Rolling Stone Readers Pick the Best Lead Singers of All TimeWatch clips from the winners, including Robert Plant, Bono, John Lennon and Freddie Mercury
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1. Robert Plant
When the Yardbirds dissolved in 1968 guitarist Jimmy Page wanted to form a band with the greatest singer he could possibly find. His first choice was Terry Reid, who turned the gig down. He did, however, suggest that Band of Joy Frontmtan Robert Plant might be a good fit. He was right. Led Zeppelin started playing gigs in late 1968, and fans were instantly stunned by the wild banshee wail emanating out of the lead singer. For 12 years Plant fronted Zeppelin, but when drummer John Bonham died in 1980 the band broke up. They have come together for the occasional one-off since then – most notably in 2007 when they played a full set at London's 02 Arena – but Plant has stubbornly refused to take the band on the road. Instead, he's focused on his solo career – which peaked in 2009 when he won Album of the Year at the Grammy's for Raising Sand, his LP of duets with Alison Krauss. This past year he brought his career full circle by reviving the Band of Joy name for his latest solo project.