Axl Rose Is the Greatest Singer of All Time Based on Vocal Range, Research Finds

Justin Bieber and modern pop stars far inferior to rock greats, details inside.

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Although naming one's favorite singer of all time is a highly subjective matter, an interesting chart has recently surfaced, ranking vocalists from all genres based on their vocal range alone.

And according to Concert Hotels, Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose is the greatest of the great, with an impressive range going from F1 to Bb6.

Rose is followed by Mariah Carey, Prince and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Other notable vocalists in the upper part of the list whose presence might surprise you include Paul McCartney and Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

Actually, the list features quite a few interesting tidbits and is well-worth checking out. Here's what Consequence of Sound singled out as some of the more interesting parts.

– Although he sounds like "gargling gravel every morning," Tom Waits has a wider vocal range than Taylor Swift, Stevie Nicks and Bjork.
Eminem and Lou Reed have the same exact vocal range, D2-F5.
- Thom Yorke is ranked in the Top 10, having a four-octave vocal range.
– Despite her "vocal powerhouse" status, Aretha Franklin only ranks at No. 37. She's even beaten by the likes of Kurt Cobain, Miley Cyrus, Bono, Bruce Springsteen and Thom Yorke.– Some of the artists whose vocal range might surprise you include Johnny Cash, Neil Young, John Fogerty and more.– Lorde's G#2-G#5 range beats out the likes of Whitney Houston, Adele, Alicia Keys and Katy Perry.

Check out the list below for more details.

