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51 Best British Singers: The U.K.’s Most Prominent Vocalists

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We’re aware that singers across America are great and deserve many accolades, but when it comes to some of the best singers in the history of music, it seems the United Kingdom takes the cake. These legends span multiple genres, from rock to pop to country, and some are the voices behind the most recognizable film and television themes songs in history. Music would not be what it is today without them.

Here are the 51 best British singers in the world.

1. Elton John

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We’re going to start off this list of the best British singers with a living legend, Sir Elton John himself. John has been critically acclaimed throughout his career, especially during the 1970s. He is not just known for his original songs like “Candle in the Wind” and “Your Song.” He has also seen wide success as a composer for film and theater, including The Lion KingAida, and Billy Elliot the Musical.

It’s no wonder that he even has his own biopic film, Rocketman (2019), starring Taron Egerton, and his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour (2018-2023) became the highest-grossing concert tour of all time.

Related: 30 Crazy Facts About Elton John

2. Amy Winehouse

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It was a sad, sad day for music lovers when Amy Winehouse unexpectedly passed away on July 23, 2011, but her legacy continues to live on, making her one of the best British singers of all time. Known for her expressive, deep contralto sound and her eclectic mix of soul, reggae, jazz, and rhythm and blues, she gave us such classics as “You Know I’m No Good,” “Rehab,” and “Back to Back.”

Her legacy doesn’t just live on through her music. Following her death from alcohol intoxication, her family launched the Amy Winehouse Foundation on what would have been her 28th birthday, September 14, 2011, to help vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.

Related: How Did Amy Winehouse Die?

3. Freddie Mercury

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How can we have Queen without Freddie Mercury? You got it, we can’t, which is why he has to be one of the best British singers included on our list. Considered one of the greatest singers in rock music history, Mercury was responsible for writing some of Queen’s biggest hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody to Love,” “We Are the Champions,” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” There’s no telling what other songs he may have given us if it weren’t for his illness with aids and the resulting bronchial pneumonia causing his death on November 24, 1991.

Related: How Did Freddie Mercury Die?

4. Leona Lewis

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Leona Lewis has undoubtedly earned her status as one of the best British singers, studying at the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology before achieving recognition on The X Factor in 2006. Upon winning a recording contract, her cover of “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson peaked at number one, and her career has been off and running ever since. She has also released the number one single “Bleeding Love,” as well as top 10 singles “One More Sleep” and “You Are the Reason” with Calum Scott.

5. George Michael

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How can we not include George Michael on our list of the best British singers? Known as one of the best-selling musicians of all time, the late singer had success both as a solo artist and as one-half of the pop duo Wham!

Some of his most recognizable hits include “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Last Christmas,” “Careless Whisper,” and “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).” It’s no surprise that he was the recipient of two Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and four MTV Video Music Awards.

Related: How Did George Michael Die?

6. Annie Lennox

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Annie Lennox has one of the most captivating voices the world fell in love with after she and musician Dave Stewart formed the Eurythmics. This was especially apparent after the group’s 1983 music video for “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” premiered. Sporting orange cropped hair and a men’s business suit, the BBC commented, “All eyes were on Annie Lennox, the singer whose powerful androgynous look defied the male gaze.”

Her solo career songs proved just as popular with hits like “Why” and “Walking on Broken Glass,” to name just a couple.

7. Phil Collins

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“In the Air Tonight,” “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” and “One More Night” are just three examples of why Phil Collins is considered one of the best British singers. The drummer and later lead singer of Genesis reached his peak years of success between 1982 and 1990, during which time he released three number-one singles in the UK and seven number-one singles in the United States.

He doesn’t just know how to take care of his adult fans but the kids, too, as he is also the maestro behind the soundtrack for the 1999 Disney animated feature film Tarzan.  

