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Cheech Tremendous

Aretha Franklin named rock era's best singer?

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Aretha Franklin greatest singer in rock era


Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:14pm EST


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - She's already the Queen of Soul, but now Aretha Franklin has been named the greatest singer of the rock era in a poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine.


Franklin, 66, came in ahead of Ray Charles at No. 2, Elvis Presley at No. 3, Sam Cooke at No. 4 and John Lennon at No. 5, according to the magazine's survey of 179 musicians, producers, Rolling Stone editors, and other music-industry insiders.


The 100-strong list will be published on Friday, when Rolling Stone hits the newsstands with four different covers.


The issue includes testimonials from musicians. R&B singer Mary J. Blige, for example, writes that Franklin is "the reason why women want to sing." Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, who was No. 15 on the list, describes Presley's voice as "confident, insinuating and taking no prisoners."


Besides Franklin, the only other living people in the top 10 were Bob Dylan at No. 7 and Stevie Wonder at No. 9. Marvin Gaye was No. 6, Otis Redding No. 8, and James Brown No. 10.


Other notables included Paul McCartney at No. 11, one place ahead of his idol, Little Richard; and Mick Jagger at No. 16, also one ahead of a key influence, Tina Turner. Among the top 25, 50-year-old Michael Jackson was the youngest, coming in at No. 25.


Voters included Metallica frontman James Hetfield, folk singers David Crosby and Yusuf Islam, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, punk rock veteran Iggy Pop and English pop star James Blunt. They each submitted their top 20 choices, and an accounting firm tabulated the results.




Discuss. I'll be back with thoughts later.


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How are we defining the word 'singer' here? You can't really say that both Dylan and Franklin are great singers by any mutual standard.

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I think that I need to see the actual article before I comment too harshly. The press releases are vary vague on the concept of "singer." Supposedly using "rock-era singer" over "rock singer" justifies the choice of an R&B artist placing first. Nothing against Ms. Franklin, but I probably would have named ten or twenty people before I even thought of her.


Bob Dylan is a great songwriter, but his singing talent falls just this side of awful. My personal inclination would be a vote for Robert Plant, but I'd also argue in favor of several of rock's more distinguishable voices (Bon Scott, Axl Rose) before I got to some of the names on this list.

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