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Heavy metal (or simply metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. The bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.
In 1968, the first heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, though they were often derided by critics. During the mid-1970s, Judas Priest helped spur the genre’s evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Beginning in the late 1970s, bands in the new wave of British heavy metal such as Iron Maiden and Saxon followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal fans became known as “metalheads” or “headbangers”.
During the 1980s, glam metal became popular with groups such as Mötley Crüe and Poison. Underground scenes produced an array of more aggressive styles: thrash metal broke into the mainstream with bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, while other extreme subgenres of metal such as death metal and black metal remain subcultural phenomena. Since the mid-1990s popular styles have further expanded the definition of the genre. These include groove metal (with bands such as Pantera, Sepultura, and Lamb of God) and nu metal (with bands such as Korn, Slipknot, and Linkin Park), the latter of which often incorporates elements of grunge and hip hop.
1. Bruce Dickinson
Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, is an English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster. He is most well known for being the lead singer in heavy metal band Iron Maiden and his solo career.
2. Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona; July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American heavy metal singer, songwriter and musician. He fronted and/or founded numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. He is credited with popularizing the “metal horns” hand gesture in metal culture.
3. Rob Halford
Robert John Arthur “Rob” Halford is an English singer and songwriter, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest and famed for his powerful wide ranging operatic voice.
4. James Hetfield
James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. American musician, singer and songwriter. Best known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica. His range from growls to more melodic vocals shows what a talent he is.
5. Corey Taylor
Corey Todd Taylor was born in December 8, 1973. He is an American musician, author, and actor best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the Nu-metal band Slipknot and hard rock/alternative metal band Stone Sour.
6. Ozzy Osbourne
John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne (born 3 December 1948) is an English singer, songwriter, and actor. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of “Godfather of Heavy Metal”.
7. Michael Kiske
Michael Kiske (born January 24, 1968) is a German singer best known as the lead vocalist for the German power metal band Helloween. Kiske has a more vibrant and clean voice. He has a tenor type voice and possesses an almost 4 octave vocal range, as he is capable of reaching extremely high notes (A5) and low baritone notes (E2) as well.
8. Phil Anselmo
Philip Hansen “Phil” Anselmo is an American musician who is best known as the former lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Pantera. He currently is the vocalist of heavy metal bands Down and Superjoint Ritual. His screams almost shatter you and his voice is the definition of a metal singer. He has the perfect tone and unlike many other metal singers you can understand him through his yelling.
9. Dave Mustaine
David Scott “Dave” Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author, best known as the co-founder, guitarist, and lead singer of the American thrash metal band Megadeth, and well known as the original lead guitarist for the American heavy metal band Metallica.
10. Matt Barlow
Matthew ‘Matt’ Barlow is an American heavy metal singer and police officer. He was the lead singer for Iced Earth. He is currently the lead singer for Ashes of Ares. After the September 11 terrorist attacks Matt Barlow decided to become a police officer and contribute to the “real world” instead of living the illusion of a “rock star.” In 2007 he returned to music.
11. Lemmy Kilmister
Ian Fraser Kilmister (24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015), known as Lemmy, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. His music was one of the foundations of the heavy metal genre. He was known for his appearance , his distinctive gravelly voice and distinctive bass playing style.
12. Hansi Kürsh
Hans Jürgen Kürsch, better known as Hansi Kürsch (born 10 August 1966 in Germany), is a German singer, bass guitarist, and songwriter, best known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, co-composer, and lyricist of power metal band Blind Guardian. He also provides lead vocals for the band Demons and Wizards.