Related: Phil Collins’ Net Worth

8. Olivia Newton-John

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We’ll be “Hopelessly Devoted” to Olivia Newton-John until we die. The British-Australian singer was not just responsible for such songs as “I Honestly Love You” and “Physical,” but she is the reason Sandy Olson was brought to life in the 1978 musical film Grease, and she’ll forever be a legend because of it.

Related: Olivia Newton-John’s Net Worth

9. John Lennon

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Prague, Czech republic, July 22, 2017: John Lenon in Grevin museum of the wax figures in Prague. Image from Shutterstock.

John Lennon may be the first Beatle to grace our list of the best British singers, but we promise he will not be the last.

In addition to his work with the Beatles, Lennon also had a successful solo career from 1970-1980, releasing songs like “Mother” and “Working Class Hero.” There’s no guessing what he might have continued to do if he hadn’t been so tragically murdered after returning home from a recording session on December 8, 1980.

Related: How Did John Lennon Die?

10. Seal

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Seal may be trademarked by his facial scars from his lupus, but let’s not forget that he has one of the best singing voices of all British singers. Selling more than 20 million records worldwide, he is best known for songs like “Crazy,” “Killer,” and “Kiss from a Rose,” which all perfectly highlight his distinctive soulful voice.

The most significant music awards throughout his career obviously agree as he is the recipient of four Grammy Awards and three Brit Awards, among others.

Related: Seal’s Net Worth

11. Harry Styles

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There may be four members of One Direction, but there are few who would argue that Harry Styles is the best of the British singers among them. Upon beginning his solo career in 2017, Styles achieved much commercial success with songs like “Sign of the Times,” “Watermelon Sugar,” and “As It Was.”

Styles has admitted that many legends have inspired his music, noting, “I think with music, it’s so important to evolve – and that extends to clothes and videos and all that stuff. That’s why you look back at David Bowie with Ziggy Stardust or The Beatles and their different eras – that fearlessness is super inspiring.”

Related: What Is Harry Styles’ Net Worth?

12. Dua Lipa

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English and Albanian singer Dua Lipa has received critical acclaim and a plethora of media coverage because of her distinct mezzo-soprano vocal range and her disco-influenced production style. With such successful singles as “Be the One,” “New Rules,” and “IDGAF,” she has achieved several accolades. Among them are six Brit Awards, two Guinness World Records, and three Grammy Awards.

She has been known to be inspired by such famed artists as Blondie, Gwen Stefani, Outkast, Madonna, and Moloko.

Related: Facts about Dua Lipa. 

13. Rita Ora

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Rita Ora may be one of the more recent British singers to come into the limelight, rising to fame in February 2012 with the release of her single “Hot Right Now,” but she has nonetheless proven herself as one of the best British singers. With her debut album, Ora, coming in at number one in the United Kingdom, it produced such number-one singles as “R.I.P.” and “How We Do (Party).”

It’s only been a few months since she released her third studio album, You & I, but we’re pretty sure that she will continue to have an extremely prominent career in the future.

14. Sam Smith

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Like Rita Ora, Sam Smith also broke onto the scene in 2012, being featured on such songs as “Latch” by Disclosure and “La La La” by Naughty Boy. It was all the catalyst that set Smith up for success with the release of Smith’s debut studio album, In the Lonely Hour, in May 2014. It brought about the internationally successful singles “Money on My Mind,” “Stay with Me,” and “I’m Not the Only One.”

From there, Smith got the opportunity of a lifetime when the singer joined forces with Jimmy Napes for the song “Writing’s on the Wall,” the theme for the 2015 film Spectre of the James Bond franchise. The song won a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Related: Sam Smith Gilds Entire Xcel Energy Center

15. Sting

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There’s just something about a musician who you recognize with just one single name, and what better example is there than Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, aka Sting? His iconic name is almost as recognizable as his iconic career, with 17 Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year for “Every Breath You Take,” three Brit Awards, including 1994’s Best British Male Artist, and more.

Along with that, he has also received accolades from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

16. Mick Jagger

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As a founding member and frontman of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger had to be one of the best British singers to grace our list. Along with being the main vocalist for the rock band, he is also responsible for penning most of the songs alongside Keith Richards.

