Famous 20th Century British Singers

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Find out more about the greatest 20th Century British Singers, including Adele, John Lennon, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and Paul McCartney.
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 1 
Freddie Mercury
(One of the Greatest Rock Singers and the Lead Vocalist of the Rock Band 'Queen')
Freddie Mercury
381
Birthdate: September 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stone Town, Tanzania
Died: November 24, 1991

Legendary singer, songwriter and lead vocalist of the British rock band, Queen, Frederick Bulsara adopted the name Freddie Mercury which aptly suits his on-stage vibrant and exuberant persona. A four-octave vocal range musician, Mercury owned every stage he set foot on as much with his vivid performance as with his superhuman voice modulation.  

 2 
Elton John
(Singer, Pianist and Composer- One of the Best-Selling Artists of All Time)
Elton John
117
Birthdate: March 25, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pinner, England
The supremely gifted English singer, songwriter, pianist and composer, Elton John has entertained music lovers globally since the 1970s. His phenomenal talent make him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Not to forget his tribute to Princess Diana, Candle in the Wind 1997, which till date is one of the best-selling singles in the UK and the US.
 3 
George Michael
(Singer-Songwriter)
George Michael
108
Birthdate: June 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: East Finchley, London, England
Died: December 25, 2016

George Michael is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham and later went solo. His first solo single Careless Whisper reached number one in over 20 countries. He came out as gay in 1998. He was often in news for his personal life and legal troubles.

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 4 
Rita Ora
(Singer, Actress)
Rita Ora
80
Birthdate: November 26, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pristina, SFR Yugoslavia

Rita Ora is a popular singer and actress who became the first British female solo artist to release 13 top ten songs in the UK. Also a well-known philanthropist, Rita Ora was appointed as one of the ambassadors for UNICEF UK in 2019. She performs quite frequently in charity concerts and supports several charity organizations.

 5 
Mick Jagger
(British Singer-Songwriter and Founding Member of the Rock Band 'Rolling Stones')
Mick Jagger
191
Birthdate: July 26, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dartford, England, United Kingdom

Mick Jagger is widely regarded as one of the most influential frontmen in rock & roll history. Known for his energetic performances on-stage and multiple relationships off-stage, Mick is frequently portrayed as a countercultural figure. He is an inductee to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and UK Music Hall of Fame.

 6 
Rod Stewart
(One of the Best-Selling Music Artists of All Time)
Rod Stewart
194
Birthdate: January 10, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Highgate

British rock and pop singer and songwriter, Rod Stewart has sold over 250 million records worldwide and is counted among the best-selling music artists of all time. During his extensive career that spans almost six decades, he has won numerous awards and accolades. He was mentioned on the "Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists" list in 2008.

 7 
Sting
(Musician & Singer)
Sting
35
Birthdate: October 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wallsend, England

Sting is an English singer-songwriter, musician, and actor. Credited with co-founding the popular rock band, The Police, Sting played an important role in the band's success from 1977 to 1984 during which he served as the band's bassist, lead singer, and principal songwriter. Also known for his work as an activist, Sting has shown interest in political and social issues.

 8 
Robert Plant
(Lead Singer and Lyricist of the English Rock Band 'Led Zeppelin')
Robert Plant
47
Birthdate: August 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Bromwich, England, United Kingdom

Regarded as one of the most influential music artists of all time, Robert Anthony Plant was the lead singer and song writer of the extremely successful rock group Led Zeppelin. After the band disbanded, the Grammy award winning artist, with his powerful and wide vocal range, established a successful solo career. He has also collaborated with other artists and bands.

 9 
Seal
(Singer-songwriter)
Seal
35
Birthdate: February 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England

Seal is a British singer and songwriter. He has received several prestigious awards over the course of his career. Also known for his charity work, Seal has performed at several charity events in an attempt to help non-profit organizations, such as the Make It Right Foundation.

