The future of music

35 Best 60s Male Singers (Most Famous) 

December 6, 2023
60s male singers

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of the best 60s male singers, and icons who not only shaped the sound of a decade but also left an indelible mark on music history.

Their timeless voices and unforgettable performances continue to inspire and captivate audiences around the world.

Top 60s male singers

  • John Lennon
  • Elvis Presley
  • Bob Dylan
  • Dean Martin
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Ray Charles
  • James Brown
  • Mick Jagger
  • Roger Daltrey
  • Art Garfunkel

1. John Lennon

Few bands have had as much impact on the world as The Beatles.

And the name that this legendary group is mostly associated with is John Lennon.

He and his bandmate Paul McCartney wrote countless Beatles hits that became timeless classics.

John Lennon had a truly unique creative mind, and he continued to make music even after the group parted ways in the 70s.

Nevertheless, his impact on music history will never be forgotten, and his songs will be familiar to many generations to come.

2. Elvis Presley 

Elvis Presley is without a doubt one of the most famous singers of the 60s.

He will always be remembered for his stunning voice, provocative energy, and iconic dance moves.

Elvis became popular in the 50s, and he became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll.

And now he’s widely regarded as the King of Rock and Roll and as one of the most influential cultural figures of the 20th century.

If you want to know more about his life, you can watch ‘Elvis’, a 2022 biographical musical drama. 

3. Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is widely regarded as one of the best singers and songwriters of all time.

He was also one of the most influential male singers in the 60s.

Dylan wrote and performed some of his most prominent songs in this decade, and he was influenced by all the antiwar and civil rights movements.

Consequently, many of Dylan’s lyrics are political.

But his music is also very sentimental, quirky, and thoughtful.

After all, he won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

4. Dean Martin

Dean Martin was one of the most enduring artists of the mid 20-th century.

He was very popular in the 60s, both as a singer/performer and a movie star.

He was also known for his friendship with Frank Sinatra – the two and several others formed the Rat Pack, an informal group of entertainers and singers.

And just like Sinatra, he couldn’t read music, but he recorded more than 600 songs. 

All in all, Dean Martin’s creativity, talent, and energy were infectious, and his biggest hits such as ‘Everybody Love Somebody’ and ‘Let It Snow’ still live on. 

5. Jimi Hendrix

Every list of the best 1960s male singers includes Jimi Hendrix.

After all, he was an iconic singer and guitarist, and as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him, the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.

He was inspired by American rock and roll and electric blues, and he also experimented with guitar amplifier feedback and distortions.

And although his career was way too short, he made a huge impact on music and culture in general.

At one point, he even became the highest-paid performer in the world (when he was the headliner of Woodstock.)

6. Ray Charles

Ray Charles was one of the best singers of the 50s and the 60s.

His big hit ‘Georgia On My Mind’ was released in 1960, and he continued to make music in the 70s.

In his music, Ray Charles combined blues, jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues.

In fact, he pioneered the soul music genre in the 50s, and he was heavily influenced by Nat King Cole and Charles Brown.

So it comes as no surprise that many contemporary artists refer to him as The Genius.

7. James Brown

James Brown was a legendary singer and a major figure of 20th century music.

He started out as a gospel singer and eventually became the progenitor of funk.

He reached the peak of his career in the 1960s, and some of his most successful hits included ‘I Got You’ and ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.’

James Brown’s songs also included social commentary, including the 1968 song ‘Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.’

All things considered, Brown is definitely one of the most talented and influential 60s male singers.

8. Mick Jagger

Of course, one of the most iconic singers of the 1960s is Mick Jagger.

He and Keith Richards are responsible for writing the majority of The Rolling Stones songs.

And The Stones are regarded as one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

That being said, it’s fun to wonder whether that would be the case if Mick Jagger wasn’t their frontman.

He has a distinctive voice, unmatched energy, and brilliant live performances. 

There’s no doubt about it – he has been the band’s trademark for all these years.

9. Roger Daltrey

As a co-founder and lead singer of the legendary band The Who, Roger Daltrey is certainly one of the most famous singers from the 60s.

He is also one of the best vocalists of all time.

Besides being a part of The Who, Daltrey began a solo career in the 70s (while he was still a member of the band.)

He also had roles in film and theatre, but he is mostly recognized for his work with The Who and the band’s timeless hits.

10. Art Garfunkel

Art Garfunkel is mostly known for his partnership with Paul Simon and their folk rock group Simon & Garfunkel.

The group split up in 1970, but they remain one of the most influential duos in pop history.

But Art Garfunkel also achieved a lot with his solo career later on, including multiple chart-topping hits and singles.

And his signature vocal remains appreciated and recognizable.

