Heavy Metal Musicians

A genre of rock music, heavy metal music grew mainly in the United States and the United Kingdom in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The heavy metal music is characterised by vigorous beats, loudness, and massive sound. Its performance usually encompasses aggression and machismo. Here is a list of some of the greatest heavy metal musicians of all time.
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This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell
4
Famous As: Lead vocalist of the Rock Bands 'Soundgarden' & 'Audioslave'
Birthdate: July 20, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
Died: May 18, 2017

Singer, songwriter, and musician Chris Cornell rose to fame as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave. One of the key figures of the 1990s grunge movement, he also had a successful solo career. Unfortunately, he suffered from depression and died of suicide at the peak of his career.

 2 Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne
4
Famous As: Lead vocalist of the Heavy Metal Band 'Black Sabbathe'
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.

 3 Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl
8
Famous As: Founder of the Rock Band 'Foo Fighters'
Birthdate: January 14, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warren, Ohio, United States

Regarded as one of the most popular and influential rock musicians of the 1990s and 2000s, Dave Grohl is best known for his association with the famous rock band Nirvana, for which he was the drummer. Also a singer-songwriter, Dave Grohl was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

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 4 Tommy Lee

Tommy Lee
10
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 3, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Best known as the drummer and founding member of the bands Mötley Crüe and Methods of Mayhem, Tommy Lee Bass has been riddled with major controversies and has even spent time in jail for spousal abuse. Brash and bold, he has also been named to VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists list.
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 5 Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler
6
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 26, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Stuyvesant Polyclinic

Popularly known as the Demon of Screamin, Steven Tyler is the lead singer of the famous rock band Aerosmith. Known for his high-energy performances, Tyler is named in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Singers. Also a well-known philanthropist, Tyler launched a non-profit organization called Janie's Fund and has helped raise more than $2.4 million for the organization.

 6 Axl Rose

Axl Rose
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: February 6, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lafayette, Indiana, United States
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer W. Axl Rose, being true to his rebel spirit, fled to Los Angeles on a bus at 17, before he co-founded the legendary hard rock band Guns N' Roses. Working as the lead vocalist/lyricist of the band, he soon became a global sex symbol. 
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 7 Nikki Sixx

Nikki Sixx
8
Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: December 11, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States

Nikki Sixx, the co-founder, songwriter, and bassist of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, has also worked with side bands such as Sixx:A.M. Sixx owns a clothing line, has been part of radio shows such as Sixx Sense, and has written a bestselling memoir. He is also a talented photographer.

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 8 Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 12, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States

The founding member of the popular heavy metal band White Zombie, Rob Zombie is an American singer-songwriter, voice actor, and filmmaker. Having incorporated horror and sci-fi themes into his music and lyrics from the beginning of his career, Zombie often entertains his audience visually in his live shows; he is credited with popularizing shock rock theatricality.

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 9 James Hetfield

James Hetfield
4
Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Downey, California, United States

James Hetfield is an American songwriter and musician. He is credited with co-founding one of the most popular heavy metal bands of all time, Metallica. James Hetfield is often regarded as one of the greatest guitarists and vocalists ever. Since the 1980s, Hetfield has played a key role in the success of ESP Guitars, as one of its major endorsers.

 10 Lemmy

Lemmy
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 24, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Died: December 28, 2015

Lemmy was an English musician who founded the popular rock band Motörhead. The only continuous member of Motörhead, Lemmy served as the band's lead singer, primary songwriter, and bassist. Renowned for his gravelly voice, which was counted among the most recognizable voices in rock, Lemmy is also remembered for his military-influenced fashion sense and his signature friendly mutton chops.

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 11 Corey Taylor

Corey Taylor
4
Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: December 8, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Corey Taylor is a heavy metal singer and the lead vocalist of Stone Sour and Slipknot. He has also been associated with bands such as Apocalyptica, Anthrax, and Soulfly. He has struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction in the past and has released a tell-all autobiography named Seven Deadly Sins.

 12 Vince Neil

Vince Neil
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: February 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Vince Neil, lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, had a successful solo career too, with albums such as Tattoos & Tequila. He owns several businesses, including a tattoo parlor and a vineyard. He was imprisoned for vehicular manslaughter in the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle.

 13 Mick Mars

Mick Mars
8
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States
Mick Mars gained fame as the guitarist for the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe and came to be known for his aggressive style of playing the instrument. He has also written songs for bands such as Crashdïet. He has suffered from ankylosing spondylitis since his teenage years. 

