Rock ‘n’ roll is rooted in two things: the songs and the performances. Some of the world’s most beloved rockers are known for the way they wow fans onstage as much as for the songs they compose.
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And while rock music is often thought of as guitar-oriented, with shredding solos and buzzy chord riffs, there is another instrument that is as important, if not more so. The human voice.
Yes, the voice of a band’s front person is paramount. Fans learn the lyrics from the singer’s voice, fans follow melodies and more from the singer’s voice. So, given all this, it makes sense that some of rock’s biggest stars are those with the most iconic mouths—those oral areas where lyrics and vocal melodies emanate.
Here, we dive into five iconic mouths—from the red lips to the long tongues that comprise them.
1. Mick Jagger
The longtime frontman of the Rolling Stones is known for his gaping mouth. In fact, Jagger’s mouth is so iconic, it has become the basis for the band’s most beloved logo—a wide-open cherry red mouth with a bright cherry-red tongue. Listening to songs like “Start Me Up” or “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and you can easily imagine Jagger’s jaw agape, sharing his lyrics far and wide with fans.
2. Steven Tyler
The frontman for the Boston-born rock band Aerosmith has long been compared to Jagger for his performance style and, well, big mouth. Not in the sense of blabbing band news all over town, but in the sense that their traps are just similarly shaped. Both can belt out the lyrics, but Tyler often adds a bit more of a shriek to his more electrified vocals, as on the band’s hit song, “Dream On.”
3. Miley Cyrus
The daughter of country star Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley rose to fame and popularity early in life, the star of the Disney show, Hannah Montana. But since her tween and teenage years, Cyrus has become one of the biggest names in music—thanks, in part, to her daring live performances where she’s not afraid to show a little skin and let her tongue loose for the crowd to see. In her “Wrecking Ball” days, Cyrus often had her tongue wagging.
4. Gene Simmons
Did somebody say tongue? Gene Simmons and his band KISS made the oral appendage famous with their brand of anthemic rock songs and wild performances. Simmons’ tongue is less a tongue and more a tail that protrudes from his mouth. Truly, KISS and Simmons walked so Cyrus and other tongue waggers could run. What else should we expect from a band named KISS?
Perhaps not as well known as the bands and performers above, the Belgian-Australian multi-instrumentalist Wouter De Backer, who is better known by his stage name Gotye, had a giant hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know,” in 2011. In the music video for that song, which has since garnered some two-billion hits on YouTube alone, fans can see Gotye’s giant gaping mouth sing. Forlorn, Gotye wails with his amazingly big kisser. Check it out below.
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