Monday, December 31, 2012


  1. ALICIA KEYS Girl on Fire
  2. R. KELLY Write me Back (Deluxe Edition)
  3. BRUNO MARS Unorthodox Jukebox
  4. SMASH TV Soundtrack
  5. ADELE Greatest Hits
  6. RICKI-LEE Fear & Freedom
  7. ELTON JOHN Vs. PNAU Good Morning to the Night
  8. KYLIE MINOGUE Abbey Road Sessions

The world lost 3 female musical heavyweights in early 2012... 

She lived hard but enjoyed a career that outlasted many of pop's trends, including disco, new wave, the Britsh Invasion, Motown and new jack swing. She could be tender ("At Last") and feisty ("I Just Want to Make Love to You"); Etta was an original, moving from blues to soul with ease.

With her beauty as well as undeniable vocal power, Whitney could take an ordinary song and turn it into a classic. She seemed to appear out of nowhere in the 80s, with her R&B pedigree and, in no time, became one of the dominant voices in the industry, with a string of hits including "The Greatest Love of All", "How Will I Know", "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have it All " and "I Will Always Love You". Although Whitney was trying to get her voice and career back on track, her demons never vanished.

She was proclaimed the 'Queen of Disco', but Donna never limited herself to just that genre; even during its halcyon days. Unlike the majority of dance acts in the 70s, she co-wrote many of her hit songs. Her disco songs remain some of dance music's most influential and many have stood the test of time, particularly "Love to Love You Baby", "Hot Stuff", "Lucky", "Our Love" and "I Feel Love". An underrated performer who will finally be inducted in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame posthumously in 2013.

Fontella Bass ("Rescue Me")
Dave Brubeck (jazz)
Dick Clark ('American Bandstand' host)
Don Cornelius ('Soul Train' host)
Donald "Duck" Dunn (Booker T  the MGs; Blues Brothers)
Robin Gibb (Bee Gees)
Marvin Hamlisch (composer- "The Way We Were" among others)   
Davy Jones (Monkees)
Scott McKenzie (singer/ songwriter- "San Francisco" and "Kokomo")
Johnny Otis (white DJ/ performer who helped R&B crossover to a wider pop audience)
Ravi Shankar (Indian instrumentalist)
Joe South (singer / songwriter)
Kitty Wells (country singer)
Andy Williams ("Moon River" & many other hits)
Adam MCA Yauch (Beastie Boys)

Sunday, December 30, 2012


The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 When I Was Your Man BRUNO MARS                                             3

2 Moonshine BRUNO MARS                                    2

3 I Dreamed a Dream [album track] ANNE HATHAWAY                                      NEW

4 Marching (In the Name of Love) ERIC SAADE                                       5

5 Forever Autumn JEFF WAYNE ftg. LIAM NEESON & GARY BARLOW [album track]                                     9

6 Brighter GUENA LG ftg. GRAVITONAS                                           NEW

7 Bom Bom SAM & THE WOMP                                    NEW

8 Best Night JUSTICE CREW                               NEW

9 Antiheroes MICHAEL MIND ftg GRAVITONAS                                      4

10 The Eve of War [album track] JEFF WAYNE ftg LIAM NEESON                         3

Friday, December 28, 2012

With the film version of 'Les Mis' (see review also on this blog) opening this week, I thought we should look back on other well executed movie adaptations of stage musicals...
  • POP- 
"Don't Cry for me, Argentina" - Madonna
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical 'Evita' took years to make the big screen, with actors as diverse as Meryl Streep and even Barbra Streisand rumoured to play Eva Peron. In the end, Madonna played the role and finally showed she could in fact act! Having Antonio Banderas in the film didn't hurt one bit either!

"People" - Barbra Streisand

Streisand's film debut earned her an Oscar for Best Actress portraying Fanny Brice in 'Funny Girl": a remarkable performance.

  • R&B~

 "Ease on Down the Road" - Diana Ross & MIchael Jackson
While working on the film version of 'The Wiz', Quincy Jones met Michael Jackson and their careers were changed ever after. This film was far from great, despite Diana Ross, Richard Pryor and Michael Jackson starring.

Smash or... Trash? 
"When All is Said and Done" - Peirce Brosnan
The film version of "Mamma Mia!" was great, especially Meryl Streep. But few defended Brosnan's vocals on this take of a later ABBA song in that film.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


'Les Miserables'

Just one item this week and it's one part film review and one part music review. After catching an advance screening of the movie adaptation of 'Les Miserables' this weekend, I couldn't wait to declare my thrill at what director Tom Hooper has done. The director of 'The King's Speech' has re-tweaked the theatrical version and audiences can now enjoy the epic musical on the big screen. The changes serve to keep the storyline fresh and exciting. The art direction, costume design and cinematography are all impressive. 
The big musical numbers sweep you away and, even though you know it's a film, you will want to applaud each song. Hugh Jackman carries the film throughout, portraying Jean Valjean with his obvious experience at both singing and acting. Russell Crowe proves to be perfectly cast as his  nemesis Javert. But it is Anne Hathaway who steals the show and your breath as she sings show-stopper "I Dreamed a Dream". 
The only drawback is Eddie Redmeyne, miscast as Marius. This becomes especially evident when he sings "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", usually the most poignant moment in the show, but that is completely lost due to his flawed vocal and diction. On the other hand, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Cater add much needed comic relief to this interpretation as the Thenardiers, particularly singing "Master of the House".
It is a long film, most of it sung, but it is already one of my favourite movies and one I will want to watch over and over. The singing was performed live while filming, an extraordinary feat with a movie of this scale. 
The soundtrack will be rush released this week and will be a fitting souvenir of a moving and exhilarating movie experience! Best witnessed on the big screen for maximum effect. Enjoy!

The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 When I Was Your Man BRUNO MARS                                             3

2 Moonshine BRUNO MARS                                     5

3 The Eve of War [album track] JEFF WAYNE ftg LIAM NEESON                         4

4 Antiheroes MICHAEL MIND ftg GRAVITONAS                                      7

5 Marching (In the Name of Love) ERIC SAADE                                       8

6 You Give Me Life [Alias Radio Edit] JLS                                             1

7 I Found You [Moto Bianco Remix] THE WANTED                                      10

8 Misunderstanding [remix] CERRONE [album track]                                       2

9 Forever Autumn JEFF WAYNE ftg. LIAM NEESON & GARY BARLOW [album track]                                       NEW

10 Brand New Me ALICIA KEYS [album track]                                     9

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

With Christmas just one week away, here are some seasonal pop music classics to get us in the mood. Happy holidays to all, regardless of which you faith you believe in. 
  • POP- 
"Happy X'mas (War is Over)" - John Lennon
One of the coolest X'mas songs ever! John with Yoko Ono and a plea for peace. Still relevant today with millions affected by war, seeking asylum and victims of violence globally.
"Last Christmas" - Wham!
There are plenty of cheesy Christmas songs, but this one is a fun slice of pop magic from the 80s.
  • R&B~
 "Do You Hear What I Hear?" - Whitney Houston
Witness the power of Whitney singing this holiday classic live.

