The 1970s was home to many of the most famous male pop artists who ever lived. Though rock and roll existed for decades, the 70s artists added a dramatic flair and the performance element, which is popular until today. It was a decade of musical innovation and experimentation, with pop music taking center stage in the mainstream. Among the numerous pop artists of the era, here are the male artists whose music transcended time and continues to resonate with audiences today.
During the ‘70s, Stevie Wonder was a professional recording artist that was signed to Motown since 1961, which is why during that time, Stevie was already a veteran of the industry. During the 1970s, Stevie Wonder released eight studio albums in which five of his songs were able to reach the number 1 spot. His number one singles during the 1970s were I Wish, Sir Duke, Superstition, You Haven’t Done Nothin, and You Are the Sunshine of My Life,
1970 and 1979, Stevie Wonder managed to take home a total of 12 Grammy Awards, which is more than half of the 22 he has received during his entire career.
During the course of his career, Sir Elton John has sold over 300 million records. This is why he is one of the best-selling musicians in the world. in the 1970s, Elton John managed to release a total of 12 studio albums, wherein six of which managed to climb all the way to the number 1 spot in the Billboard 200 Album chart. And between 1970 and 1979, six of Sir Elton John’s single grabbed the top spot of the US Top 40 charts. It was also during this decade where Elton John got nominated for a total of 9 Grammy Awards. Unfortunately, he never won during this period. in 1998, he became Sir Elton John after he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1970 and 1979, Marvin Gaye managed to release a total of six studio albums such as the famous Let’s Get It On, which peaked at the number 2 spot on the US Billboard 200 album charts. It was also during this decade where he released two singles, which made it to the top spot of the US Top 40. This was also the decade where Marvin Gaye got nominated in the Grammy’s for six times, but unfortunately, he didn’t win.
David Robert Jones, or popularly known as David Bowie, was a hugely influential English singer/songwriter, especially during the ‘70s. From 1970 – 1979, Bowie managed to release eleven studio albums. However, none of those albums made it into the US Billboard 200. Although the records never made it to number 1 in the US, his album “Station to Station,” which he released in 1976, did make it to number 3. Throughout his career, David Bowie has won six Grammy Awards.
Bob Dylan is a singer-songwriter who also turned into an artist and author. He is considered to be one of the best-selling artists of all time because, throughout his career, he managed to sell about 100 million records all over the world. Between 1970 and 1979, Bob Dylan released a total of eight studio albums, and all of them managed to enter into the top 20 of the Billboard 200. During the 70s, Bob Dylan released 21 singles, and eight of them grabbed a spot into the top 50 of the Billboard 100. Bob Dylan won 10 Grammy awards throughout his career, and eight of was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. He is not only excellent at making music, but Bob Dylan is also a fantastic author, as well. In fact, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016.
Rod Stewart is a British singer that has managed to sell over 100 million records all across the globe. It was during the ‘70s where Rod Steward managed to establish his solo career. And it was also during this decade where he released eight studio albums where six of them managed to enter the top ten of the Billboard 200 charts.
Billy Joel is a singer and songwriter who sold over 150 million records all over the world. Between 1970 and 1979, Billy Joel released six studio albums, and two of them managed to reach the top spot of the Billboard 200 charts. He was nominated 23 times at the Grammys, and he has managed to win 5 of them.
Al Green is a singer-songwriter who managed to release 11 studio albums between 1970 and 1979, and seven of them reached into the top 40 of the Billboard 200 charts. Even if none of his records grabbed the top spot of the charts, Al Green still received considerable success on the Billboard R&B album charts in the United States.
Bruce Springsteen started his career in 1972 as he played along with the E Street Band. After a year, he released his first studio album, which he called Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. The album made it into the top 60ss of the Billboard 200 charts. His Born To Run album, which was released in 1975, grabbed the third spot of the Billboard 200 charts during that time. Throughout his career, Bruce Springsteen managed to win a total of 20 Grammy Awards and 4 American Music Awards.
Another artist who rose to spectacular fame in the 1970s is Barry Manilow, whose career has spanned over 50 years. He started his career in the music industry in a variety of jobs — as an arranger, jingle writer and singer, accompanyist and musical director during much of the 1960s. In 1973, the singer-songwriter and pianist released his self-titled debut album. But he found greater success with his second album, Barry Manilow II (1974), thanks to the single “Mandy” that rose to number one on the Billboard pop and adult contemporary charts. From there, he went on to enjoy a string of Top 10 Billboard pop and adult contemporary hits in 1970s. They include “Could It Be Magic,” “I Write the Songs,” “Tryin’ to Get the Feeling Again,” “Looks Like We Made It,” “Can’t Smile without You,” “Copacabana (at the Copa),” and “Ready to Take a Chance Again.” Manilow has released 13 platinum and six multi-platinum albums and has sold more than 85 million records worldwide.
The undisputed “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson is the most awarded recording artist in pop music history who became a superstar in the 70s. Known for his distinctive voice, electrifying dance moves, and iconic fashion sense, Jackson became a global figure in pop culture throughout his four-decade career. He influenced artists across many music genres, through stage and video performances.
Born in 1958, Michael Jackson began his music career as a child star with The Jackson 5 in the 1960s. However, it was in the 1970s that he truly made a name for himself as a solo artist. With hits like “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Rock with You,” Jackson became a pop superstar. Jackson became a bigger artist in the 80s, spewing out hits that everybody knows, like “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Thriller,” “We are the World,” “Man in the Mirror,” “Human Nature,” and “Smooth Criminal.” Along with his musical fame, he also became a figure of speculation and controversy due to his changing appearance, behavior, relationships, and lifestyle.
