News Column

Buzz: Axl Rose tops dubious list of rock's greatest singers

May 25, 2014

By Dale Roe, Austin American-Statesman



May 25--Move over, Pavarotti ... Travel website Concert Hotels (www.concerthotels.com) just named Guns N' Roses vocalist Axl Rose as the greatest vocalist of all time.

Sorry, Justin Bieber -- you're way down on the list. At least you ranked just above Sam Cooke, which immediately makes this chart suspect (along, I guess, with the fact that it was created by a website called Concert Hotels).

To be fair, the 77 singers on the list are ranked by their vocal range, which seems like a strange way to "rate" vocalists. I'm pretty sure I've seen some "American Idol" contestants with amazing range who were horrible singers (in fact, that probably holds true for more than one "Idol" judge).

To quote that show's Randy Jackson, I think this list is "pitchy, dawg."

Rose's vocals range from F1 on the low, low end (in the song "There Was a Time") to B-flat-6 on the "You're pretty sure I've been castrated, aren't you?" end (in "Ain't It Fun?").

That places him above Mariah Carey, Prince, Steven Tyler and James Brown, who round out the top five -- not feelin' so good now, are you, Mr. Brown?

In contrast, country crooner Luke Bryan's vocals clock in from A2-A4, giving him the smallest range of the singers rated.

Michael Jackson came in at No. 26, sandwiched just below Mick Jagger and right above Nina Simone. The King of Pop's hologram was not ranked.

Other odd pairings: Lana Del Rey edges out Roy Orbison; Lorde tops Whitney Houston; Tom Waits beats Bono; Eminem bests Steve Perry; and Miley Cyrus charts just above Justin Timberlake, while both land atop Bob Dylan. (I know; I just read it back. Sorry for putting that picture in your head.)

The reaction on Twitter was predictable.

"The people who voted Axl Rose greatest singer of all time had to point to a poll answer after holding their breath until they saw stars," wrote @BottleOfSquid.

"Axl Rose rated the greatest singer of all time. Really. So much for science triumphs," wrote @fredontv.

"After ranking Axl Rose as the greatest vocalist, Concert Hotels is expected to name Fran Drescher as the greatest orator of all time," tweeted @StumpWoodley.

"Axl Rose tops list of greatest singers. Also tops list of best customers at Old Country Buffet," wrote @ejc.

Ouch. That's just mean -- and inaccurate.

For the record, here is a comprehensive list of Axl Rose's other achievements:

1. Most famous person named Axl.

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(c)2014 Austin American-Statesman, Texas

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Source: Austin American-Statesman (TX)


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