 10 
Robbie Williams
(Member of the Pop Group ‘Take That’ & Guinness World Record Holder for Selling 1.6 Million Tickets in a Single Day)
Robbie Williams
39
Birthdate: February 13, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom

Robbie Williams is one of the most popular and successful English singer-songwriters of his generation. Having sold 75 million records, Williams is one of the best-selling music artists ever. His lasting impact on British culture earned him the 2017 Brits Icon Award. Also a well-known philanthropist, Williams has established a charity organization called Give It Sum in his home town.

 11 
Cat Stevens
(Singer and Multi-Instrumentalist Known for His Albums ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ and ‘Teaser and the Firecat’)
Cat Stevens
35
Birthdate: July 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

British singer, Cat Stevens, has released more than 15 studio albums and has churned out many hit songs. He converted to Islam in 1977 and adopted the name Yusuf Islam. He was slammed for reportedly backing the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. He has also been accused of allegedly having ties with terrorist organisations, a charge he has vehemently denied.

 12 
Liam Gallagher
(Singer-songwriter)
Liam Gallagher
42
Birthdate: September 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher later also led the band Beady Eye, before launching a solo career. Both his solo albums have topped the U.K. charts. The rock icon has been heavily influenced by John Lennon’s singing style. He loves dressing in parkas and is known for his outspokenness.
 13 
Andy Gibb
(Singer-songwriter, Actor)
Andy Gibb
24
Birthdate: March 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: March 10, 1988
 14 
Bon Scott
(Singer & Musician)
Bon Scott
27
Birthdate: July 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Forfar, Scotland
Died: February 19, 1980
Bon Scott worked with bands such as The Spektors, Valentines, and Fraternity before joining the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, replacing lead singer Dave Evans in 1974. He was one of Classic Rock’s 100 Greatest Frontmen of All Time. Following his death, AC/DC released a best-selling album as a tribute.
 15 
David Bowie
(Regarded as One of the Most Influential Musicians of the 20th Century)
David Bowie
266
Birthdate: January 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: January 10, 2016

English singer-songwriter and actor David Bowie is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Dubbed "The Greatest Rock Star Ever" by Rolling Stone magazine, he rose to international prominence in the 1970s with his innovative style of music. Deeply dedicated to his profession, he remained musically active until his death in 2016.

 16 
John Lennon
(The Founder, Co-Songwriter, Co-Lead Vocalist & Rhythm Guitarist of 'The Beatles')
John Lennon
263
Birthdate: October 9, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Died: December 8, 1980

John Lennon was part of the hugely successful and popular music band, Beatles. It became the first British band to break out big in the US. However, they eventually broke up. Subsequently, Lennon went solo, with 1971 album, Imagine, being his most successful and acclaimed post-Beatles efforts. Sadly he was shot dead by a deranged fan in New York.

 17 
Paul McCartney
(Co-Lead Vocalist of the Rock Band 'The Beatles' and One of the Most Successful Composers of All Time)
Paul McCartney
228
Birthdate: June 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

English singer-songwriter and musician, Paul McCartney, is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. He gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist and bassist for the rock band, the Beatles. He also enjoyed a successful solo career. Besides music, he has been actively involved in humanitarian causes and animal rights issues.

 18 
Dusty Springfield
(Singer, Artist, Cleric)
Dusty Springfield
29
Birthdate: April 16, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: West Hampstead, London,England
Died: March 2, 1999
 19 
Peter Gabriel
(Musician & Singer)
Peter Gabriel
146
Birthdate: February 13, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chobham, Surrey, England

Man of Peace recipient and six-time Grammy-winner Peter Gabriel was the lead singer of Genesis but switched to a solo career in 1977. He co-founded the first online music download platform, OD2, and the WOMAD festival, apart from contributing to human rights, with groups such as Witness and The Elders.