Bob Marley was a reggae icon whose music became synonymous with the political and social movements of the 1970s. Bob Marley was born in Jamaica and raised as a Catholic, but he converted to Rastafari in the 1960s. Marley began his music career in the 1960s with The Wailers, but in the 1970s, he became a global sensation with his unique blend of reggae music and politically charged lyrics.
With hits like “No Woman, No Cry,” “One Love,” and “Stir It Up,” Marley’s music spoke to the struggles of the marginalized. His songs received a lot of critical acclaim, and his musical style influenced a lot of artists, but he also inspired the United Nations – in 1978, the organization awarded him the Peace Medal of the Third World for his political activism. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He continues to be celebrated today as a cultural icon and reggae pioneer.
Willie Nelson is a country music legend whose career spans several decades. He’s one of the most recognizable male country artists in the world. In the 1970s, he released a series of critically acclaimed albums, including “Red Headed Stranger” and “Stardust.” Along with his trusty guitar, Trigger, he took over radios. Nelson’s unique blend of traditional country music and rock influences helped to establish him as a pioneer of the “outlaw country” movement.
Nelson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993, and Rolling Stone named him as one of the 100 Greatest Singers and 100 Greatest Guitarists.
As a founding member of The Eagles, Glenn Frey helped to define the sound of 1970s pop music. With hits like “Hotel California” and “Take It Easy,” The Eagles became one of the most successful bands of the 70s – one of the bands your father probably loved to listen to. The Eagle’s blend of country and rock, along with Frey’s smooth vocals and exceptional guitar playing, created a signature sound that became one of the most popular of the era.
Frey’s songwriting and vocals significantly influenced the band’s success and enduring legacy. But besides music, he was also an accomplished actor who appeared in popular TV shows and movies like Jerry Maguire and Miami Vice. He was also a prolific songwriter and penning hit songs for The Eagles and other artists like Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt.
As the frontman of Queen, Freddie Mercury was known for his flamboyant stage presence, powerful vocals, and dynamic songwriting. With hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We will Rock You,” and “We Are the Champions,” Queen became one of the most iconic bands of the 1970s. It was impossible to turn the radio on without hearing his voice throughout the decade.
Mercury’s legacy as a performer and songwriter continues to inspire generations of fans. He revolutionized the entertainment industry by crossing genres, including gospel, heavy metal, and disco. His style, vocal range, and influence earned him a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
As the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant helped form the classic image of a “rock god” or “rock icon.” With hits like “Stairway to Heaven,” “Misty Mountain Hop,” and “Kashmir,” Led Zeppelin’s music incorporated elements of blues, folk, and hard rock, paving the way for a new era of heavy metal and hard rock music.
Back in the 70s, it was impossible to turn on the radio without hearing Plant’s voice. He was listed as one of the 100 best singers of all time by Rolling Stone, and his extensive vocal range garnered him seven Grammy awards. In 1995, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As the frontman of The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger’s influence on the 1970s music scene and pop culture cannot be overstated. He’s the reason why men wanted to have “moves like Jagger.” With hits like “Brown Sugar,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and “Satisfaction,” The Rolling Stones became one of the most enduring bands of the era. He and two bandmates set the groundwork for the Rolling Stones.
Jagger’s dynamic stage presence, charismatic personality, and energy on stage have inspired countless performers over the years. He was iconic for his ability to captivate audiences with his showmanship and stage presence. His distinctive voice, image, and trademark style of tight pants, open shirts, and bold patterns became iconic symbols of rock and roll and the 1970s counterculture.
As the lead singer of Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne helped define the sound of heavy metal music in the 1970s. With hits like “Paranoid” and “Iron Man,” Black Sabbath’s music was known for its heavy riffs and dark, brooding lyrics.
Heavy metal was born in the 70s, and Ozzy Osbourne had a lot to do with it. With his band, the Black Sabbath, he helped define the metal genre. Later on, he would put out a slew of classic records throughout the decade until Osbourne was kicked out of the band due to substance abuse in 1979.
The Bee Gees
The story of 70s pop – or the 1970s as a whole – cannot be told without talking about disco. The Bee Gees were a big name during that era, and the trio was some of the most important vocalists of the decade. The band – composed of the Gibb brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice – was known for their tight harmonies, catchy pop hooks, and signature falsetto vocals.
The most enduring hits came from their work on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, including the hits like “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” and “How Deep Is Your Love.” While they had hits from the start of the decade, their transition to disco made them worldwide sensations.
Barry White was an American soul and funk singer known for his deep, velvety voice and romantic ballads. With hits like “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” and “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything,” White’s music was a staple of 1970s radio. He was known as “The Walrus of Love” for his smooth, seductive style. For the rest of the decade, he has become a hit machine with his tunes – thanks to his rich, soulful voice.
White’s music is often associated with the romantic and soulful sound of the decade and is one of the most iconic examples of R&B and soul music. He’s been praised for his smooth and powerful song delivery and his ability to connect with the audience on a deep, emotional level.
Bob Seger was an American singer-songwriter who achieved his greatest success in the 1970s with his backing band, The Silver Bullet Band. They rose to national fame in 1976 with the release of their album, Night Moves. From the album came their hits, including the title track and “Rock and Roll Never Forgets.” He was known for his hard-driving rock sound, and his songwriting is characterized by its thoughtfulness, soulfulness, simplicity, and honesty.
Seger’s image and influence made him a pop culture figure – his trademark style of jeans and leather jackets, coupled with his signature raspy voice, have become iconic symbols of American rock and roll.
The pop artists of the 1970s played a significant role in shaping the musical landscape of their era and beyond. It was the time when male pop artists became icons who influenced the music industry. Their music and enduring legacies continue to be enjoyed by new generations of fans, and their impact on pop culture will be felt for years to come.