Being given the title of frontman in a rock band is an honor that is equal to being dubbed the knight of the realm. You carry an important role in the success of the entire group. Throughout history, we’ve been thrilled with the performances of some of the most unique and innovative talent in the music industry. They’ve served the public and stood firm through long grueling tours come rain or shine and in sickness and health. We pay tribute to the stars that gave their all to keep us entertained in a job that demanded everything they had to give and a life of sacrifice. These are the 20 best frontmen in rock history.
Freddie Mercury was the frontman for the band Queen. The British singer brought his unique and all encompassing flamboyant style to the stage with powerful vocals that spanned a four octave range. The depth of his abilities as a songwriter gave us some of the most beloved songs in the history of Rock and Roll. The top of the charts hit “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody to Love,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and many more established the group as icons within the industry. The world was saddened by Mercury’s passing at a young age, but his music lives on and is still widely played on stations throughout the world, now considered as classics. He will never be forgotten and his music stands as a testimony of the greatness of the man who tirelessly worked as long as his health would permit, leading the band in glorious performance that were demanded by the fans. Not one to complain about the illness that would soon claim his life, Freddie Mercury is a frontman who indeed gave the music everything that he had to give.
Robert Plant is the frontman for the English rock band Led Zeppelin. For over forty years, he’s served as the groups lead vocalist and has written the words to the songs that had made he and the band legendary in the world of Rock and Roll. Plant is a English singer, musician and songwriter. It is his wide vocal range that brings a uniqueness to the brand and style of music that took the world by storm. Plant has been successful with the group but has also achieved merit on his own as a solo artist. Plant is not only a legend in the rock world, but also an icon who served to inspire some of the most famous frontmen in the history of rock including Chris Cornell or the Sound Garden, Axl Rose of Guns n Roses and the late Freddie Mercury of Queen.
Mick Jagger is an English singer, occasional actor and songwriter who served as the lead singer as well as one of the founding members of the rock band The Rolling Stones. He’s had a successful career that has continued for more than fifty years. Jagger is an iconic figure who has been a heavy influence on musicians throughout the history of rock and roll. Jagger studied economics in college before he felt the call to form the group which became a world phenomenon. He and band member Keith Richards incorporated a unique style of rock guitar that gave the band its signature sound. Jagger and Richards co-wrote most of the songs, many of which the band took to number one spots on the charts. Jagger, also known as Sir Michael Philip Jagger was knighted by the Queen of England for his significant contributions to the world of music.
Jim Morrison was an American singer who was also a songwriter and poet. He was the frontman and lead singer of the group The Doors. He was an iconic figure during a time in the 20th century when pop culture had hit perhaps its most rebellious era. The drug culture was alive and well and the wildness of his performances paired with his naturally rebellious personality elevated him to the level of an icon during this time. During his brief lifetime and career in the rock and roll industry, Morrison became on of the most influential frontmen in the history of the business.
Jimi Hendrix was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who was known for his contributions to the rock and roll world in the four short years that he was a part of the scene. He was known best for his outstanding electric guitar work and a unique style that served as a powerful influence on musicians throughout the world to this day. He made such a tremendous impact in a very short period of time and is widely regarded as one of the best musicians who ever lived. He was a phenomenon the UK and in the United States with songs that topped the charts. His most popular songs include “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” Hendrix performed at The Monterey Pop Festival and was also a performer at Woodstock in 1969. He died in 1970 from an accidental drug overdose at the young age of just 27.
Ozzy Osbourne is an international icon in the Rock and Roll world. He is a British singer, songwriter, and more recently, reality television actor. For many years he was the lead vocalist for the world popular band Black Sabbath. The group fired hi in 1979, but not before he had made a big name for himself. He went on to have a massively successful solo career and released nearly a dozen studio albums. He rejoined Black Sabbath on several occasions since, for special concerts and presentations. He has informally been dubbed the “Godfather of Heavy Metal.” Most recently, he and his son Jack have embarked on a reality series in 2016, with a worldwide travelogue titled “Ozzy & Jack’s World Tour.
