Wednesday Question: Best Rock Frontman?

Who are the best rock singers of all time? Post your nominations here for a chance to appear in our top 10 list this week.

Ultimate Guitar

Guitars might shred and drums might slam - but there's only one way to channel all that immense rock power towards a crowd, and that's with a charismatic vocalist.

Rock music probably has more quality frontmen and women than any other genre in history, with many commanding thousands of fans at every show. But which will make it in the history books as the best ever?

This week's Wednesday question is:

Who is the best rock frontman or woman of all time?

Rock is a pretty broad genre, but to keep you on track we've got some examples. A classic rock frontman would be the Rolling Stones' Mick Jaggar. A modern alternative might be Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme. Maybe you'll nominate Alanis Morisette or Stevie Nicks. Whoever you vote for, we're sure this will be the best rock frontman list on the web.

NOTE: this is actually similar to the Best Metal Frontman poll, but not the same.

Post one nomination per comment and upvote others that you agree with. We'll post the results in a top 10 rock frontmen list this Friday.

Will your nomination make the final list? Let's find out!

681 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jim Morisson
    So much this! Jim was the original rock n' roll badass. Dangerous, talented and charismatic. Amazing writer and satirist. He literally WAS rock n' roll living in leather pants.
    I think he should be number one too. He was the first rock star to "LIVE" it.
    Freddy Mercury, doubtless.
    Its Freddie
    Couldn't agree more!
    Freddie is undisputed no. 1. I think Matt Bellamy and Dave Grohl are shit hot, too.
    Yep. Top 1 without a doubt. All other names that people are saying (Dave Grohl, Robert Plant, Vedder, etc), they are good frontmen too, but nowhere close to Freddie Mercury. "There can be only one"
    Seriously can't believe this is the highest voted one...Plant, Morrison, McCartney, Lennon, Hendrix, Vedder, Cornell, Staley, Cobain, Geddy Lee, Clapton, Daltrey, they're ROCK frontmen, Queen/Freddy Mercury are POP. I realize people are going to downvote this to hell, but understand I don't mean disrespect to Mercury or his band, I just think they're ****ing Jokes when it comes to good Rock n' Roll.
    Freddy Mercury was one of the first ones to compose a ROCK opera. Hammer to Fall? Princes of the Universe (Highlander theme)? Jazz (like the whole album)? Should I continue down the list of their complete ROCK songs? Have you actually LISTENED to Queen? If Lennon isn't considered pop to you, then neither should Queen because The Beatles have had more pop songs than Queen has.
    are you serious???Cobain???clapton??Have you ever listened to Queen so you can say its pop??
    Dude its the internet let every one bitch:b of course they're pop the only solo i heard was in bohemian raphsody so just because of that u cannot say that they are classic rock... they sound more of an opera...
    You've probably only heard their songs they play on the radio then, in which most of their songs on the radio ALSO all have solos. We Are The Champions is, essentially, one giant guitar solo. Princes of the Universe has guitar solos, Killer Queen has a guitar solo...I'm actually having a more difficult time trying to think of a Queen song that DOESN'T have a guitar solo.
    As much as I absolutely love Freddy I have to say that his replacement was a better frontman (not a better singer though). Paul Rodgers fronted Free, The Firm, Queen, and Bad Company. He's a good guitarist and a fantastic vocalist with killer stage presence.
    Rock this time? Robert Plant. Easy.
    Iggy Pop.
    You beat me to it. If the measure of a front person is live performance - I would go with Iggy.
    Really? Come on MAC I expected better from you.
    It's actually a quite clever ridiculuos thing to say. He called you Mac because your picture is Jack Nicholson who played RP "Mac" McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest. As for Iggy Pop not being a good frontman, I think he's the loon here
    That's what I thought too, but I actually went "lolwtf" because he implied that Iggy wasn't that good haha.
    David Lee Roth
    DLR was the blueprint for the frontmen that came after him in Hard Rock, that pretty much says how influential the guy is. Without a doubt, the 1st place has to go to Freddie, but DLR definitely deserves a place on this list!
    Kurt Cobain? Not a great technical player or a great singer, but nonetheless changed rock forever.
    Hah. I do love this site. I read the news most days and some days UG loves Nirvana, other days they hate them. For the record, I gave you an if my user name doesn't give that away.