Jagger has a legacy that can’t be matched, with a performance style described to have “opened up definitions of gendered masculinity and so laid the foundations for self-invention and sexual plasticity, which are now an integral part of contemporary youth culture.” He is also known as the “template” for all rock frontmen who “changed music” because of his contributions.

Related: Mick Jagger’s Net Worth

17. Ian Gillan

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Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan is the next entry on our best British singers list, and rightfully so. Known for his wide-ranging and powerful singing voice, he has noted such musical influences as Elvis Presley and other legendary artists.

While his time with Deep Purple was his most prominent, he did spend a year as lead vocalist with Black Sabbath, but his style didn’t mesh well, especially with Bill Ward.

Ward said of the time that performing together that he “didn’t particularly like some of the lyrics that Ian was bringing forward and putting into the songs. Not because Ian doesn’t write good lyrics or anything like that. I think Ian is an excellent performer and a great singer, and often, at times, I think his lyrics can be quite brilliant. But I just have a personal difference in what I like to hear in the way of lyrics, and so I felt terribly disconnected.”

Despite the disagreement in Ward’s words, it’s clear that there was mutual respect, which is yet another thing that earns Gillan the status as one of the best British singers.

18. Brian Johnson

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Brian Johnson, known for his distinctive voice and Geordie accent, was the third lead singer of AC/DC following the death of Bon Scott, catapulting the hit rock band into a whole new era. His time with the band proved to be widely successful, as his first album with them, Back in Black, became the second best-selling album of all time.

Additionally, Johnson was one of the members to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of the band in 2003.

Related: Facts About the Legendary Australian Band, AC/DC

19. Elvis Costello

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What is it about the name Elvis? While Elvis Presley is one of the best and most famous musicians in America (and the world), Elvis Costello is one of the most popular and best singers in Britain and beyond. Considered by music critics to be “one of the most gifted and versatile songwriters of his generation,” he is responsible for such hits as “Alison,” “Oliver’s Army,” and “Veronica.”

As AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine described him, Costello is “the most evocative, innovative, and gifted songwriter since Bob Dylan, with songs that offer highly personal takes on love and politics.” Additionally, Rolling Stone described his songwriting as “almost unparalleled versatility.”

20. David Bowie

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Talk about another legend whose career lives on even after his 2016 death. David Bowie was a leading figure in the industry and is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

With a career marked by visual representation and reinvention, he is credited for bringing “sophistication to rock music” and writing that showed him to be “an innovative, visionary, restless artist who synthesized complex Avant-garde concepts into beautifully coherent works that touched the hearts and minds of millions.”

Related: David Bowie’s Net Worth

21. Sade Adu

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Sade Adu has earned her place on the best British singers list, if anything, for her influence on contemporary music. One of the most successful artists in the history of Britain, she has even been honored with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2002. Additionally, the “Your Love is King” singer was named commander in the 2017 Birthday Honours.

22. Kate Bush

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English singer-songwriter Kate Bush has been making it big since she was 19 years old when she topped the UK Singles Chart with her debut song, “Wuthering Heights,” for four weeks. By doing so, she became the first female artist in the chart’s history to get a number-one hit with a self-written song. From there, things only continued to climb for her colossal career. She has released 25 UK Top 40 singles, which have included the Top 10 hits “The Man with the Child in His Eyes,” “Running Up That Hill,” and “King of the Mountain.”

23. Ed Sheeran

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He’s the ginger that we’ve all grown to love in music. Ed Sheeran is the king of folk-pop and soft rock, bringing about such hits as “Perfect,” “I Don’t Care,” and “Beautiful People.” For these and more, he’s received much acclaim from music critics.

Alexis Petridis, a music journalist, has said that Sheeran “brought pop back down to earth,” while Laura Snapes of The Guardian has called him “the godfather of the current crop of singer-songwriters.”

