There’s something undeniably unique and special about a singing drummer. They possess the power and energy of a drummer combined with the melodic soul of a singer. So we’ve compiled a list of the greatest singing drummers of all time.
These musicians have inspired and amazed us with their incredible talent and skill. So whether you’re a rock, pop, or jazz fan, there’s sure to be someone on this list that you’ll love! So without further ado, let’s get started.
1) Karen Carpenter (The Carpenters)
While Karen Carpenter is best known for her smooth vocals, she was also an accomplished drummer. She was one of the first female drummers to gain widespread recognition in the music industry.
Carpenter began playing drums at a young age and quickly developed a signature style that blended pop and jazz elements. She went on to play with her brother Richard in the 1970s duo The Carpenters.
Though she preferred to play drums rather than sing, her clear voice and easy-going demeanor made her the perfect frontwoman for the group.
The Carpenters released a string of hits throughout their career, including “Top of the World” and “Close to You.” Today, Karen Carpenter is remembered as a talented singer and drummer who helped pave the way for other female musicians.
2) Phil Collins (Genesis)
Phil Collins is best known as the drummer and lead singer of the rock band Genesis. But he didn’t always occupy both roles. When he first joined the band, he was just the drummer.
It wasn’t until 1974, when the band’s original lead singer, Peter Gabriel, left Genesis, that Collins took over on vocals. He quickly proved that he was more than up to the task, singing lead on such classic Genesis songs as “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” and “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.”
Collins is also widely respected for his solo work. He has released eight solo albums, including three that went to #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. And his 1985 album No Jacket Required won him three Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
So whether he’s behind the drums or in front of the microphone, Phil Collins is a true musical icon.
3) Gil Moore (Triumph)
Gil Moore is a Canadian drummer, singer, and songwriter best known for his work with the hard rock band Triumph. Moore began playing drums early and eventually joined Triumph in 1975.
He quickly became an essential member of the band, not only for his drumming skills but also for his vocal abilities. Moore is one of the few singing drummers in rock history.
His unique style helped to make Triumph one of the most successful hard rock bands of the 1980s, selling millions of records and headlining arenas worldwide. Moore continues to perform with Triumph, and he remains an essential part of their sound.
4) Don Henley (The Eagles)
Don Henley is best known as the drummer and singer for the Eagles, but he has also had a successful solo career. His solo work includes such hits as “The Boys of Summer” and “Dirty Laundry.” In addition to his musical accomplishments, Henley is also an environmentalist and political activist.
He has been outspoken on such issues as gun control, the war in Iraq, and the destruction of the environment. Henley’s passion for activism was inspired by his experience growing up in Texas during the 1960s. He has said that he wants to use his music to raise awareness of important issues and make a difference in the world. As one of the most popular singing drummers in rock history, Henley remains a powerful voice for change.
5) Levon Helm (The Band)
Levon Helm was a true original. As the drummer and vocalist for The Band, he helped to define the sound of American rock and roll. But what made Helm truly unique was his versatility.
He wasn’t just a singer or a drummer, but a genuine singing drummer. His voice was as integral to The Band’s sound as his drumming. And while he didn’t write many of their songs, his interpretations were always soulful and deeply felt. Levon Helm was a true original, and there will never be another like him.
6) Ringo Starr (The Beatles, solo)
Ringo Starr is best known as the drummer for the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential bands of all time. However, Ringo was more than just a talented drummer; he was also a competent singer who contributed lead vocals to several of the group’s songs.
His distinctive voice can be heard on some of the Beatles’ most iconic tracks, including “Yellow Submarine” and “With a Little Help from My Friends.” While Ringo may not have been the primary vocalist of the Beatles, he played an essential role in their success, and his contributions helped shape the sound of popular music for generations to come.
7) Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana)
Dave Grohl is best known as the iconic grunge band Nirvana drummer. However, he has also found success as a singer and songwriter with his band Foo Fighters. Grohl’s unique style combines punk, rock, and metal elements, and his powerful voice has earned him comparisons to classic rock singers like Robert Plant.
In addition to his work with Foo Fighters, Grohl has collaborated with several other artists, including Queens of the Stone Age and Paul McCartney. He is widely considered to be one of the most talented musicians of his generation, and his passion for music is evident in everything he does. For Grohl, music is more than just a job—it’s a way of life.
