There are many rock bands that made history in the world of music. But what we really remember are the front men and women of these famous bands. Throughout the history of rock and roll, there are several bandleaders who have driven crowds into a frenzy or mesmerised them with their music as well as stage performance. Most of the iconic rock stars of all-time in our list have the qualities of stage presence, deep songwriting skills and having inspired us with their awesome works.
8. Jon Bon Jovi
Can anyone rock the stage like Bon Jovi? He founded the band Bon Jovi and his blue collar New Jersey charm and charisma won fans easily making him a hard rock superhero since the mid 1980s. Hits from “Livin; on a Prayer” to “It’s My Life” can only be harnessed by a larger-than-life-force like Jon Bon Jovi and he never fails to disappoint his fans.
7. Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry cannot be missing from our list of iconic rock and roll starts simply because he was the Father of Rock and Roll. He pioneered this genre by refining rhythm and blues to make rock and roll distinctive with hits like “Maybellene”, “Rock and Roll Music” and “Johnny B. Goode”. Penning lyrics about teenage life and consumerism that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence in subsequent rock music.
U2 ascended from punk beginnings to the top of stadium rock in the 1980s and beyond. Performing behind those trademark shares lies a singer who believes he can make the world a better place with political songs to numerous charity endeavours including an early collaboration with Apple. Bono is not only a talented singer-songwriter, he is also an activist, philanthropist and also a businessman.
5. Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan pushed boundaries and made modern folk music popular among the masses. His thoughtful poetic lyrics mesmerised crowds. Most importantly, he went electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and it changed music forever. He made folk music an acceptable rock-star medium and pushed mainstream music in a bold new direction.
4. Elvis Presley
Who can forget the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley? In his short lifetime, he changed music forever when he dropped “Heartbreak Hotel” in 1956 as the mainstream fusion of country and R&B. His performance swooned the audience as his crooning pushed the boundaries of how sexually a singer could act on stage.
3. Jimi Hendrix
Another super rock star with a short lifespan but made memorable contributions to rock music is Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix opened the doors to experimental guitar technique and was one of the driving forces behind rock’s dramatic overhaul from the start of the 60s to the end of the decade. Hendrix earned 3 Top Ten UK Hits with his Jimi Hendrix Experience and he was the world’s highest paid performer during his time. Who can beat this legendary frontman who popularised guitar amplifier feedback?
2. Paul McCartney
He is one of the most successful performers and composers of all time and only one of two living Beatles still playing marathon sets spanning classics from his first band, Wings and recent solo work. What’s more, he made bass guitar cool for his signature melodic playing on the bass. His partnership with John Lennon as singer-songwriter remains one of the most successful collaborations in music history.
1. Freddie Mercury
Did any other band have as much showmanship and charisma as Freddie Mercury? Besides fronting Queen and wowing the audience with his four-octave vocal range, Mercury was also an accomplished songwriter. Queen’s members often share duties in penning the band’s songs but classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions” are the songs that Mercury made with his indispensable mark.