Another one from the vaults, but I think it would be interesting to see what your choices might be after all these years.
I've changed a couple of things since this first ran in 2008 -- the number six entry, for example, was originally David Bowie, but in retrospect I've decided that I've flogged that particular deceased equine on more than enough previous occasions.
In any case, let us now praise with faint damns the MOST ANNOYING POST-BEATLES POP/ROCK SINGERS EVER!!!!
No arbitrary rules, you're welcome, and obviously this is totally subjective so there's going to be (I suspect) a few disagreements about the following, but I want to emphasize that we're talking vocal quality here, not stage demeanor or general persona. For example it doesn't matter how hyperkinetically Patti LaBelle flutters her hands, annoying an affectation as that may be. Rather, it's her relentless over-singing of even the simplest song that makes me want to take a hostage every time I hear her.
Okay, here's my totally top of my head Top Ten:
10. James Blunt
I'm sorry, whenever I hear that smug falsetto I think "somewhere an electric chair is waiting." Really -- this kid makes John Mayer sound like Howlin' Wolf.
As my dear friend Laura the Rock 'n' Roll Travel Agent so aptly put it, "she sounds like two cats copulating."
8. Paul Williams
Williams is one of those guys, like Michael McDonald, who seems to sing from his jaw, rather than his throat, and his was one of the leading vocal annoyances of the early 70s. Fortunately for all of us, word has reached me that the man himself was in the wings at some sort of industry function yesterday and was eaten by the backstage cat before anyone could intervene.
Frankly, without Johnny Marr's jangly guitar, the Smiths would have been unbearable, which is the word I associate with Morrissey's solo career. "Have I mentioned that I cried?"
6. James Blunt
Yeah, I know I already mentioned him, but he's so vile he really needs to be here twice.
5. A tie --
I can't think of a genre that's spawned so many unlistenable yowlers as 80s hair metal. Actually, these two aren't even the worst, now that I think of it.
4. David Clayton Thomas
It boggles my mind that this guy was ever even considered a rock singer. It boggles me even more that apparently he was singing in a blues(!) band when BS&T plucked him from obscurity.
Joan Armatrading famously allowed how she actually liked Madonna's "little Munchkin voice," but I think she was being ironic.
2. Cristina Aguilera
Ah yes, growing up on the mean streets of The Mickey Mouse Club is precisely the sort of experience to give somebody soul. Seriously -- I doubt there's a song extant that this horribly amusical belter couldn't flog into submission, leaving it gasping and exhausted on the floor of a stage like a porpoise out of water.
And the number one incredibly irksome, it's so obvious it's not even a fricking contest, singer is --
1. Geddy Lee
This song is a guilty pleasure for me, but sometimes when I'm really depressed, I think of somebody with a better voice singing it and I immediately feel better. In any case, I can't think of another rock vocalist who more consistently makes me want to rip my ears off.
Awrighty then -- what would your choices be?