Also known as absolute pitch, perfect pitch refers to a rare and special ability to play or sing a musical note or sound without needing an auditory reference. According to various studies, only 1 in 10,000 individuals has perfect pitch.
Perfect pitch is far from necessary in the music world. Furthermore, musicians and singers can use study and practice to achieve a learned perfect pitch. That said, to be born with this natural ability is akin to a superpower for musicians and singers.
Below, you can explore a list of the best singers with perfect pitch, many of whom you’ll recognize as having some of the most iconic and beautiful voices in history.
1. Freddie Mercury
Born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar, Freddie Mercury grew up in England, where he formed the world-famous, award-winning band Queen. His voice is as iconic as the band’s musical ballads, thanks to an incredible four-octave range.
You’ve no doubt sung along to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” where you hear Mercury hit that amazingly high-pitched note with the ease of an opera singer. Mercury’s powerful and magnetic stage presence, creativity, and voice have earned him induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Adele is a British singer and songwriter that has become one of the top-selling artists of the 21st century. Her powerful voice has perfect pitch, which she honed as a student at the prestigious BRIT School for the Performing Arts.
Every album she has produced has topped billboard charts, but her second album, 21, is a world-record setter as the top-selling, top-performing, and most Grammy-winning album of all time.
3. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey not only has perfect pitch, but she also has an unparalleled five-octave range. Her highest pitch almost sounds like her voice has been digitally altered by high-tech machinery. It is the highest pitch the human voice can achieve, known formally as the whistle register.
Carey is a pioneer for fusing her R&B sound with hip-hop, with nearly every track on her albums featuring a guest rapper. Her recordings span a nearly 40-year period. Ironically, she may be most famous for her 1994 Christmas album, Merry Christmas.
4. Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews is one of the most decorated artists of all time. Along with being made a dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, her long list of awards includes an Academy Award and numerous Golden Globe, Grammy, and Emmy Awards.
Dame Julie is both a singer and an actress. She began her career as a child actress in her native England before joining Broadway. Her success as a Broadway star led to her iconic roles in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, demonstrating her stunning voice.
5. Lea Salonga
Praised as The Pride of the Philippines, Lea Salonga is a Philippine singer and musical theater actor who rose to international fame first in England’s West End and then on Broadway.
You may not recognize her face, but you’ll know her voice if you grew up during the 90s and early 2000s. Her perfectly pitched voice is the voice of two Disney Princesses: Aladdin’s Jasmine and Mulan.
6. Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson is the lead singer, songwriter, and creative director of the beloved west coast surf rock group The Beach Boys. No one can argue with Wilson’s genius as a producer and musical innovator, nor can they deny the perfect harmony of voices in every Beach Boys song.
Wilson sang the high-pitched soprano notes, reaching the hardest pitches for a male.
7. David Foster
Nominated for a whopping 47 and winner of 16 Grammys, David Foster is a Canadian musician, singer, producer, and record executive. He’s a more famous keyboardist and producer than he is a singer, showing that perfect pitch is a skill that reaches every aspect of musicianship and the music industry.
His stunning career includes chairing the label Verve Records, appearing on countless famous talk shows as a guest musician, and recording nine albums.
8. Celine Dion
Another Canadian talent, Celine Dion, is a Quebecois singer and the top-selling artist in Canadian history. Her musical style spans genres including rock, pop, gospel, and classical but it’s her powerful voice that makes her a legend.
Dion came into the international spotlight in the late 80s as a competitor and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. She went on to record some of the best-selling albums in North America during the 90s. Her biggest hits include “Because You Loved Me,” “It’s All Coming Back to Me,” and the theme song to the blockbuster movie Titanic, “My Heart Will Go On.”
9. Florence Henderson
While she may be most famous for her role as Carol Brady on the hit 70s TV show, The Brady Bunch, Florence Henderson began her career as a singer on Broadway.
Her perfect pitch supplied the singing power to a myriad of musicals during the 50s, from Wish You Were Here to Fanny. Her success as a Broadway actor paved the way for her roles in The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch.
10. Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston’s voice is so iconic that her honorific pop culture name was simply “The Voice.” Houston is one of the best-selling female pop, soul, and R&B singers of all time and has had the longest reign as consecutive Billboard topper of any woman in history.
Not only does she have multiple Grammys and Emmys, but she is also the holder of 28 Guinness World Records. There’s no more iconic and soulful example of her stunning voice than her most famous song of all “I Will Always Love You.”
11. Elton John
Sir Elton John is another royally dubbed artist with perfect pitch. He is one of the best-selling musicians of all time, selling 300 million records and counting. His countless albums and life-changing songs have all earned spots on The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the greatest albums and songs of all time.
He’s also one of the most prolific artists ever, with over 30 solo albums, ten soundtrack albums, and countless collaborations.
12. Frank Sinatra
The leader of the Rat Pack and ultimate heartthrob of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, Frank Sinatra, is as famous a singer as he is an actor. His musical style is the epitome of easy listening, his low voice crooning lovable lyrics accompanied by soft jazz.
His singing career encompasses iconic songs and recordings along with the most lauded and popular decades-long live performance run in Las Vegas.
13. Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald is a pioneer in both the music industry and the civil rights movement. Her perfect pitch was only one of her many talents that earned her nicknames like “The First Lady of Song” and the “Queen of Jazz.”
She began her career singing on the streets of Harlem at age 17, getting her big break at an Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in 1934. In the decades to come, she would become the most famous female jazz singer of all time.
Her voice is so pure and perfect that she’s as famous for her scatting as she is for singing real words.
14. Stevie Wonder
Perhaps Stevie Wonder’s blindness naturally honed his auditory senses to bestow him with one of the most beautiful voices of all. Whatever the reason, Stevie Wonder is one of the most influential and beloved singers, songwriters, and genre creators in history.
He is a musical genius, playing multiple instruments and pioneering the novel sounds of a synthesizer which has influenced music in all genres today. His 25 Grammys are well-deserved!
15. Barbara Streisand
From nightclubs to Broadway to Hollywood, Barbara Streisand’s career has spanned over 60 years and counting. Streisand’s singing career started in nightclubs around New York, earning her a deal with Columbia Records which would lead to countless award-winning albums.
Her acting career is equally impressive, with a range from comedies to dramas. Streisand is one of the select few EGOT winners, that is someone who has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.
Karen Carpenter was a drummer and singer in the 60s and 70s duo The Carpenters with her brother Richard. Carpenter’s stunning voice had a three-octave range that served as both an accompaniment with her piano playing brother and as a solo sound.
Not only was her voice perfectly pitched, but she was one of the few lead singers that were also a drummer.
17. John Legend
John Legend’s colorful career began in the shadows of other great artists, collaborating with his beautiful voice and piano skills with icons like Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, and Jay Z.
When he decided to step into the spotlight as a solo artist, he did so with characteristic grace, earning a double platinum certification with his debut album. Legend has since won 12 Grammys, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe, along with an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
18. Charlie Puth
A true self-made success story, Charlie Puth won over audiences when youtube videos of his perfect pitch vocals went viral. He trained at the prestigious Berklee School of Music, which fine-tuned both his vocal skills and knowledge of music and songwriting.
His award-winning albums feature famous collaborators, from Selena Gomez to BTS member Jungkook.
Boy Bands aren’t just an American or British phenomenon, as evidenced by the worldwide success of the latest boyband, BTS from South Korea. Jungkook is the star vocalist in BTS, earning him solo gigs and collaborations with other artists.
His voice belted out the FIFA World Cup 2022 theme song “Dreamers” during the opening ceremony. In his short career, Jungkook has become the most famous Korean singer in history, his three solo songs reaching record highs for any Korean musician on Spotify.
20. Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper is one of the rare singers who achieved instant success with her debut album, featuring her most iconic and chart-topping songs like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time.”
Her high-pitched vocals are crisp and clean, while her unique, edgy style and activist nature have garnered popularity outside of the music industry. Her over 40-year career has garnered Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, and an Oscar, making her part of the exclusive EGOT denomination.
21. Jacob Collier
Jacob Collier is one of the true musical geniuses of the current generation. His perfect pitch extends to every aspect of his unique fusion of music, from his low baritone voice to the multiple instruments and sounds he plays simultaneously.
His stage presence is even more inspiring as he creates an all-inclusive and interactive experience wherein the audience serves as backup singers. His masterpiece is a four-album volume of music that encompasses 50 songs.
22. Ariana Grande
Another contemporary pop musical prodigy, Ariana Grande, has perfect pitch and a voice with a four-octave range. Like Mariah Carey, Grande can also reach a whistle register.
She began her career as a child star on Broadway, which led to a role on Nickelodeon. She began singing cover songs before debuting her first original album in 2013.
She has won several Grammys, is one of the top-selling artists of the 2010s, and is on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, all before turning 30.
23. Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix is one of the most influential American musicians in history, his perfect pitch contributing to his status as one of the best electric guitarists that ever lived. Hendrix was also a master songwriter, singer, and composer.
His controversial and iconic performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at the 1969 Woodstock music festival was heard around the world.
24. Bing Crosby
What Frank Sinatra was for the 50s and 60s, Bing Crosby was for the 20s to 40s. Crosby was one of the first singers and actors to achieve international notoriety.
His warm, perfect pitch, good looks, and iconic movies garnered unanimous admiration and inspired artists for generations to come. Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and John Lennon were some of his biggest fans, citing Crosby as the main muse for their own stage personas and musical stylings.
25. Michael Jackson
Crowned the King of Pop, Michael Jackson has been in the spotlight since grade school, first as the frontman for the Motown R&B group The Jackson Five and later as a solo artist.
His crisp perfect pitch was the lead in The Jackson Five’s greatest hits like “ABC” and “I Want You Back.” His voice matured but didn’t lose its perfect pitch, as evidenced by one of the most successful solo careers in history.
Top Singers With Perfect Pitch, Final Thoughts
Perfect pitch is a rare gift that only a very few groups of people possess, and it’s more a natural talent than a skill you learn. Any music lover can appreciate the incredible voices of the best singers with perfect pitch listed above, regardless of their musical genre preferences.
Some of the most iconic and decorated musicians and singers of all time achieved their successes no doubt through passion, hard work, and perseverance, but their perfect pitch provided that extra unteachable talent.