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Top 10 Male Falsettos

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by Q.V. Hough They shatter glass and they break hearts. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Male Falsettos. For this list, we're focusing on the fellas and all the most high-pitched male musicians that have a keen interest in expressing themselves by way of a glorious falsetto. Special thanks to our users morgan_harding12 or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Male Falsettos


They shatter glass and they break hearts. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Male Falsettos.

For this list, we’re focusing on the fellas and all the most high-pitched male musicians that have a keen interest in expressing themselves by way of a glorious falsetto.

#10: Justin Hawkins

He’s a man that’s easily moved by television sitcoms and inspired by Freddie Mercury. And given the sounds of The Darkness’ breakout hit “I Believe In a Thing Called Love,” it’s clear that Justin Hawkins relishes in his deeply moving falsetto. He speaks like a regular chap off the stage, but once the lights go on, it’s all about the rock star persona as well as his sometimes unintelligible, high-pitched vocals. This man understands the essence of rock n’ roll, and his piercing intonations remind of days gone by.

#9: Justin Timberlake

Pop star. Actor. Sex Symbol. Justin Timberlake wears many hats in the realm of pop culture, but don’t forget about his innovative falsetto. In the early N'Sync days, you may have thought that perhaps JT hadn’t reached puberty, but once he went solo, well, jams such as “Like I Love You” and “Cry Me a River” proved that he was on top of his falsetto game. Most often, he keeps his vocals low and sexy, and then – POW – he takes you on a journey of the male falsetto.

#8: Thom Yorke

While the music of Radiohead explores many sounds, it’s hard not to break down and cry when listening to the falsetto voice of lead singer Thom Yorke. His band played a pivotal role in the rise of 90s alternative music, and his falsetto alone allows Yorke to truly communicate with listeners on a deep level, playing a key role amongst the talented musicians he has behind him. It might be a gentle, welcoming high-pitched squeal, or it can sound like he’s dealing with some real difficult business. Yorke doesn’t simply show off with his falsetto bravado, as it’s an instrument all its own.

#7: Jónsi Birgisson

As the frontman of Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós, this vocalist boasts a falsetto unlike the usual rock and roll wailer, as it’s a falsetto that transcends the typical listening experience. Do we believe Jónsi Birgisson to be an angel from heaven? Well, no, we’re not going on record with that kind of radical statement, but just take a look at a live performance of “Hoppipolla” and the effects of Jonsi’s rich falsetto on the audience and see if we don't have a case. It’s not a posturing falsetto, it just a natural gift that he shares with the world as the adopted lead singer of this post-rock trio.

#6: Michael Jackson

He’s the quintessential smooth criminal of pop music and a singer that glided through octave scales like a boss. By now, everyone has his or her favorite MJ imitation, and it usually involves some type of noise that sounds nothing like his actual polished falsetto, probably because no one can truly pull it off like the King of Pop does. Even so, the plethora of high-pitched lyrics have left an indelible imprint on the world, as even the falsetto ad libs of Michael Jackson have a place in the lexicon of pop culture dialogue.


#5: Frankie Valli

Born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio, this man’s falsetto left a firm mark in the landscape of 60s pop music. While some may correlate Frankie Valli with the Broadway hit “Jersey Boys,” or even as gangster Rusty Millio on “The Sopranos”, it’s his work with The Four Seasons that made him a legend. Raw and powerful, the falsetto of Frankie Valli doesn’t convey a pretty boy singer, but a paisan that’s been around the block a few times. A track like “Sherry” undoubtedly shows off the high register, while “Big Girls Don’t Cry” always gets under the skin. A Jersey boy with vocal talents unlike any other.

#4: Smokey Robinson

Before it was socially acceptable for R&B singers to drop falsettos as a means to entice women, Smokey Robinson had already developed such a technique. As the lead singer of The Miracles, the finely-tuned falsetto brought something new to Motown in the late 50s and early 60s, counterbalancing some of the more masculine approaches to singing. With a song like “Ooh Baby Baby”, Smokey said it’s alright to feel all those feels, and in turn, he inspired countless musicians with his timeless falsetto crooning.

#3: Jeff Buckley

Widely regarded as one of the best rock singers of all time, the late Jeff Buckley’s falsetto often marked the climax of a composition. With a sprawling vocal range, the pivotal “moments” often come when Buckley unleashes a rebel yell, or so it would seem, but only he keeps going with a transcendent falsetto. Considering the lyrical talent of Jeff Buckley, and the manner in which he conveyed his thoughts to the world, the falsettos have a crushing aspect at times, while still managing to transmit a type of musical ecstasy in the process.

#2: Prince

On the street, a 5’2” man singing with a sexualized falsetto may not exactly hold your attention, but a Minnesotan named Prince Rogers Nelson managed to build a career on it, both on stage and in the studio. Hitting the mainstream in the early days of MTV, Prince effectively utilized his falsetto to create an ambiguous persona, thus changing the music industry on various fronts. It’s sexually charged, and sometimes it’s used to counterbalance his natural-sounding voice, but ultimately, the Prince falsetto marked a transition from the old school to the new.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

The Weeknd

Matthew Bellamy

Justin Vernon

Philip Bailey

#1: Barry Gibb


In this history of popular music, there are specific falsettos that align with a particular genre, but none more so than that of the Bee Gees' Barry Gibb. An ability discovered by accident while recording “Nights on Broadway”, Barry's falsetto left a lasting impact on Bee Gees material to follow. Not only did a track like “Stayin’ Alive” become an iconic disco production, but Gibb was also able to put the talent to good use when writing songs for a female singer- such as the Gibb-penned “Islands in the Stream”. Most importantly, however, is that Barry Gibb embraces the falsetto like no other. Barry Gibb may not have been THE voice of a generation, but he’s most definitely THE voice of male falsettos.

So, do you agree with our selections? Which male singer rocks your favorite falsetto? For more soul-soothing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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