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About Annoying Singers
Possibly the most subjective of all our categories, the most annoying singers may very well turn out to be among the greatest vocalists ever. The performers listed below are singers that you probably noticed immediately upon hearing his or her voice. We are not listing poor song selections like when Leonard "Mister Spock" Nimoy sang Proud Mary, or when Bing Crosby sang Hey Jude. We have left "personal politics" out of this section as well. (You're welcome, Ms. Streisand!)
This section is also not for bands who never should have been in a recording studio, like the Shaggs or Styx. (Just kidding about one of them. You decide which!) A distinctive vocal ability can can be a curse or a blessing. Both to the singer and the listener.
This category was suggested by a visitor, and, of course, we welcome your suggestions and input via e-mail!
The Most Annoying Voices in Pop...
| Ethel Merman (1908-1984) sang such hits as "There's no
Business Like Show Business" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses".
Ethel Agnes Zimmerman was born at 359 4th Avenue in Astoria, Queens,
in her grandmother's house. She has been called the loudest woman in
show business, and she probably was!
"I can never remember being afraid of an audience. If the audience could do better, they'd be up here on stage and I'd be out there watching them."
Irving Berlin said, "You'd better not write a bad lyric for Merman because people will hear it in the second balcony."
| Macy Gray - The first time I heard Macy Gray song on the radio,
I thought a baby was singing. Well, not really. I suppose I though she
was a toddler.
When I first saw her on television, I thought she was a Saturday Night Live parody of a 1970s black entertainer.
That being said, she has nearly won a Grammy, sells millions of CDs, is well respected in the music community and was featured in the first Spider-man movie!
| Neil Young - Neil is probably the most prolific rocker-who-can't-really-sing
on our list. Oddly enough, his "Best Of" 2 CD set "Decade"
was one of the first CD's I bought as I entered the 21st century and
got a CD player. I just like the guy's music! Crosby, Stills and Nash
have really nice harmonies, but I just can't get myself to buy any of
their albums that end without "and Young".
This daring rocker has experimented with rock-a-billy as Neil Young and the Shocking Pinks, well as "new wave" electronic music on his "Trans" album, but just try to find them on CD, or even vinyl!
| Michael Bolton - When it comes to our "worst of"
category, the phrase "... and anything by Michael Bolton"
comes up a lot.
Anyone who ticks off that many music lovers must be doing something right!
Michael is probably the biggest selling "yelling" singer, and seems like a nice enough guy when I see him on talk shows.
| Jimmy Durante - Jimmy Durante (1893-1980) is probably best
known to today's audience for singing the theme from TV's 1969 "Frosty
the Snowman" holiday cartoon. In his live shows, he thanked an
old friend with "Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are"
at the end of each performance.
There is much debate as to why he thanked her. In keeping with our goal of maintaining a "PG" rated site, we'll let you decide for yourself what that "thank you" was all about. He also opens the Sleepless In Seattle soundtrack with "As Time Goes By".
| Sting - We loved this guy in the Police. Since leaving the
band, his voice has degraded into a barely distinguishable warble.
His singing style is defined by his baying (at the moon?) in his song, Desert Rose. Here is a snippet of the lyrics...
I dream of rain I dream of gardens in the desert sand I wake in pain I dream of love as time runs through my hand I dream of fire...
He yodels all that in about six syllables. I dream of the day he gets back with his old band.
Some careful listeners have pointed out that you can actually understand the last three lyrics of each of his songs.
| Joe Cocker - Joe's voice defines the term "gravelly",
and he was a big hit at Woodstock in 1969 with his version of the Beatles'
With A Little Help From My Friends. He is probably best known for his
solo hit You Are So Beautiful, along with his duet with Jennifer Warnes,
Up Where We Belong. Another hit is the stripper-esque You Can Leave
Your Hat On.
He survived the usual 60's performer drug and alcohol abuse and now lives on a 160 acre ranch outside of Crawford, Colorado, with his lovely wife, Pam. They run the Mad Dog Ranch Fountain Cafe.
| James Brown - Haugh! - As comedian Eddie Murphy once pointed
out, that's a James Brown lyric. JB has been called the Godfather of
Soul, and the hardest working man in show business.
In his day, he really was. I see him dancing and think of a Black Elvis. In reality, he truly brought stage performance to a new level, and all of today's energetic singer/dancers owe a piece of their success to Mister Brown.
| Ringo Starr - Although the least-appreciated Beatle while
they were together, Ringo captured a dozen Top 40 solo hits, exceeded
only by George, who had 15! For thoses of you keeping score, John and
Paul each have had 7 solo hits so far. (story)
Ringo's unusual collection of hits included the No No Song, Back Off Boogaloo and a cover version of You're Sixteen, in which Paul McCartney played the kazoo.
Ringo also starred in the vastly underrated 1981 film, "Caveman".
| Mariah Carey - It has been predicted that Mariah would soon
acheive album cover full frontal nudity, as she appears to be wearing
fewer clothes with each passing CD release.
While she has an incredible vocal range, and was the top selling artist of the 1990s, she has recently been using that voice to create new sounds instead of singing new songs. She could easily fall off this list if she would start singing songs again.
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