11. Tom Jones

Tom Jones is arguably one of the most popular singers of all time.

He rose to fame in the 60s, and he has been touring regularly ever since.

Jones began his career as part of a Welsh group called Tommy Scott & The Senators, but he is mostly recognizable for his solo work.

Some of his biggest hits include ‘It’s Not Unusual’, ‘She’s a Lady’, and ‘Sexbomb’, just to name a few.

12. Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison is considered one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time.

He began his career in rockabilly and country music in the 50s, and rose to international fame in the 60s.

Orbison’s career faltered in the mid 60s, but he gained popularity again in the 80s.

He even formed a supergroup in 1988 called the Traveling Wilburys, with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. 

Nevertheless, he will always be remembered for his unique vocals, songwriting skills, and dark sunglasses.

13. Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole made a huge impact on the 60s music scene and influenced many artists that came afterward.

He was a jazz pianist, singer, and actor, and he recorded his first hit “Sweet Lorraine” in 1940.

His career continued to flourish in the 50s, and he also recorded several hit singles during the 1960s.

All in all, Nat King Cole is certainly one of the most influential artists of all time, and his soft baritone voice will be recognizable for many years to come.

14. Otis Redding

Otis Redding managed to achieve a lot before his untimely death in a plane crash in 1967.

He had a lot of influence on soul music as well as rhythm and blues.

After all, he was nicknamed ‘King of Soul’ for a good reason.

And his singing style influenced many contemporary soul artists. 

Otis Redding’s most memorable songs include ‘Try a Little Tenderness’, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’, ‘Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay’, and so on.

15. Marvin Gaye

When thinking about the best 60’s male singers, Marvin Gaye immediately comes to mind.

His talent and songwriting and singing skills were immense.

Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, and he influenced many music genres such as funk, jazz, gospel, progressive soul, and R&B.

His death is one of the most tragic deaths in music history (his father shot him), but his music and impact on people will never be forgotten.

16. Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry influenced many popular musicians, including Mick Jagger. 

He was a singer, songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock and roll – therefore, he is also known as the Father of Rock and Roll.

His music entailed guitar solos and showmanship, so he also played an important role in shaping the sound of rock music.

Some of Chuck Berry’s greatest hits include ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and ‘Roll Over Beethoven.’

17. Donovan

Donovan Phillips Leitch, better known simply as Donovan, is a popular Scottish singer, songwriter, and record producer.

Emerging from the British folk scene, Donovan rose to fame in the 1960s and became one of the most promising musicians of the decade.

His musical style involved pop, rock, jazz, folk, and world music, and he is best known for his songs ‘Sunshine Superman’, ‘Atlantis’, and ‘Season of the Witch.’

18. Paul McCartney

We don’t have to make a big introduction for this guy.

Along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney is responsible for writing the majority of The Beatles greatest hits.

In fact, his songwriting partnership with Lennon remains the most successful in history.

But McCartney also had a successful solo career after The Beatles split up, and he has been writing and performing ever since. 

Over the years, he received many honors, including a knighthood, an Academy award, and two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

19. Eric Burdon

Eric Burdon is widely known as a vocalist of the English rock band the Animals.

He has one of the most distinctive voices in the music industry. 

Rolling Stone included him on their list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time in 2008.

And he remains one of the most influential rock singers from the 60’s.

Some of the Animals’ greatest hits include ‘’House of the Rising Sun’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.’

20. Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett played an important role in the development of soul music in the US.

He started recording in the 50s and released his first album in the 60s.

He has released many successful hits throughout his career, many of which made it to the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1991, Pickett was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame, and he will undoubtedly always be remembered for his talent, recording, and songwriting.

21. Jim Morrison

The Doors is an iconic band that is widely regarded as one of the best rock bands ever.

And the band’s frontman Jim Morrison was certainly someone to remember. 

He was influenced by many poets and philosophers, but he was mostly famous for his raw ‘rockstar’ energy and controversial lifestyle.

However, his music still lives on, and his impact on culture in general is undeniable.

22. Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is hands down one of the best 60’s male singers.

Although his career spanned over several decades, he released his most successful work in the 1960s.

Also, Cash remains one of the best-selling artists of all time.

He sold more than 90 million record worldwide.

But more importantly, he made a huge impact on music history and left us a substantial musical legacy.

23. Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson is best known for his work with The Beach Boys.

Although many Beach Boys songs sound simple and easy-going, they are actually filled with complex harmonies – and Wilson managed to go through everything effortlessly.

Apart from his vocal capabilities, he became popular for his novel approaches to pop composition.

He is also regarded as one of the important figures to many movements and music genres such as California sound, sunshine pop, and art pop.

