Which 60s bands influenced the Stone Roses

The best rock singers of all time

They have influenced entire decades and for many their best performances are among the most important memories of their lives - the most successful rock singers in the world leave an emotional and cultural footprint to this day. Here are the 20 best music geniuses of all time who changed the genre and its fans forever.

01. Freddie Mercury

The world-famous singer of the rock band Queen composed legendary hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody *” or “We Are The Champions *” during the 70s and 80s. His live performances in particular were unique: Mercury's voice was extraordinarily extensive and instantly recognizable. Together with elaborate stage shows, costumes and theatrical dance performances, he was a pioneer as a performer for a whole generation of artists after him.

Born in Zanzibar under the name Farrokh Bulsara, he spent his youth in India and London. In 1970 he founded the band Queen with musician friends. During his musically most successful years, Mercury had several relationships with women and men. Among other things, he also lived for a few years in Munich, where he was on the move in the gay scene. In the mid-1980s, Freddie became infected with the HIV virus. At the beginning of the 90s, the rest of the world also found out about his illness and finally had to learn of the death of one of the most gifted rock singers of all time on November 24, 1991.

02. Robert Plant

Since it was founded in 1968, Robert Plant was the lead singer and songwriter of the British band Led Zeppelin for twelve years. Raised in the rural Black Country, he was later hailed as one of the best rock singers ever. His well thought-out live performances with elaborate costumes and his unmistakable high-pitched voice revolutionized the entire hard rock genre.

From 1982 Plant began his solo career. He expanded his musical range, experimented with international influences and different genres. The result were many collaborations with other musicians and singers, including Phil Collins, as well as his old bandmate Jimmy Page. He reinterpreted folk classics like “One More Cup Of Coffee *” or was inspired by oriental music with “Slow Dancer *”. His last album was released in 2017 under the title "Carry Fire *".

03. Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Mississippi in 1935 and became one of the most important figures in rock culture in the 20th century. As a young boy he sang in the church choir and grew up with influences from the blues and gospel. After school he kept himself afloat with jobs as a truck driver until he finally recorded the first rockabilly song in history in a studio: "That’s All Right *" sparked enthusiastic reactions from radio listeners and Elvis' music career could begin.

After numerous shows with other musicians, he rose to become King of Rock’n’Roll in the mid-1950s. In his live appearances on television, he presented his self-centered hip dance, which aroused outrage and enthusiasm in equal measure. From then on, Presley appeared in films as an actor, delivered one sold-out tour after the other and broke the hearts of girls from all over the world as a heartthrob.

He turned to studio albums in the 60s and 70s and started his famous Las Vegas show. His stage costume was always the infamous white jumpsuit with V-neck and cape. Elvis continued to produce music until his death in 1977, probably caused by heart failure as a result of drug use.

04. Prince

At the age of 17 Prince was able to land a contract with a record company and was immediately successful. His first three albums already presented an unusual artistic range, both through his unmistakable voice, the sexually charged lyrics and the fusion of rock, R’n’B, jazz, dance and funk.

1984 came the film "Purple Rain" with the accompanying album on the market; both were huge hits, followed by an Oscar for Prince and sold out tours. Seeing Prince live was the biggest dream for most of his fans. His voice could easily keep up with the genre mix of his music, his guitar skills were legendary and he regularly performed lascivious dances in extravagant outfits.

During his career, Prince switched between groups like The New Power Generation to phases in which he was touring solo. He was incredibly productive and released a new album almost every year. With his androgynous and gender fluid nature, he caused a stir in the gay scene and rumors grew up around his own sexuality, which he never commented on. He died in June 2016 at the age of 57.

05. Jon Bon Jovi

Under the real name John Francis Bongiovi jr. the American rock singer was born in New Jersey in 1962. His cousin owned a well-known studio where Jon's talent first emerged. This was followed by some appearances in clubs, both as a singer and as a guitarist.