    Regardless of his technical abilities, he was highly charismatic and captivating frontman - Good call!
    Agree. And couldn't agree more about Nirvana haters. Cobain was a great frontman even if he didn't want to. He had this way of not giving a flying **** of what he was doing on stage that made the performances awesome.
    I'm gonna go ahead and throw it out. Dave Grohl.
    Why the hell did it take this much posts on this topic to come up with Grohl? Of course it's Grohl (as a great second in the list, right after Mercury).
    Darth Crow
    Geddy Lee!
    Yes! Almost 40 years later and his voice is still spot on. Not to mention his bass skills.
    not to mention playing bass and keyboards at the same time.
    Not to mention playing bass, keyboards and sing at the same time. I struggle with just the bass parts without even trying to do anything else at the same time.
    How does anyone play bass and keyboards at the same time?
    Hammer-ons and pull-offs, a mass of talent and years of practice. Any other questions son? Fuck even I can play guitar and keyboard at the same time lol
    Mick Jagger
    Why do people here hate the Stones so much? Jagger is a fantastic frontman.
    Agreed. Mick Jagger more or less set the frontman standard for succeeding rock artists. But people hate the Stones probably because "they're too old to be cool" and "they're not hardcore." I've heard it a million times.
    Yeah but they also got to remember that the Stones pretty much wrote the book on rock and roll. Lifestyle and all. Kids need to learn their roots
    He still dances around like he's in his 30s. At his current age, that's pretty damn impressive. +1 for Mick.
    I know! This is the Stone's 50th anniversary and for him to still move around like he does. He's showing people up who are a third of his age!
    Josh Homme
    Love the Homme, he's just one of those guys that is just effortlessly cool. I do really like MArk Lanegan's voice though
    Lanegan's voice is absolutely amazing. Like a smoke stained velvet Elvis painting.
    I prefer Mark Lanegan, from QotSA (when he was in the band). His voice is like a bag of nails. Mind you, John Garcia (Kyuss) is a great frontman with a likewise unique tone.
    Great musician, not sure if he would rock like Grohl or be as present as Mercury, but definitely a great artist!
    Brian Johnson anyone?
    And/or Bon Scott of course
    Of course! Apologies...
    I don't know who I would say is better out of the two, change my mind every time I listen to one of their records/performances. But probably Bon Scott, as it was his stuff that got me interested in the band. Or maybe we can split the difference and call Angus a frontman
    Johnson is amazing, saw AC/DC there a few years back, with out doubt, the best gig i have ever seen
    I like Johnson better too. Bon Scott is brilliant, of course, there's just something in Brians voice that makes him sound better. Then again, I grew up listening to ballbreaker and stiff upper lip, so it might just be a case of which I'm more used to.
    BON SCOTT! (I got this in there way too late. After everyone starts posting their suggestions as replies to previous suggestions, by this time tomorrow I'll have to scroll down a couple of miles to find mine again, LOL.)
    Maynard James Keenan
    Keenan excels with his vocal skills, but he's the epitome of anti-frontman. At least with Tool and APC. With Puscifer he plays the role a bit (emphasizing the "a bit").
    if he spent less time doing math equations and more time making a new album
    John Lennon
    So, if you consider The Beatles rock, can you consider Elvis Presley rock?? and if it so, Wouldn't Elvis be THE BEST Rock Frontman in the History??
    Not really, a lot of people came along after him, and as far as pretty much most of the world is concerned, once a king dies there's a new one Just no ones bothered to crown them yet. Long live Dave Grohl! King of Rock!!!
    I agree with you there. Sure they were pop, but they made some pretty innovative rock tracks. You guys can't tell me just about everybody on this top 10 list wasn't influenced by Lennon in one way or another, but I guess being influential alone doesn't necessarily qualify you as a great rock frontman
    I think he was a great frontman. He was well spoken, funny, creative and amusing as a person. Sure he never ate a bat on stage but I don't think you have to be insane to be a great frontman.
    And being a lead singer does not a frontman make.
    Didn't read the title of the article? Best ROCK frontman.
    The BEATLES were ROCK n Roll
    No, they weren't. They were a pop band.