All in all, his impact on popular music is huge, so it’s no wonder he’s a part of many ‘greatest singers of all time’ lists.

24. Tim Buckley

Jeff Buckley’s estranged father was one of the musicians whose life ended too early.

But he managed to become one of the prominent singers of the 1960s.

His music is mostly based on folk, but he also experimented with various genres including jazz, funk, soul, and psychedelia.

But what put his name in music history books is his impressive, distinctive voice and singing style.

25. Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke is an original singer of the classic ‘A Change Is Gonna Come.’

He also released many other hits, and he is mostly noted for his influence on soul music.

That being said, he was nicknamed the ‘King of Soul’ – after all, he was one of the pioneers of soul.

His approach to making music was certainly innovative, and his distinctive vocals will be known to many generations to come.

26. Frank Sinatra 

Another name that will never be forgotten is Frank Sinatra.

Although he had his most successful years in the 40s and the 50s, he also performed and made music in the 1960s.

Therefore, it would only be fair to include him on this list of the best 60’s singers.

Some of his biggest 60s hits include ‘Strangers In The Night’ and ‘That’s Life.’

But his most famous songs that are still very popular are ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ and ‘New York, New York.’

27. Van Morrison

Van Morrison is often referred to as one of the best vocalists of all time.

His impact on music is undeniable, and his recording career spans six decades.

He is an award-winning artist that never stopped writing, and that’s why he’s responsible for countless songs.

Van Morrison’s musical style blends many genres, but all of his songs are characterized by his powerful yet heartwarming voice and classy performance. 

28. Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder was just a kid when he started his musical career in the 1960s.

He became known as a child musical prodigy, and at the age of 13, he became the youngest artist ever to top the chart.

Throughout his career, Wonder recorded many critically acclaimed albums and received 25 Grammy Awards.

He also became one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

In other words, Stevie Wonder is one of the most prominent singers and creative figures for five decades – a true living legend.

29. Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson is another living legend with a successful musical career.

He is best known for being the lead singer of the popular Motown group, the Miracles.

Besides reaching international success with the Miracles, Robinson also contributed to the success of other musicians – he wrote and produced for Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and so on.

He also released a number of successful solo hits including ‘Cruisin’ and ‘Shop Around.’

30. Paul Anka

Paul Anka had a lot of influence on the 60s music scene – he was writing for motion pictures as well as Frank Sinatra.

Like many mid-60s artists, Paul Anka’s career was derailed due to the British Invasion, but he released many successful songs later on.

Some of his most notable songs include ‘Put Your Head On My Shoulder’ and ‘Lonely Boy.’

He also co-wrote several Michael Jackson hits including ‘Love Never Felt So Good.’ 

31. Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett is a legendary singer who influenced many music genres, especially jazz and pop.

He is retired now, but he used to sing pop standards, show tunes, big bands, and jazz tunes.

Bennett is also a painter, and his work is on permanent display in many institutions.

But he is best known for his soothing voice and musical style. 

32. Ben E. King

Ben E. King was known as a solo artist and a lead singer of The Drifters.

But he will be famous for many years to come for being a singer and composer of a timeless hit ‘Stand By Me.’

The song was originally performed in 1961, and it has been one of the soul essentials ever since.

His other famous songs include ‘Spanish Harlem’ and ‘There Goes My Baby.’

33. Frank Zappa 

Frank Zappa is hands down one of the most innovative musicians of the 60s.

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa influenced many genres including rock, pop, and jazz.

He was known for his musical virtuosity, improvisation skills, and experimental sound.

And he was an advocate for freedom of speech and the abolition of censorship.

34. Bobby Vee 

Bobby Vee was a teen idol in the early 1960s.

His career began after filling in after the tragic 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP Richardson.

After his debut, Bobby Vee’s clear, soothing voice eventually became globally popular.

Throughout his career, he released multiple Hot 100 chart hits, and he also appeared in several movies.

35. Louis Armstrong 

It’s time to wrap things up, so we want to dedicate the final spot to Louis Armstrong.

In a way, this is an honorable mention because Louis Armstrong is mostly associated with the 1950s and earlier music eras.

By the early 1930s, Louis Armstrong had already changed the jazz genre – both as a singer and trumpeter. 

But he kept performing and touring during the 1960s, and that’s why he’s a part of this list.

After all, he became the most influential musician in music’s history.

Best 60s Male Singers – Final Thoughts 

There’s no doubt about it – the 60s saw the emergence of many musical icons.

But it was also a period of time when many stars of the 50s continued to shine.

Either way, all of the singers on our list revolutionized the world of music in one way or another.

Similar Articles:

Best 60s Songs

Best 50s Male Singers

Best Black Male Singers

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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