8) Anderson .Paak (Silk Sonic, solo)
Anderson .Paak is a rare breed: a singing drummer. In a world of one-dimensional musicians, .Paak brings a unique perspective to his music, infusing his often personal lyrics with the kinetic energy of his drumming. This combination has made him one of the most exciting artists of the last decade.
After cutting his teeth in the LA hip-hop scene, .Paak released his breakout album, Malibu, in 2016. The LP was a soulful and introspective look at . Paak’s life, with songs like “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” and “The Bird” showcasing his incredible range as a singer and songwriter.
But it was . Paak’s work with producer Dr. Dre on the album Compton that put him on the map. On tracks like “All Day Long” and “For the Love of Money,”.Paak displayed a mastery of rhythm and flow, making him one of the most compelling vocalists in recent memory. In 2020, .Paak teamed up with fellow musician Bruno Mars to form Silk Sonic.
9) Sheila E. (The George Duke Band)
Singing drummers are a rare breed. In fact, Sheila E. is one of the few professional musicians who can lay claim to this unique distinction. Born into a musical family, Sheila E. began playing drums at the age of five and went on to tour with her father, Latin jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo.
While touring with her father’s band, Sheila E. first gained attention for her dynamic drumming and powerful vocal style. Later, she Would find fame as a member of The George Duke Band before embarking on a hugely successful solo career.
Today, Sheila E. still makes music and inspires other drummers to push themselves to new levels. With her incredible skillset and vibrant personality, she remains one of the most entertaining and respected performers in the business.
10) Chris Cornell (Soundgarden)
Chris Cornell was a true rock icon. He was the singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the band Soundgarden, and was widely considered one of the best rock vocalists of all time.
He was also a drummer, and his unique style helped define the grunge sound. Chris Cornell passed away in 2017, but his music continues to inspire new generations of rock fans.
11) Brann Dailor (Mastodon)
Brann Dailor is best known as the drummer and co-vocalist for the American heavy metal band Mastodon. However, many fans may not know that Dailor is also an accomplished singer. He often takes on lead vocal duties during Mastodon’s live shows.
While Dailor’s powerful drumming is a key component of the band’s sound, his unique vocal style adds an extra layer of texture and interest to their music. For many fans, Dailor’s singing is one of the things that sets Mastodon apart from other heavy metal bands. Thanks to his dynamic performance style and impressive vocal range, Dailor has become one of the most distinctive and recognizable voices in the heavy metal genre.
12) Roger Taylor (Queen)
Roger Taylor is best known as the drummer for the rock band Queen, but he is also an accomplished singer and songwriter.
Taylor wrote some of Queen’s biggest hits, including “Radio Ga Ga” and “A Kind of Magic.” Taylor’s powerful voice and dynamic stage presence made him a natural choice to front the band occasionally, and he often took center stage during Queen’s legendary live performances.
Even though he was not the primary lead vocalist, Taylor played a vital role in making Queen one of the most successful bands. Thanks to his exceptional talents, Roger Taylor will always be remembered as one of rock music’s most iconic drummers.
13) Aaron Gillespie (Underoath)
Aaron Gillespie is a unique individual. Not only is he an incredibly talented drummer, but he is also an accomplished singer. He is one of the few people who can sing and drum simultaneously.
This rare combination of skills has made him a sought-after musician, and he has played with some of the biggest names in the music industry. However, his work with the metalcore band Underoath cemented his place in music history.
As the band’s drummer and backup vocalist, Gillespie helped pioneer a new style of metalcore that combined metal and hardcore elements.
His unique drumming style and powerful vocals were essential to the band’s sound, and they helped make Underoath one of the most successful metalcore bands of all time.
Today, Aaron Gillespie is still making music and touring with his bandmates. He also has performed as the touring drummer with Paramore.
Drumming is an art form that many people enjoy, and it’s even more enjoyable when the drummer can sing. We’ve listed some of our favorite singing drummers for you to check out, but we know many more talented drummers are out there.
If you’re thinking about trying singing while drumming, my friend Cody from Musician Tuts has put up an extensive list of online singing lessons that you should certainly check out.
Did we miss your favorite? Leave us a comment below and let us know who you think should be on this list. Thanks for reading!
Featured image: Simon Robinson / Easy On The Eye / Alamy Stock Photo