 14 Lars Ulrich

Lars Ulrich
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gentofte Municipality, Denmark

Musician, songwriter, and record producer, Lars Ulrich, is best known as the drummer and co-founder of American heavy metal band Metallica. Born into a family of tennis players, he was initially expected to play the sport as well. However, he was more interested in music and proceeded to pursue a successful career in the field. 

 15 Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons
6
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: August 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel

Co-founder of the rock band Kiss, Gene Simmons is also known by his stage persona, The Demon.  With his band, he has over 25 gold-certified albums. A devoted philanthropist, he has donated to charities related to underprivileged children. He created an animated series and owns a magazine and a label.

 16 Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: August 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Serj Tankian is an Armenian-American record producer, singer, and songwriter. Tankian is credited with co-founding the popular band System of a Down. Renowned for his wide vocal range and unusual delivery, Serj Tankian is widely considered one of the best heavy metal vocalists of all time. Also a political activist, Tankian co-founded Axis of Justice, a non-profit organization.

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 17 Bruce Dickinson

Bruce Dickinson
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Famous As: Singer
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.

 18 Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar
4
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter,
Birthdate: October 13, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Salinas, California, United States
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 19 Chad Kroeger

Chad Kroeger
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanna, Alberta, Canada
Chad Kroeger gained fame as the lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Nickelback, delivering hit singles such as How You Remind Me and topping the Canadian charts. He later co-founded the band The Suits XL and also collaborated with major artists such as Santana and Avril Lavigne.

 20 Sebastian Bach

Sebastian Bach
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 3, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Freeport, The Bahamas

Sebastian Bach is a singer-songwriter best known for his association with American heavy metal band, Skid Row, where he served as frontman from 1987 to 1996. Known for his high-pitched singing style, Sebastian Bach underwent singing-related hernia surgery in 2017; it was later said that the surgery was required as he literally screamed his guts out.

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 21 Robert Trujillo

Robert Trujillo
4
Famous As: Bassist for American heavy metal band Metallica
Birthdate: October 23, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

 22 That Poppy

That Poppy
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 1, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

 23 Wolfgang Van Halen

Wolfgang Van Halen
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: March 16, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

The son of famous guitarist Eddie Van Halen, Wolfgang Van Halen is a musician and bassist. He is currently the youngest member of the popular rock band Van Halen, which was founded by his father. Over the years, Wolfgang Van Halen has contributed immensely to the success of his band.

 24 Zakk Wylde

Zakk Wylde
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 14, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bayonne

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Zakk Wylde is best known for his stint as the lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. He is also the founder, lead singer, and lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Black Label Society. He started playing guitar as a child and was already performing in bands in his teens. He also sells custom guitars and amplifiers.

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 25 Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis
4
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: January 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bakersfield, California, United States
Jonathan Davis, or JDevil, is best known as the co-founder and lead singer of the band Korn, which is said to have pioneered the genre of nu metal music. The two-time Grammy-winning artist came to be known for his intense and sometimes aggressive and high-pitched vocals.

 26 Euronymous

Euronymous
4
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: March 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Egersund
Died: August 10, 1993
Øystein Aarseth, better known as Euronymous, was a pioneer in the Norwegian black-metal circuit. He co-founded the band Mayhem and was its guitarist. He also launched the metal record label Deathlike Silence Productions and the black-metal record shop Helvete. A self-proclaimed Satanist, he was murdered by his bandmate Varg Vikernes.

 27 Paul Stanley

Paul Stanley
6
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Inwood, New York, United States

Singer, songwriter, and painter, Paul Stanley is best known for being a co-founder of the rock band Kiss. A rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the band, he also wrote or co-wrote many of their hit songs. He has been ranked 18th on Hit Parader’s list of the Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time.

 28 Andy Biersack

Andy Biersack
4
Famous As: Singer/Pianist
Birthdate: December 26, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio

Andy Biersack is an American pianist and singer-songwriter. He is credited with founding a rock band named Black Veil Brides where he also serves as the lead vocalist. In 2011, Biersack was mentioned in Revolver magazine's 100 Greatest Living Rock Stars list. In 2012, he was ranked fourth in Kerrang magazine's 50 Greatest Rock Stars in the World Today list.

 29 Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley
6
Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: April 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United StatesU.S.

Ace Frehley is an American songwriter and musician. He is credited with co-founding the rock band Kiss, for which he served as the original lead guitarist. Renowned for his aggressive guitar-playing style, Frehley was named in Guitar World magazine's Greatest Metal Guitarist of All Time list. He is also popular for playing guitars that emit smoke to create special effects.