Smash or... Trash? 
"Mary's Boy Child/ Oh My Lord" - Boney M
Love them or hate them, Boney M scored a string of hits around the world, including this seasonal nugget.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


  Some new singles & albums out now:

Swede Danny Saucedo is looking hot in his great new video clip for latest single "Delirious", check it out here:

In the 70s, Jeff Wayne released a concept album, transforming the H.G. Wells story of 'The War of the Worlds' into a musical with narration from Richard Burton. The cast album then featured David Essex, Julie Covington, Justin Hayward (Moody Blues) and Phil Lynott (Thin LIzzy). A stage version has toured the world and made its way to Australia in recent years. In 2012, Wayne re-recorded his musical adaptation with a new cast. The narrator is now Liam Neeson. The revamped "Eve of War" is great! Gary Barlow (Take That) is also in the new version.

The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 You Give Me Life [Alias Radio Edit] JLS                                             1 (2weeks)

2 Misunderstanding [remix] CERRONE [album track]                                       5

3 When I Was Your Man BRUNO MARS [album track]                                       NEW

4 The Eve of War [album track] JEFF WAYNE featuring LIAM NEESON                                       NEW

5 Moonshine BRUNO MARS [album track]                                       9

6 Good Times I'm In Love [remix] [album track] CERRONE                                      4

7 Antiheroes MICHAEL MIND featuring GRAVITONAS                                      NEW

8 Marching (In the Name of Love) ERIC SAADE                                       10

9 Brand New Me ALICIA KEYS [album track]                                     2

10 I Found You [Moto Bianco Remix] THE WANTED                                      NEW

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

To celebrate Gotye's Grammy nominations this year, this segment will focus on some notable Aussies that have taken home a Grammy award... By the way, despite massive sales, the following Oz acts failed to ever win a Grammy trophy:  Little River Band; Savage Garden and Air Supply!
  • POP-
"I Am Woman" - Helen Reddy
In 1972, Reddy became the first Aussie singer to win a Grammy- (Best Pop Vocal Performance- female).

"Down Under" - Men at Work
In 1982 Men at Work collected the Best New Artist Grammy, beating off Jennifer Holiday, Human League and Stray Cats!

 "I Honestly Love You" - Olivia Newton-John
Olivia has collected 4 Grammy awards, including Record of the Year for "I Honestly Love You" (written by Aussie Peter Allen) in 1974 and a win in the country genre the previous year for "Let me be There"!

"Jessie's Girl" - Rick Springfield
1981 saw expat Springfield pick up the Best Pop Vocal Performance- male Grammy for his global hit song.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


  Some new singles & albums out now:

Steps continue their re-union with a Christmas- themed CD. When I think of Steps, I recall fun pop such as "Last Thing on my Mind", "Tragedy" and "Better Left Forgotten". The UK group have just released a boring new set of songs - all slow paced ballads. A missed opportunity to show the need for the Steps of old.  

Bruno Mars is back with a new CD, 'Unorthodox Jukebox'. He changes gears on this album, but remains true to the retro-flavoured pop/ R&B style which has made him a force in recent years. Highlights include "Gorilla", "Treasure", "Moonshine", "When I Was Your Man" "Money Make Her, Smile" and "If I Knew". An album well worth exploring.

A brand new song from Britney Spears and "Scream and Shout" Fun!

Swedish hunk Eric Saade (came third at Eurovision 2011 for Sweden) has a catchy new song- one of his best. Check out the video below:

The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 You Give Me Life [Alias Radio Edit] JLS                                             2

2 Brand New Me ALICIA KEYS [album track]                                     3

3 That's When I Knew ALICIA KEYS [album track]                                     4

4 Good Times I'm In Love [remix] [album track] CERRONE                                       5

5 Misunderstanding [remix] CERRONE [album track]                                        6

6 Love Out Loud (album track) ANTHONY DAVID                                       8

7 Blank Page - CHRISTINA AGUILKERA [album track]                           3

8 Something New - GIRLS ALOUD                                   7

9 Moonshine BRUNO MARS [album track]                                       NEW

10 Marching (In the Name of Love) ERIC SAADE                                       NEW

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Let's start with a genuine classic this week...
  • POP-
"Toccata" - Sky
In the 80s, Sky charted well with this version of a classical piece:

"You Should Hear She Talks About You" - Melissa Manchester
Singer songwriter Melissa Manchester scored a pop hit in the 80s with this song. Here, she performs it on TV music show 'Solid Gold' with co-hosts Andy Gibb & Marilyn McCoo:

  • R&B~
 "Evergreen" - Luther Vandross
The late & great singer covers Barbra Streisand's Oscar winning song.

Smash or... Trash? 
"Save Your Love" - Renee & Renato
UK duo scored an italo-flavoured global hit with this in the 1980s:

Caffe` Latte`started on radio station JOY in Melbourne, Australia, back in 1997. While the radio show is no longer on air, this blog continues...
Scroll below for:
* the Top 1001 Most Essential Rock / Pop Songs with # 880 - 871 added today
* new music & the Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks for this week
* some retro to explore 
Plus! The latest addition to the Icons Gallery (a Hall of Fame of performers whose music has meant a lot to the gay & lesbian community) for November 2012...

Sunday, December 2, 2012


  Some new songs to look out for:

DJ Tiesto has remixed U2's classic "Pride (In the Name of Love) in time for World AIDS Day. Proceeds go towards raising funds to combat an ever-present health global issue.

Fun new dance song from Danish singer Medina entitled: "Boring", is anything but boring!

A brand new song drom another Dane, Nabiha. Her latest single is "Mind the Gap: catchy, great song. Let's hope this one takes off!
If you are looking for a soul vocalist still striving for a big breakthrough, investigate Anthony David. New album 'Love Out Loud' features some impressive examples of AD's talent. Along with the title track, highlights on the CD include: "Sweet Pain" and "Can't Look Down". Lovely!

The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 Brand New Me ALICIA KEYS (album track)                                       2

2 You Give Me Life [Alias Radio Edit] JLS                                             4 

3 Blank Page - CHRISTINA AGUILKERA [album track]                           1

4 That's When I Knew ALICIA KEYS (album track)                                      5

5 Good Times I'm In Love [remix] (album track) CERRONE                                     NEW

6 Misunderstanding [remix] CERRONE (album track)                                       NEW

7 Something New - GIRLS ALOUD                                   6

8 Love Out Loud (album track) ANTHONY DAVID                                       NEW

9 Boring MEDINA                                       NEW

10 Eight Letters - ROBBIE WILLIAMS                                       3

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


With 'War Horse' opening in Melbourne in a few weeks (Can't wait to see it!). let's look back on some songs about horses...
  • POP-
"Wildfire" - Michael Martin Murphey
This was a hit in the 70s for the country singer also known simply as Michael Murphey: 

"The Horses" - Daryl Braithwaite
Former Sherbet lead singer scored an Australian #1 with his cover of a Rickie Lee Jones song in the early 90s:

"Live Like Horses" - Elton John & Luciano Pavarotti
The late & great tenor joined Elton for a powerful duet.

Smash or... Trash? 

"Crazy Horses" - The Osmonds
70s family act scored a rockier/ funk- out smash with this song:

Friday, November 23, 2012


  Some new songs to look out for:

Tori Amos has reworked some personal highlights from her back catalogue in an orchestral setting on new album 'Gold Dust'. The lead track is "Flavor" from 2009. The new versoin is beautiful!

