The remarkable decade of the 2010s brought us many great musicians who quickly rose to prominence. These are the best 2010s male singers.
No list of the best male singers from the 2010s would be complete without Ed Sheeran, an English singer-songwriter who is now beloved nationwide. Born in Halifax and raised in Framlingham, Suffolk, this artist has a fascinating backstory.
Overcoming homelessness early in his career, Sheeran now boasts more than 26 million in album sales and 100 million singles sold globally—a testament to his enduring popularity.
Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, was undeniably one of the 2010s' brightest stars. His ethereal voice fused with haunting, sultry, and sexy beats on hits like “Can't Feel My Face,” “Glass Table Girls,” and “Starboy”. His style is very different from most other musicians, fusing elements of R&B, pop, and electro.
The Weeknd brought a fresh, distinct sound to the decade. Beyond his sultry and often melancholic crooning, his mysterious persona added depth to his allure.
Justin Bieber is a pop music sensation who initially took the world by storm as a teen heartthrob. With his upbeat, ear-worm pop songs and charming good looks, it's no wonder Justin has become one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
His record sales have reached over 150 million copies worldwide, and he holds four RIAA Diamond-certified records to his name. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying the cultural impact Justin Bieber had throughout the 2010s—especially with hit tracks like “Baby.”
Adam Levine (Maroon 5)
Adam Levine is an American singer-songwriter. He is the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and only continuous (founding) member of the pop band Maroon 5. Born on March 18, 1979, Adam Levine first gained fame with Maroon 5 and quickly rose to stardom for the band’s take on contemporary pop rock, akin to peers like Kings of Leon and Coldplay.
At just 18 years old, he wrote songs about his pre-fame relationship with Jane Herman that would later become Maroon 5 hits.
Shawn Mendes is a Canadian pop singer-songwriter who has made quite a name for himself in the music industry. With a smooth vocal cadence and catchy, well-written pop songs, he has captured the hearts of fans all over the world.
He first gained recognition in 2013 by posting song covers on Vine. It was one particular six-second Vine of him singing that catapulted him to overnight star status. Often compared to Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes has been jokingly called the ‘next Bieber.’ However, he has proven to be more than just another teen heartthrob.
Bruno Mars, born Peter Gene Hernandez, is a worthy inclusion. With his soulful tenor vocals and impressive songwriting resume, he has co-written and co-produced hit songs for other massive artists like Cee Lo Green.
Mars' solo career took off with chart-topping hits like “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade.” With over 115 million singles sold worldwide and multiple awards under his belt, Bruno Mars has solidified himself as one of the best-selling artists of all time—not just in the 2010s.
Certainly, one of the most influential and acclaimed male singers of the 2010s is John Legend, an American singer, songwriter, pianist, record producer, and actor. Born as John Roger Stephens in December 1978, he built a successful career combining elements of R&B, soul, and pop into a sound uniquely his own.
His first chart-topper came with the song “All of Me,” which earned rave reviews for its emotional bravado and helped him reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. His music is imbued with real emotion that is so often lacking in contemporary pop music.
Khalid's meteoric rise to fame in the latter half of the 2010s is a testament to genuine talent. Bursting onto the scene with “Location,” this artist's soulful voice and relatable lyrics on love, youth, and the trappings of modern life struck a chord.
Hailing from El Paso, Texas, Khalid's blend of R&B and pop, coupled with a grounded authenticity, garnered him legions of dedicated fans seemingly overnight. His album, American Teen, encapsulates the spirit of a generation and cements his status as one of the 2010s' standout singers.
A prior member of now-legendary boy band supergroup One Direction, Harry Styles is—without question—the member of the group to attain the highest degree of solo success. It’s likely due to his singular aesthetic and stylistic choices, which were on full display in his self-titled 2017 debut full-length that eschews the sentiment of 70s soft rock.
Instead of going all-out pop rock like his peers, Harry Styles veers toward a more intimate and emotional seventies vibe. “Sign of the Times,” perhaps his most popular solo song to date, is all tender crooning wrapped up in bold self-confidence.
Hailing from England, Sam Smith has captivated audiences with his soulful pop and brash lyrics. His lead single, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” skyrocketed to number one in the UK charts, showcasing his immense popularity with the UK audience—which has only grown amid his performance of “Unholy” with Kim Petras.
With a mellifluous voice, Sam Smith often subverts traditional notions of romantic love in his songs. While being compared to the likes of Adele and Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith tends to be a little more subversive lyrically than his peers.
Frank Ocean is a paradigm of innovation within the context of the 2010s. Frank Ocean has a distinct, velvety voice that complements his deeply introspective and seemingly personal lyrics. From “Thinking Bout You” to “Nikes,” Ocean's songs are a blend of soul, R&B, and hip-hop that explore love, identity, and self-reflection.