In 1982 he finally recorded the song "Runaway *", which was to change his life. Initially only played on the radio, it became a hit in New York, whereupon the band Bon Jovi formed. Her first album was a huge success. A cooperation with Cher and a gigantic world tour followed. However, the burden of the tour weighed heavily on all band members and after the last show they went their own way.

Jon then wrote some movie songs and eventually released a solo album. He was hailed as a sex symbol and extraordinary talent. In the early 90s, the band finally reunited and Jon produced all of the albums under his own music label. In addition to his career as a singer, Jon was also on the road as an actor, including in "Sex and the City" and "Homegrown". To this day, Jon is an active philanthropist and politically active.

06. Jim Morrison


Jim Morrison rose to be an icon of the 1960s generation as the lead singer of The Doors. He is the best example of the personified longing for poetry and fantasy of that time, but also the self-destructive forces of the younger generation.

Ever since he was an eyewitness to a car accident in which several Indians were killed as a child, he has been fascinated by their culture and customs. In addition, he showed early interest in the philosophical texts of great thinkers.

In the mid-1960s, he finally joined an unknown band as a singer, which was renamed The Doors a little later. As a songwriter, while heavily drugged, he produced the psychedelic and poetic lyrics for which the band became famous. His rebellious philosophy of life and good looks helped him achieve a status as a sex symbol. There were several riots and arrests at numerous concerts of the band, as their supporters wanted to live out the protest against the police and the military, to which Morrison repeatedly called.

In the early 1970s, Morrison moved back to Paris. Plagued by breathing difficulties, he still did not stop using heroin and finally died on July 3, 1971.

07. Paul McCartney

No lyrics to rock singers can do without the most popular band of all time: The Beatles. As a bass player and songwriter, McCartney revolutionized a whole genre together with his bandmates at the time. His song "Yesterday *" is still one of the most played songs to this day.

At the end of the 50s he founded the Beatles together with his friend John Lennon and after a few small appearances in bars and clubs, the breakthrough came in 1962. Lennon and McCartney were both the musical minds of the band. At the height of their success, they drowned an entire generation of parents, whose children became immortal fans of the wild rock'n'roll musicians with the mushroom hairstyle.

After the release of the album "Let It Be *" the tensions within the band grew more and more, especially between Lennon and McCartney. Eventually the Beatles separated in 1970, after which Paul began his solo career. Many critics were not convinced of the studio albums that followed, but commercial success remained. Over his decades of career, McCartney has repeatedly surprised with new sounds from other genres and is still on stage today. As an all-round genius, not only his singing but also his skill with several musical instruments make a live performance an experience.

08. Axl Rose

The American singer is both the front man of the rock band Guns’N’Roses and, since 2016, the temporary singer of AC / DC. He belongs to the group of rock singers with the largest range of voices. In the mid-80s, he and his friends founded the rock group Guns’N’Roses and enjoyed great success, but the band's life was overshadowed by the drug and alcohol consumption of their members. After Axl was the only member left, he retired in the 90s and was rarely seen in public.

In 2008, after many years of waiting and anxiety, the band's comeback album "Chinese Democracy *" was released.

09. Billy Joel

Born in the Bronx in 1949, he received classical music training including piano lessons. Later he turned to rock and played as a solo artist or with a group in isolated piano bars and clubs. In 1971 he brought out his first album "Cold Spring Harbor *" with the help of his new manager, but financially it flopped. Two years later he was significantly more successful with “Piano Man *”, which also earned him his later nickname. His final breakthrough came in the mid-1970s. As the first American rock musician, he went on tour in the Soviet Union, later he teamed up for a tour with Elton John.

In 2006 he also managed to play sold out concerts in Madison Square Garden twelve times in a row - a success that no one has been able to match. Just like his more than 150 million records sold worldwide, numerous unique successes put him at the top of the rock league. For his cultural influence and his politically motivated texts, he received the "Kennedy Center Honors", one of the most prestigious awards for artists.