Related: 78 Interesting Facts About Singer Ed Sheeran

24. Paul McCartney

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It’s time for Beatle No. 2 to grace our list of the best British singers. He is the other half of the prime duo that wrote many of the group’s biggest hit songs and split the lead vocals. Along with his signature voice, McCartney is best known for his melodic way of playing the bass, his versatile tenor range, and his musical eclecticism.

The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is also recognized as the “most honored composer and performer in music” by the Guinness Book of World Records. This is made possible by his 60 gold discs, more than 100 million singles and 100 million albums sold, and 43 songwriting credits, both jointly and solo, that sold more than 1 million copies between 1962 and 1978.

Related: Paul McCartney Biography

25. Adele

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Adele has had us all singing “Make You Feel My Love” since she first came on the scene, and she has proven her worth as one of the best British singers ever since. With her killer songwriting and powerful mezzo-soprano vocals, it’s no wonder that she’s got 16 Grammy Awards, as well as an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Golden Globe all under her belt.

With songs like “Chasing Pavements,” “Set Fire to the Rain,” and “Skyfall” already on our list of our favorite Adele songs, it’s only a matter of time before we’re adding more breathtaking hits to our playlist as more albums are released.

Related: 20 Best Adele Songs: Her Biggest Hits

26. Marianne Faithfull

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Marianne Faithfull is one of the entries on our best British singers list who has had the longest-running career spanning more than six decades. When she first came on the scene in the 1960s, we fell in love with her on “As Tears Go By,” and now we’ve got dozens of hits to enjoy, like “Come and Stay with Me,” “The Little Bird,” and “Summer Nights.” Only one of the best British singers would be able to keep such a long, successful career going.

27. Ellie Goulding

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Ellie Goulding may not have as many accolades as others on our best British singers list, but she has still proven herself to be a great set of pipes, whether it’s on Elton John’s “Your Song” or her original song “Lights.”

While being interviewed by Carson Daly, Goulding gave her own description of her vocal sound. “I think sometimes it sounds like my voice is, like, out of control. … I have to really control it because it just kind of goes everywhere. Like, sometimes stuff comes out that I don’t expect. A lot, actually. … It’s so funny because my favorite thing to do is imitate opera singers, but I’ve never had a singing lesson. Oh, I had a lesson just to teach me how to breathe better, but I never really had a singing lesson.”

28. Rod Stewart

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He’s the king of rock and pop in Britain. Rod Stewart is yet another on our list of the best British singers who is among the best-selling artists of all time. Selling more than 120 million records around the world, he has given us such hits as “Sailing,” “Maggie May,” and “You Wear It Well.”

Also a former member of the Jeff Beck Group, Stewart has said of the experience, “It was a great band to sing with, but I couldn’t take all the aggravation and unfriendliness that developed. … In the two and a half years I was with Beck, I never once looked him in the eyes – I always looked at his shirt or something like that.”

Related: 16 Crazy Facts About Rod Stewart

29. Cat Stevens

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With a stage name like Cat Stevens, it’s no wonder that he’s gotten people’s attention all around the world. This entry on our best British singers list is the producer of classics like “Matthew and Son,” “Wild World,” and “Peace Train.” If that’s not enough to convince you, how about learning that he wrote “The First Cut is the Deepest,” made famous by Sheryl Crow and three others, for which he was recognized with ASCAP songwriting awards.

Related: 20 Best Cat Stevens Songs

30. Billy Ocean

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Billy Ocean may not be quite as popular now, but his string of hits between 1976 and 1988 have ensured he remains a living legacy.

Kicking off his success with “Love Really Hurts Without You,” he went on to bring us such songs as “Red Light Spells Danger,” “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)” and “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going.”

31. Dusty Springfield

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The world may have lost Dusty Springfield in 1999, but we’ve never forgotten her signature blonde beehive, thick black eyeliner and eye shadow, and her distinctive mezzo-soprano vocals.

