female singer lowest voice

What Famous Singers Have The Lowest Voices?

Uncovering the famous singers with the lowest voices can be a surprising journey. Especially when you know how low some artists can drop their voice.

The famous singers with the lowest voices are stars like Johnny Cash and Barry White, although vocalist Tim Storms holds the record for lowest note, hitting a register of G1 in 2012.

It doesn’t matter what genre someone sings in. Some voices are just better suited to a low register. It’s why low voices can be heard in all music, from metal to soul and even country.

Both male and female singers have garnered reputations for low singing voices. So which famous singers have the lowest voices?

Defining Vocal Classes – What is a Low Voice?

To determine who has the lowest singing voice, you must see how they are classed as a singer. Vocalists are classified through the register they sing in. These different classes are often categorized as follows:

  • Soprano
  • Alto
  • Tenor
  • Bass

These classes do vary between the gender of the singer. Female vocalists will only ever be classified as a soprano or alto. Meanwhile, male vocalists will be listed as tenors or bass. From there, each class is subdivided to work out the true register of each singer.

Classifying low vocals

If a singer is listed as either an alto (female) or a bass (male), it means they are a naturally low singer. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg when finding the lowest voice classes for both genders. This is because each class is then subdivided even further.

Female vocal ranges

Being classed as an alto isn’t the end of the journey for female performers. This is because an alto singer is not the lowest female voice subclass. This is the contralto. Falling within a vocal range between F3 and F5, contralto singers are four classes down from female singers who sing in a higher register.

Female singers within the lowest spectrum are often known as contralto tessitura. This is effectively a woman matching the same notes as a male countertenor would perform in a song. Here, the female voice can stretch to a low standard pitch of D3 – a whole octave lower than the middle C on the piano.

Male vocal ranges

A male bass singer is the lowest of all singing classes. The bass class spreads between six sub-divisions ranging from bass-baritone to basso profondo. Basso profondo singers sing two octaves lower than the middle C note on piano.

In this section, a typical contrabass singer performs within the ranges of anywhere between C2 and E2, providing deep tones. However, some singers stretch even further, being dubbed octavists. This stems from being able to hit an entire octave lower than basso profondo singers. It’s here where world record feats occur, with the lowest notes stretching to F1 or G1.

Who holds the record for lowest vocals?

Officially, it is the Guinness World Records track just who has hit the lowest notes ever performed by a human being. Unbelievably, the record has only switched between 4 singers since the record was first tracked in the 1980s.

Record Holders for lowest-ever vocals

Tim Storms

No singer on the planet has a voice quite like Tim Storms. Storms has broken the world record for the lowest note ever hit by a human on two occasions. Storm first gained fame in the early 2000s when he claimed the title in 2002 and continued to set new feats until he recorded a note at 0.7973Hz in 2008.

He would lose this title in 2011, but the Tulsa-born vocalist would reclaim his title in 2012. During his 2012 attempt, Storms set a new record with a G-7 note hitting a frequency of 0.189 Hz. To put this into perspective, the G-7 note was so low that it is too low for a human ear to pick up the sound naturally. e

Dropping into this range also meant that Storms set another world record. He also claimed the world record for having the widest vocal range of any human, with his voice spanning an incredible 10 octaves. These feats make Storms one of the most famous singers with the lowest voice in history.

J.D. Sumner

For years, no one could match J.D. Sumner for providing the lowest vocals on the planet. The lifelong Florida native earned a reputation in music for hitting vocals that hit several octaves below middle C – one no singer could match for decades.

This skill put Sumner onto a star-studded career that spanned almost six decades. Having broken throw in a gospel quartet in the late 1940s, Sumner hit fame later in the 1950s. Sumner would join the famous vocal group The Blackwood Brothers in 1955 after a plane crash killed all but one of the group’s active members. Sumner’s part in the group would see him perform and tour with the likes of Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis for much of the decade.

During his role as bass, Sumner’s voice would often hit new low registers setting records, including an 18-year streak in the 1960s before his record was broken by Dan Britton in 1984. Sumner would remain performing until his death in 1998, aged 74. His best-known mainstream work came in Elvis Presley’s 1977 single “Way Down,” where Sumner performed the iconic “Way on Down” lyrics at a note of C2. A true showcase of one of the most famous singers with the lowest voice in music history


Lowest female vocals

Joy Chapman

Believe it or not, the lowest record for female vocals has come from a singer who has only spent a few years as a professional singer. Canadian vocalist Joy Chapman took many by surprise in 2021 when she broke the Guinness World Record for the lowest female voice of all time, hitting a C1 note that measured 34.21Hz.

