Axl Rose is taking the humble road and says while he’s flattered to be included on a list of the world’s greatest singers, there are tons of others he’d rather listen to.
Earlier this month ConcertHotels.com compiled a neat little interactive chart showing the vocal ranges of some of the most popular singers in history. The problem? Because of the way the graphics were laid out, many mistook the list to be a numerical ranking, and Axl Rose was at the top, above powerhouses like Mariah Carey, Freddie Mercury, Steve Perry and Aretha Franklin.
The controversial list actually ranked the Guns n’ Roses lead singer as having the widest professionally recorded vocal range, coming in ahead of Mariah Carey — but even this notoriously egotistical performer knows the ranking of the so-called world’s greatest singers is off-key.
“It’s very flattering and humbling to be included in such an illustrious ensemble,” he said in a letter to Spin.
“If I had to say who I thought the best singers were, I’d say first that I don’t know there’s a definitive answer as in my opinion it’s subjective, and second that my focus is primarily rock singers,” he continued.
“That said, I enjoy Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, [Nazareth singer] Dan McCafferty, Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Don Henley, [Electric Light Orchestra front man] Jeff Lynne, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, [jazz singer] Jimmy Scott, Etta James, Fiona Apple, Chrissie Hynde, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and a ton of others (predominantly Seventies rock singers) and would rather hear any of them anytime rather than me!”
— SPIN (@SPIN) May 28, 2014
The list claims Rose has a seven-octave range, with his lowest recorded note captured on the song “There Was a Time” from the 2008 album Chinese Democracy and the highest from the Dead Boys cover “Ain’t It Fun” off the 1994 album The Spaghetti Incident.