 20 
Ozzy Osbourne
(Lead Vocalist of the Heavy Metal Band 'Black Sabbathe')
Ozzy Osbourne
63
Birthdate: December 3, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aston, Birmingham, England

The lead vocalist of the hard rock band, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne is an iconic hard rock star. His successful stint with the band was followed by an equally successful solo career with albums like No More Tears. However, the Godfather of Metal has also attracted media glare owing to his alcohol and drug abuse issues and crazy public behaviour.

 21 
Pete Townshend
(Co-Founder and Lead Vocalist of the Rock Band 'The Who')
Pete Townshend
17
Birthdate: May 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England

Pete Townshend is an English guitarist, composer, and singer. He is credited with co-founding and leading one of the most influential and important rock bands of the 20th century, The Who. Also an influential guitarist, Pete Townshend was ranked 10th in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 greatest guitarists of all time list published in 2011.

 22 
Olivia Newton-John
(One of the Best-selling Artists, Who Starred in the Musical 'Grease')
Olivia Newton-John
69
Birthdate: September 26, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cambridge, England, US
Died: August 8, 2022

Olivia Newton-John's breathy voice and stunning beauty made her one of the biggest pop stars of the 1970s. She charmed generations of movie viewers in the blockbuster film Grease. Following a string of country and soft-rock hits, Newton-John starred opposite John Travolta in the 1978  blockbuster Grease, considered as one the most popular movie musicals of all time.

 23 
Brian May
(Lead Guitarist of the Rock Band 'Queen')
Brian May
19
Birthdate: July 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hampton, London, England

Queen guitarist and singer-songwriter Brian May is also a PhD in astrophysics. One of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and Guitar World’s second-greatest guitarist, he received a CBE. He was a Chancellor of Liverpool at John Moores University, has worked with NASA, and fights for animal rights.

 24 
Phil Collins
(Drummer & Lead Singer of the Rock Band 'Genesis')
Phil Collins
30
Birthdate: January 30, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chiswick, Middlesex, London, United Kingdom

Phil Collins is best known for his work with the popular rock band Genesis. Having sold more than 150 million copies worldwide, he is one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Phil is one of three recording artists who have sold more than 100 million records both as principal members of a band and as solo artists.

 25 
Bruce Dickinson
(Lead Singer of the Heavy Metal Band 'Iron Maiden')
Bruce Dickinson
17
Birthdate: August 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England

Bruce Dickinson is an English singer-songwriter best known for his association with the heavy metal band, Iron Maiden. An important member and lead singer of the band since 1981, Dickinson is famous for his energetic stage presence and wide-ranging operatic vocal style. Also an aircraft enthusiast, Dickinson is credited with creating Cardiff Aviation, a pilot training and aircraft maintenance company.

 26 
Chris Martin
(Lead Vocalist of the Rock Band 'Coldplay')
Chris Martin
163
Birthdate: March 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Whitestone, England, United Kingdom

Chris Martin is the lead singer of the rock band, Coldplay, which he has co-founded. The band gained fame after they released the song Yellow in 2000. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling music artists. Martin has also worked in solo collaborations with other artists and written songs for various projects.

 27 
Kate Bush
(One of the Most Successful British Solo Performers of All Time)
Kate Bush
27
Birthdate: July 30, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bexleyheath, England, United Kingdom
Kate Bush is best known for her UK Singles Chart-topper debut single Wuthering Heights. She has released 25 UK Top 40 singles, such as Babooshka and Running Up That Hill. She is known for her literary themes and drew inspiration from James Joyce’s Ulysses. She was also awarded the CBE.
 28 
Sarah Brightman
(Soprano Singer)
Sarah Brightman
15
Birthdate: August 14, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England
Classical crossover soprano and actor Sarah Brightman is best known for her international hit Time to Say Goodbye, sung with Andrea Bocelli. She has also performed in various West End and Broadway musicals, such as Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. She was previously married to Andrew Lloyd Webber.
 29 
Rick Astley
(Singer)
Rick Astley
58
Birthdate: February 6, 1966
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newton-le-Willows

Rick Astley went from being a high-school drop-out and a driver, to becoming a music sensation. He turned into a global phenomenon with his 1987 track Never Gonna Give You Up, which topped charts in 25 countries. Years later, in 2007, the video was part of the viral meme “rickrolling.”

