Axl Rose is pretty awesome, but is he the greatest singer of all time? Not exactly.
How awesome a singer is Axl Rose? Not quite as awesome as a new study would make him out to be.
Concert Hotels put together a really cool interactive chart showing the impressive (and sometimes not so impressive) vocal ranges of some of the most popular singers of the last 60-ish years, and Axl Rose took the top spot for having the widest recorded vocal range — even larger than Mariah Carey.
Rose ranked above Carey, who often touts her eight-octave range, Prince, Steven Tyler, James Brown and Marvin Gaye. Rounding out the bottom five were Justin Bieber, Sam Cooke, Karen Carpenter, Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan.
To compile the list, the site said they “took the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time as compiled by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008. To this list, we added some of today’s top singers including the nominees for top male and female artist at the Billboard Music Awards 2014. We cross-referenced the resulting list with vocal range data curated by The Range Place. We included all of the singers on the list for whom the data was readily available.”
Just because Rose has the widest vocal range doesn’t mean he is the greatest singer of all time, though. After all, according to this list, Miley Cyrus ranks above Aretha Franklin and while we love us some Miley, come on. Tone, dynamic abilities, timbre, ability to convey emotion and interpretation of music — all things that form artistic perspective — play a huge role in how “good” a singer is considered.