100 Greatest Singers of All Time

Aretha, Elvis, Lennon, Dylan and many more

Steve Winwood

33. Steve Winwood

Born May 12th, 1948
Key Tracks "Gimme Some Lovin'" (with the Spencer Davis Group), "Dear Mr. Fantasy" (with Traffic), "When You See a Chance" (solo)
Influenced Dave Matthews, John Mayer

Steve Winwood exploded onto the London music scene as a teenager with his powerful, soulful tenor — notably on "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm a Man" with the Spencer Davis Group. "I thought he had the greatest voice," said Billy Joel, "this skinny little English kid singing like Ray Charles." The frontman for the jazz-infused pop of Traffic and then the jam rock of Blind Faith (with Eric Clapton), Winwood re-emerged in the mid-Eighties with the hits "Back in the High Life Again" and "Higher Love" — highly polished soul pop that made him a star all over again. "He was able to copy Jimmy Reed, and I thought, 'Where the hell is this voice coming from?' " said Spencer Davis. "From a diminutive guy, at that age, how can he do it? But he did it."

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