Roger Daltry is an English singer as well as a professional actor who has enjoyed a successful career of over fifty years. He is the lead singer as well as the founder of the astronomically famous rock band The Who. The group came to a height in their came during the middle part of the 1960s and continued to release singles throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s that topped the charts. While he was still an active member of the group, Daltry embarked on a solo career in the early 1970s. He achieved massive success on his own, but didn’t actually leave the group to find out what he was capable of on his own. Daltry had massive charisma both on and off stage and his remarkable showmanship , powerful voice and stage presence are all contributing factors that led to his international popularity. He has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in the UK as well as from the Grammy Foundation in 2001. Daltry is an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as in the UK Music Hall of fame, with these distinctions coming fifteen years apart. He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony along with co-band member Pete Townsend in 2008.
Steven Tyler is an American musician, singer and songwriter who is best known for being the lead vocalist for the band Aerosmith. Tyler has the ability to play multiple instruments with great proficiency. In addition to being a great musician, his vocal abilities and high energy and flamboyant presentations on stage have gained him worldwide acclaim. The band has had a cult following for multiple decades. His bright and colorful outfits dazzle screaming fans, but his high screams tempered with low sexy tones set the band apart and has given them distinction through the decades. The acrobatic Tyler has not allowed age to stop him from delivering high energy performances as he has entered high golden years as a senior citizen at the age of 69.
John Lennon is perhaps one of the most famous entertainers that the world has ever known. Her served as lead vocalist of the sensational band from Liverpool, The Beatles. His songwriting and singing helped to catapult the band to unimaginable heights of popularity, sending screaming femme fans to their knees with many fainting at just the sight of a Beatle. Lennon is a co-founder of the group, and after reaching one pinnacle of fame after another, became involved with his wife Yoko Ono musically. It was then that his career took a downturn, but his popularity as a Beatle remained solid. The group disbanded in 1970 and Lennon had some ups and some downs in his career until the time that he lost his life to the whims of a crazed fan who gunned him down outside of his home.
Kurt Cobain was the lead singer and guitarist for the popular grunge band “Nirvana.” The group was a part of the phenomenon that is commonly referred to as Seattle Grunge, with other groups in the genre including Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. Cobain’s easy and laid back personality on stage was highly contrasted by the soulful presentation of the songs that he had penned which were considered by many to be true masterpieces. Curt often would start off slowly and evolve into a headbanging scream fest that would drive the crowds into a frenzy. Beginning as an underground band, Nirvana reached thirr height of popularity after the release of their album “Bleach” under an independent label in 1989. Cobain suffered from anxiety and stomach pains which he self medicated through the use of heroin. He and his musician/singer wife Courtney Love each sought treatment for their addictions on different occasions. After influencing a generation with his music, Cobain was found dead in April of 1994 from what was ruled as a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The young man from Aberdeen, Washington had left behind a lasting legacy and significant contribution to the music industry that is still influential on new as well as more seasoned veterans in the music business.
David Lee Roth
David Lee Roth is an American rock and roll songwriter, vocalist, author and actor who has also dabbled in radio. He’s occupied several professional roles in the entertainment industry, but he is the best known for being the lead singer for the Southern Cal group Van Halen. The group achieved fame that has never really diminished. They are credited with several albums that have reached gold and platinum status. Roth parted ways with the group in the 1980s but then rejoined them for a tour in 2006. He remains one of the most iconic figures in the history of rock and roll.
Axl Rose is an American musician, ginger, songwriter and record producer who gained fame as the lead vocalist for the band Guns N’ Roses. The band was formed in 1985 and delivered ear splitting hard rock and roll which was well received by the public. Their fan base grew exponentially. In a band that was constantly changing band members, Rose is the only founding member of the original group that has remained . In 2016, Rose began singing with the equally famous rock group AC/DC as their lead vocalist. Rose has a powerful voice with a wide range capability which has earned him the distinction of being called one of the greatest singers of all time by several prestigious organizations within the music industry.
Bon Scott was originally from Forfar, Scotland, but moved to Australia where he pursued his interest in rock and roll music. Scott is an Australian songwriter and singer who became best known as the lead vocalist for the Aussie rock band AC/DC. Scott was the band’s replacement for their former lead Dave Evans until 1974 when Scott took the job. He was revered for his amazing vocal abilities. He remained with the group until his death in 1980.
