100 Top Male Singers Of The '50s, '60s, And '70s Who Changed Music
Musical tastes change, but influence lasts forever. A list of the top 100 male singers of the '50s, '60s and '70s that shaped music history pulls in artists known for natural talent and endlessly-cultivated craftsmanship. In our lifetime, we've seen both flourish, and we've seen popular music evolve from a corporate product to a more personal statement of self. In the '50s, we had singers and songwriters, but singer-songwriters were few and far between. Bob Dylan and the Beatles popularized the practice of releasing entire albums composed of original material. And in a related movement, the artist as an individual -- an Elvis, a Sinatra, an Otis Redding -- ceded ground on the charts to rock groups. The Rolling Stones had Mick Jagger, the Doors had Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin had Robert Plant -- these vocalists were all frontmen who commanded the crowd's attention, but their names weren't on the album covers. Soul music made us shuffle our feet while enjoying immortal voices -- James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield. Country music gave us memorable traditionalists like Ray Price and Faron Young, then saw an outlaw rebellion, with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings leading the charge.
These are the artists that we can’t get enough of and leave us with their lyrics rattling around in our heads. They are also the greats that seem to embrace the era with their attitudes, lyrics, and music, bringing it all together to define the times. Like the top female singers of the era, the top 100 male vocalists of the '50s, '60s, and '70s are an eclectic bunch. We've compiled this list to demonstrate just that -- some of the names here are bound to be your absolute favorites, and there will be others you don't care for. It was a tumultuous three decades, with popular music expanding -- exploding -- in many directions at once.