Best Male Vocalists of the Decade (2000-2010)

My top ten list of the best male singers who released an album in the past decade. The list is based on vocals and vocal range, principally. Feel free to make any suggestions.

1. Chris Daughtry is an American singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the rock band Daughtry. He was finished fourth on the fifth season of American Idol.

Chris Daughtry is an amazing artist with a voice I could listen to for days. Every song he touches turns to gold.


2. Usher is an American R&B and pop singer. Billboard magazine ranked Usher the number one Hot 100 artist of the decade, with his 2004 album Confessions ranking as the top solo album.

He is a wonderful entertainer and great vocalist; a hit-making machine.


3. Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is the lead vocalist of the rock band Nickelback and has co-written songs for Daughtry, Tim McGraw, and Carlos Santana.

Chad Kroeger has a classic voice which fits with all types of songs, from rock to country.


4. Jason Wade (Lifehouse) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the alternative band Lifehouse.

Jason Wade’s soothing, baritone vocals are priceless, but don’t look like they should be coming from him with his boyish good looks.


5. Rob Thomas is an American singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the rock band Matchbox Twenty. He collaborated with Carlos Santana on the multi-Grammy winning hit “Smooth”.

Rob Thomas’ has an unforgettable raspy, dynamic voice.

maxwell
6. Maxwell is an American soul and R&B artist. His first album in almost a decade, BLACKsummers’night, won the 2010 Grammy for Best R&B Album.

“Fistful of Tears” by Maxwell is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard: sincere and soulful.


7. Backstreet Boys are an American pop group. The group is the best-selling boy band of all time, beating out the Jackson 5, with over 130 million albums sold worldwide.

The Backstreet Boys are, of course, five people instead of one person, but I couldn’t choose a favorite. They are one of the rare groups in which all members contribute equally to their success.


8. James Morrison is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His first album Undiscovered, released in 2006, topped charts in the UK.

“The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore” is my favorite song by James Morrison, and one of my favorite songs of all time.

9. Omarion is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He was the lead singer of former R&B group B2K.

Omarion was doing much better without B2K, but has dropped as of late. Hopefully he’ll come back with his usual intensity in the coming years.


10. Ginuwine is an American singer, dancer, and sex symbol.

Ginuwine was at his height in the ’90s, but his 2002 hit “Stingy” and strong vocals landed him a place on this list.

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order by first name): Adam Levine, Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down), Chris Brown, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Isaac Slade (The Fray), Jason Mraz, Joe, Justin Timberlake, Mario Winans, Sisqo, Sting

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29 thoughts on “Best Male Vocalists of the Decade (2000-2010)

  1. It’s interesting to see Anthony Kiedis on this list. I am a huge RHCP fan, and Anthony does have an interesting voice… I am not sure if he can really sing, though. Interesting style in any case.

    My addition to this list would be Eddie Vedder (particularly the way he sounded in the 90s). I adore this man’s baritone. I could write essays on it. His only problem is that he mumbles… A lot.

    Any song will do (particularly the early ones, such as the unavoidable “Alive” or “Jeremy”), but “Release” is often regarded as one of his best work (vocally). It’s a slow song (and difficult to sing), so there’s no much screaming and rage and the like so you could really hear him sing:

    Basically, Chad Kroeger is known as the “Eddie Vedder wannabe”. lol (I am not saying this out of pure malice… The guy does try to sound like Vedder).

    Sadly, Ed’s voice is not as good as it used to be in the 90s, and it’s the annoying fact that really saddens me. Still, there’s so much voice in his tiny frame and he’s still fairly good. But in the early 90s? Gotta be one of my favourite vocalists. (Also, I am not into short men, but it’s amazing how tiny he is but has such a powerful voice at the same time).

    Oh, and while we’re still here… Chris Cornell?

  2. Mira,

    “I am a huge RHCP fan, and Anthony does have an interesting voice… I am not sure if he can really sing, though.”

    Lol. That’s why he’s in honorable mentions. :)

    Sometimes he can get his vocals going, and those times are great, but yes, he pretty much talks most of the time. I just had to give a shoutout to RHCP.

    ‘Basically, Chad Kroeger is known as the “Eddie Vedder wannabe”. lol’

    Oh, that’s so not nice. :(

    But I think he sounds a little better. Or at least I can understand what he’s saying better, and he has more range.

    Some people hate on Nickelback, hard, but I think they’re awesome.

    “Oh, and while we’re still here… Chris Cornell?”

    Hmmm… he sounds okay in recordings, but not so good live.

