15 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Male Singers With High Voices

Written by Dan Farrant

High vocal ranges are often associated with female singers, but there are some notable male singers whose high voices and falsetto skills have gained them popularity.

These men can reach high notes that aren’t usually reached by other singers, and their versatility in moving through octaves while singing has enabled them to create memorable songs that have lasted years.

Who are these men? Well, in this post, we’ll take a look at 15 of the greatest and most famous male singers with high voices. Let’s get started.

1. Michael Jackson

Number one on our list, Michael Jackson, had an everlasting impact on the music industry with his multi-decade career that stretched from 1964 to 2009.

Jackson’s vocal talent was undeniable. With an impressive four-octave range, he’s one of the most notable male singers who could reach high notes.

Some songs that exhibit this talent are “Billie Jean,” “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “You Are Not Alone,” among many others. These all charted in the first place on Billboard‘s Hot 100 list.

Jackson’s entire collection of works—not to mention the 15 Grammy Awards and 39 Guinness World Records—is a testament to his skill as a singer and performer that made him King of Pop.

2. Freddie Mercury

The unforgettable voice behind the glamorous rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury ranked as one of the most influential figures in music. His voice carried stadium-rousing favorites like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and “Somebody to Love.”

Mercury achieved worldwide fame thanks to a combination of a flamboyant onstage personality and tremendous vocal prowess. Like Michael Jackson, he boasted a four-octave vocal range, which allowed him to sing an assortment of more than 30 pitches.

The singer’s career spanned from the late 1960s until the early 1990s. Mercury eventually succumbed to pneumonia due to complications from AIDS in 1991.

3. Adam Lambert

Next up, we have a singer whose voice has been described as one that has an unlimited range. Adam Lambert rose to fame after winning second place on American Idol‘s eighth season.

From the start, his high, flexible vocals were evident. His version of “Mad World” in American Idol showed this and wowed the judges and audiences. Other songs showcasing his amazing talents are “No Boundaries,” “Whataya Want from Me,” and “For Your Entertainment.”

Lambert has recently collaborated with Queen on their 2019 Rhapsody Tour, a worldwide tour that lasted a year. In 2020, they released their #1 hit album Live Around the World.

4. Brian Wilson

Known as the co-founder of the Beach Boys, we have Brian Wilson. This singer-songwriter’s high-pitched falsetto contributed much to the feel-good surfer sound of his band.

Wilson wrote many of the band’s iconic tracks, including “I Get Around,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” and “Good Vibrations.” These records captured Wilson’s complex layers of instruments and harmonies, including his striking soaring voice.

Despite Wilson’s estrangement from the Beach Boys, he remains an influential figure in many music genres, from the iconic California sound to punk.

5. Prince

The first artist on the list who may define an entire color, Prince was a singer, songwriter, and musician renowned for his sublime high falsetto voice. His biggest hits include eclectic pop songs like “Kiss,” “Purple Rain,” and “Little Red Corvette.”

Prince, who died in 2016, is remembered for his authentic style and quiet, reclusive nature. His high voice carried over into his speaking voice, demonstrating a surprisingly soft-spoken tone for someone whose music makes such a statement.

The Minneapolis-born singer had a broad cultural impact in music, fashion, and movies, including the films Purple Rain and Under the Cherry Moon.

6. Axl Rose

William Bruce Rose Jr.—best known as the frontman of Guns ‘n Roses, Axl Rose—sliced through hard rock with his piercing, high-pitched voice. His distinctive, banshee-like sound helped propel the group to the top of the “hair metal” genre in the 1980s.

Songs like “Sweet Child of Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle” perfectly capture the rock legend’s one-of-a-kind nasal voice. Their breakthrough album, Appetite for Destruction, remains one of the bestselling debut albums of all time.

In 2012, Rose, together with the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is the only remaining original member and regularly goes on tours with his group.

7. Frankie Valli

One of the most recognizable voices of doo-wop music is the sky-high vocals of Frankie Valli, who was the lead singer of the group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Valli’s signature three-octave voice allowed him to hit the high notes in hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” Overall, the group earned 29 top-40 hits.

The singer’s remarkable career resulted in a Tony-winning Broadway musical, Jersey Boys. Valli, along with his group, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

8. Neil Young

Folk music joins the list with the sweet sounds of Neil Young. Young’s appearance betrays his tender signature voice, which is light, delicate, and soothing on songs like “Harvest Moon” and “After the Gold Rush.”