10. Sting

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner was born in England in 1951 and quickly became obsessed with his guitar. During the day he kept himself afloat by teaching, and in the evenings he played jazz with a group of friends in pubs and clubs. During the performances he often wore a black and yellow striped sweater that made him look like a bee, which quickly earned him the nickname "Sting" in English.

In the 1970s he finally moved to the metropolis of London, where he founded the band The Police with some musicians. The group experienced resounding success, with Sting always being one of the most important songwriters. The probably most famous song of the group "Every Breath You Take *" flowed from his pen and is a prime example of the magical effect of his voice.

In 1983 the members of the group finally decided to go their own way and Sting released solo albums. He collaborated with other rock greats such as Dire Straits, Phil Collins and Eric Clapton. In addition to rock, he also allowed influences from reggae, jazz and North African music to flow into his works.

In 2002 he won a Golden Globe for the song "Until ... *". To this day, Sting goes on tour again and again and inspires the masses. His openness to foreign cultures and his musical ability still bring him recognition, admiration and numerous awards.

11. Kurt Cobain


One of the most tragic and famous figures in rock music is Kurt Donald Cobain, who with his band Nivana invented the entire genre and lifestyle of grunge. Cobain grew up in a musical family and even let early memories flow into his lyrics.

During his time as a student and afterwards, he had some relationships with musicians who, along with his fascination for religions, also had a lasting influence. During his school days he and a friend founded the band Nirvana, and their first album made them an insider tip in the rock scene. The group's big commercial breakthrough came with “Smells Like Teen Spirit *” in the early 1990s. Along with Nirvana, the genre of grunge became known and Cobain was quickly proclaimed by the media as the spokesman for "Generation X". Cobain struggled with this role, however; he shied away from the limelight and also resisted an accurate interpretation of his lyrics. His turbulent relationship with the singer Courtney Love, whom he married in 1992, was particularly in the public eye.

Cobain struggled his life with chronic illness and depression, compounded by his massive drug use. He was finally found in 1994 after he committed suicide.

12. Chester Bennington

During his childhood, Bennington was already exposed to difficult family relationships and sexual abuse, which quickly led him into alcohol and drug use.

After school, he ran a tattoo studio until, after a few detours, he joined the band Linkin Park, who released their first album in 2000. In addition to lead singer, guitarist and piano player, he was also the group's main songwriter and dealt with many traumatic events from his youth in his lyrics. This gave Linkin Park its unique selling point, which differed from many other Nu-Metal groups through its poetry. His extraordinary voice also contributed to the success, capable of conveying every song from metal to rap with soul and force. During his time at Linkin Park Bennington also pursued some solo projects such as the group "Snow White Tan", but could not follow on from the earlier success.

Still shaken by his past, he finally committed suicide in July 2017.

13. David Bowie

One of the most popular and extraordinary male artists in the world remains to this day David Bowie, who changed both rock and pop music with his music.

He discovered his love for rock'n'roll at an early age and permanently changed his name based on the artist Jim Bowie. His debut album was released in the mid-1970s and the song “Space Oddity *” in particular caused a sensation. In the next few years, Bowie was able to record commercial successes with other records.

Bowie dealt with cultural aspects from all over the world in his texts and was inspired by various music groups. It was his diversity that finally made him an icon of glam rock with the album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars *" and a world tour. With his artistic alter ego Ziggy Stardust, he set aesthetic milestones for his stage shows and mixed up the gay scene. He played in sold-out halls around the world until the 1980s and kept reinventing himself and his style. He also appeared as an actor in world-famous film classics.

In 1992 he married the model Iman Abdulmajid and enjoyed an idyllic family life until his death in 2016. He leaves his last album "Blackstar *" and a huge artistic legacy like no other rock singer.

