This one is truly a challenge for me. I have too many "favorite" lead singers to mention. What draws me to a lead singer is partly his/her voice... whether or not his/her voice is in my range (and something I can sing along to)... and their charisma. MOSTLY their charisma.
The band that created the music fan in me was Cheap Trick. Robin Zander, their lead vocalist, came very close to making this prestigious title. I grew up singing along to Robin's amazing tenor voice. If I didn't know any better, I would say it was BECAUSE of my singing along to Mr. Zander that I was remotely able to sing.
So why, you ask, is Bono at the top of the list? Truth be told, I even contemplated in putting the late, great Michael Hutchence at the top of the list. That man could sing AND work a crowd like very few of his peers. Bono, in my opinion, is the same. He can work a crowd... and even though he tends to come across as a little egotistical, he worships his crowd. He once said that the biggest challenge for him, after becoming famous, was the fact that he was forced to stay out of the audience. For those of you old enough to remember Live Aid, the charitable organization and concert to raise money for Ethiopian famine relief, you may remember Bono's unforgettable performance. Even at Wembley Stadium, with over 100,000 screaming fans, Bono managed to find his way down into the crowd.
Over the last 15 years, U2 has had a satellite stage out in the floor area, complete with a long elevated runway for Bono to not only work his crowd, but to be IN his crowd. To this day, he still brings people out of the audience to sing to them... dance with them...cherish them.
And, if that isn't enough, Bono is passionate about what he does. There have been times where he hasn't even had a voice to sing, but he didn't let that stop him doing what he does.
To me, the following example is one of the greatest examples of why Bono IS the best lead singer in modern popular music. He has a mission... he has passion... he has charisma.
Enjoy this performance from the film, RATTLE AND HUM... their extremely stirring rendition of "SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY". And just so you don't say I didn't warn you... there's a naughty swear word.
Deal with it.