Upon being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just two weeks after her death, her fellow best British singers entry, Elton John, said of the “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” singer, “I’m biased, but I just think she was the greatest white singer there ever has been … every song she sang, she claimed as her own.”

32. Ozzy Osbourne

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Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne at Spike TV’s 4th Annual “Guys Choice Awards,” Sony Studios, Culver City, CA. 06-05-10. Image from Shutterstock.

This entry may be a little shocking, but could we really have a best British singers list without mentioning the “Prince of Darkness” himself, Ozzy Osbourne? Best known for being the lead vocalist of Black Sabbath, he has also earned the title, informally, of “Godfather of Metal.”

Combining his time with Black Sabbath and his subsequent solo career, he is among the best-selling artists of all time, with more than 100 million albums sold. As All Things Loud puts it, Osbourne “has left an impression on the world that surpasses his musical contributions, which still continues to flourish. [Osbourne] has gone on to say that the day he retires is when he hears the nails being hammered into his coffin.”

He has since retired from touring.

Related: Ozzy Osbourne’s Net Worth

33. Jessie J

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Jessie J has been gracing the stage since she was 11 years old, and she’s only gotten better and better with age. Coming to prominence with her first singles, “Do It Like a Dude” and “Price Tag,” she has continued to receive international success in recent years, crossing over onto the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with many of her songs. This has led to her receiving critical acclaim from critics, too, but she’s remained humble, looking up to her fellow artists like Pink and Katy Perry.

She has said of the latter, “Her hard work, her dedication, and how she deals with having the world stare at her every move, personally and professionally, with such dignity and strength, is inspiring.”

34. Stormzy

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Stormzy is the first singer and rapper to land on our best British singers list, but it’s well-deserved. He is also one of the few to first get his start through YouTube as his initial freestyle release of “Shut Up” catapulted him onto the music scene, peaking at number eight on the UK Singles Chart in 2015. Since, he has already received numerous accolades and awards, which suggests that he’ll remain one of the best British singers for years to come.  

35. Eric Clapton

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Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Eric Clapton is yet another rock and blues legend to grace our best British singers list. Known as the second greatest guitarist of all time on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list, he is just as skilled at the vocals, bringing to life such songs as “For Your Love” by the Yardbirds and “Are You Hung Up?” by Frank Zappa. Still, it’s clear his guitar skills are what’s remembered most.

The Guardian said of Clapton in 2011, “Nothing is more central to rock mythology than the cult of the lead guitarist. And no one did more to create that cult than Eric Clapton. He had already been a member of the Yardbirds before joining John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the clearing house for guitarists, in April 1965. His two stints with Mayall saw his reputation grow to the extent that a famous graffito captured the popular appraisal of him among rock fans: ‘Clapton is God.’”

Related: 16 Greatest Guitar Players

36. Tom Jones

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Tom Jones was a hit right from the start, releasing a string of Top 10 hits throughout the 1960s. Described as having a “full-throated, robust baritone” voice by AllMusic, no genre has seemed to deter him, bringing to life tunes in pop, R&B, country, dance, gospel, soul, and even show tunes. As the New York Times described him in 2008, the “It’s Not Unusual” singer is a “musical shapeshifter [who could] slide from soulful rasp to pop croon, with a voice as husky as it was pretty.”

37. Boy George

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Inspired by David Bowie and Marc Bolan, Boy George epitomizes the New Romantic movement in the 1970s and 80s. Best known for being the founder and lead singer of the Culture Club, the band had a string of hit singles from “Church of the Poison Mind,” “Time (Clock of the Heart),” and “I Just Wanna Be Loved.”

Sadly, his sexuality and legal issues have overshadowed his work as an artist for some, but he will still always be considered one of the best British singers in our eyes.

38. George Harrison

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And we’re back with more Beatlemania! He may be considered “the quiet Beatle,” but George Harrison contributed just as much to the classic band as anyone, contributing at least two songs per album from 1965 and beyond. In fact, we have Harrison to thank for penning and providing lead vocals on “Here Comes the Sun,” “Taxman,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

When he became the first recipient of the Billboard Century Award in December 1992, he was recognized for his “critical role in laying the groundwork for the modern concept of world music” as well as for having “advanced society’s comprehension for the spiritual and altruistic power of popular music.”