14. Mick Jagger


While studying at the London School of Economics, Michael Philip Jagger met his friend Keith Richards, with whom he decided to make music on a regular basis. The two played rock music in some London clubs, where Jagger's voice caused a sensation. Together with other musicians, the group The Rolling Stones was formed, which many consider to be the most popular and successful band ever.

Jagger wrote many of the songs, was the lead singer and guitarist and captivated the audience with his unusual and sexually charged dance routines during the stage shows. What followed were five decades in which he reinvented rock music like no other, filled the gossip papers from all over the world with his numerous relationships and breathed life into a new generation of rebels.

In the mid-80s he also undertook a few solo projects, but he never came close to the success of the Stones. With his loud political voice and his sexual attraction to all genders, Jagger was celebrated as a cultural icon in addition to music. Like no other, he stood for excess, both in art and in his personal life. Jagger's eighth child was born in 2016.

15. John Lennon

John Lennon was born in Liverpool in 1940 and later founded the Beatles with his friend Paul McCartney, which is still one of the most popular bands of all. Unlike Paul, John focused on politically motivated lyrics. With his art he repeatedly called for peace and condemned the Vietnam War and the American government.

In addition to regular drug use, Lennon was also interested in other ways to raise his awareness. He was engaged in meditation, Eastern religions and went on spiritual journeys to India.In 1969 he married the Japanese artist Yoko Ono and the tension within the band became too much: he left the Beatles and started his solo projects. Together with his wife, he fought against racism, war and social injustice in his music. One of the most popular songs from that time is the Christmas carol "Happy Xmas (War Is Over) *".

Lennon retired in the 1970s and did not release music again until ten years later. In December 1980, he was finally shot in front of his Manhattan home. Yoko Ono scattered his ashes in Central Park.

16. Bruce Springsteen

Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen is for many the ultimate American hero in music history. With his poetic and socially motivated lyrics, he became the voice of the working class in the States. Coupled with his persistence in performing live and his love for rock music, he has built a large fan base since the 1970s.

After a few unsuccessful albums, his commercial breakthrough came in 1975 with "Born To Run *". From then on there was no stopping: he filled halls around the world and released one successful album after the other. His rise to icon began with "Born In The U.S.A. *", which remains one of the best-selling albums.

In 1988 he gave a legendary concert in East Berlin that is still associated with the fall of the Berlin Wall. He received an Oscar for his theme song in the film "Streets of Philadelphia".

To this day, Springsteen is on the stages of the world and is considered one of the personified symbols of American coolness and rebellion.

17. Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy first saw the limelight in the 1960s and 1970s as the lead singer for Black Sabbath. Together with his colleagues, Ozzy studied the dark and scary aspects of life. Coupled with his singing, their fans felt transported into the world of the subconscious.

Their first albums celebrated huge successes until “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath *” was able to convince the rest of the critics. During this time Ozzy pursued solo projects until finally the personal differences of the band members became too much and he was kicked out of the band in 1979.

Ozzy then formed The Blizzard of Ozz, which could well follow on from his earlier success. Over the decades he teamed up with other gifted musicians and was able to surprise his fans again and again and inspire the masses with his live performances. In 2011 Black Sabbath made a comeback, which ended in 2016 with a farewell tour.

18. Steven Tyler

Born in 1948 under his native name Steven Tallarico, his father exposed him to influences from classical music at an early age. In 1970 he founded the group Aerosmith with some talented musicians. After a few years in clubs and small concert halls, their first studio album came out, which gave them a first small fan base. The group worked its way up to the end of the 1970s, when they finally played in sold-out halls and were permanently present in the charts.

Tyler became known as the "Demon of Screamin" because his voice could reach unusual heights without losing its power. For live performances, he threw himself into shrill costumes, which, together with his acrobatic dance performances, became his characteristic. In the early 1980s, however, Tyler's drug use increased and the band took a hiatus. However, they returned after a few years and experienced the best and most successful phase as a band. One album after the other, legendary concerts and television appearances continue to this day.

19. Phil Collins