In Italy during the mid-16th Century, an entirely new kind of vocalist began to emerge due to the popularity of falsetto: the castrato. Castrati were men with the voices of angels. Their light, airy, falsetto tones were more akin to the voices of pre-pubescent boys. The falsetto became their natural tone, giving them full control over the highest of registers. These men were able to sing melodic lines otherwise reserved for the female soprano.
Castrati were the rockstars of their time, fawned over by women and coveted as house musicians by the rich and royal. It was the dream of many a young vocalist to someday become a castrato. These men even looked different than non-castrati. They were tall, beardless, with pale skin and a plentiful head of hair. They tended to gain weight around their hips and in the breast area. However, fame and fortune came at a price. As you may have surmised from the word "castrato" (and from the very specific areas of weight gain), these young men were able to preserve their pre-pubescent vocal range by sitting in a bath of warm rosewater while a big metal claw literally castrated them.
Thankfully, the castrati were outlawed long ago. Apparently someone came to the realization that no matter how pure the falsetto, it's just not worth it to allow someone near your testicles with lawn clippers. Nevertheless, the demand and value of a good falsetto is still alive and well. It’s used in about every pop song you will ever hear. Some artists can go their entire careers without singing a single non-falsetto note. But not all falsettos are created equal. There is clearly a difference between a run-of-the-mill pop songstress’s falsetto hook, and a well placed, pure ascension into a higher register by an artist who specializes in the fine art of the falsetto. Here are the 15 artists with the best falsettos in music right now.Click to start the list