Submitted by Tie_Grouchy t3_zzl1dr in Music

I wanted to share my belief that George Michael was the best vocalist of all time. I know this is a bold statement, but let me provide some evidence to back it up.

First off, George Michael had an incredible range, both in terms of his high and low notes. His voice was strong and powerful, but also capable of great emotion and sensitivity. He could belt out a rock anthem like "Freedom 90" or deliver a soulful ballad like "Careless Whisper" with equal skill and passion.

But it's not just about technical ability - George Michael was also a master of phrasing and delivery. He knew how to hit the right notes at the right time to really make a song come alive. And his stage presence was undeniable - he had a commanding presence and an infectious energy that made his performances truly memorable.

Of course, all of this is evident in his extensive discography, which includes hits like "Faith," "Father Figure," and "One More Try." But it's not just his solo work that showcases his vocal talent - his collaborations with artists like Aretha Franklin and Elton John are also standout examples of his incredible voice.

In my opinion, George Michael's vocal talent is unparalleled. He had a unique and distinctive sound that set him apart from his peers, and he consistently delivered powerful and emotive performances that will stand the test of time.



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lakeguy2023 t1_j2c8kep wrote

George Michael is one of the best singers of all time but I reckon Freddie Mercury is the best singer of all time


thisizusername t1_j2c9fwl wrote

Yeah, Freddie is probably the greatest ever in terms of raw technical chops, so you could probably actually quantify his greatness.

If you want to bring things like soul and emotional delivery into the equation, it becomes a lot more subjective, and I don’t think he was the best when you start considering intangibles.


Johnny_Segment t1_j2c8pzz wrote

yeah, nah.


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2c8s1e wrote

Who’s your number one?


hjablowme919 t1_j2dg4hi wrote

It’s likely Aretha Franklin who could sing any genre of music except heavy metal. She even managed to pull off opera music. Pop. Soul. R&B. Rock. She could do it all and do it at an extremely high level.


BlackEyedAngel01 t1_j2c9lsk wrote

Freddie, Aretha, Sam Cooke


BigShoots t1_j2cc3d5 wrote

Yeah I don't think I've ever heard a better singer than Sam Cooke, he was effortless and perfect.


beatnickk t1_j2c99qa wrote

I’d probably say no. But I would also say I see where you’re coming and his voice is fucking unbelievable. Peep the video of him singing don’t let the sun come down on me with Elton John. Unreal talent


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2c9cr8 wrote

Right i’ve seen that and man every time he sings it’s just phenomenal.


togocann49 t1_j2c9t2i wrote

I’ll go with Freddie thank you


AMC4x4 t1_j2civ3h wrote

>First off, George Michael had an incredible range, both in terms of his high and low notes. His voice was strong and powerful, but also capable of great emotion and sensitivity. He could belt out a rock anthem like "Freedom 90" or deliver a soulful ballad like "Careless Whisper" with equal skill and passion. But it's not just about technical ability - George Michael was also a master of phrasing and delivery.

This could describe Freddie to a "T" as well.

Freddie could sing anything. Hands down, it's Freddie.


IzzyTheIceCreamFairy t1_j2de62d wrote

Listen to Sam Cooke.


hjablowme919 t1_j2df79z wrote

I love Sam Cooke. He’s just fantastic. That said, Sam Cooke could not sing Tie Your Mother Down.


IzzyTheIceCreamFairy t1_j2dfdv1 wrote

Freddie Mercury couldn't sing A Change Is Gonna Come with the same beauty of Sam Cooke. Freddie Mercury just isn't the be all and end all vocalist.


hjablowme919 t1_j2ea91f wrote

Given some of the more mellow songs Freddie sang, I think he could do that tune, which is arguably my favorite Sam Cooke tune, justice.

That said, I never said Freddie was the be all, end all of singers. I feel about him the same way I feel about Sam Cooke. Both great singers, but not the greatest singers.


thisizusername t1_j2c9wpo wrote

I used to steal a cassette of Faith to listen to after bedtime. I lost touch with George Michael’s music for awhile, but have been returning to it here and there recently. Father Figure is one of my favorite songs, and a great example of what you are talking about.

Another top vocalist not mentioned yet here is Maynard. Different genre, but he can (or could) do it all.


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2ca7sp wrote

Definitely going to check him out!


thisizusername t1_j2cc56l wrote

Here’s my favorite song, lyrics are powerful and deep, and there is a good display or emotional range and power. Just don’t ask Tool fans any questions about anything Tool related unless you want a pretentious dissertation (j/k…sort of).