    The Beatles played both rock and pop. Compare their first release to their later releases - listen to The White Album or Abbey Road and tell me that that isn't a rock band. Rock music would not be the same without them.
    But when you consider that bands like Black Sabbath Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones were making music at the same time as these later releases, the Beatles hardly seem like rock and roll.
    You clearly don't know their work that well.
    No, I know it very well. I just don't consider it rock and roll. The Rolling Stones are far more rock and roll than the Beatles have ever been.
    The Rolling Stones pretty much modeled themselves directly after The Beatles.
    Listen to Helter Skelter and tell me the Beatles aren't a rock and roll band!
    I agree; Beatles were the first pop-rock band. The later records' experimentation was great, but they weren't rock 'n' roll.
    And other than that and "revolution" show me how they are a rock and roll band.
    Twist and Shout, She came in through the bathroom window (you could say the entire medley on Abbey Road), Back in the USSR, Yer Blues, Everybody's got something to hide, ROCK N' ROLL MUSIC!!!, Help, I Me Mine, Get Back, And Your Bird Can Sing, Drive My Car, Run For Your Life, Sgt. Peppers, Good Morning, Good Morning, and Hey Bulldog... That's just off the top of my head. Come back when you've listened to those and you actually know what you're talking about. Thanks
    Yes, I have heard all of that. Twist and Shout was even my favorite song when I was a kid. I like the Beatles, but when you stand them up next to other artists of their time, they are not rock and roll. The Who, Zeppelin, Stones, 13th Floor Elevators, that's rock. The Beatles are the best Pop band of all time.
    I guess we'll agree to disagree. I just don't see why they're not "rock" just like you don't see why I think they are... I'm going to move on with my life now
    You can't really class The Beatles as a single genre. In the beginning they were very much a pop band but their last few albums were definitely rock.
    That's about as accurate as saying The Rolling Stones weren't rock, they were country.
    Thank you... People get too ****ing carried away with the slim differences between genres on here. I don't get when people say Zeppelin is rock, but the Beatles aren't. They're both played on the same radio station where I live, don't know about you guys... Guess what Metallica and Megadeth are rock too. So are Nickelback and As I Lay Dying... Just a more modern and heavier version of it. Stuff progresses and to me it's still rock. Yeah, obviously As I Lay Dying is more "metal" but does it really matter that much? Really??? Back in the day the Beatles were "cutting edege" they had "long hair" and made girls horny so their parents didn't want them to listen to it, and all that stuff. Sounds like rock to me... I just think people don't like it when their music is in the same "genre" as a band that they don't like. Who gives a shit, it's still rock, plain and simple... Every band worth it's salt plays SEVERAL different genres. That's probably why all you people have a hard time defining bands like the Beatles, the Stones, and Led Zeppelin, and Rush. They're good and play anything they want and do.
    Pretty sure any official definition of the Beatles states that they were a rock band. Specifically one of the greatest if not the greatest rock bands of all time. Hold on I'll check Wikipedia (Wikipedia never lies right?) "The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960"
    Right on mate. These kids here don't know about THE BEATLES. They are so naive
    Don't know about the Beatles? We've only had their music shoved down our throats our entire lives. Listen to the ****ing Stones. That's rock and roll.
    You're aware that the Beatles were the first band ever to feature feedback on a studio recording right? If that isn't Rock and Roll I don't know what is. The fact you apparently don't like them is irrelevant - They are VERY much Rock n' Roll.
    I like the Beatles, but they don't hold a candle to the Stones.
    Good point! I Feel Fine, for those who don't know what song he's talking about
    Wow, you're a little too serious aren't you mate... They're both fantastic rock bands
    I agree both the Stones and the beatles are great bands,they are 2 totally different bands! As far as frontman go Mick Jagger is probably the gold standard for classic rock!
    May I remind you all of the mostrosity Jagger made with Bowie...or Will I Am and Jennifer Lopez... or perhaps that thing he did with Joss Stone??? No Stones! Eventhough they are just as relevant to rock and pop music as the Beatles, they are also as out-dated as the Beatles.