We asked our readers to name the greatest singers of all time, and as you can imagine, they had plenty of opinions.
While music taste is of course utterly subjective, there were a few artists that repeatedly appeared as the votes poured in.
Although the answers were varied, there are certain singers whose voices cement them as a cut above the rest.
So, without further ado, here are some of the singers with the greatest voices of all time (according to Tone Deaf readers).
While Rolling Stone ranked Freddie Mercury 18th on its list of the Greatest Singers of All Time, he appears to be #1 among Tone Deaf readers. It’s no surprise that Mercury has received a number of accolades for his vocal prowess, given that his vocal range extended all the way from a bass low F to a soprano high 5.
Mercury has also been lauded for his unique tone and powerful belt, with one Tone Deaf reader claiming that “the range and power of his voice are unmatched.” Another commenter simply contended that “anyone who doesn’t say Freddie Mercury is wrong.”
It’s not hard to see why Whitney Houston was the female singer who got name-checked the most by Tone Deaf readers. Houston utilised her five-octave vocal range to release some of the most popular ballads of all time, including ‘I Will Always Love You’, ‘I Have Nothing’ and ‘Greatest Love of All’.
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The power of Houston’s voice was reflected in her commercial success, given she has sold over 200 million records worldwide. On top of that, she remains the only artist to have seven consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
Although he may not be the most obvious of choices, many Tone Deaf readers believe that Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton is one of the greatest singers of all time. To his credit, Patton boasts a six-octave vocal range and has lent his voice to a range of diverse projects, from metal to opera.
One reader wrote that they admire Patton’s “amazing vocal range and versatility,” while another claimed that he can “sing in any style he likes… everything from hardcore to Italian orchestra.”
It can easily be argued that there has never been a singer-songwriter who has reached the same level of critical acclaim as the late Jeff Buckley. He possessed a tenor vocal range that spanned four octaves, the same as the iconic Italian singer Pavarotti.
Buckley is remembered for having a chest voice and head voice that were equally as powerful, and for writing haunting lyrics that accentuated his talent. As one Tone Deaf reader put it, “he was a phenomenal artist; every live video leaves me shaken.”
It’s safe to say that Amy Winehouse possessed one of the most unique vocal tones of any mainstream artist ever. As several Tone Deaf readers pointed out, her voice was both modern and nostalgic, powerful yet vulnerable and altogether one-of-a-kind.
Winehouse received plenty of accolades during her short life, from tying the then-record for the most awards won by a female artist in a single night at the 2008 Grammys to becoming the first British woman to win five Grammys.
The late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell may have been known for his baritone voice, but he was also just as capable of belting out impossibly high notes. His level of vocal control and impressive technique helped him stand out amongst a sea of rock singers.
As one Tone Deaf reader put it,”he had the range, the power, the melody and most of all, the soul.”