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2cc98b wrote

Lol got it! going to listen to it now.


thisizusername t1_j2cfvgq wrote

Here’s another great, more recent vocalist. Merrill Garbus is a powerhouse, and has got loads of style. I like to highlight her vocal skills every chance I get, since she never seems to enter the conversation of best modern vocalists.


GlueForSniffing t1_j2cmsgy wrote

I'm going to share mine since everyone is sharing theirs.

I'm absolutely in love with Florence Welch's voice and I KNOW, some people loooove to say it's an acquired taste. I love the flourish, I love the fluctuation and her process of thinking of climaxes. She uses texture, she plays with winding notes, beautiful sustainment. She can add and subtract that fluttery vibrato that is entirely controlled and make it sound wild and free.

I love how she can ASSAULT notes and has an entirely contrasting heady falsetto. I love her dark chesty notes and mid-ranged belting. I've never seen someone use their voice the way she does.


Example 1 : Unique Vocal Perspective

Example 2 Her Fearless Vocal delivery

Example 3 Her heady falsetto

I've not seen anyone blend in and out of genres in a single song how she can. Classical, Soul, Rock, Pop, folk music.


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2co5ic wrote

Woah definitely adding adding her to my playlist


GlueForSniffing t1_j2cqxys wrote

She's definitely a boss. Glad if you like her. :)

If you like GRAND stuff you probably want to go with the 2nd album's stuff.

If you want more of a rustic 60's-70's Fleetwood Mac-ish vibe? Go for the 3rd album.

If you want Simple, go for the 4th album.

1st album is refreshing and different EVERY song.

and the 5th album which is the most recent is also pretty diverse but . . . I don't think it's for everybody? but if it is for you, it's AMAZING. :)

I don't really know what you like . . . or I'd make suggestions but that kind of guide should at least help you. Because Florence + the Machine is NOT a band where you can listen to even 3-4 songs and get what they do because she is VERSATILE.

The new album has a folk song that goes into spoken word and also a Disco track if that tells you anything.


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2cr104 wrote

100% going to give everything a shot she’s AMAZING!


GlueForSniffing t1_j2crp2o wrote

Awe, I'm so glad to make a new fan out of someone <3

It always feels good to meet someone with mutual appreciation for something or someone. :)

Would love to hear what songs really suck you in sometime.


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2cru87 wrote

I promise to get back to you once i’ve listened a lot of her work. Definitely loving it now though!


redrehtac t1_j2dd0by wrote

I’m gonna hopefully try your advice fully tomorrow. I’ll have control of the music allllll day.


GlueForSniffing t1_j2decr0 wrote

Well I hope it helps you find something. :)

She's got a lot of GREAT songs, but I've found a lot of people THINK they don't like her music because they're used to knowing what an artist sounds like based off of one or two tracks but . . . you can't do that with her.


Saktapking t1_j2dw3mg wrote

Flo & The Machine are killer and it’s like 90% her.


hezekiah_munson t1_j2e15ac wrote

To hear her sing live is amazing. That little rib cage and throat project that voice so hard! She is all over the register and she’s running around the stage. She’s an amazing vocalist and performer


GlueForSniffing t1_j2e58l0 wrote

Agreed. I saw her back before tickets skyrocketed in price thanks to COVID YEARS ago. I was near the front at an indoor venue and you can FEEL her vibrato RAIN down on you. Goosebumps.


thisizusername t1_j2eng7l wrote

This is a good pick, she’s one of the best doing it right now for sure. How do you feel about Merrill Garbus? Different vocal qualities, but one of my favorites ever.


Nizamark t1_j2cb511 wrote

Mike Patton


thisizusername t1_j2cclqa wrote

I see this suggestion often. I know he’s got range, but can you point me to a song that is vocally moving?


Pervypersuasion t1_j2cg61l wrote

Mike just doesn’t do those types of songs. Probably the closest you’ll find is the Faith No More cover of Easy.


thisizusername t1_j2ch3ho wrote

Fair enough, I guess I’m looking for reasons beyond lowest and highest note achievable for why he always shows up in conversations like this. I never really liked Faith No More, I’m not going to go scouring through their albums to find what I’m missing, so I typically ask for suggestions in cases like this from fans. In the case, maybe I asked the wrong question.


Pervypersuasion t1_j2ckq72 wrote

Yea they are just in two different sections of the music spectrum. I also wonder sometimes if it’s the song that’s moving or the person singing it, and Mike singing Easy is a good example of what I mean.


thisizusername t1_j2clwqc wrote

I don’t know, trying to out-soul Lionel Ritchie is a losing man’s game.

