12 Singers We Love Even Though They Can’t Sing

While we all love to bash on most of the 21st Century’s famous singers for not being able to sing, we sometimes forget that singing talent isn’t everything when it comes to being able to craft really amazing, enduring music. In particular, these 12 singers proved that sometimes using what you have is plenty good enough.

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Bob Dylan

Famously described by the late David Bowie as having a “voice like sand and glue,” Dylan is one of the most influential musicians of all time, and was so iconic that it didn’t matter that he basically mumbled his songs.

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Leonard Cohen

Famously unable to do more than a throaty rasp, it made songs like “Hallelujah” just all that much cooler.

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Dusty Springfield

We absolutely love her music, even if she wasn’t the most technically talented of singers.

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Lou Reed

He more or less just did spoken word over The Velvet Underground’s music, but man did it ever work flawlessly.

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Tom Waits

Less a singer and more a storyteller with a voice like gravel, Waits is effortlessly cool and captivating, even if he couldn’t really sing.

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These next few artists were pretty great despite their lack of vocal ability…

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Joey Ramone

The Ramones were one of the most influential and awesome bands to come out of the 70s rock/punk scene, but let’s get real here, Joey couldn’t sing for squat.

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Macy Grey

A singer that a staff member here described as having a voice like “an eighth grader with laryngitis,” we love her none the less.

Madonna

Madonna’s been the first to admit that she’s not the greatest of singers; when performing in Evita, she specifically requested to have vocal lessons so she could actually nail the songs.

Neil Young

He’s an icon in every sense of the word, and his music has endured for decades, but seriously, his voice was never his strong suit.

Joe Strummer

You’d be hard-pressed to find a punk band more infectiously catchy than The Clash, but Strummer’s voice had very little to do with that.

Billy Corgan

Corgan’s angst-ridden screeches during the majority of The Smashing Pumpkins’s tunes defined the sound of 90s alternative rock, even if it could be grating at times.

Johnny Rotten

Let’s get real here, nobody was listening to The Sex Pistols for the vocals.

Which of these musicians do you love?

Emma C
Freelance Writer