technically, he's the best. Those of you who think Dickinson is best, you're wrong...

12 Bon Scott Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott was a Scottish-born Australian rock musician, best known for being the lead singer and lyricist of Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980. He was born in Forfar and lived in Kirriemuir, Scotland, for 5 years before moving to Melbourne, Australia,... read more

If it weren't for Ronald Belford Scott, you would've never heard of Brian Johnson or even AC/DC as a whole. One of the best songwriters ever. One of the best showmen ever. It almost seems that everyone who has cast a vote on this list is still driving around with Back in Black stuck in their tape deck. No, no, wait a minute, I don't have time to explain that one. So, go ask your mother what a tape deck is.

Bon Scott was the incarnation of Rock'n Roll. His wild voice still sounds as rough as an animal's scream. He lived like a true rockin' man. His personality and charisma will never be forgotten. He died as he lived, savage and fast. God bless you, Bon.

13 Brian Johnson Brian Johnson is an English singer and songwriter. Since 1980, he is the lead singer of the Australian rock band AC/DC, with whom he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. As of April 2016, Johnson is not participating in the remainder of the Rock or Bust World Tour due to hearing... read more

Brian Johnson should be #1. He has helped take AC/DC, a really good group, into one of the top 5 bands in history. He sacrifices his voice for his band and all of the fans who love this band. His vocals on Hells Bells and For Those About To Rock are untouchable. Best Hard Rock Vocalist of all time, Brian Johnson!

My top 10:
1. Brian Johnson. 2. Axl Rose. 3. Tom Keifer (Cinderella). 4. Robert Plant. 5. Bruce Dickinson. 6. Rob Halford. 7. Rik Emmet? (Triumph singer). 8. Roger Daltrey. 9. Ronnie James Dio. 10. Bon Scott

"For Those About To Rock". Need I say more? That song alone is light years beyond anybody's vocal ability, even Brian Johnson's. (In all seriousness, the best gritty, hard rock vocalist of all time).

14 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

This guy's all about opinion. Personally, I think he's got the best range and repertoire of all the modern metal singers, but I don't think enough people like him enough to consider him to be one of the top ten metal vocalists. I'd like him to be higher, but it probably won't happen.

His range is much wider than almost all the others on this list. He can go faster than most rappers, with a vocabulary that you just don't see many people practice. In my opinion, he would have to be much higher. I guess he isn't because many don't know him.

15 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.

I haven't missed a tour in 16 years. Great range like most vocalists on here. What really makes Anselmo unique is he has multiple successful bands. Unlike most singers, his other bands all sound different. Different styles of music AND different styles of vocals. See Cowboys from Hell, Stone the Crow, F*** Your Enemy.

Listen to Cemetery Gates people, this guy's range is unbelievable. From the high notes he can hold to the heaviness he can deliver on the mic, his great lyrical work, this guy should no doubt be in the top 5.

16 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).

I truly believe his best vocal performance is an aria from Jesus Christ Superstar: "Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)". It's available on YouTube, and it's mind-blowing. Just make sure it's his version because this song has many covers. But Gillan was the original performer of this epic piece. He was the original Jesus Christ. Gillan is the most underrated rock/metal singer of all time.

In his prime, Gillan had a bona fide 3-octave voice - nobody before, or since, could have ever replicated his incredible 3-tiered screams on Child in Time. For those who have not experienced that awesome performance from DP's In Rock album (also live on Made in Japan), check it out. I guarantee it will blow you away. Cheers.

17 Layne Staley Layne Thomas Staley was an American musician who served as the lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s... read more

#30 is very high for this extremely talented singer. His ability to make you feel, not just hear, the music was amazing. I can only imagine the music he would have created if he was still with us. Thankfully, we still have a piece of him to remind us how great he truly was. RIP Layne Thomas... We will always remember you.

The man. The genius. He could fit right in every type of composition, such a wide range he possessed. From blues, hard rock/heavy metal, sludgy doom metal to country-laden acoustic tunes, he could pull all off with ease.

