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10 frontmen that are not pretty boys

Updated on November 3, 2011

This article is primarily to point out that these bands primary focus is on art and making music as opposed to trying to sell a sexy image to the mainstream. Despite not putting a beautiful image at the forefront of their music they have still succeeded successfully both commercially and critically, many of them for years, even decades and should be recognized for their efforts to keep it about the music.

Thom Yorke of Radiohead
Thom Yorke of Radiohead | Source

1. THOM YORKE

Thom Yorke has never been known as a pretty man. Besides the issue with his eye he often wears clothing that certainly wouldn't pass for thousand dollar suits. I personally wouldn't say he's ugly, he's an average looking person, but certainly he wouldn't be listed as sexiest man alive.

His just woke up in the morning look complete with uncombed hair and unshaven scruff even in their music videos is the first thing that tells you that the focus in Radiohead has always been on the music. Radiohead to this day are known for their artistic nature and going against the grain however the music that they have produced has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Les Claypool from Primus
Les Claypool from Primus | Source

2. LES CLAYPOOL

Les Claypool is the frontman of the bass driven band Primus most popular in the 1990s but still around and still making incredible uniquely styled grooves. Throughout his career as the frontman, vocalist, song writer, bass player and all around genius behind Primus he has styled himself often as a backward hick. With his unkept long hair, mustache and sometimes beard mixed with his main style of old thrift shop clothing topped off with an old man hat were enough to make everyone notice.

Besides this he often wore old suits or outlandish costumes: military inspired, pig masks, masks with large noses, unusual goggles, prison jumpsuits, and brightly colored pajamas. Despite this Primus has not only invaded the mainstream but been around for 27 years and are still going strong.

Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson | Source

3. MARILYN MANSON

Manson has seemingly of intention made himself one of the most (to put it politely) unbeautiful frontmen in rock. From his long stringy hair to the many self inflicted scars on his bare chest to the dirty S&M style attire to the horrible makeup he has distanced himself from being the pretty boy frontman that many bands portray. As he's aged years of constant drug abuse and his excessive lifestyle have also taken their toll.

Besides his appearance he has worn many outfits that were designed by himself. But since the release of Anti-Christ Superstar Marilyn Manson has been a rock icon in his own right. Many of his albums have gone multi-platinum and tours have sold out arena sized venues.

Jerry Cantrell
Jerry Cantrell | Source

4. JERRY CANTRELL

Jerry Cantrell is best known for being the lead guitarist of the band Alice in Chains. With that band he has sold millions of copies of their albums. But he has also released solo albums since the 1990s with much critical and commercial attention.

Partially due to age Jerry Cantrell isn't so attractive these days, although age is a factor however his unkept hair, scruff and old jeans have hardly helped his appearance. Despite this Cantrell continues to add amazing music to the rock landscape.

Courtney Love of Hole
Courtney Love of Hole | Source

5. COURTNEY LOVE

Courtney Love although not a front-"Man" is an excellent front woman that fits into this category. She has in the past at certain times (particularly in the late 1990s) cleaned herself up rather well. But throughout her tumultuous career as the front woman of the band Hole she has time and again fallen back into a drug induced frenzy that really hasn't helped her looks. Granted some of her appearance was intentional as with the grunge era philosophy and her kinderwhore style of the 1990s but as time goes on and those days long gone it is more to do with drugs and lifestyle than those factors.

Despite this she has managed to create a name for Hole and even recently releasing a come back album for the band (albeit without any of the original members). No doubt she will stagger into the future with more albums and possibly film roles and cling to the mainstream.

Ozzy Osbourne in the 1980s
Ozzy Osbourne in the 1980s | Source

6. OZZY OSBOURNE

Ozzy has had a non-stop roller coaster ride lifestyle since his inception into Black Sabbath in the late 1960s. His wild lifestyle was enough to have him kicked out of Black Sabbath a decade later. By the 1980s during his solo career Ozzy even then not a younger man gained a lot of weight, hit the drugs very hard and nearly died more than once. The big hair, which was a mainstay at the time for rockers and metalheads alike didn't help his appearance any.

