Have you ever found yourself trying to remember who the iconic voices of the 1970s were? We've been there too. Digging deep into our memory and combing through countless records, we've compiled a list that celebrates these legendary 70s male singers. Which are your favorites?
Iconic and unforgettable, Freddie Mercury rose to worldwide fame as the lead vocalist and pianist of the rock band Queen in the 70s. His flamboyant stage persona, four-octave vocal range, and unparalleled showmanship dazzled us.
Regarded as one of history's greatest singers in rock music, he redefined what it meant to be a frontman.
Before joining Queen, Mercury was part of another band called Smile. After legally changing his name around 1970 from Farrokh Bulsara to Freddie Mercury, all aspects of his life started reflecting this bold new identity—dynamic and daring.
We were equally amazed at discovering that besides being an incredible singer-songwriter, our favorite rocker had skills extending far beyond music: he was quite agile in boxing and table tennis too.
We can't help but appreciate the rock music brilliance of Bruce Springsteen, one of America's most beloved songwriters and guitarists. Growing up in New Jersey, he found inspiration in Frank Sinatra's songs and the electrifying performances of Elvis Presley.
Springsteen has a heavy catalog to his credit with 21 studio albums filled with anthems like “Born to Run” and “Born in the USA.” His songwriting skills are also exceptional; other artists' successful renditions of his songs include Patti Smith's “Because The Night” and the Pointer Sisters' “Fire.”
David Bowie, born on January 8, 1947, in Brixton, London, was a true icon of the music industry. With his unique style and distinctive sound, he left an indelible mark on pop music.
Known for his influential role in rock and glam rock genres, Bowie's impact went far beyond just his musical contributions. He reinvented himself time and time again throughout his career, taking on various personas like Ziggy Stardust and experimenting with different sounds.
His artistic expression and fashion choices made him a cultural icon as well. Sadly, Bowie passed away on January 10th, 2016 but his legacy as one of the greatest musicians of all time continues to live on.
Marvin Gaye, the soulful voice that defined an era, holds a special place in our hearts. With his masterful songwriting abilities and powerful yet gentle vocals, he made significant contributions to popular music.
His soul-searing compositions like “Let's Get it On” and “Sexual Healing”, delivered with a depth of emotion unparalleled in rhythm and blues music.
Throughout the '70s, he was one of Motown records' shining stars – just picture him commanding audiences with his undeniable stage presence! However, his story is not all glamor and applause; behind the successful musical career lay personal struggles leading up to his tragic death.
Al Green, born Albert Leornes Greene on April 13, 1946, is an American singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1970s. He is often hailed as one of the best male singers of that era and is considered a true successor to legends like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding.
Al Green's soulful voice and smooth delivery captivated audiences, making him the most popular performer of soul music during that time.
With hits like “Let's Stay Together,” Al Green achieved immense success in the music industry. His talent extended beyond just pop music, as he also delved into gospel music later in his career.
In fact, he even became a pastor alongside his musical pursuits. Despite achieving great fame and recognition in the '70s, Al Green continues to be active in the music industry today.
Paul McCartney was one of the most successful singers of the 1970s. As the lead singer of the band Wings, he churned out numerous hits during that decade. Songs like “My Love” and “Band on the Run” topped charts in both the US and UK, solidifying McCartney's position as a top male vocalist.
In fact, he had an impressive 27 Top 40 hits in the US alone, surpassing even Elton John's record at that time. Aside from his success with Wings, McCartney is also known for his collaborations with artists from various genres including Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.
He even holds the distinction of being the only Beatle to have collaborated with Michael Jackson himself. With over 295 songs written or co-written alongside John Lennon, Paul McCartney has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on music history.
Iggy Pop's prominence as one of the best singers of the '70s is a testament to his unparalleled stage presence and unique vocal style. As the frontman of The Stooges, his raw and energetic performances revolutionized rock music.
His influential albums like “Raw Power” and “Fun House” displayed his uninhibited and provocative approach to singing. Iggy's magnetic voice, marked by its gritty and emotive quality, captivated audiences and solidified his status as a punk rock icon.
His fearless attitude and innovative sound left an enduring impact, inspiring generations of musicians and earning him a well-deserved place among the great vocalists of the '70s.
Willie Nelson, born on April 29, 1933, is an American country musician who has been active in the music industry since 1956. Not only is he a singer with a unique and distinctive voice, but he's also a talented musician, songwriter, actor, and activist.
