The ten best pioneering metal frontmen

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6. Lemmy Kilmister His lifelong intake of cigarettes and Jack Daniel's has hardened Lemmy's gravelly voice, turning his esophagus to stone, and giving him a characteristic growl like no other. His iconic stashburns should be called the 'Lemmy,' even though this style of facial hair predates him. Lemmy is known for positioning his microphone at an unusual height, adding to his aggressive stance like he's staring down God in the heavens.

5. Rob Halford Leather-clad like the leader of a motorcycle gang, Rob Halford also has earth-shattering high-pitched power vocals that could break all the plate-glass windows in a skyscraper. At the end of each show, Halford's signature move is to ride a rumbling motorcycle on stage. Alongside Bruce Dickinson and Ronnie James Dio, Halford is one of the originators of an operatic vocal style in metal, and in his heyday, he had the vocal wingspan of six octaves.

4. Bruce Dickinson There are many reasons why Bruce Dickinson is more awesome than all of us will ever be -- even more awesome than Spinal Tap (barely). Not only is he the brewmaster of Trooper ale, but he's a sailor of the skies and the master and commander of fist-pumping power-metal vocals for Iron Maiden -- one of the greatest metal bands to enter ears. Dickinson wasn't the original singer of Iron Maiden, but he brought the vital vigor that the band needed to blast them to metal holiness.

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Adam Steininger