great vocalists

Great vocalists from yesterday and today [infographic]

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Compare the vocal ranges of some of the great vocalists from yesterday and today in this awesome infographic.

Ok, when it comes to all-time great vocalists, the list of notables who are not on this list is every bit as long as the list itself. I’ll throw out two of my all-time favorite rock singers – Ann Wilson and Robin Zander – and that alone makes this list kind of a joke. BUT, how cool is this infographic? From being able to sort by vocal range and high or low note, the graphic with the keyboard and the chart layout is impressive stuff. From the same folks who brought us the “100 Years of Rock” infographic, here’s another interactive gem that’s worth a few minutes of your time.

And go ahead, throw out the two notables you love that aren’t here. Maybe we’ll make a “Great Vocalists” mach 2 from all the missing persons. For now, we’ll stick with this list from

Click on the image to see the infographic in its full interactive glory.

great vocalists infographic

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44 thoughts on “Great vocalists from yesterday and today [infographic]

  1. No Rob Halford? He has one of the widest ranges in metal. No Ozzy Osbourne or Ronnie James Dio either? Stupid list!

  2. The greatest vocalist for me is the incomparable Lady Day, Miss Billie Holiday. Others up at the very top of my list would be Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald. And I’m shocked there is no Roberta Flack or Carole King on here as well. Another great voice is Sade. I guess it’s all a matter of opinion. If we all liked the same thing, it would make the world a very boring place.

  3. So, range isn’t the best indicator of quality. Look where Otis Redding and Joni Mitchell are. Then look where the not-all-that-good Axel Rose finished up. Just proves that there is no quatifiable way to express quality – that is probably how art is defined….

    Eminem does not sing. Beyonce can’t sing without auto tune, nor Rihanna for that matter. Taylor Swift, one of the most popular “artists” of today has only a 2 octave range? What the hell is wrong with kids these days?

  5. Where’s Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, Mel Torme, Nat Cole, Sarah Vaughn, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett, etc. Huh?

  6. George Harrison? Carl Wilson? Al Jardine? Mike Love? Alan Clarke (the Hollies?) Graham Nash? Neil Young? Cat Stevens? James Taylor? Art Garfunkel? Paul Simon? Joni Mitchell? Cass Elliot? Jack Bruce? So many high-end classic vocalists overlooked here!

  7. I’m not sure why this list is called great vocalists, these are all talented singers in their own genre but vocalists not really (except very few). Vocalist implies technical expertise, clarity and range. As far as I’m concerned leaving Ann Wilson off makes this list useless.

  8. Justin Timberlake has a wider range than Roy Orbison?? bullshit. Chris Cornell would have been at the top, had anyone thought to include him. (Eminem and no Cornell?! HA!)

  9. You missed the late great Steve Lee from GOTTHARD and (Miljenko) Michael Matijevic from STEELHEART. They are two of the greatest singer ever. Steve Lee’s songs are “Anytime Anywhere” “Sister Moon” “Lift U Up” “Top Of The World” “Let it Rain” “Heaven” “Let it be” and “One Life, One Soul” some of these are on Gotthard (live in Switzerland) or Gotthard (Garage Live 2005). Some of Michael’s songs are “I’ll never let you go” “She’s Gone (Lady)” “All Your Love” “Electic Love Child” or the song that maybe describes Mr. Matijevic best, “Loaded Mutha” in short what a voice!!!! Check out any Gotthard or SteelHeart song you won’t be sorry. If you have not heard either of these great artist, it would serve you well to check both of them out. To not have either of them on this list is a sin. Also the “Ladies” that are blessed with great voices; Ann Wilson, Grechen Wilson, Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, listen to “Apocalyptic” or “Amen” and Carrie Underwood are all great singers. There are others but I’m sure you would never notice them if this is the list you came up with…. what a shame. Heart and Soul – Rock ‘n’ Roll. The artist here bleed passion in their vocals and they can do it live. Which is hard to find on your list with some of the artist. Thank you for the chance to speak my mind…. Blessings to all.

  10. The list of the worlds greatest Singers? Compared to what? The many great jazz vocalists are conspicuously absent from this list, as are opera singers like Luciano Pavarotti.

  11. This list is trippin’ – Justin Timberlake, Eminem, and Justin Bieber?!!! They’re kidding right? At least they got Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin in there.

    ANYONE who attempts to create a “greatest singers” list and doesn’t include the amazing Rachelle Ferrell, Yolanda Adams, Mel Torme, Robert Plant, Frankie Lyman, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Harry Nilsson, or even Jonah Nilsson from Dirty Loops (shall I go on) is living deep in the Matrix.

    I agree with one of the reader above – waste of time!

  12. Looking better to the list, there is a mistake.

    If you classify Axl Rose as F1 (lowest in “there was a time”) then PaulMcCartney should be classified as B0 in “Nothing too much, just out of sight”, not B1.
    Or you have to write F2 to Axl Rose.

  13. Paul McCartney actually reaches A0 in “The girl is mine” with Michael Jackson (in the final part).
    So he’s the lower voice of the list.

  14. Cool list, except as usual, so very dominated by white males – surprise:) No wonder so many favorites are missing……

  15. WTF… this is a joke right?
    Axl Rose? Really???? At the top?

    What about Ozzy, Dio, Coverdale, Gillian,

    Wheres Harry Nilsson? The best of all time?
    Or Chris Cornell?
    Ann Wilson anyone?
    GEORGE JONES??????

    My god… wheres Vince Gill on this list?
    for Alison Krauss?

    Pull your head out from under the rock… at least you got Freddy anf Sam Cooke in there.
    Im pissed off at myself at wasting my time reading this list.

  16. Cliff Keller’s comments capture my complaint: Hitting various high notes is often just a flash of pyrotechnics. Those notes pay off only if the singer has used restraint in the early stages, helping to build the longing for release. It’s inconceivable to leave Sinatra off any great vocalist list, but you’ve done it. The fault, ear brutes, is in yourselves, and your underling scales.

  17. The fact that Axl Rose is at the top and Sam Cook is at the bottom perfectly illustrates why vocal range is NOT a good indicator of who is a “Great Vocalist”.

    What would be a good indicator that is objective? Pitch? Sales? Poll of peers?

  18. Annie Haslam (Renaissance)
    Mary Fahl (October Project)
    Peter Gabriel

    you want to publish a list?

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