 30 Suzuka Nakamoto

Suzuka Nakamoto
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 20, 1997
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan

Japanese kawaii metal sensation Suzuka Nakamoto is best known for being part of the band Babymetal. Also known as Su-metal, she entered the world of showbiz with Jewel Drop commercials and later won a kids’ audition. She has also been part of the idol girl group Sakura Gakuin.

 31 Vinnie Paul

Vinnie Paul
4
Famous As: Former Musician best known for being the drummer and co-founder of the heavy metal band Pantera
Birthdate: March 11, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Abilene, Texas, United States
Died: June 22, 2018

 32 Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson
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Famous As: Lead Singer of the 'Marilyn Manson' Band
Birthdate: January 5, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, United States

Singer Marilyn Manson, whose name is a juxtaposition of the names of actress, Marilyn Monroe, and serial murderer, Charles Manson, is considered a controversial figure because of the anti-Christian messages in his songs. He leans towards the social Darwinist theory. Mechanical Animals is his most successful album to date. He has also dabbled in acting and has done some movies.

 33 Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen
4
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: June 30, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden

A Swedish electric guitarist/ neo-classical metal artist, Yngwie Johann Malmsteen rose to popularity in the 1980s and has, since then, released over 22 studio albums in his four decades of career till now. His solo debut album Rising Force, which won a nomination at the 1986 Grammy Awards, is regarded a significant release in the shred and neoclassical metal genres.

 34 Phil Anselmo

Phil Anselmo
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: June 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 35 Alex van Halen

Alex van Halen
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Alex Van Halen is an American musician known for his drumming skills. He is credited with co-founding the now-defunct band, Van Halen. The band's self-titled debut album influenced several musicians in hard rock at the time of its release in 1978. Alex is also credited with coining the term brown sound, which was usually associated with his late-brother Eddie's guitar.

 36 The Rev

The Rev
4
Famous As: Musician, Drummer
Birthdate: February 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Huntington Beach, California, United States
Died: December 28, 2009

 37 M. Shadows

M. Shadows
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 31, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fountain Valley, California, United States

 38 Tobias Forge

Tobias Forge
6
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: March 3, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Linköping, Sweden

 39 Lzzy Hale

Lzzy Hale
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 10, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Red Lion, Pennsylvania, USA

Lzzy Hale is a singer, musician, and songwriter best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the hard rock band Halestorm. She is also the co-founder of the band. She began writing and performing music as a teenager and began her career collaborating with her brother, Arejay. She has also collaborated with many other artists.    

 40 B-Real

B-Real
4
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: June 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: South Gate, United States

 41 Jani Lane

Jani Lane
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 1, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, USA
Died: August 10, 2011

 42 Alex Lifeson

Alex Lifeson
3
Famous As: Musician. songwriter and record producer
Birthdate: August 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fernie, Canada

Alex Lifeson is a Canadian songwriter, musician, and record producer. He co-founded the progressive rock band Rush and serves as its guitarist. He plays electric and acoustic guitars and can also play other string instruments, such as mandola, mandolin, and bouzouki. Besides music, he is a licensed aircraft pilot and an actor. He has appeared in some TV shows. 

 43 King Diamond

King Diamond
3
Famous As: Heavy Metal Musician
Birthdate: June 14, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hvidovre, Denmark
Kim Petersen AKA King Diamond is as popular for his creepy Gothic face-painted look as he is for his heavy metal tracks. The Danish singer, who performs as part of the bands Mercyful Fate and King Diamond, claims he has had paranormal experiences and also follows Satanism and the occult.

 44 Rob Halford

Rob Halford
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 25, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, England

 45 Shawn Crahan

Shawn Crahan
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa, United States

 46 Tommy Shaw

Tommy Shaw
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 11, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, USA

 47 Brian Posehn

Brian Posehn
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 6, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA

 48 Steve Clark

Steve Clark
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: April 23, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hillsborough, Sheffield, England
Died: January 8, 1991

 49 Tom Araya

Tom Araya
3
Famous As: Vocalist and Bassist of American thrash metal band Slayer
Birthdate: June 6, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Viña del Mar, Chile

 50 Jeff Hanneman

Jeff Hanneman
4
Famous As: Musician, best known as a founding member and rhythm/lead guitarist of the American thrash metal band Slayer
Birthdate: January 31, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: May 2, 2013