Related: 15 Interesting Facts About The Beatles Members

39. Liam Payne

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Another member of One Direction graces our list. After Harry Styles, Liam Payne has been the most successful of the group as a solo artist. His debut single from his first solo album, “Strip That Down,” released in May 2017, peaked at number three in the UK and number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. Additionally, he has gone on to sell more than 18 million singles and achieved more than 3.9 billion streams during the three-year hiatus that One Direction took.

40. Chris Martin

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Chris Martin is the face of Coldplay. Providing the lead vocals, piano, and rhythm guitar for the band, which he co-founded, we can’t imagine songs like “Yellow” and others without him.

If that weren’t enough to prove his place on the best British singers list, his solo work both as a singer and songwriter is just as prominent, penning such songs as “Gravity” for Embrace and “See It in a Boy’s Eyes” for Jamelia.

41. Robin Gibb

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Like the Beatles, Robin Gibb is a representative of another hit band on our best British singers list: the Bee Gees. With hits like “Stayin’ Alive” and “New York Mining Disaster in 1941” already making him a household name, he also had hits as a solo artist. Some of the most prominent include “Saved by the Bell,” “To Heaven and Back,” “Juliet,” and “Boys Do Fall in Love.”  

Related: 18 Best Sibling Bands

42. Joe Cocker

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It is thanks to Joe Cocker that the world was gifted with songs like “Feelin’ Alright” and “Unchain My Heart.” The man with the dynamic stage performance and the gritty, bluesy voice also brought life another life to the Beatles classic “With a Little Help from My Friends,” which was on his debut studio album. Reaching number one in the United Kingdom in 1968, it became the signature song that those who came to see him live were waiting for most.

43. Peter Gabriel

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Peter Gabriel, best known for being the original lead vocalist of Genesis, a progressive rock band, also had a successful solo career upon leaving the band in 1975. Gabriel had a string of hit songs like “Solsbury Hill” and “Sledgehammer,” as well as successful albums, with his fifth studio album, So (1986), being his best-selling. It was so popular that it was certified platinum three times in the UK and five times in the United States.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described Gabriel as emerging in the 1980s as “one of rock’s most ambitious, innovative musicians” and “an international pop star.”

Related: 20 Best Peter Gabriel Songs

44. Van Morrison

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Van Morrison may be from Ireland, but as an Officer of the British Empire, we’d say he qualifies for our best British singers list. With a career that spans seven decades, there is no end to the contributions he has made to the world of music. Best known for being the lead singer of Them, who came out with the garage band staple, “Gloria,” he has also had a successful solo career, with his most recognizable hit being “Brown Eyed Girl.”

Morrison has received a number of accolades throughout his career, with one of the most prominent being his BMI ICON Award in October 2004 for his “enduring influence on generations of music makers.”

Related: How Did Jim Morrison Die?

45. Dido

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Dido, where would we be without your hit songs “White Flag” and “Thank you”? Well, we don’t even want to imagine it, which is why she is the next entry on our best British singers list.

Selling more than 21 million copies of her debut album, No Angel (1999) worldwide, that album and her follow-up album, Life for Rent (2003), are among the UK’s best-selling albums in the chart’s history.

46. Ringo Starr

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KIEV, UKRAINE – JUNE 3: Ringo Starr during his concert tour in Kiev, Ukraine on June 3, 2011. Image from Shutterstock.

And we’ve officially hit all four Beatles. Ringo Starr, although he was mainly seen as the drummer for the Beatles, still had his time in the spotlight as the lead vocalist on hits like “Yellow Submarine” and “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Additionally, he showed off his songwriting skills for the group, too, penning the songs “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden.”

