Michael Jackson tops NME's Greatest Singers poll

Meanwhile, NME Remains a Bunch of Pressed, Biased, White-Rock Fans

In an NME.com poll for the Greatest Singers Of All Time, the King of Pop reigned supreme, coming out with an average score of 9.02 out of 10. The poll saw 10 million votes being cast, and received 4000 Facebook comments.

But for NME (a magazine not known for its, uh, great love of Jackson), the news was hard to swallow. The title of the article revealing the final results derisively read, "JACKO tops NME's Greatest Singers poll," until Jackson fans swarmed the site with complaints. Even then, the rock website couldn't help but point out that the poll results "initially saw [Freddie] Mercury at the top spot," a fact they bemoaned both in the post's subtitle and a couple sentences into the article itself.

The very same day, NME blogger Priya Elan whipped out a "Popwatch" piece, scoffing at the fact that readers had chosen Jackson as Number One.

"It’s clear that for about 20 years towards the end of his career Michael Jackson’s voice was a parody of what it had formerly been," Elan wrote. "It had disappeared up its own backside, full of weird whoops, ghostly shrieking and so many vocal ticks that it deserved its own definition in the medical dictionary."

And yet, in the same article, Elan was full of admiring praise for rockers such as Kurt Cobain ("his ghostly howl was profoundly affecting, like he was emoting every vowel") and David Bowie ("his best vocal performances lurch from cooingly gentle to matter-a-fact honest").

You mad, NME?

Many commenters snapped back. "Sounds like sour grapes, and opinions coming from people with no vocal training or knowledge at all," one user wrote.

Other fans of the late singer pointed to Jackson's more recent recordings (such as the songs "Butterflies" and "Speechless" from his 2001 Invincible album; Stevie Wonder favorite "The Way You Love Me," recorded in 2004; and "Best of Joy," recorded in 2009) as proof that Jackson's voice was not, as NME put it, "a parody of what it had formerly been."

Not good enough, apparently~

But deserved or not, Jackson's victory is a hollow one, considering NME's shoddy voting pool of so called "greatest singers."

The likes of Jarvis Cocker, Axl Rose, and Bob Dylan (none of whom, let's face it, are exceptional vocal talents) were available to vote for -- but classic black voices such as Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Billie Holliday, Otis Redding, Dinah Washington, and Whitney Houston were nowhere to be found on the ballot.

Can a music website honestly conduct a "greatest singers" poll without some of the more superior voices in the history of recording? And by what criteria did NME choose who should be available to vote for? Because if the Queen of Gospel and the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business can't make the cut, it's time to get your ears checked.

The full Top 20 are as follows:

1. Michael Jackson (9.02)
2. Freddie Mercury (8.39)
3. Elvis Presley (7.17)
4. Axl Rose (6.47)
5. John Lennon
6. David Bowie
7. Robert Plant
8. Paul McCartney
9. Stevie Wonder
10. Aretha Franklin
11. Matt Bellamy
12. Ray Charles
13. Jim Morrison
14. Bob Marley
15. Elton John
16. Kurt Cobain
17. Steven Tyler
18. Mick Jagger
19. Marvin Gaye
20. Tina Turner


What are your thoughts on the NME poll, ONTD? And who would be in your top 20 (or even just your top 10) list?

Anyway, congrats to MJ, he's a very underrated vocalist. According to his vocal coach, Seth Riggs, MJ had a 3.6+ octave range, so NME can suck it.