What Makes a Woman's Voice Sexy
What makes a woman's voice sexy? To me, it's a scratchy, kind of dirty voice. But what I am listening for in a woman's voice transcends her looks, style of music and in some cases even her vocal talent. Most of the voices I like seem to come from those of female rock singers. There is nothing sexier than hearing a woman belt out notes over a couple guitars and a drummer; it's a lethal combination.
I have put together my list of sexy female rock artists that have left me dreaming and goose-bumpy for a the last 30 years. Most are from the the 70's and 80's. Those are the years I formed my opinions of what sexy is. So without further explanation I will begin my list of the 10 sexiest female rock voices of my lifetime, along with a little snippet of my thoughts. I have also included my list of honorable mentions from other genres.
There is no mistaking Pat Benatar's vocals. I have often wondered how such gigantic notes can emanate from such a tiny woman. I once saw her in concert, and even though I was standing on the floor I still needed binoculars to see her, but that's beside the point. Pat Benatar's vocal range has never come close to being matched as a rock front. What I find so sexy about her voice is her range, the depth and clarity of her tones (Shadows of the Night), and when necessary, she can dirty it up a bit (You better Run and I Need a Lover). The confidence and strength she portrays in her songs doesn't hurt the sexy part either.
This girl can sing her face off. She has a great falsetto range (My Immortal) and she can certainly belt out a note. What impresses me most about Amy Lee is her ability to show her softer side one second and then disintegrate the cones the next; Sweet Sacrifice is a prime example. She is by far the sexiest, beautifully ranged voice to enter the rock scene in a while. When she starts singing, I can't turn her off.
What can I say? I like scratchy, dirty vocals and Janice Joplin should be the poster child. With her soulful singing and her unmistakably, unique voice she created a diehard fan base, of which I am one. How can you possibly be unmoved when you hear Cry Baby or A Little Piece of My Heart. She sounds as if she is living the very emotions she sings about. Listening to her takes me back and it is just as sexy now as it ever was. She is a legend, and a definite one-of-a-kind.
Chrissy Hynde has the sexiest vibrato, ever. What she lacks in range she more than makes up for in velvety, sultry tones. The first time I heard her I was hooked; Brass in Pocket, I think. She reminds me of a blue-collar lounge singer. The smoky vocals, with a no-nonsense approach to singing. If I had to pick the one vocalist to listen to while trying to fall asleep, she would be it. I have no doubt I would have nothing but pleasant dreams.
Of all the women in this list, I would vote Annie Lennox "The Most Desirable Woman to Sing a Lullaby in My Ear," hands down; Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) for me. From her introduction fronting the Eurythmics, with her nearly shaved head and man's suit and tie, she has had the ability to give me goosebumps when she gets to vocalizing. There is a roundness, and intensity in her voice that drives her up the sexy-scale for me. Her voice may not have that scratchiness I love but I can't ignore the vocal talent.
Ann Wilson (With Props to Nancy, Also)
Ann Wilson of Heart has always been one of my favorites. Her voice is strong without ever losing it's feminine qualities. She can sing a beautiful rock ballad, like Dog and Butterfly or Dreamboat Annie, and then belt out a song like Barracuda or Heartless with great intensity. I have to admit that some of her appeal is rooted in the great harmonies she and her sister have put together. Though I am a bigger fan of her earlier vocals, I still enjoy her later cuts, and she will always have a place in my heart.
Probably best known for her two biggest hits, Holding Out for a Hero and Total Eclipse of the Sun, Bonnie Tyler is another one of those undeniably sexy, scratchy voices. Her vocal sex appeal just gets better the louder she sings. Damn the tonal quality, just bring it home, honey. I'm not sure if it's whiskey or cigarettes, but whatever her formula, Bonnie Tyler has it right. She will always be one of my favorites.
Whether on a plane or in a starship, sexy Grace Slick takes me to another place. White Rabbit is one of my all-rime favorite songs, and I can think of no better song to illustrate the quality of Grace Slick's singing ability. From the soft beginning through the building crescendo, there is no doubt who is telling the story. I appreciate the fullness of her voice and also the strength.
In your face all the way. Joan Jett strikes me as a this-is-who-I-am, take-no-prisoners, kind of gal. I am not a huge fan of her music, but I do love to hear her scratch out a yell or a note on the edge of her range, I Love Rock and Roll being the best illustration of that. She has that nasty edge to her vocals that keeps me listening. Joan Jett may not be my favorite, but there is a sexy something about her voice I will not deny.
I won't go into great detail for the Honorable Mentions list, but I wouldn't have felt true to myself without at least mentioning them. Most, as you will note, are not what I would consider rock vocalists. That may be the only reason they didn't make this top ten. They are in no particular order.
- Tina Turner - What more can I say?
- Whitney Houston - No discernable scratch, but boy-howdy she sticks a note.
- Allison Iraheta - I certainly hope she gets a deal with someone. She has all the makings of a great rock vocalist. She's the red-head from American Idol.
- Stevie Nicks - She was real close to making the list. She has the scratch I like, with a little vibrato mixed in.
- Sade - Would quickly replace Annie Lennox for the lullabye duty. Those dark, breathy tones wouldn't be hard to relax by.
- Nancy Wilson - Not that Nancy Wilson; the jazz great. Silk behind a microphone.
- Sarah Vaughn - She's a lot of fun to listen to when she's stylin'.
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