 30 
Sade
(Frontwoman of the Soul Band Sade)
Sade
24
Birthdate: January 16, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ibadan, Nigeria

Nigerian-British singer Helen Folasade Adu, or Sade Adu, often blends Afro-Cuban tunes with soul and smooth jazz in her music. The Grammy Award winner had initially studied fashion designing and been a model. The founder of the band Sade, she has released iconic tracks such as No Ordinary Love.

 31 
Brian Johnson
(Singer, Musician)
Brian Johnson
137
Birthdate: October 5, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dunston, County Durham, England

Brian Johnson is an English singer and songwriter. Johnson is credited with founding the popular rock band Geordie. Famous for his strong North East England accent and distinctive singing voice, he also played a major role in the success of the band AC/DC over the course of his career. Apart from music, Johnson supports the Yorkshire Dementia Charity.

 32 
Robin Gibb
(Member of the ‘Bee Gees’ Pop Group)
Robin Gibb
142
Birthdate: December 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Douglas, Isle of Man
Died: May 20, 2012
Robin Gibb was part of the Bee Gees, an iconic pop/rock/disco band of the 1960s and the 1970s and makers of hits such as Stayin' Alive. Robin, a Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and a CBE-awardee, also had a successful solo career and was the president of the Heritage Foundation.
 33 
Eric Clapton
(One of the Greatest Guitarists of All Time)
Eric Clapton
23
Birthdate: March 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ripley, England

Eric Clapton, the rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, is considered one of the most influential guitarists of all time. In the 1970s, he recorded a number of successful solo albums and continued to do so over the next several decades and is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has had issues with alcohol and drugs.

 34 
Roger Waters
(Composer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Screenwriter, Singer, Pianist, Record producer)
Roger Waters
14
Birthdate: September 6, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Surrey

Co-founder of the rock band, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters is celebrated singer, songwriter and composer. Beginning his career with rhythm guitar, he initially served solely as a bassist in Pink Floyd before emerging as their lyricist, co-lead vocalist, and conceptual leader. Later he left the group due to creative difference and embarked on his solo career, releasing numerous albums and singles

 35 
Van Morrison
(Singer)
Van Morrison
135
Birthdate: August 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bloomfield, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Northern Irish singer, Van Morrison, garnered recognition in the 1960s while playing with the band, Them, and then later as a solo singer with the 1967 song Brown Eyed Girl. Over the years, he has released more than 40 albums. Astral Weeks, Moondance, Wavelength, Down the Road and Keep It Simple are some of his acclaimed and commercially successful albums.

 36 
Boy George
(Lead Singer of the Pop Band 'Culture Club')
Boy George
19
Birthdate: June 14, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barnehurst, Bexleyheath, United Kingdom

Queer icon Boy George gained fame as the lead singer of the pop group Culture Club. He is known for his androgynous dressing style and for pioneering the New Romantic Movement of the 1970s and the 1980s. He has struggled with drug addiction and has written two bestselling memoirs.

 37 
Joe Cocker
(British Singer and Musician Known for His Album ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’)
Joe Cocker
9
Birthdate: May 20, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Crookes, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Died: December 22, 2014

Grammy-winning artist Joe Cocker is best remembered for his tracks You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong. His chartbusting version of the Beatles song With a Little Help from My Friends was the theme song of the series The Wonder Years. He also received an OBE.

 38 
FKA twigs
(Singer-songwriter)
FKA twigs
21
Birthdate: January 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
 39 
David Gilmour
(Guitarist, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist, Record producer)
David Gilmour
10
Birthdate: March 6, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cambridge ,England

Pink Floyd guitarist/singer David Gilmour helped the band become one of the best-selling acts ever. One of Rolling Stone magazine’s greatest guitarists of all time, he has also been an advocate of animal rights and other causes. He once auctioned off 120 guitars, including his iconic Black Strat, for charity.

