From Bowie to Bieber: What makes a singer 'great'?
As you might expect, opinions were deeply divided:
From Axl to Aguilera, Bowie to Bieber (actually no one mentioned either Christina or Justin, but alliteration pleases us), suggestions spanned genres and generations.
There were also arguments around what made a singer 'great'. Many bemoan Bob Dylan's vocal abilities, but if you listen to Mr Tambourine Man and fail to feel anything, you're almost certainly dead inside.
So what makes a great singer?
This little gem from Rolling Stone, awarded the top spot to Aretha Franklin (which incidentally, is an excellent shout), but ultimately determining what makes a great singer largely comes down to taste. Not least because it's nigh on impossible to split the singer from the song.
But what about the stuff you can measure?
We started talking about which singers have the biggest vocal ranges. Clearly vocal range is also determined by the songs the singers choose to sing, but nevertheless we figured it would be fun to dig a little deeper.
We started by taking the aforementioned 100 Greatest Singers of All Time post from Rolling Stone. To this list, we added some of the nominees for top male and female artist at the Billboard Music Awards 2014 (because we were curious to see how Justin 'seven gongs' Timberlake, Katy Perry et al stacked up versus the greats).
Finally we hit up The Range Place for their amazing vocal range data. We included all of the singers on the list for whom the data was readily available. (All their data is taken from recordings as opposed to live performances).
Then we made this:
We think the results are pretty fascinating. Go ahead and have a play - we'd love to know what you think.