His albums Channel Orange and Blonde are often cited as some of the decade's best, showcasing his unique narrative storytelling outside the scope of Odd Future (OFWGKTA).
Born on December 2, 1991, in Rumson, New Jersey, Charlie first gained recognition through his viral videos on YouTube—of him performing songs at home. At 31 years old, he has already made a significant impact within the music industry.
One thing that sets Charlie Puth apart is his ability to create chart-topping pop songs that resonate with listeners, young and old alike. His hit song “One Call Away” is a perfect example of this.
Calum Scott is an incredibly talented English singer and songwriter who gained recognition after competing in the ITV talent contest. Born on October 12, 1988, Calum Scott has become one of the UK's brightest stars in the music industry.
One of Calum Scott's breakthrough moments came when he participated in season 9 of Britain's Got Talent. It was there that he captivated audiences with his emotional rendition of Robyn's “Dancing On My Own,” which quickly became a hit song after airing.
Justin Timberlake, a multifaceted artist with roots in the late '90s as a member of the supergroup NSYNC, carved out his solo icon status in the 2010s. With hits like “Mirrors” and “Can't Stop the Feeling,” Timberlake showed an ability to combine pop, R&B, and soul in a way that few could match.
Prior to this, his 2006 album Future Sex/Love Sounds made him the poster boy for sexy R&B. This former Mickey Mouse Club member's sultry vocals helped him to solidify his place as one of the decade's most influential artists.
James Arthur is a talented English singer and songwriter who rose to fame after winning the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012.
However, his journey to success wasn't always easy. James faced difficult times in his life, including homelessness and spending time in foster care as a child. Despite these hurdles, James never gave up on his dream of making it in the music industry. He auditioned for The X Factor multiple times before finally getting his big break.
Niall Horan is a talented Irish singer-songwriter who gained fame as a member of the popular boy band One Direction amid the likes of Harry Styles and Zayn Malik.
With his good looks and boy-next-door appeal, Niall quickly amassed fans around the world—with success comparable to that of his previous One Direction bandmates. He has not only achieved success as part of One Direction but has also made a name for himself as a solo artist.
Irish singer-songwriter Hozier brought a soulful rock sound to the 2010s with his hit “Take Me To Church.” The track's gospel-infused tone and pseudo-erotic lyrics about love and societal critique made for a spicy combination.
Hozier's deep, resonant voice, combined with evocative songwriting, placed him among the decade's standout artists. Whether he's exploring themes of love, religion, or human rights, Hozier's music often feels reminiscent of a spiritual journey.
Starting as one-third of the Jonas Brothers, Nick Jonas emerged as a formidable solo artist in the 2010s. Shedding his former boy band image, Jonas showcased a more mature sound with songs like “Jealous” and “Close.”
His foray into R&B-infused pop, combined with his charismatic stage presence, has allowed him to carve out a distinct niche—separate from his identity as a former Jonas Brother.
Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum)
Lady Antebellum is a band that gained major recognition in the 2010s for their brand of alternative country music. The group, consisting of vocalists Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott, along with guitarist Dave Haywood, made waves with their intrinsic chemistry.
Their song “Need You Now” became a breakout hit and earned them several Grammy Awards. Lady Antebellum brought a refreshing sound to the country music scene.
James Bay is an incredibly talented English singer-songwriter and guitarist. He rose to fame with his debut album, Chaos and the Calm, and his 2014 single “Hold Back the River” prior to that—which became certified Platinum.
Fans of artists such as Adele and Years & Years will surely enjoy James Bay's music. There is no doubt that this British solo artist has made a significant impact on the music industry, as he’s gone on tour with everyone from The Rolling Stones to Taylor Swift.
John Mayer's impact on music clearly extends beyond the decade of the 2010s, but this period saw him evolve both musically and professionally. Known for his virtuosic guitar skills and heartfelt songwriting, Mayer's tracks like “Gravity” and “New Light” showcase his breadth as an artist.
While earlier work leaned heavily into pop-rock, the 2010s saw him delve into softer, introspective ballads and heighten the influence of blues. Beyond music, Mayer's candidness about his personal growth and ventures into the Dead & Company ensemble has solidified his status as a musician's musician.
Timothy Lee McKenzie (Labrinth)
Labrinth, also known as Timothy Lee McKenzie, is a talented British singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer who has made his mark in the music industry as more than just a frontman.
Beyond his success in creating memorable music under “Labrinth,” Timothy Lee McKenzie has also ventured into other musical projects, supporting the vision of others. He scored HBO's hit series Euphoria and co-wrote the song “Spirit” for Disney's remake of The Lion King.
James Morrison’s music style is often associated with jazz. This isn’t a shock, considering he described his influence growing up as a love for artists like Al Green, Otis Redding, Miles Davis, and Stevie Wonder.
