Drumming itself is hard enough and requires numerous different skills, fast hands and feet, and good coordination.
However, singing and playing drums is one of the hardest things a musician can do. There is something special about people who can both sing and play drums at the same time.
The magic happens when a drummer’s power and energy are combined with the singer’s melodic soul.
Because these musicians are incredibly talented and skilled, I compiled a list of the best singing drummers of all time.
These are my personal top picks, but everyone from rock, pop, or jazz should enjoy them.
1.Ringo Starr (Beatles)
Ringo is an English musician professionally known as Ringo Starr. He is best known as a Beatles drummer, with whom he achieved international fame.
He showed incredible singing skills in the songs “Yellow Submarine” and “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Ringo was also credited for Beatles songs “Octopus’s Garden” and “Don’t Pass Me By.”
Starr’s most successful UK single was “Back Off Boogaloo.” Many drummers were influenced by his style, which consisted of incredible technical virtuosity and a particular feel to the drumming.
Ringo was a student of life, and one time when interviewed, he added:
“I had no schooling before I joined The Beatles and no schooling after The Beatles. Life is a great education.”
2.Taylor Hawkins(Foo Fighters)
Taylor Hawkins was an American drummer. He is best known as a Foo Fighters member, recording nine studio albums with them.
His vocals became recognizable in 2004 when he formed a side project, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders. During that time, he released three studio albums.
He was also voted “Best Rock Drummer” in 2005 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.
Hawkins was a well-versed musician, and during his time in Foo Fighters, he played guitar, piano, and drums and provided vocals.
He was always aiming to be funny and positive, and one of his quotes proves that:
“Life is funny. If you don’t laugh, you’re in trouble.”
3.Roger Meddows Taylor(Queen)
Roger was a crazy multi-instrumentalist. He is an English musician, best known as the drummer for the band Queen.
His uniqueness was recognized early in his childhood when he demonstrated that he could create different and interesting sounds.
Taylor’s immortality was backed in 2001 when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Roger was an incredible songwriter who contributed numerous songs to Queen’s albums.
The three UK number ones he participated in writing are Innuendo, Under Pressure, and These Are the Days of Our Lives. Besides his exceptional drumming skills, he was known for his unique falsetto vocal range.
One time when interviewed, he shared his opinion on radio and how he is heavily programmed:
“Radio is so heavily programmed; you must fit into a certain box. So it’s harder for anything different to get through.”
Peter is an English musician, producer and activist. He is best known for his days in the progressive rock band Genesis.
His first successful solo single was “Solsbury Hill.” One of his best albums is “So,” which was certified triple platinum in the UK.
In addition, his career’s most successful single is “Sledgehammer,” a nine-time MTV Awards winner. In 2016, Gabriel was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
AllMusic described him as one of the most ambitious, innovative, and political musicians. He was always talking about how hard it was to write happy music:
“Happy music that is genuinely joyful is probably the hardest music to write. I think miserable stuff is more natural to the human condition and maybe more cathartic.”
5.Karen Carpenter(The Carpenters)
Finally, one lady on the list. Karen was an American drummer and singer best known for playing with her brother in the Carpenters band.
She was best known for her incredible three-octave contralto vocals. Karen was different from the rest of the drummers because she started studying drums in high school.
If you were a fan of Karen, you know that she struggled with anorexia, from which she died eventually.
Carpenter was also responsible for raising awareness of body dysmorphia and eating disorders. One time she shared her opinion on how celebrities have the same problems as normal people do:
“People never think of entertainers as being human. When you walk out on stage, the audience thinks, ‘Nothing can go wrong with them.’ We get sick, and we have headaches just like they do. When we are cut, we bleed.”
6.Micky Dolenz(The Monkees)
Besides being an exceptional drummer and singer, George was also an actor and TV producer.
People know him for his days in the 1960s pop-rock band, The Monkees. He was also a co-star of The Monkees, a TV series in the late 1960s.
His first own rock band was called “Mickey and the One-Nighters.” he became interested in acting because his parents, George Dolenz and Janelle Johnson, were actors. Micky’s favourite songs were Chuck Berry’s and Johnny B. Goode.
Dolenz also loves writing, and he has trouble sleeping. He claims he can’t sleep more than four hours:
“No matter how tired I am, I can only sleep for four hours at a time. I am extremely lucky; I’ve never been ill – although about 20 years ago, I broke my right arm hang gliding. Writing is a great love of mine.”
7.Levon Helm(The Band)
Mark Lavon, professionally known as Levon Helm, was an American drummer and actor who achieved fame as one of the three lead vocalists for “The Band.” In 1994 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He had a unique country-accented voice and multi-instrumental ability, which was beyond comprehension.
Some songs where you can see his different styles are Up on Cripple Creek, The Weight, and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. He was also a successful actor, known for his roles in Coal Miner’s Daughter and The Right Stuff, filmed in 1983.
Unfortunately, in the late 1990s, Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer causing him to lose his singing voice.
He won multiple Grammy Awards and was ranked No. 91 in Rolling Stone magazine for 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. He saw the whole world through drumming, and he commented once:
“Anytime I switch to another instrument, I immediately turn it into another kind of drum so that I can understand it better.”
Phil was born on 30 January 1951 in England. He is one of the most famous English drummers, who also used to sing and write songs, but produced and acted as well.
He is best known for being a drummer and a lead singer of the rock band Genesis. In addition, he had massive success during his solo career, which began in 1981. Philip scored seven US and three UK number-one singles.
One of his successful singles is Against All Odds, One More Night, In The Air Tonight, and Another Day in Paradise.
He started playing drums when he was only five but was also a child actor since he completed drama school training.
Collins got his first major role when he was only 13 years old. When asked how he can both play drums and sing virtuously, he replied:
“I’m not a singer who plays a bit of a drum. I’m a drummer that sings a bit.”
9.Dave Grohl(Foo Fighters)
David Eric Grohl is the founder of Foo Fighters. He is an American musician best known for his exceptional skills in drumming, singing, songwriting, and playing guitar. From 1990 to 1994, he was the drummer of the band Nirvana.
His first worldwide success was Nirvana’s second album, Nevermind, which was released in 1991. Because the lead singer of Nirvana died in 1994, Dave decided to form his own band, Foo Fighters.
Their first album was released on 1995. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of both Nirvana and Foo Fighters.
Grohl was also an award-winning journalist and served as the assistant to Senator Robert Taft Jr. When he was asked how he was able to handle fame during his Nirvana days, he replied:
“When Nirvana became popular, you could very easily slip and get lost during that storm. I, fortunately, had really heavy anchors – old friends, family.”
Donald Hugh Henley is a founding member of Eagles, an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971. He is best known for his exceptional drumming and vocal skills.
Henley’s most popular vocals are Desperado, Witchy Woman, Best of My Love, Hotel California, One of These Nights, Life in The Fast Lane, Get Over It, and The Long Run. He decided to pursue a solo career after the Eagles broke up.
He released his debut album, I Can’t Stand Still, in 1982. He got inducted with the Eagles into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Henley won two Grammy Awards and multiple MTV Video Music Awards. He is also known for participating in political projects such as Walden Woods Project.
Hanley always had a problem with capitalism and once stated: A man with a briefcase can steal millions more than any man with a gun.