13 Incredible Singers Like David Bowie: Similar Artists

Written by Dan Farrant

David Bowie was a master of reinvention, known for his distinctive voice and eclectic blend of musical styles. His daringly innovative compositions, like “Space Oddity,” continue to inspire artists worldwide.

If you’re a fan of Bowie’s glamorous art-rock style, you’ll find much to admire in the talents we have listed here for you. They carry forward his spirit of experimentation in their music, each adding their unique twist.

If we’ve piqued your interest, dive in to get to know 13 incredible singers similar to David Bowie.

David Bowie by Photobra|Adam Bielawski (CC BY-SA 3.0)

1. Iggy Pop

We begin with an influential figure in the punk and glam rock scenes: Iggy Pop. This Michigan native enjoyed a close relationship with David Bowie. Their creative collaborations resulted in several musical projects.

A notable example includes Iggy Pop’s distinct voice appearing on Bowie’s track “What in the World.” Their collaborations on albums like Lust for Life and The Idiot are regarded as some of the most influential works in rock history.

Pop’s reputation is as great as Bowie’s. His fearless performances, often involving stage diving and crowd surfing, set the tone for punk performances to come. His style and raw energy on stage earned him the title of the Godfather of Punk.

2. Marc Bolan

The leading force behind T. Rex, Marc Bolan, soared to prominence in the 1970s rock scene with his unique sound and style that echoed David Bowie’s eclectic approach to music.

Born in September of 1947 in East London’s Stoke Newington, he shared a birth month and home city with Bowie. His otherworldly image was matched by his groundbreaking music, which combined elements of folk and rock into a playful blend often dubbed glam rock.

Bolan’s ability to blend various musical styles made him an influential figure, much like Bowie. Both musicians shared the knack for keeping their audiences guessing what they would do musically or visually.

3. John Cale

Welsh musician and singer-songwriter John Cale is best known as a founding member of the influential experimental rock band The Velvet Underground. His time with the band was short-lived, however, as he left the band in 1968 after the release of their second album.

After his departure, Cale embarked on a successful solo career and became a sought-after record producer. His solo work is noted for its exploratory and eclectic nature, similar to David Bowie’s experimental style, with albums like Paris 1919 and Fear considered classics.

His relentless drive for innovation, combined with his extraordinary musical talents, has left an indelible mark on music. Even as we look back on his career, John Cale’s legacy continues to inspire and influence musicians around the world.

4. Freddie Mercury

Most everyone knows the singer of the band Queen, Freddie Mercury. This iconic singer was a British rock legend who captivated audiences with his powerful vocals and electrifying stage presence.

Known for his incredible vocal range and versatility, Mercury’s performances were nothing short of spectacular. Whether he was belting out rock anthems like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or delivering heartfelt ballads like “Love of My Life,” he could connect with listeners on a deep emotional level.

In addition to his exceptional talent as a singer, Freddie Mercury also made significant contributions to music as a songwriter. He penned many of Queen’s biggest hits, showcasing his versatility and creativity.

5. Mick Jagger

Next up is Mick Jagger, the lead singer of The Rolling Stones. This music icon has rocked audiences worldwide for decades with his powerful vocals and dynamic stage presence.

Known for his energetic performances, Jagger is considered one of the greatest rock singers of all time. In addition to his work with The Rolling Stones, he has also had a successful solo career and collaborated with other artists like David Bowie on the hit song “Dancing in the Street.”

Jagger’s contributions to music have been widely recognized. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to popular music in 2003, and in 1989, he, together with The Rolling Stones, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

6. Prince

A flamboyant persona and a wide vocal range involving falsetto and unforgettable high-pitched screams earned the singer-songwriter Prince his place in music history.

He was a talented musician who created music that pushed boundaries and defied categorization. Songs such as “When Doves Cry,” “Batdance,” and “Purple Rain” became iconic hits, the latter winning him an Academy Award and being added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Prince passed away in 2016, but his influence continues to be felt in the music industry. His innovative music, style and fearless approach to genre and identity have left a lasting legacy.

7. Gary Numan

Next is Gary Numan, a musician in his own right particularly recognized for his major contributions to electronic music, with hits like “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Cars.”

Numan was heavily influenced by the synth-based music of David Bowie and Brian Eno. While Bowie himself expressed dislike for Numan’s perceived lack of originality, Numan’s career was undeniably shaped by the soundscapes that Bowie created.

Drawing inspiration from Bowie’s Berlin period, Numan developed his unique style of synth-heavy robot music and created an intriguing stage persona that captivated audiences.

