Greatest rock frontmen and women of all time


Who is greatest frontman?

Tianna Nadalin, Herald Sun
23 August 2016

MUSIC has the ability to leave an indelible mark.

It can move, motivate or mesmerise you, lift you up, tear you down or take you on a rollercoaster ride through your life’s most traumatic — and treasured — times.

This is why great moments in music history — and the musicians who created them — never leave us. Iconic vocal chords and unforgettable guitar riffs are as embedded into our souls as the years to which they are the backing tracks.

So, just weeks out from what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 70th birthday (September 5) celebrations, as well as the opening of the Queen-inspired musical We Will Rock You in Melbourne next month, we are on a mission to crown a rock king.

We want to find the rock artist who has, over the years, left the biggest mark on our memories and our music collections; to decide once and for all who is the greatest rock band frontman — or woman — of all time.

And any rating of rock’s most inimitable ringleaders needs to factor in the captivating, charismatic and courageous enigmas who penned, performed and permeated the soundtracks to our lives.

Is Freddie’s four-octave vocal range surpassed by Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant or Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl?

Is his command of the stage equal to Michael Hutchence or Chris Martin?

Is he even in the same league as Mick Jagger?

We’ve sought expert opinion from Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum and Herald Sun music writers Nui Te Koha and Mikey Cahill to help us compile a list of the greatest — or, perhaps, most memorable — rock superstars of all time. But we also want to know which artists you think have left the greatest legacy.

So here it is; our highly subjective list of the greatest rock stars of all time. Make sure you get your copy of this week’s SundayHerald Sun where our experts will have their say on who is the greatest frontman of all time.

Meanwhile, have your say on who you think is rock music’s most epic frontman and go in the running to win a customised Red Special guitar signed by legendary Queen strummer Brian May plus tickets to see We Will Rock You when it opens in Melbourne.


Freddie Mercury
Queen’s Freddie Mercury in Australia at Entertainment Centre, Sydney during the 1985 tour.


This fierce, flamboyant and unforgettable performer is arguably one of the most recognisable rock names of all time. His inimitable brand of glam, almost operatic rock made his performances seem more like a stage show than rock concert. When it comes to picking a quintessential rock icon, Freddie fans will show no Mercury.

The list continues:

Gene Simmons – Kiss J
ohnny Rotten – The Sex Pistols
Mick Jagger – The Rolling Stones
Chrissie Hynde – The Pretenders
Billy Thorpe – The Aztecs
Michael Hutchence – INXS … etc