One of the things that sets Nelson apart as a singer is his unconventional phrasing, which adds depth and emotion to his performances. In 1973, he achieved critical success with the release of his album “Shotgun Willie,” solidifying his place as one of the greatest male singers of all time.
His contributions to country music have not gone unnoticed either – Rolling Stone magazine ranked him among their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time in 2008. Despite being 90 years old now, Nelson continues to perform and record music while serving as an elder statesman for country music.
Jackson Browne's impact as one of the best male singers of the 1970s cannot be overlooked. With his warm, soulful voice and poetic songwriting, Browne crafted timeless classics like “Running on Empty” and “Doctor My Eyes.” His introspective and emotive lyrics resonated deeply with audiences, evoking a sense of connection and introspection.
Browne's ability to convey genuine emotions through his music touched hearts and solidified his status as a masterful storyteller. His contributions to the singer-songwriter movement of the '70s left an indelible mark on the musical landscape, making him an enduring and influential figure in the world of music.
John Lennon's impact as one of the best singers of the '70s cannot be overstated. As a founding member of the iconic Beatles, his distinct voice and emotive delivery left an indelible mark on the era's music scene. His solo career further showcased his immense talent, crafting hits like “Imagine” and “Instant Karma.”
Lennon's ability to infuse raw emotions into his vocals resonated with listeners, making him a voice for peace and social change. His unique style and profound lyrics touched hearts and inspired countless artists, solidifying his legacy as a true musical legend of the '70s and beyond.
Glen Campbell's presence as one of the best singers of the 1970s was unparalleled. His smooth and velvety voice effortlessly navigated genres, from country to pop and beyond. With hits like “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights,” Campbell's magnetic performances captured the hearts of millions.
He showcased remarkable musicianship as a skilled guitarist, earning him respect in the music industry. Campbell's versatile vocals and genuine passion for storytelling allowed him to interpret songs with a heartfelt authenticity. His contribution to the '70s music scene was profound, leaving an enduring legacy as one of the era's most beloved and talented singers.
Bob Marley is a musical legend who has left an indelible mark on the music industry. He was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician who played a significant role in the development of reggae music.
His unique voice and soulful lyrics captured the hearts of millions around the world. Born on February 6, 1945, Bob Marley's music was heavily influenced by his upbringing in Trench Town, Kingston.
Marley's songs like “No Woman No Cry,” “Trench Town Rock,” and “Three Little Birds” are timeless classics that continue to resonate with people today. With his distinct blend of ska, rocksteady, and reggae rhythms, he pioneered a new sound that became synonymous with Jamaican culture.
Considered one of the greatest musicians of all time, Bob Marley's influence extends far beyond his untimely passing on May 11th, 1981. His powerful messages of love, unity, and social justice continue to inspire generations across the globe.
Robert Plant, born on August 20, 1948, is an English singer and songwriter who is best known as the lead singer of the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin. With his powerful vocals and charismatic stage presence, Plant helped to define the image of a “rock god” during his time with the band.
He has been recognized as one of the greatest frontmen in rock history and has even topped lists ranking the best rock band lead singers. Plant's career with Led Zeppelin contributed greatly to his status as a legendary singer, and he continues to be revered for his contributions to rock music.
Michael Jackson is one of the greatest male singers of all time. With estimated sales of over 400 million records worldwide, he has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Known as the King of Pop, Michael had a staggering 13 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles throughout his career.
He was not only a talented vocalist but also an incredible entertainer, mesmerizing audiences with his soulful voice and breathtaking dance moves. Starting his singing career at a young age with the Jackson 5, Michael later achieved immense success as a solo artist.
His album “Thriller” alone sold over 66 million copies worldwide, and still is one of the best-selling albums in history. Michael's impact on popular culture and music cannot be overstated; he inspired countless artists and performers who followed in his footsteps.
Elton John is a British singer, pianist, and composer who rose to fame in the 1970s. With his unique blend of rock, pop, and glam influences, Elton John became one of the most acclaimed and prolific artists of his time.
Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England, Elton John has sold over 300 million records worldwide throughout his career spanning more than five decades.
One interesting fact about Elton John is that he has been collaborating with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967. Together, they have created some of the most iconic songs in music history.
Another fascinating aspect of Elton John's career is his incredible talent as both a singer and a pianist. His distinct voice combined with his masterful piano playing has made him one of the most popular entertainers of the late 20th century.
Stevie Wonder is an incredible musician and singer-songwriter who has captured the hearts of music fans around the world. Born in Saginaw, Michigan, on May 13, 1950, Stevie Wonder's talent was evident from a young age.
Despite becoming blind shortly after birth, he didn't let that stop him from pursuing his passion for music.
