5. Bon Scott
Band: AC/DC Over seven albums released in just four years, AC/DC’s original frontman Bon Scott proved himself as one of the dirtiest frontmen in rock, leading the band’s churning guitar duo and thudding rhythm section through an unrelenting run of party anthems and odes to the band’s hard lifestyle, all with a fair amount of good humor (while the other members of the band sneer at the camera on the cover of Highway To Hell, Scott characteristically stands off to the side laughing). Unlike most lead singers hailing from the U.K. during the same era, who did everything they could to sound American, Scott sang with at least a hint of his accent (he was born in Scotland and raised in Australia), lending his vocals further authenticity. He also demonstrates impressive range; AC/DC never bothered with ballads, instead opting for an air of menace when it needed to slow down the tempo (“What’s Next To The Moon” is a prime example), and Scott sounds perfectly at home with both those songs and the more high-energy stuff. Scott’s life was tragically cut short – he died of alcohol poisoning in February 1980; just 33 years old – but his legacy looms large over the band. His replacement Brian Johnson has served AC/DC well for 35 years now, but it seems clear he was hired because he sings so much like Scott.