 40 
Alesha Dixon
(Singer, Model, Dancer)
Alesha Dixon
20
Birthdate: October 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London

Alesha Dixon is an English singer-songwriter, rapper, and TV personality. She initially wanted to become a teacher, but destiny had other plans for her, and she ended up entering the music world. She rose to fame as a singer in the 2000s as a member of the girl group Mis-Teeq. She later pursued a successful solo career as well. 

 41 
Jeff Lynne
(Singer-songwriter, Record producer)
Jeff Lynne
139
Birthdate: December 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shard End

Jeff Lynne is an English multi-instrumentalist, record producer, singer, and songwriter. He is credited with co-founding the popular rock band Electric Light Orchestra. He is also credited with popularizing the band with his leadership skills following the exit of co-founder Roy Wood in 1972. In the 2020 Birthday Honours, Lynne was appointed OBE for services to music.

 42 
Natalie Imbruglia
(Singer & Actress)
Natalie Imbruglia
26
Birthdate: February 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Australian singer-songwriter, model, and actress Natalie Imbruglia aspired for a career in the show business since her youth. Beginning her career with minor roles in commercials, she worked hard to make a name for herself in the entertainment industry. She has acted in many hit films and is also active as a singer with many records to her credit.

 43 
Ian Gillan
(The Lead Singer and Lyricist for the Rock Band 'Deep Purple')
Ian Gillan
5
Birthdate: August 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chiswick, London, England
 44 
Gavin Rossdale
(Best Known as the Lead Singer and Rhythm Guitarist of the Rock Band 'Bush')
Gavin Rossdale
13
Birthdate: October 30, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England

Gavin Rossdale is a British singer-songwriter. He is credited with co-founding the popular rock band Bush. In 2013, he was honored with the Ivor Novello Award for his contribution to music. Although he identifies himself as heterosexual, Gavin Rossdale admitted to having a liaison with Marilyn and called it experimentation and part of growing up.

 45 
Damon Albarn
(Guitarist, Singer, Musician, Composer, Songwriter)
Damon Albarn
10
Birthdate: March 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Whitechapel

Grammy-winning English singer Damon Albarn has previously been part of two major bands, Blur and Gorillaz, as their lead vocalist and primary songwriter. He has also performed as part of the supergroup The Good, the Bad & the Queen. His solo album Everyday Robots was nominated for a Mercury Award.

 46 
Geri Halliwell
37
Birthdate: August 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Watford

Geri Halliwell is a British singer-songwriter who achieved international fame as part of the popular girl group, The Spice Girls, which has sold more than 85 million records worldwide. Also a well-known philanthropist, Geri Halliwell has worked closely with the United Nations Population Fund, becoming its goodwill ambassador in 1998. She is widely regarded as a girl power icon.

 47 
Cliff Richard
21
Birthdate: October 14, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lucknow
The third-top-selling artist in UK Singles history, Cliff Richard has sold over 250 million records. He charted 67 top-ten and 14 number-one singles in the U.K. He mostly performed with his backing band, The Shadows, and redefined the rock-and-roll genre with singles such as Move It, which inspired The Beatles.
 48 
Michelle Dockery
16
Birthdate: December 15, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barking, Essex, England, UK
 49 
Robert Palmer
9
Birthdate: January 19, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Batley, England
Died: September 26, 2003
Elvis Costello
14
Birthdate: August 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England

Regarded as one of the greatest artists of all time, Elvis Costello is a British singer-songwriter. Often counted among British cultural icons, Costello is also known for his humanitarian efforts; a prominent member of the Jazz Foundation of America, Costello has played a crucial role in saving the lives of many elderly blues and jazz musicians in America.