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Top 10 Frontmen in Rock

VO: Rebecca Brayton
These bands wouldn't be as successful or well known as they are without these guys. For this list, we’ve chosen male lead vocalists based on a combination of their showmanship, stage presence, bravado, popularity, and vocal chops. Though extremely talented and memorable, guys like Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder have been excluded because they shunned the idea that frontmen should get all the glory. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 frontmen in rock. Special thanks to our user Jack Morris for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page!
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They were the faces and voices of their bands. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 frontmen in rock.

For this list, we’ve chosen male lead vocalists based on a combination of their showmanship, stage presence, bravado, popularity, and vocal chops. Though extremely talented and memorable, guys like Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder have been excluded because they shunned the idea that frontmen should get all the glory.

#10 – Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden


While seamlessly melding his showmanship with Iron Maiden’s theatrical live shows, Dickinson wowed critics and fans alike with a range that reached practically operatic proportions. His vocal prowess on The Number of the Beast gave the band their first UK chart-topper, and made fans forget Paul Di’Anno. Ultimately, he also paved the way for future power metal frontmen and helped Iron Maiden spearhead the New Wave of British Metal.

#9 – Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters


While this multi-instrumentalist’s been associated with Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures and more, Dave Grohl’s main project is as the Foo Fighters’ main man. All you have to do is watch him in action to get a glimpse of his energy and enthusiasm. Also, his constant smiling is contagious and goes a long way in proving why he’s dubbed the “nicest guy in rock.”

#8 – Bono, U2


You might think he’s pretentious, but you gotta give Bono credit for making U2 one of the world’s biggest bands. The singer and lyricist’s ego isn’t so big that he doesn’t appreciate his fans: besides his humanitarian work, Bono gives back through crowd interaction during shows. With his theatrical performances and diverse vocal range, he also brings U2’s songs to life and sells millions of records worldwide.

#7 – Axl Rose, Guns N’ Roses


Both onstage and off, the Guns N’ Roses frontman oozed sex, drugs and dirty rock ‘n’ roll. While he had problems with punctuality, cooperating with band members and knowing when to shut his mouth, this all added to the appeal. With such charisma and raw energy, Axl Rose was undeniably a big part of why the most dangerous band in the world was so successful.

#6 – David Lee Roth, Van Halen


Though Van Halen found chart-topping success with Sammy Hagar, it was with original vocalist David Lee Roth that they changed rock ‘n’ roll. After introducing his hard rocking vocals on the band’s groundbreaking debut, Diamond Dave mesmerized fans with his live renditions and outrageous stage behavior. Alongside Eddie Van Halen’s raw guitar, Roth’s lyrics also helped turn the band into radio favorites and one of the ‘80s’ biggest rock acts.

#5 – Steven Tyler, Aerosmith


He may be known as the “Demon of Screamin’” but Steven Tyler’s talents expand beyond his one-of-a-kind vocals. He writes the band’s lyrics, can play multiple instruments, and is famous for his onstage thrills, spills, whirls and twirls. And, let’s not forget his often-vibrant attire. Even though “The Bad Boys from Boston” have been active since the ‘70s, this rock icon’s still going strong today.

#4 – Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath and Solo


Even when fronting Black Sabbath, it was clear the Prince of Darkness knew what it took to put on a good show. But it was after leaving that the “Godfather of heavy metal” took his stage antics to the next level: with his trademark vocals and shocking theatrics, which included biting the head off a live bat, he remained the center of attention.

#3 – Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones


The Rolling Stones’ explosive combination of rock ‘n’ roll wouldn’t be the same without Mick Jagger’s expressive vocals and uninhibited showmanship. Pair him with Keith Richards’ unforgettable guitar riffs, and you’ve got a songwriting partnership that’s brought us decades of hits. With Mick’s raw voice and incessant on-stage energy, it’s no surprise The Stones are often cited as one of rock’s must-see live bands – there’s just no one with the “moves like Jagger.”

#2 – Freddie Mercury, Queen


When it comes to being a frontman, Freddie Mercury was the whole package: he had a lively stage presence, theatrical vocals that reached four octaves, and a knack for writing some of the greatest rock melodies ever. His big personality was perfect for Queen’s anthemic tunes. Alongside Brian May’s virtuoso guitar abilities, Mercury poured his heart and soul into his performances and helped the band sell out stadiums worldwide.

#1 – Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin


This rock god was as famous for his onstage moans and screams as for his wild offstage rep. Plant enhanced Led Zeppelin’s repertoire with his lyrical contributions, but it was his emotional and bluesy vocal range that was simply unrivalled – and, when combined with Jimmy Page’s incomparable guitar solos, it was a match made in hard rock heaven. With his energy, dance moves, and sex appeal, Plant truly came alive in concert and showed a “whole lotta love” to the crowd.

Do you agree with our list? Who is your favorite frontman in rock? Be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com for more entertaining top 10s.
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