If you are scrolling through your average iPod, you will likely encounter a wide variety of singers with a range of distinctive voices and vocal styles—unless the owner of said iPod only likes instrumental Polka music. This is for a good reason: there is no one right way to sing and there is no one right voice to have for singing. If all music were sung the same, it would be a whole lot less interesting. Your rock and roll would lose its edge, your pop music would lose its uplifting energy, and your indie music would lose its raw and quirky sound. If all singers had the same sound, you might decide to only load your iPod with instrumental Polka music!
While there are hundreds of singers with distinctive voices and vocal techniques that we could have chosen to highlight—from Michael Jackson to Elton John—we grabbed an eclectic group of 7 that we think perfectly demonstrates just how distinct and diverse good singing can be.
1. Ellie Goulding | Burn
With her thick English accent and her unique lyrical inflection, Ms. Goulding has an unmistakable voice. She definitely brings new life to pop music with her ability to delicately dance between chest and head voice.
2. Florence Welch | Breaking Down
While Ellie’s voice is sweet and light, Florence, lead singer of Florence and the Machine, has a commanding, somewhat masculine tone that lends itself perfectly to her alternative music.
3. Jessie J | Price Tag
With another distinctive voice and style is Jessie J who approaches her poppy jams with both a hip-hop attitude and a flawless finesse.
4. Jeff Buckley | Hallelujah
No other vocalist can be simultaneously beautiful and haunting quite like Jeff Buckley. His gorgeously ghostly rendition of Hallelujah has become a classic in its own right.
5. Joe Newman of Alt-J | Breezeblocks
Joe Newman, front man of Alt-J, looks like your average college guy, but he sings like no one else. In fact, you’re better off just taking a listen than having me try to describe his voice!
6. John Lennon | Twist and Shout
This classic performance shows off Lennon’s unique and raspy voice, one of four unique voices that helped make Beatles songs so colorful and diverse.
7. Lorde | Team
Along with her distinctive stage presence, Lorde also has a distinctive voice that perfectly blends with the bassy electronic tones she sings over.