The “greatest” singer in popular music is one of those pub debates that starts off as a friendly disagreement and soon metastasises into people being written out of wills, fisticuffs, and divorce, but the folks at Concert Hotels have decided to do something to ease all the needless familial strife.
While their new interactive chart certainly won’t settle who the “greatest” singer in music is, the singer with the largest vocal range is in fact Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose, who is able to deftly command a staggering five octaves. To qualify, the current world record holder has a range of 10.
Rose’s range puts him in good company, helming a top five that includes Mariah Carey, a former Guinness World Record-holder for largest vocal range, Prince, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, and the King of Soul James Brown. When things start to get even more interesting is at the bottom.
Coming in last is Country singer Luke Bryan, who has the smallest range of those tallied, but joining him are superstars like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, and even popular music legends like Sam Cooke and Karen Carpenter. In fact, Cooke and Bieber possess almost identical vocal ranges.
Concert Hotels have also ranked the highest lowest notes that the artists have been able to hit, with Carey topping the highest list and Axl actually beating out Barry White to top the lowest notes list. It is of course important to note that the list was tallied according to each artist’s studio output and is thus a representation of what notes the artist was able to hit and not necessarily sing regularly.
Some interesting tidbits from the list (via Consequence of Sound) include gravelly-voiced street poet Tom Waits bearing a larger range than Bjork and Stevie Nicks, Lorde possessing a larger range than Whitney Houston, and Kurt Cobain and Miley Cyrus both beating out icon Aretha Franklin.
Watch: Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle