Debbie Harry and Chris Stein formed the band Blondie in the mid-1970s, and many assumed their photogenic phrontwoman was "Blondie." Before fronting the band, Harry was a beautician, a bartender and a Playboy bunny: the perfect skill set needed to create a striking look that got the band noticed, even in the sweaty CBGB days.
Harry has shown tremendous longevity - she entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999 as the "Oldest Female Singer to Reach No. 1 in the UK Chart" when Blondie went to #1 with "Maria" on February 13, 1999, at the age of 53 years and 227 days.
9. David Lee Roth (October 10, 1955)
David Lee Roth isn't the only artist to front one of the most successful Rock & Roll bands in history, but he is one of the major elements of that success. For two reasons, in my opinion. First, he has an amazing stage presence (although one that caused huge friction with bandleader Eddie Van Halen), and timing. The timing thing is probably most important. Van Halens' biggest successes can probably be tied directly to MTV, with Roth as the man out front. I think that the wide exposure and popularity of Van Halen via the music video is the biggest reason for the band's popularity. Eddie's guitar, and Roth's onstage persona & antics, both of which were highlighted on MTV, made them one of the '80s most popular & commercial acts. Although both the band and Roth remained active and fairly successful after Roth's initial 1985 departure, neither has garnered the success of the early 1974-1985 ride, to the extent that for the long awaited 2007 reunion, it was Roth back in gear, singing and fronting the band.
8. John Lennon (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980)
John Lennon was the co-founder, co-leader and co-songwriter for The Beatles. He gave a sexy and rebel touch to the band and wrote some of the most beautiful songs in pop/rock history. His voice was distinctive and he was an avant-garde artist in all he did. He worked as a solo artist for ten years before he was shot by a sick fan in 1980, which turned him into a legend.
7. Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970)
Janis Joplin joined Big Brother and the Holding Company on June 4, 1966. Known as a very offbeat character, she put tremendous energy into her performances, which far too many American Idol contestants try - and fail - to emulate. Her singing voice was very distinctive and had a gravelly effect rumored to have been caused by her major consumption of Southern Comfort whiskey.
Janis Joplin to this day is still recognized as one of the great - though tragic - music icons from the 1960s.
6. Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (September 23, 1949)
Bruce Springsteen is an American singer/songwriter/poet/musician from New Jersey. Bruce has been recording and performing with The E-Street Band since the early '70s, and he's still performing to this day. Bruce can really get a crowd dancing and up on their feet. When Bruce performs you can tell he puts all his heart and soul into every performance. He truly is one amazing "frontperson" and definitely deserves to be on this list, after all he is The Boss.
5. Roger Daltrey (March 1, 1944)
If you're going to rock a stadium, you need a guy like Roger Daltrey out front. With a flair for the dramatic, he commands not only the stage, but also the screen, as he showed when he starred in The Who's Rock Opera Tommy.
Pete Townshend wrote most of the songs, John Entwistle and Keith Moon carved out the sound, but Daltrey gave the performances an edge. Blending bombast with superior musicianship, The Who became legendary live performers, and Daltrey's presence is a big reason why. Also helping his cause: the ability to scream his lungs out and do it again the next night.
4. Robert Plant (August 20, 1948)
Robert Plant created the persona of hard rock front man and redefined the technique behind the modern “rock star.” Known for his on stage charisma and as a gifted lyricist, Plant emphasized the music during live shows by displaying flamboyant gestures that set the mood for the audience. Though his appeal and antics were not entirely original - he cited Elvis and others as an influence on his technique - Plant was widely known for his artistic integrity and will forever be immortalized as a pioneer of hard rock.
3. Jim Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971)
Jim Morrison was the frontman of the Doors. He was the original rock poet, and his blues-shaman personality hypnotized America when the Doors exploded onto the music scene in 1967. His onstage antics included arousing himself with the microphone stand, collapsing to the stage floor, and going into stage banter that included such nonsensical and controversial gems as "Hitler is alive, I slept with her last night." Yet he still maintained a charisma and sex appeal that defined what it is to be a rock star ever since. He passed away at the tragically young age of 27, but his legacy will never die.
2. Freddie Mercury (September 5, 1946 – November 24, 1991)
Freddie Mercury was a universally recognized frontman who was known for his concert performances, stage presence, and tender vocals. He was considered a creative genius that many artists to come would look up to, and were influenced by his persona. Freddie had a reputation for being a bad-boy with a soft-side and an appeal to the masses as a role model and idol for many. Mercury opened many doors in the music world and no other could live up to the unique legacy that he left behind. ~ MindCrime
1. Mick Jagger (July 26, 1943)
That sounds exactly right. Who else could have held the #1 spot? Mick wins it hands down simply because of who and what he is. He is the frontman, and 1 of 2 original founding members of The Rolling Stones, arguably the greatest rock & roll band in history. He is the ultimate Rock Star. Jagger doesn't hold this title because of his incredible musicianship, and his vocals didn't get him there either. To give him his due, there are certain songs that could never have been sung by anyone else to the same effect. But vocals are not Jagger's strong suit: he instills himself in the song. Could you imagine another voice in his place? But that's because he infused the song with his personality, not because he could hit the high notes.
Mick Jagger is a frontman. That is his talent, and has been for over 40 years. One and only frontman and lead vocalist for The Rolling Stones. I've seen him in action both as a young man, and in his 60s. He becomes the songs. He interprets the words with his voice, his body, his eyes and actions, the way no one else could. Mick Jagger is the glue that makes a group of musicians (albeit great musicians) The Rolling Stones, and that is why he'll always be #1. ~ Lucky
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