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Anyone of them of that selection other than Cobain can be argued for, however I gotta go with Eddie. So many people try to be him and just can't. On top of him being an amazing singer and lyricist he's got to be the most talented songwriter of the bunch IMO. He's good at everything he does. His solo stuff is some of the most emotion provoking music. If you've never heard Chris cornells solo stuff with Timbaland......go listen and I bet you will laugh for hours. He really put a smear on an impressive career with that choice.
I'll post up my favourite singer to add some quality lyricist content.
Jesse Lacey of brand new. Amazing songwriter, lyricist, and all around cool guy. The power this guy puts into their live shows is incredible
I like that you say that every vocalist in the list expect Kurt is a contender, Westopher. He wasn't that great of a vocalist, but the 'best vocalist debate' is very often between him and Eddie. He's over appreciated in that respect because he had an interesting voice and died young.
Here's something a bit different from the general tone of the thread.
Singing teacher chiming in here.. So unfortunately I have no choice but to be a little technical. It's a shame, really. Sometimes I wish I didn't know what I know about the voice, because I always find myself picking apart a song's vocal rather than just enjoying the music as a whole.
"Best vocals" is of course, very subjective. Personally, I always listen for technique -- control of rasp, riffs, runs, vibrato, and most importantly, range. Anyone can make low notes sound good if you sing it over and over enough, but having your upper register in your skill set is a whole other level.
With modern rock, having a big range is pretty much a "must" now, so it's hard to compare older bands vs the newer ones.
My current favourite for the gritty "rock" sounding voice is M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold. He's got the range, the riffs, runs, slides, and adding rasp on those high notes is a whole different skill in singing. Sort of a similar style to Eddie Vedder's, but more consistent.
Avenged Sevenfold - Gunslinger (big note and riff at 1:40, some high notes/screams at 2:40)
Definitely a great post PJ! I couldn't even begin to pick a favorite singer/front man. So many good choices especially if you combine all the genres within "Rock". Based on vocals alone it's tough to not pick Adam Lambert. I mean vocally he seems to be the complete package. All the others mentioned are great choices. I was really into Jon Crosby of VAST in the late 90's so he would be on my list. I'm also a massive Deftones fanboy so Chino Moreno is just amazing to me.
I couldn't believe this when I saw it. Musically it is terrible but I'll be goddamned if Ice-T isn't the most gangsta mutha fucka of all time. Hilarious video and worth the watch for sure.
Side story: It's kind of nostalgic for me as I saw Body Count at the Commodore in 1992. Crazy show. I loved Ice-T when I was young and when he decided to break in Metal(if you can call it that) I was stoked. Cheesy by today's standards though.