Thanks for sending, but I’m not feeling it personally. It sounds to me like Counting Crows cover of Big Yellow Taxi. Worse than the original in every way.

However, as you said, that’s not really his thing, so is there maybe a hidden Faith No More gem that I should listen to?


hjablowme919 t1_j2dffqc wrote

Lionel Ritchie cannot sing for shit on a live stage. His performance at his Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction a few months ago was embarrassing. While watching it my wife turned to me and said “he no longer has the right to criticize any singer on American Idol”. I agree.


thisizusername t1_j2epqz6 wrote

I haven’t seen it, but I’ll take your word for it. In any event, using a single vocal performance from someone who has eclipsed the age of 70 doesn’t seem like evidence like they weren’t good or excellent. I’m not saying Ritchie is the greatest in any event, but this cover of his work lacked the soul that makes the original so good, to me at least.


BostonBakedBeans76 t1_j2dg6yi wrote

“Zombie Eaters” and the song “The Real Thing” both show his range off very well.


gatorgongitcha t1_j2ccfdd wrote

One of the best for sure, and I’ll take his voice over Freddie Mercury unlike the rest of the comments. We all know Freddie could sing his ass off but pound for pound I get more out of George’s performances. There’s an X factor there.


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2ccxa7 wrote

Couldn’t agree with you more! I also noticed that he would occasionally give unique performances of his songs when he was on stage which I believe is amazing.


Boxofbikeparts t1_j2cdqkn wrote

Oh yeah! Especially on "Last Christmas"!



thisizusername t1_j2cgjqu wrote

I know it’s easy to make fun of Wham, but I’d rather listen to Last Christmas than most non-classic Christmas songs. Everyone I know personally likes it. Also, his vocal performance on that song is pretty great, so I’m not sure you are making the point you think you are making.


BOLIVIA_NEWTONJOHN t1_j2cs76r wrote

No Mike Patton is. Six octave vocal range and wide variety of techniques.


Ok_Minimum1805 t1_j2cb2lw wrote

I do love GM and think his voice, style, lyrics are some of the best…and then I listen to Mick Hucknel from Simply Red or Cat Stevens and think the same thing.


GlueForSniffing t1_j2chda3 wrote

That definitely is a bold statement, especially when you're mentioning Aretha Franklin in the same comment . . .

But I applaud you for selecting someone who isn't just some " High tier singer " on some non-existent Technique-based scoreboard where people think technique and range is all that matters in singing.

The same bland people list Whitney Houston - Mariah - Celine Dion and Freddie Mercury on repeat. Like, undeniably strong techniques but fuck are you all drinking the same Koolaid where you think only one type of voice sounds good?

So it's cool that you actually picked someone you felt deserved some appreciation.


falconhawk2158 t1_j2ciall wrote

I’m thinking vocal wise Steve Perry or maybe Luciano Pavarotti because I’m not thinking you could think of anybody with a more powerful voice


hjablowme919 t1_j2dfqa9 wrote

The late, great, Chris Cornell might have something to say about that whole “powerful voice” statement.


falconhawk2158 t1_j2fkozq wrote

I love Chris Cornell and as far as hard rock vocalist he has a case. But for vocalist with the most range I don’t know if he has the range to beat perry I don’t know Steve Perry has just always been one of my favorite singers. And Pavarotti is different from the other guy’s because he didn’t really crossover into other music but just listen to Turandot: nessun dorma and tell me if it’s not amazing the power his voice has.


Pervypersuasion t1_j2cjlf4 wrote

Johannes Eckerstrom from the band Avatar. They are a metal band but they incorporate so many different styles in their music and Johannes can sing anything. I tell people he is the Freddie Mercury of metal music. “Gun” is very emotional, especially for any dad with a son. “Tower” is a slow & dark tale that is a good example of his vocals. The new song “ Dance Devil Dance” showcases his ability to effortlessly change from one extreme to the opposite. “The Dirt I’m Buried In” is a fun riff-fest with clean vocals all the way through, showing that he can indeed SING. I’m not saying he’s better than George because GM did soulful music his whole solo career, but, in the world of hard music and as a metalhead that is big on vocals, Johannes is at the top of my list.


rhnll t1_j2clj5e wrote

I believe I heard that Axle Rose had the greatest range. I’m not sure, but I think I remember hearing that.


Scep_ti_x t1_j2coxfx wrote

He had a good mainstream pop voice, but he couldn't rock. So...Nah.


PaulSarlo t1_j2cvy66 wrote

I dunno about greatest, but goddamn he was pretty.


grimdog73 t1_j2cyh5t wrote

Greatest male pop vocalist....sure. Freddie hands down for best least male singers.


ted170 t1_j2d1fji wrote

Not even in the same book as the greatest vocalists let alone the same page


Djinn42 t1_j2da1t3 wrote

George is a great singer, but I pick Whitney Houston.