R&B singer Kem is still mostly unknown here in Australia, but his talent has been impressive for years. Check out his 2003 breakthrough album 'Kemistry'. He has a X'mas CD out now. It's entitled 'What Christmas Means'.

A brand new Alicia Keys album is always worth celebrating. Her new CD is entitled: 'Girl on Fire'. Highlights include: "Not Even A King", "One Thing", "Listen to Your Heart" , "That's When I Knew" and "Brand New Me".

There's a curiosity that can kill a cat, and that applies to the Christmas CD from Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta. 'Grease' was magic, much cherished decades later. There was obvious chemistry between the two. But this album is woeful! Travolta can't sing & Livvy works hard to salvage the songs; mostly in vain. On some tracks, he sounds like he is recalling his Vinnie Barberino character from TV's 'Welcome Back Kotter'. You have been warned!

The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

TW        SONG                                             ARTIST                                                                      LW

1 Blank Page - Christina Aguilera [album track]                           3

2 Brand New Me ALICIA KEYS (album track)                                       NEW

3 Eight Letters - Robbie Williams                                         6

4 You Give Me Life [Alias Radio Edit] JLS                                                  NEW

5 That's When I Knew ALICIA KEYS (album track)                                       NEW

6 Something New - Girls Aloud                                   2

7 The Locomotion - Kylie Minogue (Abbey Road Sessions version)                     1

8 One Thing ALICIA KEYS (album track)                                       NEW

9 We Got The World ICONA POP                                      NEW

10 A Thousand & One Nights - Raza Jaffrey & Katherine McPhee (Smash Cast)      7

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Icons Gallery

 This is a hall of fame for performers whose music has meant a great deal to the gay & lesbian community. Below are the 71 musical acts already in the Icons Gallery. A new act will be added each month. Nominate a soloist/ group here for December 2012.

NOVEMBER - This month's new Gay & Lesbian Musical Icon:

Kim was born into a musical family but became a pop sensation in her own right in the early 1980s with her breakthrough worldwide hit single. "Kids in America". Other successful singles followed, including "Chequered Love" :

Around 1988, the hits started drying up, apart from the odd comeback to the pop charts. Despite this, Kim did release some fine singles, including "You Came: in 1988:
In 2011, Kim released a covers CD, entitled 'Snapshots'. This collection saw her covering records made famous by the likes of Diana Ross, Erasure, Tasmin Archer and this song originally by Mike Oldfield; "To France":

Monday, November 19, 2012


Elton John is touring Australia at the moment. I caught his fabulous show in Melbourne last Sunday.  As he is one of the Caffe` Latte` favourite artists, this is Part 2 of a 2-week special edition of Elton memories...
  • POP- 
Elton sings some of Taupin's most moving lyrics on this track from 'Blue Moves':

"Carla / Etude"
Elton performs an under-rated instrumental from 'The Fox' album:

"Wrap Her Up
Elton with George Michael on guest vocals, as they namecheck the female icons of the time:


Elton joined by the Queen of Hip Hop on one of his best hit songs-  "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues"

Also check out a song featured on this blog - "Elton's Song". Not all that well known, but its lyrics are so powerful!

 Smash or... Trash? 
"Your Song"- (duet with Ronan Keating) 

This is my favourite song, but I'm no fan of Ronan's singing on this duet cover. What do you think?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Caffe` Latte` counts down the Top 125 pop/ rock vocalists on the charts since the advent of rock music over 60 years ago.
It's finally time to conclude this list, revealing the singer at #1...
Check back here in a few days when a brand new list begins... 

                  THE TOP 125 GREATEST VOICES


Sinatra's vocal style has long been praised for its indellible impact on popular music. Long considered the most important singer of the previous century, Ol' Blue Eyes made the transition from swing to the 'Sing Era' and carried on well into the 1990s, as if rock 'n roll had never happened. Much has been written about his alleged mob connections and short temper, but only Sinatra could croon the American songbook with such ease and a tender manliness. He is never schmaltzy, no matter what lyrics his songs contain. Among the many standouts are: "The Way You  Look Tonight", "The Lady is a Tramp", "Theme from New York! New York!" and "Fly me to the Moon".


It is indeed ironic that with all the accolades bestowed upon her, Streisand regards herself as an actress rather than a singer. For example, she only conceded to sing in her film 'Yentl' in order to get the film made. Nevertheless, Streisand has been the yardstick for female vocalists for half a century. She broke through at around the time the Beatles emerged, and has mostly ignored rock trends, preferring to carve out a songbook that continues to be both varied and contemporary. Streisand has recorded country songs, a classical album, Broadway show tunes and disco; singing material by writers as diverse as Barry Gibb, Laura Nyro, David Bowie, John Lennon, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, John Mellencamp, Stevie Wonder and Jim Steinman. Perhaps her best songs have been created by the husband and wife team of Alan & Marilyn Bergman- who have penned beautiful songs Streisand has performed- "Windmills of Your Mind", "The Way We Were", "The Summer Knows" and "You Don't Bring Me Flowers". 

If you need more evidence of why Streisand is the greatest female singer on this list, witness how she delivers heartache and inner strength belting out "My Man" from her Oscar winning first film role in 'Funny Girl':


Cooke remains to this day the blueprint of how to sing cool, inspire and deliver a love song - sometimes all at the same time. His body of work as a soloist following his departure from gospel outfit The Soul Stirrers is a testament to both his immense impact on singers that followed in his wake and his diverse range. Experience the contrast between these highlights: "Chain Gang", "Unchained Melody", Twistin' the Night Away", "Wonderful World", "I'll Come Running Back to You", "A Change is Gonna Come" and "Cupid". The link below is to his version of Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind".


It's scary to think what we might have missed out on had Motown restricted Marvin's contribution to only session drummer. Thankfully, the label and the singer persevered and solo hits followed; "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" - being his smoothest 60s moment. Sheer magic ensued when paired with Motown's pool of female performers too: Mary Wells, Diana Ross, Kim Weston and most notably, Tammi Terrell. She  was a perfect musical match, as can be evidenced on "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "You're all I Need to Get By" and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing". In the 70s, Gaye desired a new approach to his music. Motown gave him the freedom to redefine soul with landmark tracks including: "What's Going On", "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)", "Trouble Man" and "Inner City Blues (Make me Wanna Holler)".  Marvin spoke about the street and the world beyond. He gave us songs to get down and dirty with too, such as: "I Want You", "Got to Give it Up", "Let's Get it On" and "Sexual Healing".


She's been the Queen of Soul ever since being signed up by Atlantic Records. Jerry Wexler virtually placed the crown on her head in the Muscle Shoals studio. Aretha's previous label, Columbia, had underdeveloped her. Wexler knew exactly what to do, and the soul kingdom was laid at her feet. The results included breathtaking vocal duties on songs such as: "I Never Loved A Man", "Respect", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "Think", "Chain of Fools" and "Spanish Harlem".  And that was just her first few releases for her new label. Aretha continued to wow through the decades- "Border Song", "Freeway of Love", "Since You've Been Gone", "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)" and "A Rose is Still a Rose" among the highlights. Long live the Queen!


