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The most inspiring singers of all time?

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  • Editors

There are all kinds of lists out there about this very question but I was just curious about the kind of answers here on our community. We have the usual suspects like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin. But what if you were thinking out of the top charts and the mainstream bubble, was there someone you can think of who didn't get their due credit?




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My favourites, in no particular order...


Karen Carpenter

N'Dea Davenport

Sammy Rae

Anna Maria Jopek

Shayna Steele


I also think that these folks have absolutely gorgeous voices, very mainstream, but are wasted on songs that really ruin the purity of their voices -


Christina Aguliera

Ariana Grande


Sorry... I listen to mostly female singers.  I guess for male it would be Freddie Mercury, Sting, Jarvis Church (used to be Philosopher Kings lead).

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Thinking not just how good a singer they were, but their influence on who came after and their character and social presence as a whole package… in some cases it’s within specific genres. Others are broader reaching. I am reaching beyond personal taste too, think who created a lot of imitators.

In no particular order:

David Bowie

Michael Jackson

Whitney Houston

Thom Yorke

Kate Bush

Amy Winehouse

Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention)

Elvis Presley

Robert Plant

Otis Redding


Joe Cocker

Karen Carpenter

Janis Joplin

Lady Gaga


Crosbie, Stills, Nash and Young (for their harmony work)

Aretha Franklin

Madonna (far, far, far, far, far from the greatest voice!)

Jon Bon Jovi


I almost included some rappers…. Another time maybe! I didn’t include Mariah Carey. Just because.


It’s a bit random because exactly what is valued is highly subjective. Innit.



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  • Editors
On 4/8/2023 at 7:19 PM, MisterB said:

Ariana Grande


Completely agree with you there!


I've always thought she has one of the best voices out there in the industry in the same line as other pop vocal legends like Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. There's a Jimmy Fallon performance of one of her songs backed by The Roots which I always go back to as a great example of her vocal prowess. 




Thank you for your comment. Time to dig into some of these artists you've listed. 

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  • Editors
1 hour ago, HoboSage said:

I suspect that Lou Reed has inspired other terrible singers to not let that shortcoming stop them.  


What a beautiful example. Yes! And that goes for the great Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, too. 

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Funny, it was the Tonight Show that I figured out how damn good Ariana Grande is.  She did this one...



She also did this, and totally nails it.





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I think it's the singers who have interesting voices rather than those who can do vocal gymnastics that can make people sit up and take notice. David Clayton-Thomas, Paul Thorne, Noel Paul Stookey, even Chris Smither etc.

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  • 1 month later...

The world of music has been blessed with numerous inspiring singers who have left an indelible mark on the industry and touched the hearts of millions. Here are a few of the most inspiring singers of all time:


1. Aretha Franklin - Known as the "Queen of Soul," Franklin's powerful and soulful voice, combined with her emotive delivery, made her an icon of resilience and female empowerment.


2. Freddie Mercury - The charismatic lead vocalist of the band Queen, Mercury's dynamic range, stage presence, and ability to connect with audiences have made him an enduring symbol of artistic expression and individuality.


3. Whitney Houston - With her unparalleled vocal range and emotional delivery, Houston captivated audiences worldwide. Her extraordinary talent and inspiring success story continue to inspire aspiring singers.


4. Nina Simone - A fearless and gifted singer, Simone used her voice to advocate for civil rights and social justice. Her unique blend of jazz, soul, and classical influences showcased her immense musical versatility and courage.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Steve Miller

Michael McDonald

Kelly Joe Phelps

Lowell George

Barbra Streisand

Ella Fitzgerald

Tony Bennett

Sammy Davis Jr.

1970s Elton John

Kate Bush

Patti Labelle

Harry Nilsson

Phil Harris

Rickie Lee Jones

Southside Johnny

Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann's Earth Band)

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  • 1 month later...

i find this question incredibly hard  to answer as l have so many favorite Artists from many genres. 

some could be from live stage performances iv seen like Led Zeppelin to ZZ Top.

but here's two l never get bored of listening to, mainly because l really like their songwriting to their presence on stage to their voice, either live or recorded.


Stevie Nicks..to me her  unique voice hasnt changed at all as she aged.


Phill Collins... l replay his albums often, and its the first Artist l want to listen to, to  relax.


a few others from hundreds l love are




Kate Bush



l could go on and on....


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