  3. Some people hate on Nickelback, hard, but I think they’re awesome.

    Me too! My boyfriend says they suck (pretty much every White guy I’m friends with says that), but I like their songs and videos.

    Maxwell!!!!! Love him–my favorite song on his latest album is “Playing Possum”.

  4. Jasmin,

    In case Zek tries to hate on my list, you still have my back, right? :)

    My favorite BLACKsummers’night song is “Fistful of Tears”, of course.

  5. Lol, it’s true, we all hate Nickelback. There hasn’t been a good rock band for us white guys to get behind since the 90s. I think 100% of the fans of those fake rock bands are tweenage white girls.

    Daughtry, Chad Kroeger, Rob Thomas etc might have nice voices, but they killed a genre. :(

    Anthony Kiedis is alright, but his voice is blown out, and he has no range. The only good rock bands left are dinosaurs from the 80s and 90s… oh, and indie rock.

  6. Mira,

    “Stuff white people do: hate Nickelback.”

    LMAO.

    What’s up with that? Can’t even support their own brethren? :)

    AJ,

    “Daughtry, Chad Kroeger, Rob Thomas etc might have nice voices, but they killed a genre…The only good rock bands left are dinosaurs from the 80s and 90s”

    People always say that: “Music isn’t what it used to be…” Oh blah. There is some good music now too.

    “I think 100% of the fans of those fake rock bands are tweenage white girls.”

    So Jasmin and I look like white tween girls to you?

  7. Yep, you’re both tween white girls on the inside, with Rob Thomas posters next to your beds. ;)

    Or there’s always outliers.

  8. Haha, Nickelback is like those plastic Walmart chairs that cost a couple bucks. Sure they’re cheap, and they’re easy to sit in, and of course who doesn’t need a stack of random chairs in case your extended family decides to crash your BBQ… But they’re still a cheap piece of crap. I call ‘em category killers.

    Nickelback is a category killer. They look like rock, sound like rock, make people feel like rock — BUT! They’re actually just another soulless pop-band where every song sounds the same =(

    I wish Adam Levine had gotten a higher rating! His collaboration with Slash that created “Gotten” was an awesome song! RHCP is among my favorite 90s bands since being a SoCal kid I gotta represent my peoples.

    However, I’m surprised you don’t have some of the majors here: Michael Buble, Cee-Lo, Prince Royce, etc. I’d also like to add a lesser known by the name of Amos Lee. Great singer-songwriter from Philly who is either biracial or Tiger Woods’ brother from another mother.

    @AJ: I feel ya about our lack of a good rock band to support. We’ve got no AC/DC, no Rolling Stones, no Nirvana (besides I hate Nirvana), no Oasis, not even a Styx or something. But if I had to nominate a good rock band for White guys, I’d say either The Raconteurs, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Wolfmother (I’m a big fan of rock with heavy blues in it as you can tell) or possibly The Strokes. But I know lots of the little tweensters running around are trying to make Fall Out Boy the break-up of the decade, like The Beatles. Not sure if I’d agree.

    P.S. I think our girlfriends are the exact opposite of Dark-Skinned White Girls (by MURS). They are, in fact, Light-Skinned Black Girls! Or outliers.

    =P

  9. Zek,

    “I wish Adam Levine had gotten a higher rating! His collaboration with Slash that created “Gotten” was an awesome song!”

    He would’ve been higher because I love his songs, but as to his voice, I prefer stronger ones.

    “However, I’m surprised you don’t have some of the majors here: Michael Buble…

    Stop right there: Michael Buble?!

    You call Nickelback a cheap knock-off, then suggest Michael Buble? If Nickelback is cheap, then Michael Buble is free.

    “no Nirvana (besides I hate Nirvana)”

    Don’t let AJ read that: he loves Nirvana.

    “I think our girlfriends are the exact opposite of Dark-Skinned White Girls (by MURS). They are, in fact, Light-Skinned Black Girls!”

    Uh, technically, most would classify me as a “light-skinned black [woman]“. But this comment is very… suspicious. Seems like the “acting white” crap that’s always being tossed at me.

  10. Oh yeah, Cee-Lo Green should be in there.

    Hey I like Nirvana, just not Nirvana fans.

    I think Wolfmother and The Strokes are great. But they are kind of throwbacks to earlier rock eras. Like The Darkness, except with more than one good song. There’s no current rock movements that are really happening, except indie, but nothing mainstream.

    Yeah the “acting white” stuff I can see how it would be annoying. I just like looking at outliers and trends and statistics… but people don’t like being statistics.