Nathaniel Coles was born into a poor African-American family and grew into one of the leading entertainers in America; challenging the established segregation of the time in the process. He was the first black host of a US TV series by 1956. He first rose to prominence as a jazz artist; but was soon a dominant force on the mainstream pop charts. Cole's clear enunciation and classy delivery was irresistible. This is most effective on songs such as: "Nature Boy", "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", "When I Fall in Love", "Straighten Up and Fly Right", "Non Dimenticar" and "Unforgettable". 


While the world was swallowing up the fresh and accessible sound of Motown, along came a grittier and less polished attitude to soul. Otis became the leading exponent of what went on to be known as Southern "deep soul". With brash upbeat songs such as "Love Man", "Mr Pitiful" and "Hard to Handle", he got feet tapping and crowds dancing. The Stax label's leading act could just as easily deliver aching love songs that still oozed masculinity; including "I've Been Loving You Too Long", "Dock of the Bay" and "Try a Little Tenderness". Just as his lyrics and talent were improving, he died in a tragic plane crash which cut short what should have been an amazing musical career.


It seemed as if Whitney possessed it all: beauty, pedigree and a powerful voice. But she also had her demons. She took our breath away as she belted out "One Moment in Time", "I'm Every Woman", "Didn't We Almost Have it All", " I Look to You" and, of course, "I Will Always Love You". We'll never know what her complete comeback would have been like now. For a glimpse of what she could have been like in her later years, watch her performance of one of her final singles, "I Didn't Know My Own Strength".


While the rumours and reports of strange behaviour distracted many, there is no doubting the extraordinary vocal talent that Michael Jackson possessed- clearly evident from a very early age. Few singers can boast such an obvious ability and potential. Jackson had it all: and he made you believe the lyrics despite his being only a kid! Check out "I'll Be There", "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "One Day in Your Life". For pure innocence, you can't go past "The Greatest Show on Earth". As he entered manhood, Jackson continued to wow us with his singing on great pop hits including: "Billie Jean", "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough", "Rock With You" and "She's out of my Life". As his song says, "Gone Too Soon".


She was dubbed the 'First Lady of Song' for good reason: Ella inspired countless singers who followed in her wake. She had an unmatched range and whether she was singing or scatting, she articulated each and every lyric clearer than any other vocalist. Check out her Satchmo tribute on "Mack the Knife":


No one does heartache the way Gladys Knight does. With or without her Pips on backup vocals, she will draw you in with her vocal purity. Before you know it, you are under her spell. By the time she is done executing another vocal masterwork, your heart is rendered powerless. Among her finest moments are: "Help me Make it Through the Night", "So Sad the Song", "Midnight Train to Georgia", "Neither One of Us", "All I Need is Time" and "If I Were Your Woman".


Even as a child, Little Stevie was a wonder to behold. He is one of R&B's greatest musicians, but his vocals have a versatility that is spot-on when it comes to affecting his audience. He can express rage ("You Haven't Done Nothin'"; "I Ain't Gonna Stand for It"), devotion ("You are the Sunshine of my LIfe"; "Isn't She Lovely"), celebration ("Sir Duke";  "Master Blaster") and social comment ("Living for the City"; "Village Ghetto Land"). Try not to be moved or resist the urge to tap feet along to "As", "Another Star" and "Knocks me off my Feet". Genius!


With his high camp attitude, you would think Freddie's presence in rock group Queen would have never stood a chance, but it was precisely his over the top ownership of any stage as well as the sheer might of his vocal range that will ensure the group will forever be ranked high among the greatest bands. And Freddie is one of the definitive showmen; the type that come around rarely. Live, he exploded from within the confines of his recordings in a way few can ever hope to match. Hear him ache on "Love of my Life", rock out on "Don't Stop me Now" and celebrate on "We are the Champions". Who else but Freddie could get away with "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Killer Queen"? He attracted gays and metalheads alike with his vocals on "Hammer to Fall", "Somebody to Love" and " You're my Best Friend".


Uncle Ray's approach to singing changed the world. His use of the "call & response" style came straight from his gospel roots and was adopted by the secular world. While there is no understating his musicianship, his vocals seamlessly became part of the sound of his records. He mastered country, soul, blues and pop as easily as we change t-shirts. Check out: "Georgia on my Mind", "What'd I Say", "I Can't Stop Loving You", "I Got a Woman", "Unchain my Heart", "Busted", "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" (with Elton John), "Baby Grand (With Billy Joel), "Shake Your Tailfeather" and "Born to Lose".


The world lost the amazing Etta earlier this year after her many decades of influence as a female vocalist. She was ahead of her time, blending soul & blues in the years that preceded R&B. She could sing with tenderness ("At Last") or spell out exactly what she wanted ("I Just Want to Make Love to You"). There will never be another like her. Also check out: "Tell Mama", "I'd Rather Go Blind" and "Something's Got a Hold on Me".


There can be no arguing that his voice is one of the most important in the evolution of rock music. When Elvis broke through, he crashed open the floodgates and eventually made the crossover of rhythm and blues possible in (- at the time- segregated) America. Sam Phillips correctly guessed that a white man with a 'black' sound would be a golden goose and that influential vocalist was Presley. Such was his talent that he could adopt opera in a pop/ rock context and transform ordinary songs into an event. Examples include: "Saved", "Edge of Reality", "In the Ghetto", "Suspicious Minds", "Devil in Disguise", "Surrender", "Return to Sender" and "Way Down".


While commercial success largely eluded him, Hathaway has had the respect and devotion of his musical peers for decades. His vocals possess an authenticity and the legacy of the African- American struggle for civil rights while retaining its tenderness and optimism for a better future. Try not to be  convinced when Hathaway sings the likes of: "Someday We'll All Be Free", "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know", "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", "You Were Meant for Me", "The Ghetto" and "A Song for You".


Without Stubbs, the Four Tops would have been just another popular Motown group. But he was the engine chugging away with a gritty quality that set him apart from the more polished fare of the label's other acts. His vocals powered away on their many hits, including: "7 Rooms of Gloom", "Bernadette", "Reach Out (I'll Be There)", "Can't Help Myself", "Walk Away Renee", "Ask the Lonely" and "Standing in the Shadows of Love".


While his name might not immediately come to mind when discussing great singers, Brown's attitude and approach became as integral to the music as the funky beats that continue to influence and inspire others to this day; as it has with disco, funk, rap and hip hop. His voice was the main instrument when summoning us as his soul disciples on great R&B classics such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", "I Got You (I Feel Good)", "Sex Machine" "It's Man's Man's World" and "Say It Loud I'm Black and Proud". It wasn't just his words, but the grunts, screams and groans he used to complement the lyrics.


The Beach Boys were so much more than just a pop group. To dismiss them as just an act that sang about girls, the beach and surfing, would be to misunderstand their pivotal role in music and the reason why their recordings remain timeless. This entry is dedicated to the whole group instead of just one individual. It is, after all, due to their impeccable harmonies that they will always be cherished. Nuggets include: "God Only Knows",  "Heroes and Villains", "Wouldn't it be Nice", "Good Vibrations" and "I Can Hear Music".