By the age of 9, Stevie Wonder had already mastered several instruments including the harmonica, piano, and drums. His musical abilities are nothing short of remarkable. In fact, he is considered one of the most creative musical figures of the 20th century.
Throughout his career, Stevie Wonder has been recognized for his immense talent with numerous awards. He holds an impressive record of winning 25 Grammy Awards – the highest number won by a solo artist.
Ozzy Osbourne is one of the most iconic figures in rock and roll history. He gained fame as the vocalist for heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath during the 1970s. After leaving the band, Ozzy embarked on a successful solo career that solidified his status as a legendary musician.
Known for his eccentric personality and wild stage presence, he became notorious for his party-hardy lifestyle.
But there's more to Ozzy than just his rockstar persona. He has achieved significant success not only as a musician but also as a television personality. Ozzy is considered one of the biggest characters in rock history, and he was even honored with Birmingham's own Hollywood-style Walk of Fame.
Despite his wild reputation, it's important to note that Ozzy Osbourne is still alive and thriving today. He has managed to survive decades in an industry known for its excesses, all while maintaining a loyal fanbase who appreciate his unique vocal style and energetic performances.
The Bee Gees
The Bee Gees were an incredibly successful band during the 1970s, particularly known for their contributions to pop music and the disco era. Consisting of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, they left a lasting legacy in the music industry with their hit singles and remarkable vocal harmonies.
Some of their most popular songs from that time include “Stayin' Alive,” “Too Much Heaven,” “You Should Be Dancing,” “Tragedy,” and “Love You Inside Out.” These tracks not only dominated the charts but also became iconic representations of the era.
Van Morrison's presence as one of the most powerful singers of the '70s was a force to be reckoned with. His soulful and husky voice was instantly recognizable, infusing every note with raw passion and intensity. Hits like “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Moondance” showcased his unmatched vocal prowess, blending elements of soul, R&B, and folk into a unique and captivating sound.
Morrison's ability to convey profound emotions through his music struck a chord with audiences worldwide, solidifying his status as a true musical icon. His impact on the '70s music scene remains unparalleled, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to influence artists to this day.
Ronnie Van Zant
Ronnie Van Zant was a legendary American singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. With his baritone vocals and wild stage antics, he became one of the must-see performers of the 70s music scene.
Considered one of the greatest rock and roll frontmen of all time, Van Zant's distinctive voice was a defining feature of Lynyrd Skynyrd's sound. He tragically passed away at a young age, but his legacy lives on through his contributions to Southern rock music.
Fans and critics alike still hold his songs and performances in high regard for their raw energy and powerful delivery.
Barry White, one of the most influential singers of the 70s, was a musical force to be reckoned with. Influenced by legends like James Cleveland and Ray Charles, his deep, velvety voice captivated audiences worldwide.
At just 19 years old, Barry White married his childhood sweetheart named Mary. Unfortunately, their marriage eventually ended in separation in 1969. As for children, details are scarce but it is known that he had a few.
Barry White also formed a group called Love Unlimited and produced their first single. Throughout his career, he collaborated with incredible artists such as Aretha Franklin and Elton John among others.
Ray Charles undeniably stood as one of the best singers of the '70s, leaving an indelible mark on the music landscape. Despite facing personal challenges, his musical prowess soared to new heights during this decade.
His soulful and versatile voice effortlessly bridged various genres, from R&B to jazz and blues. Charles' iconic hits, like “Hit the Road Jack” and “Georgia On My Mind,” showcased his unmatched vocal abilities and emotional depth.
His enduring appeal and artistic brilliance kept him at the forefront of popular music, inspiring generations of musicians and solidifying his position as an all-time great in the '70s and beyond.
Steven Tyler is an American singer who was born on March 26, 1948. He became famous in the 1970s as the lead singer of Aerosmith, a rock band known for their energetic performances and catchy songs.
Tyler's vocals are powerful and soulful, earning him a spot among Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Singers. In addition to his musical career, he has also been a judge on the popular television show “American Idol.”
In the 1970s, Bob Dylan continued to prove himself as one of the best singers and songwriters of his generation. His iconic voice, with its distinctive rasp and heartfelt delivery, remained a defining feature of his music. Dylan's ability to evolve and adapt to the changing musical landscape was evident in albums like “Blood on the Tracks” and “Desire.”
His poetic and introspective lyrics touched on universal themes, resonating with audiences worldwide. Dylan's influence on folk and rock music persisted throughout the '70s, cementing his status as an enduring and legendary figure in the music industry.