Over the years, Starr has named a number of musical influences but has called the legendary Gene Autry his first musical hero. “I remember getting shivers up my back when he sang, ‘South of the Border,’” he once commented.

Related: Why We Love Ringo Starr

47. Mark Knopfler

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Mark Knopfler, best known for being the singer and lead guitarist of Dire Straits, has crossed over into a number of genres, from classic rock to Celtic rock, blues rock, and even country rock. His musical endeavors have continued to receive critical acclaim both for his singing and his guitar playing.

Among the biggest comments, “Mark Knopfler may be the most lyrical of all rock guitarists,” according to Spin, and “Mark Knopfler has a lovely, refreshing guitar style. He brought back something that seemed to have gone astray in guitar playing,” according to David Gilmour, guitarist of Pink Floyd.

Additionally, in 2018, Classic Rock said, “The bare-boned economy of Knopfler’s songs and his dizzying guitar fills were a breath of clean air amid the lumbering rock dinosaurs and one-dimensional punk thrashers of the late 70s. He was peerless as a craftsman and virtuoso, able to plug into rock’s classic lineage and bend it to sometimes wild forms. He wrote terrific songs, too: taut mini-dramas of dark depths and dazzling melodic and lyrical flourishes.”

48. Robbie Williams

robbie williams on stage singing
Image from Shutterstock.

Robbie Williams is one of the most decorated British singers in history, winning a record 18 Brit Awards, including being named Best British Male Artist four times. Additionally, he has been twice awarded the Outstanding Contribute to Music recognition and even the Icon Award.

With hit songs like “Angels,” “Millennium,” and “She’s the One,” it’s no wonder that his Close Encounters Tour earned him a spot in the 2006 Guinness World Record book, having sold 1.6 million tickets in one day. Who wouldn’t want to make sure they got to hear him sing those songs live?

49. Robert Plant

robert plant on stage singing in 2019
Image from Shutterstock.

There seems to be a theme of the best British singers being the lead vocalists of some of our favorite bands in history. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin is simply the latest example. From his time with the “Dazed and Confused” hitmakers to his solo career coming out with songs like “Little by Little” and “Tall Cool One,” we have no end of fantastic songs to look back on for years to come.

Even Encyclopædia Britannica has noted, “Exaggerating the vocal style and expressive palette of blues singers such as Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, Plant created the sound that has defined much hard rock and heavy metal singing: a high range, an abundance of distortion, loud volume, and emotional excess.”

50. Cliff Richard

cliff richard on stage performing with women dancing in the background
Image from Shutterstock.

Cliff Richard, described as the “rebellious rock and roll singer in the style of Presley and Little Richard” when he first came on the scene, is easily one of the best British singers in the world, coming in as the third top-selling artist in the history of the UK Singles Chart after the Beatles and the King of Rock and Roll himself.

With a career that spans 65 years, he is one of the most decorated British singers, with his 1958 hit “Move It” widely regarded as the “first authentic British and rock and roll record” that “laid the foundations” for Merseybeat and the Beatles.

51. Shirley Bassey

shirley bassey on the red carpet
Image from Shutterstock.

Ending our list of the best British singers is the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey. Known for the longevity of her career and her powerful voice, she has successfully recorded three of the most popular theme songs in the history of James Bond films. They include Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and Moonraker (1979).

Regarded as the undisputed Queen of James Bond, she returned to the stage to perform two of her signature theme songs during The Sound of 007 concert show at the Royal Albert Hall in 2022. She may have been 85 years old at the time, but she proved that she is still the best in the franchise’s history.

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Written by Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson received her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth in 2015. She has worked in journalism since 2015, beginning as production assistant and eventual head staff writer of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Currently, she is a multimedia journalist with the Diocese of Nashville's Office of Media and Evangelization where she writes, does photography, and edits for several types of content, including the Tennessee Register, Catholic Awakenings, and She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas's newspaper, The Leaven, since 2016.
In her spare time, Peterson enjoys reading, spending time with her pup, Sadie Lynn, singing and songwriting.


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