The Temptations was a group blessed with two extraordinary vocalists. David Ruffin is also on this list. Both singers launched solo careers, but they remain best cherished for their work with Motown's premier boy band. It was Kendricks who sang lead on great Tempts tracks like "Get Ready", "Just My Imagination","The Way You Do the Things You Do" and "I"m Gonna Make You Love Me" (sharing vocal duties with Diana Ross).


Warwick defies traditional categories. Her music draws from gospel, jazz, and soul yet she has a unique sensibility. To label her sound simply as pop is to ignore its richness. Warwick may sound vulnerable or subtle on beautiful melodies, but she towers over the music with a veritable power. Take for example, her majestic vocals on classics such as "Walk on By", "Reach out for Me", "Heartbreaker", "I'll Never Love This Way Again", "Anyone Who Had a Heart" "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Theme from Valley of the Dolls"; all of them beautiful but never cheesy.


As one half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, Art's high tenor added a heavenly quality to Paul's powerful lyrics. He effortlessly lets his tonsils soar above the notes and over the audience. Its beauty continued into his solo career after the pair split. Among his vocal highlights are: "America", "El Condor Pasa", "All I Know", "The Boxer", "A Heart in New York", "April Come She Will", "Bright Eyes" and, of course, the masterwork that is "Bridge Over Troubled Water". If angels do in fact sing, they most probably sound just like this... 


Diana Ross sang lead on the Supremes' timeless classics, rising from one of its vocalists to outright lead singer. While she never matched contemporaries like Aretha Franklin or Dionne Warwick, Ross had her own distinctive style which set her apart from the members of Motown's other girl groups. Her voice is far more recognizable than was Mary Wilson's or Florence Ballard's. As the '60s drew to a close, Ross embarked on a solo career which made her a major global superstar. She hit the mark on her group's his like "Love Child" and "Someday We'll be Together" and solo recordings including "Touch me in the Morning", "Too Shy to Say", "Chain Reaction", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Summertime".


With his raspy voice, Ruffin added an authenticity and genuine anguish to the pop gems cut by the Temptations. During his years with the group (1964-8), he sang lead on singles such as: "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", "My Girl", "Since I Lost my Baby", "I Wish it Would Rain" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You". The bespectacled singer launched a solo career in 1969 with some great singles such as, "I Lost Everything I've Ever Had" and "Walk Away from Love". He remains highly regarded and an influence on other singers, despite dying in 1991.


Orbison is, at times, wrongly classified as another country flavoured rocker- but this is overlooking the immensity of his influence as a vocalist. He switched on the drama and electricity with his operatic delivery of great story songs such as "It's Over", "In Dreams", "Falling", "Blue Bayou", "She's a Mystery to me", "Running Scared" and "Leah". Revered by many of rock music's best performers, he never did get the full credit for his immense impact on pop and singing.


One of pop & R&B's most seductive vocalists, White could coax any woman into his arms just by reading the phone book out aloud. His deep voice was a perfect accompaniment for the rich production of his hit records, including "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up", "Can't Get Enough of Your Love", "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" and his take of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are".


Chaka is often underrated, but there is no denying the force and range of her powerful vocals. She fills the space in between words with skilful strength and ability. Hers is a talent that few can match, as best evidenced on recordings such as: "Fate", "I Feel for You", "I Know You, I Live You", and her disco/ R&B anthem- "I'm Every Woman"- a version not even the incredible Whitney Houston could improve on.


After working as a session singer on Chic songs and with the disco outfit Change, Vandross emerged as a soloist and saw his star rise in the 1980s. He was soon perched high among the list of breathtaking and influential singers of the time. His lush and beautiful vocals are sadly missed. Witness some of these highlights: "Never Too Much", "Stop to Love", "Shine"; and the gorgeous ballads: "If Only for One Night", "Evergreen" and "Superstar / A House is not a Home".


Both of the female members of ABBA were accomplished singers. For this reason, both are included among the Top 101. But it is Agnetha, with all the tension and drama she brought to some of the Swedish group's most moving and heart-wrenching songs. As you hear her sing the lyrics from songs like "S.O.S.", "The Winner Takes It All" and "Slipping Through My Fingers", her voice reveals a vulnerability that often refutes claims that the band's songs were nothing more than bubblegum pop. You are left wondering and hoping that she will make it to the song's conclusion, so compelling is her execution. To experience Agnetha's range, listen to "That's Me", "Dancing Queen", "The Day Before You Came" and "My Love, My Life".


Strip away the camp theatrics and you are left with a voice that expresses the kind of words we wish we could create. Elton always sounds genuine and has some of the best heartfelt songs in his arsenal.  Explore his range via tracks such as: "The Greatest Discovery", "I Need You to Turn To", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Elton's Song", "Bennie and the Jets", "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and "Someone Saved my Life Tonight".


Not only did Springfield help soul cross over in the UK, she added an R&B edge to her own brand of Brit-pop. She raised the bar for blue-eyed soul. Her love for that genre was never tokenistic, recording 'Dusty in Memphis' with Jerry Wexler (who had also produced Aretha Franklin) several musicians that had previously worked with Wilson Pickett and Elvis Presley, as well as The Sweet Inspirations (featuring Whitney's mother Cissy Houston) on backup vocals. The extensive range of Dusty's vocal prowess can be evidenced on: "Son of a Preacher Man", "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me", "I Close my Eyes and Count to Ten" and "The Look of Love".


While best heard in harmony with brothers Robin and Maurice, Barry Gibb's vocals inevitably overshadowed his siblings once he discovered his falsetto. He showcased his low register on "Words" and "Lonely Days, Lonely Nights", but he will always be best remembered for his upper register on disco staples such as "How Deep is Your Love", "You Should be Dancing", "Nights on Broadway" and "Jive Talkin'".


When Karen Carpenter emerged from behind her drum kit, the world recognized not only her wholesome good looks, but the beautiful quality in her voice. To her gorgeous and divine vocals, was added a vulnerability, an aching for more and, instantly, she had us under her spell. Among Carpenter's best moments are: "Hurting Each Other", "We've Only Just Begun", "Close to You", "For all we Know", "Goodbye to Love" and "The End of the World".


Smokey's voice is sweet as honey, licking away at our ears as he swoons us with sometimes the most basic and understated lyrics from his magical pen. Those simple words, once out of his mouth, take on a sincerity and credibility that lesser singers would turn into schmaltz. Try Robinson on songs such as "You've Really Got a Hold on Me", "More Love", "The Tears of a Clown", "The Tracks of my Tears" (all with The Miracles), "Being with You" and "Cruisin'".


Wilson was one of the most influential R&B/ soul singers of the 1950 -60s. His voice packed excitement into some of the best songs from that period, including: "Reet Petite", "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher", "No Pity (In the Naked City)" and the beautiful "I Get the Sweetest Feeling". A great vocalist, and as exciting a showman as James Brown.


Frida made her obvious talent and range seem easy and effortless. ABBA's songs deceptively sounded cheesy and basic, but there's no denying those two women could sing! Take any one of these ABBA songs to showcase Frida's diverse vocals and ability: "I Wonder", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Should I Laugh or Cry", "Money, Money Money", "Gonna Sing You my Love Song" and "When all is Said and Done". Her solo work was often breathtaking, but with ABBA group member Agnetha, they complemented each other perfectly.


