Last week, Janelle claimed that Justin Timberlake has the best male falsetto. I simply couldn’t let a statement like that go unchallenged, so here is my list of the 10 best falsetto singers.
10. James Mercer (The Shins/Broken Bells)
Mercer has a smooth and effortless falsetto that perfectly meshes with his lower natural singing voice.
9. Curtis Mayfield (Impressions)
Mayfield, one of the Motown greats, is one of the best-known falsetto singers, so he’s pretty much a lock for a list like this.
8. Chris Isaak
Though I prefer his non-falsetto singing, I’ve witnessed women melt when Isaak hits those soft high notes, so he must be pretty good at it.
7. Jim James (My Morning Jacket)
James has at least three different pitches that he’ll sing in for an entire song. His falsetto gives the southern rockers a funkier sound.
Though a natural baritone, Beck Hanson can belt out falsetto like few others. Though about 90% of this song is falsetto, pay special attention to the chorus.
5. Thom Yorke (Radiohead)
Whenever a modern rock singer uses falsetto, there’s a good chance they are trying to be like Thom Yorke, especially if their name is Chris Martin (Coldplay) or Matthew Bellamy (Muse).
Even if you won’t admit it, you like to crank up “Kiss” and sing along in your best falsetto. And even if you won’t admit it, unlike Prince, you sound terrible when doing it. Note: There is no video because Prince is anti-Internet.
3. Eddie Hendricks (The Temptations)
Eddie Hendricks is the first singer to make falsetto cool and he’s inspired countless soul and R&B singers.
2. Michael Jackson
He was the King of Pop for a reason. Great falsetto singing was one of his many talents.
1. Jeff Buckley
Buckley had a seemingly infinite vocal range, able to plunge to the lowest depths and deliver goose bump-inducing falsetto. With Buckley, it was always smooth and natural. It’s unlikely that we will ever hear a vocalist with the range of Buckley again.