123 comments sorted by best / new / date

    javdoc
    Wow, can't believe Chris Cornell is not on this list. He would have to be up at the top.
    toasty333
    Bruce Dickinson? Or you know, that guy that has the world record for vocal range?
    AxemanRob
    Both Chris and Myles Kennedy should definitely be on here, their vocal range is top notch
    evanfurillo
    agree and i would like to add brent smith from shinedown. like them or not, the dude is an incredible singer
    jrodgers
    Chris Cornell ' s range must not have been available for this list. He was absolutely the first name that came to mind, and he's not even on here
    inaiknami
    Not really. He didn't use the whistle register, so he missed out on an extra 2 octaves or so. He has D2-A5 sung which is less than others. Love his power though.
    TremontiAddict
    Figure Myles Kennedy could chart pretty well. Read somewhere he's E2-C6.
    FallenAsh
    Myles Kennedy all the way. Amazing range and tone. Axl Rose's range is very impressive, but a big range is pointless if the tone of your voice is horrible, as Axl clearly demonstrates....
    inaiknami
    F#2-c6 sung. Not a lot of research has gone into that thread where you read that, so hes probably demonstrated a wider range
    SilentReaction
    Just read that myself, I think he would be placed around Elton John and John Lennon, if this list was any good.
    Bati
    To be honest, the fact that Aretha isn't that high on that list is not that surprising. They seem to go by notes actually produced, without taking into consideration the quality of the notes themselves. I'm sure that, idk, Johnny Rotten has a wider recorded range than most opera singers going by that criteria. It's a bit silly. A sustained C5 by Pavarotti is just not the same than a short screeched C5 by Iggy Pop. (Hell, check out on YT Ian Gillan, not a slouch himself when it comes to high notes, trying to sing the final notes of Nessum Dorma next to Pavarotti and almost having a stroke in the process, even if he usually goes much higher on Deep Purple songs). Don't get me wrong, I love rock singing and how rock singers use screeching, wailing, fry, falsetto and everything in between. (Tom Waits being a good example of a singer I love and who's not afraid of doing unholy things to his vocal chords to produce weird, amazing sounds). But it is a bit silly to put singers so diverse and compare them side-by-side using this method. It'd be like making a list of greatest guitarists and using the amount of notes per second they can play as your only criterion. Most guys here on UG would chart higher than BB King...
    BjarnedeGraaf
    Where's Matt Bellamy then?
    Kueller917
    His range actually isn't that big, he can just hit the higher falsetto notes very strongly.
    PoloSG68
    F#2 to Bb4 chest voice, but falsetto brings it up to A5 ish. This whole list you've gotta consider that it's only studio stuff, and it definitely includes falsetto and head voice ranges.
    jordo246
    Um, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson?
    dewitt
    It would be nice to see them on the list, too, but I wouldn't be surprised if their ranges aren't as broad as Axl's. He can get almost as high as they can (although he might not be as consistent and he doesn't seem to be able to hit clean tones when he sings in falsetto, which is completely fine), but he can sing incredibly low, too. Just look at how he compares to Johnny Cash on the low end of the spectrum, and Johnny Cash is known for singing lower than most singers. I know Rob Halford can get pretty low, too, but I've never heard him go as low as Axl does on the Use Your Illusion albums. Of course taste is all subjective, but there is absolutely no denying the range in Axl Rose's voice, whether you like the sound of it or not.
    Darth Crow
    And Eric Adams (Manowar) or Fabio Lione (Rhapsody)? Those guys have EXTREME ranges. Or James Labrie! D2-Bflat5!
    Jmoarguitar
    Fucking Luke Bryan. Either way Axl was a ****ing monster when he was in his prime. These days he seems hit and miss, which is understandable.
    ng117
    No Mike Patton?
    jaybrink10101
    Patton gets from low 1st octave stuff throughout Bungle, FNM, Tomohawk, and Der Golem, and then his pitched highs get to, from memory, F#7. That's about as good as it gets. I remain unconvinced about Axl Rose - I think the lowest he gets with Guns is maybe Estranged? That must be second octave, and I don't see him getting anywhere near Patton's lows. Or his highs. Also, for sheer vocal range, Townsend is C#2-like, B7, not counting his fry lows.
    Thestrangepoet
    What about Diamond's E1-C6? Halford's C2-C6 Dickinson's A1-B5 Cornell B1-C6 And Axl Rose's correct range of F1-B7 This list isn't very good at all, a lot of these ranges aren't entirely accurate.
    PoloSG68
    Michael Starr of Steel Panther is a worthy mention too - his range is pretty crazy in the highs.
    Floyd Phoenix
    I'm not even sure any of the ranges are right, might be the stuff I've done with musicals confusing me but above an F5 it's pretty impossible unless you have an astounding falsetto to sing... Apparently I can hit the B5 in Born in the USA but not an F5 in one of the songs from Wicked so I think this list is completely skewered...
    inaiknami
    You are confusing falsetto and head voice. Everything above B4/C5 is head voice or faletto, and what is considered strong is considered "full". There are lots of vocalists who can sing in "full" above F5
    iommi600
    I'm actually surprised that Rob Halford didn't make it to the list. If I'm not wrong, he has a 4-octave range, too. That's ****ing massive.
    enigmamtg
    The issue I have with this is that it just goes by the notes that these singers have hit in the recording studio - which means most of these singers probably actually have larger ranges, as it's pretty unusual to sing right from the top to the bottom of your range. I'm a singer, and I don't think I've ever sung a song that comes anywhere near the bottom of my range, because those low notes just don't work very well in most songs, as they are too quiet and get lost among the guitars and bass in a rock band setting. But it's still pretty interesting to see
    ollasoasch
    Daniel Gildenlöw from Pain of Salvation has a unbelievable range, for example: 2:44-3:22
    TheLiberation
    Yep, I suggested him too a little higher. I'd say the tracks "Of Dust" from Road Salt One (where he does all the vocals, including some REALLY low, bass-range ones) and the legendary "MEEEEE" from Idioglossia are enough proof.
    Bollockser
    Would be interesting to know whether they just used studio albums to measure these peoples' ranges. Some would benefit from having their live range measured, to some it would be detrimental.
    TheLiberation
    Well, someone hasn't heard of Daniel Gildenlow, apparently. (Or a lot of other vocalists who would probably dominate this list, except you don't hear them on the radio.)
    chammey
    michael jagmin and rody walker
    jaybrink10101
    Rody and Jag are mid/high tenors, they don't have huge ranges. Jag is really not a very good singer, Rody is but still not a huge range. Just a high one.
    Kueller917
    Vocal range alone isn't a great measure though. Some people who can't even sing can just have naturally large ranges while very power singers might not have the widest ranges. It's something to consider but shouldn't be the only factor as this list decided to take it as.
    Kueller917
    I should correct this. The image only mentions vocal ranges, but the UG article interprets it as "best singer".
    Lazerofmaylek
    Finally some proof to what i've been saying for years. Axl Rose is the greatest vocalist ever.
    zakaye
    Based on voice range. Other than that he sounds like a cat getting run over by a lawnmower
    Lazerofmaylek
    Don't be mad because you'r favorite singer lost. You can't always listen to the media. I saw him 3 times and he still sounds great. Learn how to find good music.
    inaiknami
    Mike Patton. Eb1-E7 in his sung range. He's not on the list because hes not on the rolling stone list or nominated for the billboard awards
    jamesrulesmetal
    Misleading headline: "Axl Rose Is the Greatest Singer of All Time Based on Vocal Range, Research Finds." Vocal range does not equate to musical greatness. The actual list you are referencing is entitled, "The Vocal Ranges of the World's Greatest Singers." Axl does happen to be a great singer, but that is beside the point. Let's not be telling lies, now. \m/
    giorgiomelis
    Mike Patton & Chris Cornell??
    dan0z
    Mike Patton actually has a better ranger than Axl 01. Mike Patton - 6 octaves, 1/2 note (Eb1 to E7) 02. Axl Rose - 5 octaves, 2-1/2 notes (F1 to Bb6)
    metalmaniac90
    This is a list of vocal range. It was done with the top 100 singers of all time in Rolling Stone, along with todays contemporary artist from the Billboard Awards. Thats why you don't see your favorite singer/ Other than that it is just a test of vocal range. Get over yourselves.
    jazzwiley
    Honestly, Adam Lambert should have been on here. Amazing vocalist, fantastic range.
    DanteArias
    Did anyone else see that EMINEM is in the middle of the list?
    inaiknami
    He has a great voice. I mean listen to mockingbird. See if you can sing the lower vocals down to E2 as strong as he can. And then listen to Bezerk and see if you can sing the D5s in the chorus like he can. He is a rapper but he's still talented.
    SilentReaction
    The list may not be subjective, but the artists that appear on it certainly are. Majority are pop stars, a list of metal/rock singers is what we need!
    minor7
    Prince has more vocal range than everyone mentioned so far.
    Witt1975
    Prince is number 3 on the list... Most of the people mentioned aren't on the list at all...
    DaniArrow
    I knew Lorde had it in her! Great singer! And I think it's fair Axl "won" this. He ****ed up a couple times but if he's in good shape, he's unstoppable!
    blackone666
    Now, get in the list all those awesome Youtube singers..oh wait they're not good because they make no shitloads of money. Jesus, the world...
    markyj666
    This list is bullshit - Justin Beiber is not a better singer than Karen Carpenter. Lorde (who has released maybe 2 singles?) is not a better singer than Whitney Houston. So wrong on so many levels!
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    Floor Jansen, Tarja Turunen, Sharon Den Adel, Simone Simons, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford... this list is shit, Bieber, really?
    GenerationKILL
    He's not on this list, but given his impressive back-catalog I am convinced Sammy Hagar would also be way up near the top.