OK, so the picture accompanying this article has him sporting some fake teeth but check some other photos online from the era, you'll see what I'm saying.

Despite this in the late 1980s and early 1990s he began an exercise program, eating right and most importantly for the most part quit doing drugs. Which is why if you see a picture of him from the 1990s he often looks more slim, trim and healthier than he did a decade before during the 1980s. Ozzy continues to be a strong influence on everything rock and metal and is constantly cited as an influence on many bands.

Peter Steele of Type O Negative
Peter Steele of Type O Negative | Source

7. PETER STEELE

Peter Steele the frontman for Type O Negative was never one to worry about appearance. He often wore green as that was the main color of the band and most of their album covers. His features were well defined however he was far from winning a beauty pageant.

Steele was an incredible vocalist and throughout the span of over 20 years he helped Type O Negative carve out a great following. Sadly Steele died in 2010 from an apparent heart attack.

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones | Source

8. Mick Jagger

Much like Steven Tyler the main feature that I notice when I look at his face is his big lips. If you have permanent dimples on your face it is really hard not to notice. Also these days primarily due to age both he and Keith Richards have faces that resemble leather hand bags. Even in his early days Jagger wasn't what many would consider to be a pretty boy.

Despite this there is no denying that Mick Jagger is a major influence on what became today's rock n' roll.

9. GEDDY LEE

Partially due to age granted but doesn't Geddy Lee look like Yoda? For the most part his wardrobe is pretty much normal and his round glasses do serve a purpose and that's to hide his resemblence to Yoda. Check the picture or others online if you think I'm kidding.

You can almost imagine him saying, "Burn, your eyes will! Look away, you must, hmmmm!"

Despite this as the frontman of Rush he has influenced many current bands and continue to sell millions of records and tour the world regularly.

Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith | Source

10. ELLIOTT SMITH

Elliott Smith was another artist who was not a pretty boy. However no one can deny his influence on rockers and those in many other genres. Many feel his death came well before he was able to offer his best work. Many consider him to be the embodiment of what a true music artist creating art for himself and not specifically for the mainstream should be. He died at the age of 34.


As said at the beginning of this article this has been written more to illustrate the fact that many current bands make many attempts to enlist a vocalist/frontman to put a sexy image on their music. As we all know sex sells, but one needs to pose the question as to whether they are selling sex or music? The bands listed here are about the music. Take a moment and put down that new album from Britney Spears and listen to some of their music. Allow it to reach you as a true art form and not just a commercial ploy to grab your money and sell you a hollow product.

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    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Nelly A. - thanks a bunch we worked on it :)

    • Nelly A. profile image

      Nelly A. 6 years ago

      Wow! I enjoyed reading this from start to finish.Great job.

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      he he your right bangingbeauty I guess those teeth don't improve his look much :)

    • bangingbeauty profile image

      bangingbeauty 6 years ago

      This is funny, I think Ozzy Osbourne is looking the most "unpretty" in the above pics haha

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      :) nice honorable mentions I agree with you although I don't think Mustaine is horrible looking I guess he's not a sexy pretty boy though.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      i;m well aquainted with Jerry Cantrell :-)

      Honorable mentions: The singer for Midnight Oil, Michael Stipe, Freddy Mercury (though my wife thinks Freddy Mercury is sexy), Dave Mustaine

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      he he, no problem Ardie, good to see you reading my article :)

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Sorry - I look for new interesting things to read by seeing what other people comment on in the Online Activity thread thingee :D

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      he he I can see you guys are playing tag or something? Well PDXKaraokeGuy Jerry Cantrell isn't the frontman of Alice in Chains, just the guitarist but he has released two albums by himself in which he did his own vocals. Also released several solo songs to soundtracks as well.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      why am I being followed?

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Oh, oh!! I followed PDX here and Im glad I did. This was such a fun read :)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I'm an alum of Elliot Smith's high schooil. he was a few years ahead of me. Does Jerry Cantrell count as a frontman?

      Thanks for the read and the follow. I'm going to go vomit now.

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