Some of his popular songs include hits like “You Give Me Something” and “Broken Strings,” which feature Nelly Furtado. In interviews, he has alluded to a difficult and turbulent childhood marked by trauma and poverty. After discovery through an open mic night, he has gone on to write songs for other musicians like Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato.
Chad King (A Great Big World)
A Great Big World burst onto the music scene in the 2010s with unforgettable hit songs like “Say Something,” which featured the ever-iconic Christina Aguilera. This dynamic duo, composed of Ian Axel and Chad King, stands out among other rock bands from this decade, with their contrasting dual vocals.
Their breakthrough single cemented them as a force to be reckoned with in the pop rock landscape. They managed to scoop up a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their aforementioned ballad, “Say Something.”
Jason Mraz is a talented American singer-songwriter and guitarist who became popular in the early 2010s. He solidified his status by winning two Grammy Awards in 2010 for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Collaboration.
These awards were well-deserved, as Jason's songs “Make It Mine” and “Lucky,” a collaboration with Colbie Caillat, showcased his incredible talent. Although Jason Mraz's popularity has declined in recent years, his impact on the music industry cannot be denied—as he was once a household name.
Conor Mason (Nothing But Thieves)
As the lead vocalist of the British alternative rock band Nothing But Thieves, Conor Mason helped bring a distinctive sound to the 2010s with his bandmates. His remarkable vocal range, capable of delicate falsetto and powerful yell in equal measure, can be heard in tracks like “Amsterdam” and “Trip Switch.”
Conor's passionate live performances and introspective lyrics make him a standout artist and frontman of the 2010s, as Nothing But Thieves showcase radio-friendly and accessible rock music that still has intelligence behind it.
Michael David Rosenberg (Passenger)
Passenger, spearheaded by Michael David Rosenberg, is an English indie folk singer-songwriter project. With his unique stripped-down sound, he captured the interest of music fans as an underdog among other 2010s male singers.
Although previously considered a one-hit wonder of that decade, Passenger has been acknowledged by the likes of Rolling Stone magazine, who recognized his talent and ranked him among their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time back in 2008.
Danny O’Donoghue (The Script)
The Script is an incredible Irish rock band that has captivated audiences with their unique blend of pop, rock, and alternative. Formed in Dublin in 2001, the band consists of lead vocalist and keyboardist Danny O'Donoghue, guitarist Mark Sheehan, and drummer Glen Power.
With their sentimental lyrics and witticisms, The Script has gained a dedicated fanbase. Their music explores themes of love, heartbreak, and personal struggles with mental illness—topics that obviously resonate with listeners all around the world.
Josh Tillman (Father John Misty)
Josh Tillman, more famously known as Father John Misty, brought his unique blend of indie rock and folk to the forefront of the 2010s. His albums, particularly I Love You, Honeybear and Pure Comedy, are introspective, witty, and at times, cynically profound.
Tillman's lyrical narratives, combined with an expansive vocal range—especially for folk, create a tapestry of stories that critique modern life, love, and the human condition. His persona sets him apart from other artists of the decade.
Daniel Layus (Augustana)
Augustana is a talented band that was highly active during the 2010s. Led by American musician Daniel Layus, who served as the vocalist, pianist, and primary lyricist for the group, Augustana created some truly evocative, beautiful music.
“Boston” is one of their most well-known songs and showcases their ability to blend pop and rock seamlessly without sounding stale. Augustana's presence in the 2010s music scene shouldn’t be overlooked.
Jonathan Higgs (Everything Everything)
Fronting the British rock band Everything Everything, Jonathan Higgs is known for his distinctive falsetto and eclectic songwriting. The 2010s saw tracks like “Cough Cough” and “Distant Past” push the boundaries of contemporary rock, blending elements of pop and electronica.
Higgs' lyrics often touch on societal issues, making them just as thought-provoking as they are catchy. His energy on stage and commitment to dismantling the boundaries of the music genre have made him (and his band) key players in defining the ‘alternative’ sound of the 2010s.
Drake, also known as Aubrey Drake Graham, is a Canadian rapper, singer, and songwriter who has made a huge impact on contemporary popular music. His first three albums, Thank Me Later (2010), Take Care (2011), and Nothing Was the Same (2013), received critical acclaim and helped popularize the fusion of rap and R&B in the mainstream.
Drake holds the record for the highest number of certified singles in the United States and was recognized as the world's most popular recording artist in 2016.
Top Male Singers From The 2010s, Final Thoughts
These 2010s male singers captivated listeners throughout the decade and continue to sustain their pervasive influence into the 2020s. From Ed Sheeran's heartfelt ballads to Kendrick Lamar's socio-political lyrics, these artists will be remembered as icons of their time—and all of them have left their mark on the music industry.