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Seven years ago `Mojo' magazine asked 175 singers (including Eric Burdon, Debbie Harry, Kristin Hersh, Ian Hunter, Etta James, Curtis Mayfield, Roger McGuinn, Meat Loaf, Robert Plant, Robbie Robertson, Rod Stewart and Levi Stubbs) to vote for the greatest singers of all time.

Here are the top 10 singers ever, as chosen by a jury of their peers:

1 ARETHA FRANKLIN "She has all the Olympian leaps and trills, plus what's so often missing from others - believability." Eddi Reader
    "She is our queen." Martha Reeves

2 FRANK SINATRA "When I was young my mother told me he had great phrasing. I didn't realize what that meant until much later in life. What a beautiful ballad singer." Brian Wilson
    "Gifted with ultimate insight - so musical, his timing was perfect, his voice had a poetic license no other singer's ever had." Tony Bennett

3 RAY CHARLES "The high priest, the genius, the Michael Jordan of soul. Ageless." Al Kooper

4 JOHN LENNON "He can sound so vulnerable, then really ferocious and crazed." Shirley Manson
    "Searing, ethereal, sad or sarcastic - his vocal on `God' always made me cry, even when he was alive." Robyn Hitchcock

5 BILLIE HOLIDAY "She dismantles and then reassembles a melody to such an extant that one assumes her melody was the original." David Byrne

6 MARVIN GAYE "When I hear Marvin singing a love song, I feel he's singing just for me." P. P. Arnold

7 ELVIS PRESLEY (Only 7? Ooh, the heresy.) "Every one of those early records is rock'n'roll singing at its very best. The King." Colin Blunstone

8 STEVIE WONDER "Play a Stevie song real loud; it will always get you high." Gabby Glaser

9 SAM COOKE "Smooth as silk." Huey Lewis
    "A singer's singer. Everybody borrows from somebody, and I can't sing a song without thinking of Sam." Bobby Womack

10 OTIS REDDING "Soul, tenderness and power." Jacqui McShee
    "The greatest soul singer on record." Ian Brown

Who do you think might be the 11th greatest singer of all time?

Originally posted to Brecht on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 12:53 PM PDT.


Who is the 11th greatest singer ever?

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| 91 votes | Vote | Results

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