Robert Plant has topped the list of the “25 Best Rock Band Lead Singers,” according to the ClassicRockHistory.com website. The Led Zeppelin frontman beat out the Number Two runner up, the late, great Freddie Mercury, with Journey's Steve Perry coming in at Number Three. The Number Four spot went to Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, with Deep Purple's Ian Gillian rounding out the Top Five.
ClassicRockHistory.com spelled out the parameters around choosing the 25 singers — and explained why they differed from other vocalists of the era: “Its very important to note that this is not a list of the best rock singers of all time. This list defines the '25 Best Rock Band Lead Singers'. There is a big difference between the two. We have also left out solo artists that are defined usually with a band. Such as Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band or Elvis Costello & The Attractions just as examples. Solo artists have also been left of the lists. So legends like Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and so forth do not quality because this one is all about the bands.”
Robert Plant explained that throughout his career he’s luckily been able to rise to heights of the talent surrounding him: “It’s the company you keep, y’know? I mean that’s the very essence of life within and surrounding music. I mean, I’m very, very fortunate not to be held down by not being an instrumentalist. I can, kind of, arrive and disappear and I can add to a moment with a group of people — or I can destroy the moment.”