10 Best Male Singers Of The 70s And 80s

David Bowie as he appeared back in 1987. Photographed by Greg Gorman
David Bowie as he appeared back in 1987. Photographed by Greg Gorman( Source : facebook )

Male Singers Of The 70s And 80s include 1. David Bowie 2. Freddie Mercury 3. Robert Plant. These vocalists ruled those two iconic decades.

The men on this list come in all shapes, sizes, and vocal ranges with one thing in common: they are household names. 

From the iconic range of Mercury and Plant to the more subdued but soulful Bowie and Springsteen, they show that to be a popular singer one does not only need technical skills but also how to command a room and earn the love and adoration of the audience.

Both the 70s and the 80s were great decades for Rock and Roll which twisted and evolved from the sweet and psychedelic sixties to a harder and punkier sound in the 70s and a more glistening and glamorous sound in the 80s.

Male Singers Of The 70s And 80s

Singer Names:Years Active:
David Bowie1962 - 2016
Freddie Mercury1969 - 1991
Robert Plant1965 - Present
Morrissey1976 - Present
Robert Smith1972 - Present
Marvin Gaye1956 - 1984
Michael Jackson1964 - 2009
Prince1975 - 2016
Stevie Wonder1961 - Present
Bruce Springsteen1964 - Present

1. David Bowie

David Bowie – Life On Mars? (Official Video) ( Source : youtube )

David Bowie is among the best Solo Male Singers Of The 70s And 80s. Bowie's artistry defined one decade and paid him dividends in the next.

From popularizing an entire genre called Glam Rock in the early 70s, flirting with Soul and Prog in the latter half of the decade, and seeing his most commercial success in the early 80s, no other artist has commanded music over multiple years as Bowie has.

However, lost among the albums, looks, and reinventions, is the fact that he has one of the most iconic and subtly ranged voices in Rock. How else could one man transform from genre to genre as he did?

Here are some of his most iconic tunes that also showcase his voice:

  • Starman
  • Life on Mars
  • Station to Station
  • Heroes
  • Ashes to Ashes

2. Freddie Mercury

Queen - We Will Rock You (Official Video) ( Source : youtube )

Freddie Mercury is one of the most Popular Male Singers Of The 70s And 80s. He is best known for being the lead singer of Queen.

As the singer and frontman of one of the best-selling Rock bands of all time, Freddie's iconic voice and range did a lot to get the band to that position. From Hard Rocking hits to operatic ballads to simple anthems, if it weren't for Freddie leading the way, the band would have quickly faltered.

Though his life was cut short due to a mixture of bad company and frivolous actions, the singer has achieved immortality through his music. As recently as 2018, when they made a biopic about him, Freddie is still being honored.

Here are a few hits that showcase his voice:

  • We Will Rock You
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Somebody to Love
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • Killer Queen

3. Robert Plant

Stairway to Heaven Live ( Source : youtube )

Robert Plant is one of the best Male Singers Of The 70s. He is best known for being the lead singer of Led Zeppelin.

Though the Zep were a tight fourpiece with each of the members' talents firing on all cylinders, the first thing that takes anyone's attention when listening to their songs is Plant's banshee-like wailing. No one in Rock ever sounded like him before and few have ever reached those highs since.

The Zep only lasted a decade, and since then Plant has busied himself with a storied solo career. Sadly, his voice has grown huskier and he can no longer attain the same highs.

Still, the songs he made in those 10 years reign supreme. Some of the group's biggest songs are as follows:

  • Stairway to Heaven
  • Immigrant Song
  • Kashmir
  • No Quarter
  • Dazed And Confused

4. Morrissey

Morrissey - Suedehead ( Source : youtube )

Morrissey is best known for being the singer of The Smiths. Unlike many, he managed to have an equally successful career as a solo artist.

In just five short years, The Smiths rocked the hearts of England and then, posthumously, the world over. Key to their success was Morrissey's mournful yet cheeky voice with which he would tell the most bizarre yet funny yet sad yet quirky tales in all of Punk, nay, Rock n Roll.

After the band unceremoniously disbanded, the singer would continue to take his brand of sardonic misanthropic humor to a successful solo career that is ongoing to this day. Here is a collection of his most popular songs in both his band and as a solo artist:

  • How Soon Is Now? 
  • This Charming Man
  • Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
  • Suedehead
  • First of the Gang to Die

5. Robert Smith

The Cure - Friday I'm In Love ( Source : youtube )

Robert Smith charmed a generation with his voice. He also created an entire genre with his music that persists to this day.