BobDobFrisbee t1_j2dc5is wrote

As you state in your last paragraph…”in your opinion..” Everyone is going to have a different set of parameters for what would qualify someone as “the greatest vocalist of all time.” I do remember the first time I heard “Careless Whisper” back in ‘84, and thinking “this guy can sing!” George Michael certainly was one of the best singers of his time. I’m in my 60’s, and have loved listening to music since I was a little kid. In my humble opinion, the top two vocalists of all time (based randomly on purity of tone, range and the ability to reach me emotionally) are Ella Fitzgerald and Annie Haslam of Renaissance.


LeeJamesWilson67 t1_j2dm9xe wrote

In pop and rock music it’s Freddie Mercury for me I think.


Serenade314 t1_j2dqdts wrote

Second to Freddie Mercury who he adored. In fact, GM was by far the best performer at the FM Tribute concert. He put all the other greats at that show to shame.


Saktapking t1_j2dw7vq wrote

I could be wrong but weren’t there a few octaves or ranges that only Whitney Houston could hit?


Peeinmymouthforever t1_j2c8e7a wrote

Michael Jackson is up yet, also Dave Matthews has quite a range.


beatnickk t1_j2c9629 wrote

MJ, okay for sure. Dave Matthews?


Peeinmymouthforever t1_j2c9ctf wrote

Yea, Crash and The Space Between are good songs that gives a sample.


beatnickk t1_j2c9lx5 wrote

I guess I’ll concede he’s an amazing vocalist but for me you have to sing good songs for me to consider you lol.


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2c8idi wrote

Very true both are very strong competitors for that top spot in my book.


Panic-Current t1_j2cazg2 wrote

Tom Jones


falconhawk2158 t1_j2cfnbz wrote

I’m upvoting because Tom Jones was my mom’s favorite. He was also one of Elvis if not his favorite .


Panic-Current t1_j2e0pv3 wrote

Listen to Tom Jones sing Cry to me , he sang it on a TV show and even at his age he can still out sing most new performers


falconhawk2158 t1_j2fmgih wrote

I always loved the green green grass of home, without love,and I who have nothing. My mom when she was alive use to get me to sing them for her. I’m not sure why someone would downvote you because he was a very powerful singer and he has kept his voice better than most singers I can think of. Which is also a testament to his vocal talent. Sometimes Reddit is a weird place.


Bokbreath t1_j2cbu7m wrote

Freddie Mercury has him beat on all fronts.


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2cby6k wrote

Definitely understand where you’re coming from but I think GM has a smoothness that even Freddie doesn’t have. Just my opinion though.


Ti3fen3 t1_j2cdh48 wrote

I think Freddie for the most part has more challenging songs than George.

But it seems like in every live concert vid I see of Freddie he is not hitting the notes very well (or is swapping them for lower notes).


FormalWare t1_j2cc1ec wrote

Ludicrous. (And, no, I am not plugging Ludacris and misspelling his name.)


Glum_Ad452 t1_j2cdh4z wrote

Extremely underrated vocalist and songwriter, but probably not in the greatest of all time discussion.


Seacarius t1_j2chfbv wrote

Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Ruth Brown, Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, both Crosby brothers, Patsy Cline, Christmas Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson…

… just to name a few who are better.


GlueForSniffing t1_j2e5jyf wrote

In your opinion.


Seacarius t1_j2e7y5a wrote

Yes, in my opinion - but that's what this post is all about.

Who's the best is always going to be subjective absent objective facts.


GlueForSniffing t1_j2e8xjs wrote

I just meant because you were saying " just to name a few who are better "

Which seems . . . y'know. Insulting.


Clongmonger t1_j2cm9oz wrote

Have an opinion but know when something is subjective. Also your reasons make zero sense. Timing isnt something that is an inherited talent. If you're a professional musician timing is like oxygen, you have to have it and it's not a hard thing to grasp. Very left-field take. He was a very forgettable singer


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2cnzgi wrote

Hey man i’m just stating my opinion. You must be fun at parties.


Tie_Grouchy OP t1_j2co323 wrote

There’s nothing wrong with a lighthearted post about my favorite vocalist but I suppose certain individuals just desire to argue.


Broad_Leopard_2816 t1_j2cdh88 wrote

I would argue Michael Jackson or maybe even Prince. MJ in the 60s, 70s, and 80s was nearly untouchable vocally. George Michael is close though and could definitely be argued as such.