Everyone’s writing or talking about this, so I suppose I should to. I got dragged (willingly) into this discussion by my genius friend Dennis Ryan, who has written about this from a different angle here and here.
Surprised that an angelic noise came out of Susan Boyle’s mouth? Why? Is it because she’s “visually challenging”? It may come as news to viewers of the Country Music Awards, where all female performers look like Carrie Underwood (whom I love as a performer and find beautiful), among others that not every singer is Underwoodian in their beauty.
Let’s look at this issue numerically: Only 10% of the population can be “10s”. There are a lot more of us 1 through 7s than there are 8s, 9s or 10s (2.3 times more to be exact). This ain’t Lake Wobegon; the average person is a 5!
Perhaps this is a television phenomenon. Since only beautiful people are allowed on television (no 5s, unless they’re being perp walked or are otherwise on “Cops”), the population’s sensibilities have been numbed to the notion that a) people that are numbers 1-8 actually exist and b) there’s a chance that at least some of them can sing. Perhaps if the church choir wasn’t housed in the balcony at the back of the church where no one can see them, people might understand this notion better.
So, without further ado, here’s my list (one that will require frequent updates as I troll the musical catalog of my mind) in no particular order:
- Meat Loaf*
- Neil Young
- Amy Winehouse
- Willie Nelson
- Tom Petty
- Steven Tyler, and his separated at birth older brother, Mick Jagger
- Do I even need to say “Keith Richards”?
- Lyle Lovett
- Robert Zimmerman
- Rod Stewart
- Ozzy Ozzbourne (not sure this applies, since ol’ Oz probably doesn’t qualify as a “good singer”)
- Joe Cocker
- David Lee Roth (see also Ozzbourne, Ozzy)
- Kurt Cobain (no, I’m not mocking the dead)
- Vince Neal or any randomly selected lead singer from a mid- to late-80s hair band (also likely disqualified as “non-good singers)
Feel free to offer further suggestions.
* Corrected from the original version “Meatloaf”. Spellcheck run amok. We regret the error.