Today, Gary Numan remains an influential figure in the music industry. His innovative use of electronic sounds continues to inspire modern-day musicians, and his music is still celebrated for its originality and impact.

8. Peter Gabriel

The highly acclaimed English singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel first gained fame as the original lead vocalist and flutist of the progressive rock band Genesis before he embarked on a successful solo career.

His music has since traversed various genres, from art rock and worldbeat to pop and experimental rock. Notable hits from his solo career include “Solsbury Hill,” “Games Without Frontiers,” “Shock the Monkey,” and the chart-topping “Sledgehammer.”

Gabriel’s contributions to music go beyond his performances. He co-founded the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival in 1982, which celebrates and promotes music, arts, and dance from diverse cultures around the world.

Over the years, Gabriel’s work has earned him numerous awards, including multiple Grammy Awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010 and again as a solo artist in 2014.

9. Bryan Ferry

British singer-songwriter Bryan Ferry first gained recognition as the lead vocalist and main songwriter of the glam art rock band Roxy Music, which was formed in 1970. With the band, Ferry contributed to some of the most acclaimed albums of the early 1970s, including For Your Pleasure and Stranded.

Simultaneously, Ferry embarked on a successful solo career while still part of Roxy Music. His renditions of well-known songs, like “These Foolish Things” and “Let’s Stick Together,” became significant hits.

In recognition of his contributions to music, Ferry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Roxy Music in 2019. Today, he continues to perform and record new music, maintaining his position as a beloved figure in the world of rock and pop.

10. Morrissey

Steven Patrick Morrissey, professionally known as Morrissey, is renowned for his distinctive baritone voice and his profound and outspokenness. He gained significant fame with the alternative rock band The Smiths during the 1980s before going solo when the band separated.

As a solo artist, Morrissey’s music continued to resonate with audiences. His debut solo album, Viva Hate, was released in 1988 and quickly topped the UK Albums Chart. Morrissey went on to release 12 more critically acclaimed albums, such as Vauxhall and I and Ringleader of the Tormentors.

Despite the controversies surrounding him, Morrissey’s impact on alternative rock and indie music is undeniable. Today, he continues to be a compelling figure in music, with a career that spans over four decades.

11. Kate Bush

A renowned singer and songwriter, Kate Bush has made significant contributions to the music industry. She first gained fame in 1978 when, at just 19 years old, she topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks with her debut single, “Wuthering Heights.”

She was the first woman to achieve a UK #1 with a self-written song. This success set the stage for a career marked by innovation and artistic control. Her music spans various genres, including art-rock influences that echo David Bowie’s style.

Notable hits from her discography include “Running Up That Hill,” “Babooshka,” “The Man with the Child in His Eyes,” and “Don’t Give Up,” a duet with Peter Gabriel. Her album Hounds of Love is often cited as her masterpiece, featuring an ambitious suite of songs on its second side known as “The Ninth Wave.”

12. Annie Lennox

As one half of the duo Eurythmics, Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox shot to fame. The group’s fusion of new wave, synth-pop, and soul music, combined with Lennox’s striking image, made them one of the most successful duos of the 1980s.

They are best known for hits such as “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” “Here Comes the Rain Again,” and “Would I Lie to You?”

Following the disbandment of Eurythmics in 1990, Lennox embarked on a solo career that further cemented her status as a musical icon. Hits like “No More ‘I Love You’s’,” “Love Song for a Vampire,” “Why,” and more became fan favorites.

Beyond music, Lennox is also known for her activism. She is especially involved in raising awareness and advocacy for HIV/AIDS, particularly in Africa.

13. Ian Curtis

Ending this list is Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division. With the band, which emerged from the late-1970s punk rock movement in the UK, Curtis became a post-punk icon.

He was not only a talented musician but also a skilled songwriter, known for his introspective and thought-provoking lyrics, like in the songs “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and “Atmosphere.”

However, Curtis’s life and career were tragically short-lived. Struggling with depression, epilepsy, and personal problems, he died by suicide in May 1980 at the age of 23.

Despite his brief career, Curtis’s influence on music has been profound. Joy Division’s pioneering sound laid the groundwork for the gothic rock and alternative rock genres and has influenced countless bands, including U2, Radiohead, and The Cure.

Summing Up Our List Of Singers Like David Bowie

These singers, like David Bowie, have made their mark on the music industry with their unique styles and artistic approaches. From Freddie Mercury’s electrifying performances to Kate Bush’s ethereal vocals, they have all carved out their paths in the world of music.

Each artist brings something different to the table, showcasing their individuality and talent just like Bowie did throughout his career.

Who have we missed that echoes Bowie’s musical style? Let us know so we can add them here for you!

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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.