The idea of "Goth" music was already in formation before Smith and his band, The Cure came into the scene, but it was through his sinisterly sweet voice and the doom and gloom of his backing members that it became cool to be sad. Then, Smith went Pop and proved that not only was he a pioneer but he had range too.

The aging Rock star has managed to make his voice stay pristine despite the horrors of time, and is still kicking to this day. Here are a few of his most representative tracks:

  • Friday I'm In Love
  • Love Song
  • Pictures of You
  • Six Different Ways
  • Boys Don't Cry

6. Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (Official Video 2019) ( Source : youtube )

Marvin Gaye is one of the greatest singers of all time bar none. Though he has long since passed his voice, his music, and his message remains.

Though he started out as a session singer for the famed Motown Records in the 60s, he rose in prominence after he broke away from the old Soul traditions and started creating highly personal and political content throughout the 1970s and the early 80s.

Starting from 1971's What's Going On which is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time, Gaye used his soulful crooning voice and became, quite literally, the voice of a generation.

Here are some of his best tracks:

  • What's Going On?
  • Let's Get It On
  • Ain't No Mountain High Enough
  • I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  • Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

7. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - You Rock My World (Official Video) ( Source : youtube )

Michael Jackson is one of the best Male Singers Of The 80s. There is a reason why he is known as the King of Pop.

Though he started his career in the early 70s through both his family group, the Jackson 5, and his own youthful solo albums released when he was still a child, it wouldn't be until 1979's Off the Wall, and then 1982's Thriller, widely remembered as the best selling solo album of all time, that Jackson came into his own.

Since then and right up to his passing in 2009, the singer had a chokehold on pop culture and the public consciousness few except perhaps The Beatles have ever touched.

Here are some of his most representative tracks:

  • Black & White
  • Remember the Time
  • You Rock My World
  • Billie Jean
  • Smooth Criminal

8. Prince

Prince & The Revolution - Raspberry Beret (Official Music Video) ( Source : youtube )

Prince is not only a great singer but a great performer as well. From singing to dancing to playing multiple instruments, the artist could do it all.

Though he began his recording career in 1978, from 1980's Dirty Mind to 1989's Batman soundtrack album, Prince saw an undefeated 10-album run that decade. The man owned the 80s as much as any one artist can own a decade. 

With none but perhaps Michael Jackson as his sole rival, Prince reigns supreme as everything a Pop star should be. Chief among them is his iconic and undefeated voice.

Here are some of his outstanding tracks:

  • Purple Rain
  • When Doves Cry
  • Little Red Corvette
  • I Would Die 4 U
  • Raspberry Beret

9. Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder - Superstition (1974) ( Source : youtube )

Stevie Wonder was such a great singer that even Paul McCartney and Elton John envied him. In fact, he had a #1 hit when he was only 13. 

However, it was in the 1970s that Stevie would enter what is now known as his "Classic" period where he would release, in quick succession, five albums that would change the face of popular music. From 1972's Music of My Mind to 1976's Songs in the Key of Life, the singer was on a truly undefeated run that brought him name, fame, and acclaim.

Essentially a one-man band, not only did he sing but played almost every instrument on those records. Some of his classic tracks are as follows:

  • Superstition
  • My cherie amour
  • Sir Duke
  • As
  • I Just Called to Say I Love You

10. Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City ( Source : youtube )

Bruce Springsteen is lovingly called "The Boss" because of his stellar songwriting skills. However, the Boss boasted a powerful voice too.

With the help of his E Street Band, Springsteen had already gained a lot of prominence in the late 1970s, and he took over the next decade too. While the 70s were when he proved himself with records like 1975's Born to Run, it was in the 1980s with records like Born in the U.S.A. that Springsteen became the star we know him as now.

Though his lyrics and instrumentation always proved to be his strongest assets, one only needs to look at 1982's Nebraska where all he had was his guitar and his voice, to show just how talented a singer he is.

Some of his standout tracks are:

  • Born to run
  • Born in the U.S.A.
  • Atlantic City
  • Dancing in the Dark
  • Glory Days

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