9 Singers With the Highest Vocal Range – Octave Wizards!

Author: Tomas Morton | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

Okay, so we all know how it feels when those big-name singers just blow our minds with their killer vocals. But here’s the thing: there’s a difference between having a powerful and soulful voice and having a massive vocal range.

For instance, I had the honor of recording Chaka Khan in the studio, and I was sure she’d be on this list. But guess what? Her range is only 2.8 octaves, which totally shocked me because I’ve heard her hit those crazy high notes!

Anyway, I was determined to dig deep and discover who actually has the widest range of all the famous singers out there. And let me tell you, some of the results were pretty surprising while others were totally obvious.

But seriously, those singers with insane ranges almost seem like they’re not even human, so we’ll call them Octave Wizards. Let’s check out some of these magical performers.

Singers Capable of Hitting 10 Octaves

Tim Storms

Tim Storms definitely took the singing world by surprise when he got the Guinness World Record for the lowest note ever produced by a human in 2002. He then reclaimed it in 2012 by going even lower!

That note is a G-7, and I don’t mean the chord. It means eight octaves below the lowest G on the piano. I mean, that’s just insane, right?

Between the lowest note he can hit and the highest note, there are nine octaves and 11 semitones, which technically doesn’t equal 10 octaves as his record goes, but it’s still the craziest in the world. The Guinness Book rounded up, still, that’s unheard of.

It’s hard to really tell some of the low notes because they’re what we call infrasonic, or “below” the human frequency range. We’re talking elephant notes, folks!

It should come as no surprise that he’s a big voiceover guy because there’s just not enough flexibility with such a low tone to really dedicate yourself to only music. If you don’t know what this guy can do, check out this video of his low-note compilation, and you’ll be blown away.

Singers Who Can Sing 8 & 9 Octaves

Georgia Brown

Tim Storms is in a league of his own! However, it’s not a one-man show up there in the stratosphere. Brazilian-Italian singer Georgia Brown is the only other singer to hit those dizzying heights. She has an impressive vocal range, going from B2 all the way up to F8. That’s higher than Mariah Carey’s world record.

But let’s be real, being able to shatter glass with her voice doesn’t guarantee Georgia will be a chart-topper. She is, however, very well known in her native Brazil as a collaborator and background singer for the great singer Jorge Ben.

Although she has the Guinness world record in the bag, she’s not selling the same amount of albums as Mariah.

Speaking of records, Georgia hit a G10 once in a YouTube video. It’s not even considered a note, but a harmonic frequency, so it doesn’t count officially.

Still, that’s some insane vocal range. I’d put her at 8 or 9 octaves, which is unheard of. Check that video out!

Singers with 7 Octave Range

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is a legend. Love her or hate her, you’re bound to hear “All I Want for Christmas is You” until the end of time (and maybe even after).

But let’s give credit where credit is due. She’s been cranking out hits since her debut single, “Vision of Love,” dropped back in 1990.

I remember when I first heard her hit those riffs on the break of that song and I was like, “Whoa, move over Whitney Houston.” And yet, the most impressive showcase of her incredible range has got to be “Fly Like a Bird,” where she goes from a G#2 to an F7 within one song. That’s almost the whole piano range!

Now, there’s a lot of talk online about Mariah’s range. Some people say she’s got five octaves, not seven. But I gotta disagree because I literally just went to the piano to see what she was hitting on “Fly Like a Bird,” and that’s not even her lowest possible note. There’s a YouTube video where she’s hitting a Bb1 and A1 with her voice.

And you know what’s crazy about Mariah’s range? Some of her high notes have harmonics that are even higher than the fundamental frequency. It’s a lot like Georgia Brown’s G10 note.

Plus, let’s not forget that lots of singers, like Beyoncé, use falsetto or head voice to extend their range. It’s a technique where you sacrifice power to hit those higher notes. It almost sounds like a whisper or a sexy tone. But not Mariah. She hits those high notes with full power.

6 Octave Singers

Axl Rose

I’m sure many of you still remember the ultra-famous band Guns N’ Roses, with their hits “Welcome to the Jungle” and “November Rain”. And who can forget their lead singer, Axl Rose, with his amazing vocal range?

Technically, Axl can sing from an F1 to a Bb6. That’s five octaves and five semitones, which is pretty impressive. But you know what? If Tim Storms and Mariah Carey can get away with some of their harmonic frequencies, then Axl definitely deserves to be bumped up to six octaves.

What’s even more impressive is how Axl hits those high notes with such smashing power. It’s no wonder the Society of Rock crowned him with the title of having the greatest vocal range in modern music.

He even beat out Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Mariah Carey and tied with singer Mike Patton from Faith No More, who also has slightly over six octaves. I’ll talk about him next, but first, check out this video of some of Axl’s greatest vocal moments.

Mike Patton

OK, so maybe Mike Patton isn’t as famous as some of the other big names on this list, but you have to know his band Faith No More, right? They were huge in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, selling millions of albums worldwide.

But wait, there’s more! Mike also formed this super cool, mysterious band called Mr. Bungle. They had other multi-platinum band members like Anthrax bassist Scott Ian and Dave Lombardo from Slayer on drums. It was a fun parody act recording under different names.

What’s funny is that I remember hearing Mr. Bungle and saying “Hey, isn’t that the singer from Faith No More?” So not only is Mike Patton a versatile singer, but he also has that sonic stamp that many superstars have – a signature sound.