Prince's vocals are the natural progression from his R&B predecessors including Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye and James Brown. Using his voice to full effect, he can take on various characteristics: playful, flirty, deviant, cocky, vulnerable and tender; as he takes his audience through his songbook. Among his finest are: "Te Amo Corazon", "Sign o' the Times", "Little Red Corvette", "Peach", "Mountains", "Cream", "Raspberry Beret" and "I Would Die 4 U".


With or without his group The Four Seasons, Valli's voice soared as it shot through the airwaves, way above the music. He lets fly with his trademark on some of pop/rock's most cherished hits. These gems include "Sherry", "Who Loves You", "Grease", "Rag Doll", "Walk Like a Man" and "Big Girls Don't Cry". He adopted a more romantic attitude on some of his solo output, "My Eyes Adored You" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" among the highlights.


Hayes' deep and soulful vocals serve as an aphrodisiac of the aural kind, as best heard on cuts such as "Don't Let Go", "I Stand Accused", "Walk On By" and his R&B masterwork, "Theme from Shaft". His early recordings laid the foundations of disco and rap.


Some singers' legacies prove to be endless, despite the brief time they shine among the living. Joplin was arguably the original rock chick, with a might in her tonsils as she grappled rock as well as blues. Let Janis wow your eardrums with her pained and explosive vocals on tracks such as "Piece of my Heart", "Maybe","I Need a Man", "Mercedes Benz" and "Cry Baby".


Leiber & Stoller revolutionized R&B with their high production standards on recordings like "Save the Last Dance for Me" and "There Goes my Baby". King's vocals were the perfect accompaniment, sounding effortless and airy, but have proved to be timeless. Among his solo cuts are: "Cry no More", "The Record" and "Amor".


Mayfield's vocal magic made any song ooze a sense of hip. He raised the bar singing The Impressions' "People Get Ready" and then blew our minds with his masterwork - the 'Superfly' soundtrack. Among the best vocals from this soul brotha are: "Freddie's Dead", "Gypsy Woman", "Pusherman" and "Move on Up". Though underrated, his legacy is undeniable.


She first wowed us as a member of female group Labelle, belting out the lyrics of disco smash "Lady Marmalade".  From then on, Patti's vocal potency has continued to astound. That voice stands out on songs such as "Are You Lonely", "Oh People", "New Attitude", "Call me Gone" and "When You Talk About Love".  She can melt the coldest heart with ballads like "My Love, Sweet Love", On my Own" (with Michael McDonald), "If You Asked Me To" and "Stay in my Corner".


Often the target of derision, for cheesy material such as "Mary had a Little Lamb"; McCartney is on this list for an enduring body of work- as a member of the Beatles, Wings and solo output. His lead on ballads such as "My Love", "Yesterday" and "The Long and Winding Road" is measured. On "Here Today", an ode to slain bandmate John Lennon, McCartney pours his heart out. He can rock out too, as on classics including "Live and Let Die", "Get Back", "Band on the Run", "All My Loving", "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Golden Slumbers/ Carry That Weight / The End".

#46 K D LANG

There have been umpteen versions of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"; but one stirring rendition stands out: Lang's. At the Winter Olympics in 2010, she drew every one of us in, intimately, despite being in a crowded stadium. That is the ultimate test. Lang passes that same test whenever she tackles a song: be it an American standard, rock, country or pop. She converted new audiences to country. There are numerous examples of her vocal prowess, including: "Crying", "Still Thrives This Love", "Summer Fling", "Hush Sweet Lover", "The Air That I Breathe" and "Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray".


Cash always epitomized an assured and steadfast man on country & western staples like "I Walk the Line", "Folson Prison Blues" and "Man in Black".  He could just as easily camp it up on "Ring of Fire" or "Jackson" (the latter with wife June Carter) and expose his vulnerable side on "Hurt", "The Beast in Me" and "I See a Darkness".


Riperton's vocal capability is what Mariah Carey is at pains to prove she comes close to, but the former uncannily makes it seem effortless and organic in her beautiful songs. Prepare to be wowed by Riperton's angelic voice, taken away too early by cancer, on heavenly tracks including "You Take My Breath Away", "Lovin' You", "Memory Lane" and "Inside my Love".


Lennon's vocals added an edge to the Beatles' songbook as well as his solo output once the Fab Four split. His singing never sounded cheesy or staged. He could be tender ("Woman"), loving ("Beautiful Boy"), vulnerable ("Jealous Guy") and reflective ("Watching the Wheels"). His sharp wit and tongue comes through in his delivery on "How Do you Sleep?". He spurs his audience with anthems such as "Instant Karma" and "Give Peace a Chance". Lennon can also transport us to a new headspace with "#9 Dream", "Imagine" and "Mind Games".


Underrated but influential, Simone's catalogue crossed jazz, blues, pop and R&B. Lyrics were emboldened as she attacked songs that became anthems of the civil rights movement. Among the best examples are: "Ain't Got No, I Got Life", "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" and "I Wish I Knew how it Would Feel to be Free". For her softer side, check out: "Feeling Good", "My Baby Just Cares for Me" and "Don't Let me be Misubnderstood".


The Reverend Al Green converted many a listener with his vocals before turning to his other more ethereal mission. After the grittier direction R&B ventured into in the late-60s, he returned the gospel and soul traditions to the genre with his own Southern style. What heart can remain cold and closed after being melted by Green's golden renditions of "Let's Stay Together", "Love and Happiness" and "Tired of Being Alone". 22vdlO8eJQ&feature=related


Even amid the drama that played out in public before the dust settled for Destiny's Child, the one constant was always that Beyonce` was the star. Whether within the girl group context, or as a solo performer, Beyonce` Knowles commands a stage like no other contemporary. She can do vulnerable ("If I Were a Boy"), camp (Single Ladies"), powerful ("Run the World"), assured ("Irreplaceable"), cruisy R&B ("Love on Top"), sexy ("Bootylicious"), defiance ("Listen") and confident ("Independent Women"). She is the yardstick for today's aspiring divas.


Before emerging as a soloist, Pendergrass' vocals were the focal point of the many R&B classics recorded by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes which are arguably better known than the group's name or those of its members. For an example of breathtaking 70s lush soul, listen to Pendergrass on R&B staples such as "The Love I Lost", "Don't Leave me This Way", "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and  "Wake Up Everybody". His later solo output, while not as brilliant, did include some great moments (eg. "Love TKO").


Mixing grit with equal parts softness, Tina Turner has been rocking since the late 1950s when she jumped on stage with the man she would later share the bill and bed with, Ike Turner. Years later, she was the star of their stage act, overshadowing Ike and the Ikettes on classics such as "Proud Mary", "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" and "River Deep, Mountain High". "Nutbush City Limits" proved she could stand on her own feet and, once throwing off the shackles of her turbulent marriage, Tina was ready to carve out a solo career. This Amazon of Rock has applied her unique voice to defining moments including "Golden Eye", "Easy as Life", "Private Dancer", "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "Let's Stay Together".