Sir James Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney is one of the founding members of the phenomenon known as the Beatles. He’s an English musician, singer and songwriter. He performed as the bass guitarist for the Beatles and gained international acclaim. After the group broke up in 1970, he pursued his solo career and formed with band called Wings, of which he was the frontman. McCartney’s career was far from over after leaving the Beatles. He and his wife Linda and Denny Laine achieved remarkable success from the venture and released several albums, winning a Grammy Award and reaching the number one place on the Billboard Hot 200 list. McCartney is credited for writing or co-writing 32 number one hits throughout his career. He is one of the wealthiest musicians on the planet having amassed a net worth of $1.2 billion.
Bono is an Irish musician, singer and songwriter who achieved fame as the frontman for the rock group U2. The group has been honored with 22 Grammy Awards in addition to being inducted into the rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While Bono became well known to the world because of very significant contributions made to the music industry, he went on to become a venture capitalist, philanthropist and an activist. He is an avid supporter of social justice causes and he’s founded multiple charities, campaigning for donations and support to help others who are in need of assistance. Bono has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for the humanitarian work that he has done as well as for his contributions to the music industry. He has also been recognized with the honorary title of a Commandeur of the Frenche Order des Arts et des Lettres by the French. He as also been named Time’s Person of the Year in 2005.
Eddie Vedder is an American singer, songwriter and musician. He is best known for being the lead vocalist of the rock band Pearl Jam. He is also one of three guitarists featured by the group. Vedder plays multiple instruments with proficiency, but he’s best known for his deep and powerful vocal contributions. Vedder has also done work outside of the band, collaborating with a variety of different artists. He served as lead vocalist for the group Temple of the Dog, and has lent his talents to several different albums which were cut by other artists. He became an inductee into the Rock of Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
David Eric “Dave” Grohl
Dave Grohl is an American singer, songwriter, musician, film director and record producer who got his start in the music industry as the drummer for the band Nirvana. After the group disbanded, he went on to found the rock group Foo Fighters, for which he is the front man and lead vocalist. He also serves as lead guitarist and rhythm guitarist for the group. Grohl writes most of the music for the group and is regarded as an influential figure in the business. He’s known as one of the greatest rock and roll guitarists in the world. The group has won nine Grammy Awards.
James Alan Hetfield
James Hetfield is well known as the frontman for the heavy metal band Metallica. He’s the lead vocalist of the group who was a co-founder as well as musician and primary songwriter of the group. He is one of the most intricate rhythm players in the industry, who also delivers dynamic lead guitar work as well as solos in the studio and live concert settings. He’s a phenomenal guitarist. He is known for his unique baritone vocals.
Bruce Springsteen is a legendary singer and songwriter who is known as the frontman for the E Street Band. His nickname is “The Boss” and the iconic singer is best known for the poetic lyrics that he pens and performs. He stands as a strong representative of the working class in America. His stage performances have been high energy and infused with the music that has brought him accolades from both fans and influential organizations within the music industry. Some of his most successful hits include “Born to Run” in 1975 and “Born in the U.S.A. in 1984, which are typical examples of the sentiments that his music promotes. Springsteen was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 and was presented with a Kennedy Center Honors award in 2013. In addition, the iconic rock figure has sold over 12 million records, has won 20 Grammy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards.
Alice Cooper is An American songwriter and singer who earned the nickname “The Godfather of Shock Rock” for his quite shocking yet musically pleasing performances onstage. Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier, but adopted the name Alice Cooper, which was also the name of the first band for which he served as frontman/lead vocalist. Cooper is known for delivering all manner of stunts that you would expect to see in a frightening horror flick. He’s mocked death on stage with fake blood, electric chairs, guillotines, snakes and other terrifying stage props. His signature makeup also puts one in mind of a singing ghoul, but it was tremendously effective and fans loved him. Alice Cooper was effective at combining the theatrical with his music, which is undeniably good. of notable popularity were his solo releases with “Welcome to My Nightmmare, in 1975 and “Paranormal” recently released in 2017. He’s still rocking and rolling with the creepy motif that has worked so well for him throughout the decades. Cooper became so good at the shock tactics that he employed that it drew concert-goers in mass numbers, packing out the venues where he was performing. Fans were hoping for something new and a little more shocking than the last, and he didn’t fail in his delivery of their demands.