Top Ten Underrated Singers

These singers influenced lots of other contemporary singers during their time and continue to do so. One can think of them as teachers who imparted their knowledge but were not given enough credit. Here’s a list of the top 10 underrated singers.


1. Richie Havens

Richie Havens is both a guitarist and a singer who is known for performing at Woodstock. The way he played the guitar was very unique and the style so created was rhythmic without having a proper pattern. If you listen to his music, you will hear a faint drumming sound which is actually the sound of foot tapping. He was famous in his own village and was only locally successful.

2. Ian Curtis

This vocalist and lyricist died in 1980 after committing suicide. It has been believed that he got overly anxious as a tour was around the corner and was also finding it difficult to deal with his epilepsy. People thought that he was merely dancing when he had seizures on stage. This underrated singer has left behind a remarkable legacy.


3. Vini Reilly

Reilly was a singer and guitarist and his music belonged to the ‘post-punk’ era. His first album was groundbreaking and was released in 1988. He was a part of the musical movement fondly referred to as the ‘chill-out electronica’. Vini Reilly worked with Anne Clark, John Cooper Clarke and many more.


4. Gram Parsons

This underrated singer found mention in the top 100 Great Artists of All Time in the Rolling Stones magazine. He headed a prominent rock movement during the 1970s and was associated with bands like The Flying Burrito Brothers and International Submarine Band. His style was unique and completely new.


5. Jeff Buckley

This American songwriter, guitarist and singer had a beautiful voice and was thought to have great potential after his debut album was released in 1994. Unfortunately, before the audience could experience his music to the fullest, he drowned in 1997.


6. Anton Newcombe

Newcombe was a part of “Brian Jonestown Massacre” which was quite successful. He was severely addicted to heroin which made him paranoid and his behavior erratic. He would scream at his band mates all the time and would become very violent. The band broke up after the artist failed to make good on his promises.


7. Dock Boggs

This banjo master, songwriter and singer created music that resembled an old style of blues and mountain music. He formulated his own method and his music was nothing less than beautiful.

8. Townes Van Zandt

This man was legendary but his potential was not discovered during his lifetime. His folk-style music was peppered with stunning poetry. He was an alcoholic and died after his heart surgery was unsuccessful. His music inspired the likes of My Morning Jacket, Meat Puppets and Lyle Lovett.


9. Moondog: Louis Thomas Hardin

This singer was blind and preferred to live on the streets. He was extremely eccentric and said that he would not wear clothing that was not created by his own hands. His hair had turned white by the time his musical talent was discovered. Moondog also invented a number of musical instruments that are used today.


10. Daniel Johnston

This man’s story was revealed only recently and it was understood that the man fought with mental illness through his life. His music was his art and his songs were both innocent and dark at the same time.

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4 Responses

  1. tom

    The Brian Jonestown Massacre are not broken up. They released an LP last year and I saw them perform last month. I saw Anton and Matt Hollywood and Joel and it was f*** unreal. I love them.

  2. Michael Hays

    Love to see Jeff Buckley on this list. He was rated as the 39th best singer of all time by Rolling Stones, but he should certainly be top 5, if not top 2.


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