Bob Seger is a legendary vocalist and songwriter known for his soulful and raspy voice. With his roots in rock music, Seger's songs often delved into themes of love, women, and the working class.
He gained immense popularity during the 1970s and '80s, thanks to his signature blend of rhythm and blues with classic rock influences. Hailing from Detroit, Bob Seger's music resonated deeply with listeners, earning him a dedicated fan base.
As a talented musician who not only sang but also played the guitar and piano, Bob Seger showcased his versatility throughout his career. His gravel-voiced singing style combined with his keen-eyed songwriting made him one of the best male rock singers of the era.
Billy Joel is an iconic figure in the music industry, known for his incredible talent as a singer, songwriter, and pianist. With over 160 million records sold, he is one of the best-selling music artists in the world and holds the fourth spot for best-selling solo artist in the United States.
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Billy Joel's humble beginnings didn't hold him back from achieving phenomenal success. He dropped out of high school to pursue his passion for music, a decision that would shape his destiny forever.
From heartfelt ballads like “Piano Man” to romantic classics like “Just The Way You Are,” Billy Joel's songs have touched millions of hearts around the globe.
John Fogerty is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist who has made a lasting impact on rock ‘n' roll history. Born on May 28, 1945, he is best known as the lead singer and primary musical force behind the iconic band Creedence Clearwater Revival.
With his powerful vocals and catchy songs, Fogerty helped define the sound of the era with hits like “Proud Mary” and “Bad Moon Rising.” But his talents didn't stop there.
After Creedence Clearwater Revival disbanded, Fogerty embarked on a successful solo career that yielded hit albums such as Centerfield, Revival, Premonition, and Wrote a Song for Everyone.
Brad Delp was a true talent in the world of rock music. As the original lead vocalist for the iconic band Boston, he left an indelible mark on the industry. Born on June 12, 1951, Brad possessed a vocal range and ability to hit high notes that set him apart from his peers.
Not only did he lend his powerful vocals to Boston's hits, but he also showcased his skills as a rhythm guitarist. Tom Scholz, the founder of Boston, even hailed Brad as one of the best male studio singers around.
Sadly, Brad's life was cut short when he passed away on March 9, 2007. However, his musical contributions continue to be celebrated by fans and fellow musicians alike. His legacy lives on through his rich discography and body of work with Boston.
Glenn Frey was an incredibly talented singer, songwriter, and musician who gained fame as the co-lead singer and frontman for the Eagles. Alongside his bandmate Don Henley, Frey played a crucial role in establishing the Eagles as one of the most beloved bands of the 1970s.
Some of their biggest hits, such as “Take It Easy,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” and “Already Gone,” featured Frey's songwriting talents. Tragically, Glenn Frey passed away at age 67 on January 18, 2016.
However, his legacy lives on through his timeless music with both the Eagles and his successful solo career. Music fans around the world continue to admire him as one of the greatest male singers of the iconic 70s era.
Roger Daltrey is a true legend in the music industry. As the lead singer of the rock band The Who, his powerful vocals and charismatic stage presence have captivated audiences for over 50 years.
Born on March 1, 1944, Daltrey has dedicated his life to creating incredible music that stands the test of time.
Not only known for his work with The Who, Daltrey has also made a name for himself as an actor, composer, musical director, and producer. He is a multi-talented artist who continues to push boundaries and explore new creative avenues.
With his unique blend of rock and roll grit and soulful balladry, Daltrey's voice is truly one-of-a-kind. Rolling Stone magazine recognized this by ranking him as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Mick Jagger is a rock music icon and the epitome of a charismatic frontman. Born as Michael Philip Jagger in Dartford, Kent, he has had an incredible career spanning over six decades.
Known for his legendary songwriting and powerful singing voice, Jagger has become synonymous with the Rolling Stones, the band that propelled him to superstardom. His gritty, blues-influenced songs have resonated with fans around the world, making him one of the most popular and influential musicians of all time.
Not only known for his musical talents, Jagger has also explored acting throughout his career. But it's on stage where he truly shines, captivating audiences with his electrifying performances and undeniable stage presence.
Top 70s Male Singers, Final Thoughts
The '70s pop music held a mesmerizing charm, captivating hearts worldwide. With groovy beats and soulful lyrics, it transcended generations, sparking nostalgia and joy even today. Its magical melodies became the anthem of cultural revolutions, uniting people and spreading love.
Whether it was rock, pop, or R&B, the 70s gave us some of the greatest voices in music. These legendary singers explored every popular genre and created hits that live on to this day.