With a blue-eyed soul that sounds many miles away from Ireland, Morrison has cast a spell across six decades. He can rock ("Gloria" with Them); woo ("Have I Told You Lately"); and simply delight with ease ("Brown Eyed Girl" and "Bright Side of the Road"). His tonsils are drenched with soul, blues, jazz and folk with a Celtic twist that makes the end result both whimsical and adept.


The Queen of Hip Hop doesn't just sing lyrics, they become chapters from her own life story. She has emerged from a past riddled with personal demons to evolve into a dignified, commanding and emotion-packed performer. The grit in her tonsils is the real deal and her songbook will inspire others for generations to come. Best examples include: "No More Drama", "One" (with U2), "As" (with George Michael), "Not Goin' Cry", "Be Without You" and "Real Love".


Steve Winwood has lent his vocals to a solid body of work, ranging from his solo output and stints in the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic. Along with its vitality, it had a purity and that blue-eyed soul flavour, heard on cuts such as: "Higher Love", "Valerie", "I'm a Man", "Gimme Some Lovin'", "Arc of a Diver", "Back in the High Life Again" and "While You See a Chance".


Most girl groups from the 1960s remained anonymous, with few exceptions. Bennett is one of those that broke out from within the confines of the trend. Not even Phil Spector's amazing Wall of Sound could suppress the power of the Ronettes' lead singer. On "Be My Baby", she manages to convey both adolescent innocence with a "come hither" sassiness.


Led Zeppelin's frontman mixes sex and soul with the blues and rock edge in his tonsils to produce a sound that can be both power station and soothing. He inspired heavy rock with "Whole Lotta Love", delivered what is arguably the definitive rock anthem ("Stairway to Heaven") and lovingly sang about devotion on "All my Love". His voice is the perfect accompaniment to the masterful guitarwork of Jimmy Page. Check out" "Rock and Roll", "Black Dog" and "Kashmir". Along with his Led Zep recordings, there are his other projects: "Big Love" (solo); "Sea of Love" (with the Honeydrippers) and "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On) with Alison Krauss.


The most famous female voice from Wales, Shirley Bassey adds drama to every song she attacks.  Her vocals stealthily draw you in and then pounce on your ears in her inimitable way. Nobody else could have delivered "Goldfinger" or "Diamonds are Forever" in quite the same way for the Bond films. Check out her voice on "The Rhythm Divine", "I Who Have Nothing", "La Passione", "Never, Never, Never" and "History Repeating".


As the lead falsetto of Earth, Wind and Fire, Bailey weaved his soaring vocals through the group's hits including "September", "After the Love has Gone" and "Fantasy". Within the context of the funk outfit, its magnificence contrasted with the deeper voiced Maurice Starr to great effect.


Once she had set herself apart from rival Britney Spears, Aguilera tackled more varied and challenging styles in her music. She soon had attracted acclaim for the strength and range of her vocals as is evident on songs such as "Hurt", "Beautiful", "Candy Man" and "Ain't No Other Man".

#63 BONO

The U2 lead singer can incite passion in a stadium and eek out empathy from members of that crowd simultaneously. Bono's vocal power and emotion can touch and move a crowd, as the Irish group serve one breathtaking performance after another from their catalogue. He has a voice that is alluring and layered with pure emotion, as best witnessed listening to "Pride (In the Name of Love)", "Gloria", "One", "The Unforgettable Fire", "With or Without You" and "All I Want is You".


Her untimely death means that we will never come to realize how influential and inspirational Winehouse would eventually become. There is no doubting however, that this rising star wowed audiences all over the world in the few short years that we had to enjoy her. Although distinctive in its own right, this troubled star's voice was a throwback to the soul and pop of the 1960s; a modern update of Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Irma Thomas, Nina Simone and Mary Wells.


The Rolling Stones' frontman personifies the rebellious 'bad boy' spirit of rock 'n roll to this day, just as he has since the group first emerged in the 60s. Half a century later, Jagger is still amazing live, as he hurls out his band's classics. He can 'do' sinister ("Sympathy for the Devil"), laid back ("Waiting on a Friend"), seductive ("Emotional Rescue"), lover ("Angie") or just simply be the definitive rock star, as on "Start me Up", "Get Off of my Cloud" and "Honky Tonk Women". His range of vocal skill traverses funk, country, blues, disco and R&B. 


With a career spanning 6 decades, Stewart has scored commercial success whether adapting his vocal pipes to rock, soul, blues, disco and American standards. He can rock out with songs such as "Hot Legs", soothe with "I Don't Want to Talk About It" and swoon you with ballads such as "Tonight's the Night". His range is evident on classics such as: "Ain't Love a Bitch", "Sailing", "Passion", "Young Turks", "People Get Ready", "Reason to Believe" and "The Killing of Georgie".


Arguably underrated in her homeland, Arena has since gained kudos in the UK and been warmly embraced by her new home, France. Australia's premiere lady of song possesses a vocal power brimming with confidence, ability and instinctively knowing how to make each song her own; in English, French or Italian. Standouts include: "Chains", "The Look of Love", Windmills of Your Mind", "Aller Plus Haut", "Live for the One I Love" and "Whistle Down the Wind".


From Phil Spector's stable that created the Wall of Sound, Darlene Love's voice crashed through the vinyl grooves on the girl group classics such as "He's a Rebel", "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "He's Sure The Boy I Love". Her contribution to the 60s trend went uncredited, as those singles were released under the names of The Crystals, The Blossoms and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans.


The Stylistics were one of the leading exponents of the lush and high production that was the celebrated Philly Sound in the early 70s. The group was blessed to include in its line-up the heavenly falsetto of member Russell Thomkins Jr. While their songs have been covered by a wide range of other singers, few match the precision and purity of Thomkins' renditions. Sample "You Make me Feel Brand New", "Betcha by Golly, Wow", "You are Everything", "I Can't Give You Anything (But my Love)" and I'm Stone in Love with You".


'Killing me Softly' could just as easily describe the effect of Flack's vocals as she glides through the lyrics of so many songs in the emotional arsenal that is her songbook.  "The First time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Jesse", "Making Love" and "Feel Like Makin' Love". For even more power, check out her collaborative work with another singer further up on this list: Donny Hathaway.


No other performer is so tightly intertwined with his genre as Marley is to reggae. His voice introduced millions to the musical style. It was loving, soothing, motivating and political at the same time. Groove along to some of these fine examples of Marley's vocals: "No Woman, No Cry", "One Love", "Is This Love?", "Redemption Song" and "Buffalo Soldier". Many of his songs served as the Rastafari equivalent to gospel's call and response that helped create soul music.


Never afforded the full credit she deserved, Australia's premier blues/ soul vocalist cut some of the best examples of homegrown crossover R&B. It takes a cold heart not to crumble when her tonsils tackle "It's a Man's Man's World", "Heading in the Right Direction", "If Loving You Is Wrong", "Love is a Drug", "sing to Me" or "Stares and Whispers".


Wilson Pickett never reached the same superstar status as Marvin Gaye or Sam Cooke or James Brown, but he was one of the preeminent performers of the 1960s in the gritty R&B style that burst out from the Stax/ Volt studios. He steered us through dance floor classics from that era which included: "Mustang Sally", "Land of 1,000 Dances" and "The Midnight Hour".