Get this, Mike’s vocal range is from E1 to C7. That’s super impressive! He can hit those super high notes and those super low ones too.

Most people can only do one or the other, but not Mike. He has a perfect balance of both extremes. Here’s a YouTube video of his iconic high register!

Singers with 5 Octaves Vocal Range

Prince

We all know there are geniuses out there, but Prince was on another level. The thing that’s just insane about him is that he was a master of all things music.

He did it all. He was his own producer, his own band, and his own audio engineer. He even designed his own album artwork, put together his own shows, and built his own studio complex called Paisley Park.

Technically, Prince’s vocal range is F2 to C7. But honestly, that’s kind of misleading because sometimes it was hard to tell if he was doing falsetto or full voice.

Like, take the song “Kiss” for example. Pretty much the whole thing is in falsetto, but then toward the end, he stays in the same range and goes full voice until he hits that scream climax.

Either way, there’s no denying that Prince was famous for his high vocal range. Some people even said he was a six-octave singer! Check it out for yourself in this video.

Paul McCartney

So, we’re talking about geniuses here, right? Well, the man behind most of the Beatles’ hits, Sir Paul McCartney, is an absolute legend when it comes to his octave range.

At first, you might not even realize how impressive it is when listening to some Beatles classics like “Twist and Shout” or “Hey Jude.” But trust me, he can really hit those high notes.

And let’s not forget about his wild scream in “Can’t Buy Me Love.” If you think that’s crazy, you should check out some of his live performances where he really shows off his vocal prowess. I found this super cool compilation of 10 of Sir Paul’s most insane vocal lines. Check it out!

Singers Who Can Sing 4 Octaves

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera (or Xtina, as she likes to be called now) is a total powerhouse! She’s been crushing it for almost 30 years, just like her rival Beyoncé.

I remember hearing “Genie in a Bottle” on the radio and thinking, “Hmm, not my jam, but dang, this girl can sing!”

Technically, her vocal range is from B2 to G#5. But get this – in rare cases, she’s even hit a C#7 performing live, which basically averages out to over four octaves. In general, though, she’s considered to be at her limit just below 5 octaves.

Along the lines of mentor Mariah Carey, Christina hitting all those octaves with full chest power is super impressive. That’s what separates the legendary octave wizards from the “great” versatile singers. Even if they can both hit the same range. It’s all about the power.

She doesn’t stop there, though. Christina has also dominated the Latin market as a Spanish singer lately, racking up 9 Grammy nominations for her debut Spanish-language album “Aguilera”. Check out this video of some of her most powerhouse vocals – it’ll give you chills!

Ariana Grande

Okay, when it comes to four-octave vocals, I have to say that Christina and Ariana Grande are neck and neck. Christina has some serious low range, but Ariana has some serious pipes when it comes to the high notes.

Ariana’s vocal range is documented as going from a D3 all the way up to an E7, but she has some wiggle room to go higher or lower if she wants to.

One thing that Christina and Ariana both have in common is this killer technique called “whistle voice”. Basically, it’s when they mix their chest voice with their head voice to create this harmonically-rich high note that sounds like a dolphin. Mariah Carey was definitely one of the pioneers of this technique as well.

And like Christina, Ariana also uses this thing called melisma, where she combines some vibrato and jaw techniques to give some soulful bends to those high notes.

If you want to see Ariana in action using some different singing techniques, check out this video of some of her best moments. It’s pretty amazing.

Runners Up

So, let’s start by saying that high vocal ranges are seriously impressive. Most singers have a range of about 3 to 3-1/2 octaves, but if you look at the list of runners-up who almost make it to four octaves, they’re mostly multi-platinum artists of our time – including Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Bono, Kesha, Bruno Mars, and so on.

Now, here’s the million-dollar question: Does having an extended vocal range make you a better artist? Not necessarily.

It’s kind of like how being taller doesn’t necessarily make you a better basketball player. But what it does do is give you more tools for expression, which is super valuable for recording artists, especially in pop and modern music.

Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, I would say there is a clear distinction between hitting high notes with power and without it. Do you feel me? These singers on this list with an insane vocal range are impressive because they mix the power of their chest voice with notes that are almost considered out of this world.

As a music producer, when I’m recording a vocalist, I always have to think about what the song needs. For instance, I’m all about some vocalists with limited range but a unique voice like Sade. But don’t get me wrong, powerful vocals have their place too and can definitely take a song to the next level like classic jams by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, or even Prince.

But honestly, most songs and melodies don’t need all those Ariana Grande and Mariah Carey riffs all over the place. Sometimes it even takes away from the original melody, you know what I’m saying?

Having the ability to hit extremely high and low notes is a double-edged sword. It’s super tempting to use it all the time, even if it makes the song worse. I’ve even noticed that in some of today’s radio hits. At the end of the day, sometimes simplicity is king. Let’s remember that.

But let’s give credit where credit is due. Some people are born with an advantage, but many of these artists worked hard to perfect their skills and deserve to be honored as some of the greatest octave wizards of our time.

Avatar photo

About Tomas Morton

Tomas is a record producer, engineer, and synthesizer enthusiast based in Pasadena, CA. He received training at Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. When not in his studio, he can often be found scouring garage sales or Craigslist ads for vintage gear treasures.

3 thoughts on “9 Singers With the Highest Vocal Range – Octave Wizards!”

Leave a Comment