The internet has dug up a 2008 list curated by Rolling Stone Magazine of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”.
First of all, this list by its very nature is so subjective, it could never be considered the definitive list. We could put together 100 different panels of music experts and get 100 different lists. The folks at Rolling Stone Magazine put together a panel of 179 experts and came up with their list. It includes singers from rock, pop, blues, country, and other genres of music.
There was a great diversity in the selections, from Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant, to Carpenters singer Karen Carpenter, from Patsey Cline, to James Brown. If nothing else, it is a very eclectic list of singers. There were, in my opinion, some glaring omissions, but I’m sure everyone who sees this list will think of singers that should be there and names on the list that shouldn’t be there.
Here are the top ten:
- Aretha Franklin
- Ray Charles
- Elvis Presley
- Sam Cooke
- John Lennon
- Marvin Gaye
- Bob Dylan
- Otis Redding
- Stevie Wonder
- James Brown
I am OK with the number one singer on the list: Aretha Franklin, but even that could be argued. The biggest omissions, again, in my opinion, are Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra. Barbara Streisand has won ten Grammys, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Grammy Legend Award. She has four Peabody awards, and is among a small group of entertainers that is an EGOT winner. (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award) I had the honor a number of years ago to hear her sing live, and the hair on my arms stood up when she sang. It was breathtaking to hear the beauty and power of her voice. Let it be said, I am not a big Barbara Streisand fan. I do not own any albums, CD’s or songs on my phone or ipod by Barbara Streisand. I just know she should be on the list.
As far as Frank Sinatra, I don’t think I even need to make a case for him being on the list. Music critics have called him the greatest singer of the 20th century. Enough said.
So, what do you think? Any names on the list that shouldn’t be there. Any singers that you think should be there? I’d love to hear your thoughts.