Although her vocal acrobatics can, at times, detract from her overall ability, there is no denying Carey's amazing range. Highlights include: "Fantasy", "Emotions", "Vision of Love" and "Hero".


Few voices have changed music the way Bob Dylan's has. It rallied his public for causes such as world peace and civil rights. He revealed a gentler side on classics such as "Lay Lady Lay" and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door". "Gotta Serve Somebody", "The Times They Are a- Changin'" and "Blowin' in the Wind" were his sermons. His vocals on "Hurricane" conveyed his disgust at the racism levelled at Reuben Carter. Dylan's voice demands your attention and the message remains relevant to this day.


The visually striking female half of the duo the Eurythmics, Lennox has a powerful and versatile vocal ability, put to great effect ever since the world sat up and took notice of her in that unforgettable "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" video clip. She can rock out as easily as she can woo a listener; "Here Comes The Rain Again", "There Must be an Angel", "Love Song for a Vampire" and "I Saved the World Today" are examples of her range.


With each new character, the chameleon we know as David Bowie's vocal approach evolved. He was cool on "Under Pressure", funky on "Golden Years", seductive on "China Girl" and androgynous on "John, I'm Only Dancing". Never the same and never boring.


With a voice both haunting and alluring, Kate Bush is a rarity. Her cleverly crafted compositions perfectly suit her unique vocals. She revealed her brilliance at a young age with the impressive debut album 'The Kick Inside' and, while not prolific, her work has stunned us for years since. If you haven't heard these songs, you should: "Oh to be in Love", "Symphony in Blue", "The Man with the Child in his Eyes", "Army Dreamers" and "This Woman's Work".


While his contributions to the Fab Four songbook would never overtake his two more prolific bandmates, some of those songs were impeccable: "Something", "Here Comes the Sun" and "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" among his best. His solo output allowed Harrison the freedom to create and record more classics. His gentle and soothing voice was subtle yet distinctive and is best heard on "Blow Away", "What is Life" and "All Those Years Ago".


The leading female 70s pop sensation in Australia made this country her home when she discovered she was pregnant while working in a production of the musical 'Hair'. Since then, she was crowned Queen of Pop and remains one of the most cherished jewels of the local music scene. She has not only sung pop, but show tunes, gospel, disco and soul.


Whether singing about a sex worker, an obsessed stalker, or a tragedy in Chile; Sting can ignite passion and inspire empathy even in the biggest arenas. His voice box has taken on punk, reggae, rock, French standards and jazz to great effect.


Intelligence, musicianship, beauty and that voice all in the one breathtaking package. Alicia Keys makes every song an experience. She could move you even if she were to sing the phone book!


The eternal voice and icon of the grunge movement, Cobain led his group Nirvana into history. His singing style hinted at the demons as well as his issues, but the lead singer could move you with its vulnerability and damaged goods quality.


Two albums in, and Adele has the world wrapped around her finger - all on the strength of that heavenly voice. Her live performances reveal the actual power of her phrasing and her tonsils. Adele is proof that monumental vocals and intelligent love songs will rise to the top in any age.


Known more for his skill on the trumpet, there is no mistaking his distinctive voice when Satchmo threw out lyrics. Armstrong is secured a place in history as one of the most unique and influential jazz musicians and one of the first African-American celebrities that crossed over to a white audience. He somehow managed to make his vocals an extension of his instrument.


His deep voice has lifted many a song to a higher plane: "Lean on Me", "Who is He and What is He to You?", "Ain't No Sunshine", "Lovely Day" and the guest vocals on "Just the Two of Us" (for Grover Washington Jr.). Withers' vocal power evokes the gospel and old-skool soul traditions.


Pop duo Roxette shot out hit after hit ever since the Swedes broke through globally with "The Look". Their ballads remain a strong point with "It Must Have Been Love", "Spending my Time", "Crash! Boom! Bang!" among the highlights, sung to full effect by Fredriksson..


Often overshadowed by the powerhouse screams from bandmate Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss was the more emotive yet equally bluesy vocalist in the legendary pub rock band Cold Chisel. He sang lead on several of this group's radio staple hits before the band members went their separate ways. Moss continues to this day as a solo singer and guitarist.


Young has been a storyteller and commentator for decades, including his stint with Crosby, Stills & Nash. "Old Man", "Comes a Time" and "Heart of Gold" are among his classic scenarios set to music. His title song for the film 'Philadelphia' weakens the coldest heart as it plays at the end.


Moyet first came to our attention as one half of the duo Yazzoo (aka Yazz) in the 1980s. During the same decade, she launched a solo career which has seen her take on songs in French, standards and hit songs. Her records are frequently dripping with sweet and honey-centred blue-eyed soul chops.


The lead singer from one of the biggest groups in the world, Chris Martin contributes a brooding and ethereal quality to Coldplay's music. It can vary from the delivery on "Yellow" and "Trouble" to the rousing voice he utilizes on "Clocks" and "Viva la Vida".


Moving effortlessly from folk to rock and to jazz, Joni Mitchell's voice is a commanding one: you know that every syllable is important and your attention never falters.


The Eagles was made up of great singers that could rock out, but only Henley cuts through as deeply on standouts like "Life in the Fast Lane", "Hotel California" and the epic "The Last Resort". His solo hit "The Boys of Summer" is one of the best songs dedicated to that season.


Arguably the quirkiest on this list, Bjork burst through as one of the vocalists in Icelandic group the Sugarcubes. She abandoned their rock style upon going solo, exploring dance/ trip-hop.


Chris Isaak's country and blues tinged voice is as alluring as his good looks. His delivery on "Wicked Game" and "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" could persuade a saint to commit murder. Turn the former up high on your headphones and simply surrender.


With a voice that can be equally soulful and haunting, UK vocalist Des'ree is best remembered for her breathtaking love song from Baz Luhrman's modern film version of 'Romeo & Juliet'- "Kissing You". Her other hits include "Feel So High", "Little Child" and "Life".


Veteran singer Tom Jones has been entertaining since the mid 1960s and proved he is still in strong form at the recent Queen's Jubilee concert. His catalogue spans across genres as diverse as rock, country, trance and show tunes. I bet there's a woman's underwear being flung in his direction on a stage somewhere in the world right now!


As principal lyricist and lead singer  of alternative / rock group Radiohead, his unique vocal style is the perfect conduit for their songs' angst-filled lyrics.


Lisa Stansfield managed to cross genres such as dance, blue-eyed soul and pop with beautiful and lush vocals on songs including "All Around the World", "Down in the Depths", "People Hold On" (with Coldcut, "Live Together" and "Time To Make You Mine".


The former lead singer of pop group A-Ha had a magnificent voice that raised his Norwegian group's music up to the heavens with radio friendly gems such as "Take On Me", "The Sun Always Shines on TV", "Summer Moved On" and his recent solo hit "Scared of Heights".

Now expanded to include some other noteworthy vocalists:

106  MICK HUCKNALL (Simply Red)
118  MICHAEL McDONALD (The Doobie Brothers)
119  DEBBIE HARRY (Blondie)
121  SADE ADU (Sade)
125  ENYA