In addition to his high tenor and falsetto voice, Young is known for his command of instruments. He plays piano, harmonica, and guitar. Indeed, his trailblazing use of distorted electric guitar earned him the title of the Godfather of Grunge.

Rolling Stone magazine named Young one of their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. To show for this title, the singer has won several Grammy Awards and Juno Awards.

9. Marvin Gaye

Called the Prince of Soul, Marvin Gaye helped establish the sound of Motown in the 1960s. His silky vocals featured prominently in singles like “Sexual Healing” and “Let’s Get It On.”

Gaye won two Grammy Awards and left a lasting mark on several genres. He also influenced musical genres to come, like neo-soul. With a four-octave range, Gaye’s music encompassed sumptuous falsetto, enchanting gospel, and even tenor.

It is remarkable to reflect on the impact of Gaye’s voice, especially since his career was tragically cut short when he was shot by his father in 1984. Many institutions honored Gaye after his death, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

10. Steven Tyler

Anyone who has heard of the hard rock band Aerosmith should know of the vocal talents of their frontman, Steven Tyler. His wide vocal range and high screams are well-known in the music world.

The versatility of his voice, moving smoothly from low to high notes, is showcased in the songs “Dream On” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” with Aerosmith and his solo singles “Love Is Your Name” and “(It) Feels So Good.”

Tyler has been named one of the greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame.

11. Mika

Euro-pop sensation Mika brought an effervescent personality to his fun and danceable music. Mika’s native country is Lebanon, but he was raised in Paris, France. He frequently sings in French in his music.

Mika’s best-known songs are “Grace Kelly,” “We Are Golden,” and “Love Today”—all of which illustrate his ability to hit the high notes with a four-octave range. Some individuals have even suggested he could even reach five, but Mika has dismissed that.

He has released four Platinum albums and received a Grammy nomination for his debut album, Life in Cartoon Motion. Currently, Mika is working on two more albums and is busy with other ventures outside of music.

12. Justin Hawkins

Founder and frontman of the British rock band The Darkness, Justin Hawkins, is particularly noted to sing in powerful, effortless falsetto in most of the band’s songs.

The Darkness was formed in the early 2000s, after which they released seven studio albums, all of which were in the top 20 on the UK Albums Chart. The lead single from their debut album, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” is considered one of their best and perfectly showcases Hawkins’ high-pitched vocals.

Hawkins left the Darkness in 2006, although he reunited with them a few times over the years for tours. He has also ventured into a solo career and other music-related projects since his departure from the band.

13. John Denver

A tenor from folk music is John Denver. His delicate, floating vocals added a tender side to the country music of the 1970s and 1980s. The range of his voice lent sincere meaning to his lyrics, which frequently focused on nature themes and earnest feelings.

Denver’s most memorable singles include “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”, “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” and “Country Roads, Take Me Home.” The latter eventually became West Virginia’s official state song.

In 1996, the singer was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. After he passed away in a tragic plane crash in the late 1990s, Denver was well-remembered for his music, activism, and humanitarian work.

14. Billy Gilman

Our penultimate singer, Billy Gilman, burst onto the scene in the year 2000 when he was only 12 years old. His high voice came primarily from his very young age at the start of his singing career.

Gilman is known for the 2000 single “One Voice,” which landed at #38 on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the youngest singer to have a top-40 song on the list. The song earned him a Grammy nomination.

It is inevitable that a child’s voice would change, yet Gilman has maintained a higher pitch throughout his career. In 2016, he competed in season 11 of The Voice and finished second. The songs he sang, like “The Show Must Go On” and “My Way,” proves that he can still hit those high notes.

15. George Michael

And finally, from the British 1980s supergroup Wham!, we have George Michael, known for his expressive, falsetto voice, which paired well with the carefree and fun songs of the 1980s.

Michael and Wham! are notable for the songs “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas.” The latter constantly charts with the holiday season each year.

After Wham!, Michael made his mark via solo projects and hits like “Faith” and “Careless Whisper.” Later in his career, he used his voice for other work, becoming a vocal advocate for the fight against AIDS.

Summing Up Our List Of High-Voiced Male Singers

That’s it for our list of male singers with high voices and falsetto skills, and from what you’ve read, it’s obvious that the high notes of music does not have to be just from female singers.

These men have established themselves as versatile singers with memorable songs we often still listen to. Some have left lasting impressions even after death, while others, like Billy Gilman, are still on the rise.

With many high-voiced male singers out there, we might have missed some who should be on this list. Let us know, and we’ll add him for you!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.