Readers Vote Soundgarden's Chris Cornell Rock's Greatest Singer

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2013 at 1:18pm

Guitar World readers have dubbed a fellow guitarist — Soundgarden's Chris Cornell — the greatest rock singer.

Cornell battled it out with Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant in the final matchup of our month-long readers poll, the Greatest Rock Singers of All Time, which we launched in late September in partnership with Samson.

The final matchup lasted two days, but in the end it was a 60/40 split in favor of Cornell, the celebrated Soundgarden and Audioslave singer and solo performer.

When we launched the poll, we were certain that, even though our core readership is made up of guitarists from different genres, locations and age groups, you'd have strong opinions about the skills (or lack thereof) of some of rock's most legendary singers. Based on the many comments posted on our poll stories and via Facebook, we were correct.

Although we had hundreds of rock singers to choose from, we narrowed it down to 16 names, all of which were carefully chosen by Guitar World's editorial staff. We took great care in choosing what was essentially a Sweet 16 starting point. Rock singers from every decade, starting with the 1960s, were represented, as were several rock sub-genres.

Here were our 16 rock singers in alphabetical order:

Phil Anselmo, Randy Blythe, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, James Hetfield, Mick Jagger, Maynard James Keenan, Freddie Mercury, Jim Morrison, Ozzy Osbourne, Robert Plant, Axl Rose and Bon Scott.

From there, we drew singers' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Black Sabbath baseball cap) to help us create our opening 16-singer bracket, the fully updated version of which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of singers were ranked or coming from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We were actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out.

Here are the top five singers according to your votes:

01. Chris Cornell
02. Robert Plant
03. Freddie Mercury
04. Bruce Dickinson
05. Ozzy Osbourne


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