“You’re a singer – who’s your favourite then?”… has to be one of the most common questions I get asked at gigs. The hard thing is, I very rarely have an answer ready – it’s an impossible question! It depends on the genre, on whether we’re rating singing ability as opposed to performance, and bunch of other things.
I decided to write a list of my favourite singers – going purely on vocals, not songwriting, or skill as a performer.
Here, in no particular order, is a list of my favourite 20 vocalists of all time.
Californian soul vocalist Aloe Blacc first began his career as a rapper in 1995, but quickly turned his back on that genre, saying that “Artists like 50 Cent made me stop rapping. I felt there was too much opulence, braggadocio and misogyny in hip-hop and I wanted to tell a different story. What happened is that the music got corporatised. Industry executives sacrificed art for what sells and mega-stars now saturate the market with the same tired lyrics.”
‘Good Things’, Blacc’s second album, was released in 2010. Mellow, relevant, and soulful, it’s surely the sophomore album John Legend wishes he had made.