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Singers with Raspy Voices

August 23, 2010

Not everybody can croon a silky-smooth ballad like Frank Sinatra or Diana Krall.  Truth is, some of pop music’s biggest hits belong to singers with voices full of gravel.  In  their case, what might be considered a vocal liability didn’t affect their ability to top the charts.  The uniqueness of their sound only contributed to their appeal.  While some were one hit wonders, others are still performing, decades down the road.

Not surprisingly, most of the singers in our video tribute below were heavy  smokers (Louis Armstong was a spokesperson for Camel cigarettes) and at least one, Bonnie Tyler, got her sound from talking too soon after throat surgery.  At the very least, years of performing in smoke-filled night clubs can’t be good for your vocal cords.

By the same token,  many other vocalists who smoke don’t get husky voices.  We know singers who took up smoking in hopes of acquiring that edgy sound, but merely wound up with a wheeze when they laugh.

Regardless of how they developed their distinctive delivery, here ‘s Rick & Ron’s video tribute to raspy-voiced singers.  Anyone care for a cough drop?

Did we include your favorite raspy singer?  Who did we forget?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lyl permalink
    September 6, 2010 7:44 PM

    I’d have loved to see the immortal, amazing Billie Holiday among your (well-chosen) raspy singers. Besides that, what a delicious (literally) spot, this blog of yours, congratulations!

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