  11. Sorry guys, but this list is about vocals. Not who creates the coolest songs. Cee-L0 makes great songs, sure. But are his vocals and vocal range that great? I don’t think so.

  12. Cee-Lo’s vocals are more unique and raspy-style than technically proficient, that should get points. I think he has the best falsetto breakdowns.

  13. The essential problem with today’s (rock) music is – prepare yourselves for this – that we are not 16 anymore.

    That being said, Nickelback IS a soulless pop-band disguised as a rock band. I am not sure what’s missing, but something IS missing.

    As for RHCP, it’s one of my fav bands. Probably because of Flea. I can’t describe how much I like that man! (I even (oh, this is going to sound cheesy/creepy) use “flea”, translated to Serbian, as my “last name” on Facebook). One of the best bass players out there. Or maybe I jsut like bass driven songs. Ooooh, Suck My Kiss!

    Anthony Kiedis is ok, but in my opinion, he is a much better lyricist than he is a singer.

    Nirvana is fine, but the hype was way too much.

    And I must admit I have no idea who Adam Levine is.

    PS-Richard Ashcroft? He’s not as great a singer, but I like his voice when he talks! I loooove deep male voices.

  14. Mira,

    “The essential problem with today’s (rock) music is – prepare yourselves for this – that we are not 16 anymore. “

    Oh, you all are a bunch of music snobs. I knew it. :(

    It’s unfortunate that people can’t just like music, in all its forms, without people judging them for it.

  15. Oh, you all are a bunch of music snobs. I knew it.

    I didn’t mean on that. I meant: we are not 16 anymore and it’s more difficult to impress us. It’s unique feeling, I think, to discover a music that speaks to you at the age of 14… It doesn’t work the same way when you’re in your 20s or 30s. Sure, you can appreciate the music, but it’s not the soundtrack of your life, of your coming of age, or your first parties and first crushes and first disappointments and first rebellion.

  16. Mira, I agree and disagree. Music still does touch me at a personal level, even though I’m not a teenager. Of course, it doesn’t usually signify anything special in my life, but my mind easily goes to the ways that the music can be related to my personal experiences (this happens less often with rock or hip-hop type songs).

  17. Boo, music snobs! I got your back Alee. *gears up the massive side-eye*

    Zek’s coming to my house next week–I think I’m in the mood for a Nickelback marathon. :-)

    And I like Michael Bublé (somewhat) too, but I admit I’m not very attached to music.

  18. @Alee: Sorry! I meant it as a music joke with reference to MURS and AJ’s jokes about tween white girls. Obviously it was a fail, but like a metaphorical phoenix my humor will rise again with better results.

    However, touche about Michael Buble.

    @Jasmin: NO NICKELBACK! Please? I’ll massage your feet. But if you play Nickelback, then prepare for massive shoulder-action while I play Klezmer-Deathmetal. Muahaha!

  19. Jasmin,

    “Zek’s coming to my house next week–I think I’m in the mood for a Nickelback marathon.”

    Lol. Go for it!

    “And I like Michael Bublé (somewhat) too, but I admit I’m not very attached to music.”

    He’s okay/good, but he’s not any less pop-ish than Nickelback.

  20. love me some Chris Daughtry & Usher. Chris’s wife just had twins (i believe). i play Chris’s American Idol performances on youtube too much. i need to actually purchase his stuff.

  21. “Stuff white people do: hate Nickelback.”

    LOL, Mira! i love Nickelback & Creed! [stuff black people like that white people hate, but black people love to love because white people hate] ; )

  22. temple, yes, a Chris Daughtry fan! I knew you guys were around somewhere.

    I believe he and his wife used a surrogate mother to carry their twins (using their egg and sperm). I can’t wait to see the twins.

    “stuff black people like that white people hate, but black people love to love because white people hate”

    Lol!

  23. Update: I changed number eight to James Morrison (I knew I was forgetting someone!) and added Jason Mraz to Honorable Mentions.

  24. hi! just want to give my two cents. Out of the Backstreet Boys, I think AJ had the best vocals, Nick had the widest range, and Brian had a really nice tone to his voice. Kevin had a real classic smooth voice and Howie can hit very high notes, but AJ wins because his voice is so unique and strong.

  25. Hi Heidi,

    Hmmm… thanks for your view, even though I couldn’t say I agree with it. :)

    I think Brian (and Howie, and Kevin, and maybe Nick too!) had a better voice than A.J., but I guess A.J.’s was pretty unique. I don’t know who wins overall — they have different strengths and weaknesses.

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