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

Definitely the most underrated vocalist on this list. He has the perfect voice for metal. Unlike most on this list, he actually sings instead of screams. I mean, I'm all for screaming (I love all types of rock and metal. Now calm down, old school metal fans who can't accept change). David can do more than that. He can still sound badass while singing, just like Dio did. He deserves to be at least top 5.

What the hell is happening in here? I can't believe it, man. David Draiman at number 20? Why? He should be in the top 5 (at least). Do some voting... for the Voice of Metal. His voice range is unbelievable. Listen to Asylum, The Animal, Sons of Plunder, Darkness, The Night... Water boils when he's singing!

19 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... read more

Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, and Freddie Mercury should all be in the top ten. Kick out Chester Bennington, M Shadows, and Corey Taylor. If we're going to talk about pure vocal power and awesomeness, then you have to go with Chris. Four octave range, screams, clean tones, and the ability to sing tons of different types of music, ranging from metal to moody rock (Like a Stone) are what makes him so great. In addition, he does this all while playing guitar. Myles Kennedy shares the same attributes and he's one of my favorites as well. Both of them should be in the top ten.

20 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... read more

I can't believe Hetfield, Mustaine, and Ozzy are above this phenomenal singer! People are just voting for the singer of their favorite band, not the best singer. The only person on this list that can compare to Hansi is Rob Halford.

What! This incredible voice at 44? God of Power Metal?

21 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

The fact that Dave Mustaine wanted Diamond Head's lead singer to be Megadeth's frontman is completely nuts. He is the third-best singer of all time, just after Robert Plant and John Lennon.

At first, I didn't like him. But he's the perfect singer for Megadeth. Even Cornell couldn't replace him in Megadeth.

Just listen to his growls on Holy Wars... The Punishment Due or on Mechanix.

22 Geddy Lee Gary 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.

His voice in the 70s is as good as it gets. That is the perfect voice for metal, in my opinion, even if Rush wasn't a metal band.

This guy is SIXTY and still going strong with his voice.

Rush is the greatest rock band of all time.

23 Steven Tyler Steven Tyler is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and former television music competition judge, best known as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, and occasional piano and percussion.

I'm a 70's person. The albums Aerosmith made in that period, culminating in the Live Bootleg double album, show Steven Tyler at his best. Top songs: Back in the Saddle, Draw the Line, and Dream On.

Are you kidding me? Top five, at least.

24 Randy Blythe David Randall "Randy" Blythe is the vocalist and lyricist of American heavy metal band Lamb of God and side-project band Halo of Locusts.

Randy Blythe is the best, and I mean the best. He should be number 1. Listen to "Blood of the Scribe" and "In Your Words," and vote again. Long live the prince of heavy metal!

Randy Blythe has the best metal vocals for sure. Just listen to his voice. It's proper hardcore! And I don't know, but why is he under Kurt?

Simply the best growler in the world! Deserves to be in the top 10! Without Lamb of God, it's nothing! His singing in Walk With Me in Hell, to the scream of failure in Laid to Rest, to Long For, in Now You've Got Something to Die For. Everything is just totally awesome!

25 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.

Why the heck is Jonathan Davis of KoRn at 22 now?! Huh! I don't get it. KoRn is like one of the most successful Nu-metal bands next to Limp Bizkit and Slipknot! But the thing is... KoRn invented Nu-Metal. :) I love KoRn and their music and effort. Head is back. David is not, but I don't really care because I understand some KoRn fans say, "David had more funky beats in his drums," which is pretty true, but let's give Ray some credit, respect, and love. There is nothing wrong with Ray Luzier, who's been in KoRn since 2007!

Not only that, but Jonathan said in an interview that he had a "normal hell childhood"... "Normal childhood?" No. His childhood and teen years weren't normal at all. He got treated badly by his dad, step-mom, cheerleaders, classmates, teachers, and the principal in high school. And I also heard he got molested before high school or something like that. Yes. All of this came out of a teen KoRn fan, and I've been listening to KoRn like crazy since I was a (stupid myself) 12-year-old. Going to be 16 sometime. Call me potty mouth because of my foul language, but Jonathan Davis needs to be somewhere on a better number than motherfudging 22. Just really saying this out loud on TheTopTens. I mean it though.

8Load More
PSearch List