Bono, Morrison included in best singers poll

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Charlie Taylor

Van Morrison and U2 lead singer Bono have both been included in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, poll which is topped by Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

Belfast-born Morrison, who recently performed his landmark 1968 Astral Weeks album live for the first time, was ranked at no 24 in the poll ahead of superstars such as Michael Jackson and Nina Simone.

Rolling Stone said Morrison has left his mark on over 40 years' worth of rock, blues, folk, jazz and soul, as well as several genres that only really exist on his records.

It described him as a "master of unexpected phrasing whose voice can transform lyrics into something abstract and mystical", and noted his influence on singers such as Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen.

Bono was voted the 32nd greatest singer of all time in the poll, which was selected by a number of musicians including Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, Metallica frontman James Hetfield, folk singers David Crosby and Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), punk legend Iggy Pop and English pop star James Blunt.

Bono's singing is described by Rolling Stone as being "50 per cent Guinness, 10 per cent cigarettes - and the rest is religion".

"He's a physical singer, like the leader of a gospel choir, and he gets lost in the melodic moment. He goes to a place outside himself, especially in front of an audience, when he hits those high notes," the magazine said.

Although the poll initially appears comprehensive women are notable by their absence. Just 17 female singers are included in the top 100 singers and Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald are among those who didn't make the final cut.

Rounding out the top five greatest singers in the poll are Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke and John Lennon.

The 100-strong list is published in the latest issue of Rolling Stone.

The Top Ten greatest singers of all time:

1. Aretha Franklin
2. Ray Charles
3. Elvis Presley
4. Sam Cooke
5. John Lennon
6. Marvin Gaye
7. Bob Dylan
8. Otis Redding
9. Stevie Wonder
10. James Brown

Copyright © 2008 Irish Times.

1 Comment


Bono is a good guy... he's a bit full of himself but whatever


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