For most of her life, Chapman ran a health spa until a car accident forced her to give it up. After discovering her ability to sing, Chapman became a tribute artist for tours such as Legends International, where she found her ability to hit low notes. It shows that not all record holders need to be famous performers.

Helen Leahey

Known as “The Bass Queen,” it would be reality TV that catapulted Welsh singer Helen Leahey to stardom. Her performances on the German version of The Voice caught the eyes of the world with notably low covers of “Teardrop” by Massive Attack and “Danny Boy” by Eva Cassidy.

This led the singer to connect with the Guinness World Record, where she hit a D2 note in 2018 to set a new record for the lowest note by a female. It was a feat that has since seen Leahey become a cult icon on social media platforms and continue appearing on versions of The Voice worldwide.

Who are the best-selling vocalists with the lowest voices?

Even though some singers can smash world records, it’s not always the easiest way to find fame. Indeed, many other singers have become megastars with a trademark low voice. But who are some of the best-selling names to achieve this feat?

Johnny Cash

Few versatile performers had quite an impressive vocal range as Johnny Cash did. The legendary country music singer started as a tenor before finding his calling in the bass range. With a range that could drop as low as a D2, Cash’s sultry draws took the world by storm for much of the mid-late 20th century.

Even though hits such as “Ring of Fire” and “Hurt” are good examples of Cash’s vocals, his deep voice shines in 1968’s “Daddy Sang Bass.” Cash drops to his lowest vocal register in the chorus to drop the title line before it perks up as the chorus rises. Over the years, Cash has sold over 90 million records showcasing that “The Man in Black” was one of the best bass singers ever to do it.

Barry White

No one could drop a husky and soulful performance quite like Barry White. White’s low tones gave his songs a soothing touch mixed against rising disco beats. This blend made White’s soul songs some of the biggest-selling records of the 1970s.

Having a natural register that could drop as low as C3, these dulcet tones would drop even lower than some of the basslines in his most famous hits. Having sold just under 100 million records, Barry White’s soulful bass tones have continued to impress since White passed in 2003.

Avi Kaplan

As part of the vocal acapella group Pentatonix, Avi Kaplan became a household name overnight as the group blew up over social media. Conquering media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, the band grew to have their songs viewed by hundreds of millions over the years.

In some instances, Kaplan played the group’s bass part, with his trademark low notes dropping as low as a G1 octave. The band’s two Christmas albums made them household names, with their 2014 and 2016 albums going 2x Platinum in the US. Kaplan would later leave the group in 2017 to pursue other ventures, but his legacy with the band makes him one of the most famous singers with the lowest voice in the modern age.


Few female singers have a voice that can vary quite, like Cher. Cher’s career has spanned nearly half a decade, and her vocal range is almost as longstanding. Able to hit notes as low as a C3 makes her one of the most famous female contralto performers of all time.

From debuting with Sunny Bono in the 1960s to reinventing herself as late as the 1990s, Cher’s performances have spanned generations with lasting impact. She has been one of the most successful singers ever, having sold over 100 million records in her career. A true accomplishment for an artist that has stood the test of time.

Amy Winehouse

Few did this as well as Amy Winehouse when it comes to making an impact. The British singer’s throwback soul stylings matched a raspy voice with a huge range many appreciated. This came with Winehouse hitting notes as low as a D3 and could climb 4 octaves higher when necessary.

Just take her hit song “Back To Black” to appreciate Winehouse’s versatility. As the music reaches its climax, her voice rapidly descends to its lower reaches matching the brooding end of the piece. Despite Winehouse’s untimely passing in 2011, aged just 27, her records still sell. With her Black in Black album has sold over 16 million albums since its 2006 release, Winehouse’s vocals remain legendary to this very day.

Lana Del Rey

Few pop icons have gained a cult following quite like Lana Del Rey. The American songwriter has gained a following due to having a contralto voice that drops to a staggering D2 range – one of the lowest ranges possible for a female voice.

These sultry performances have helped Del Rey become one of the best-selling female performers of the 2010s. This includes 50 million in total sales worldwide, including her 2012 album Born to Die, which has sold over 10 million copies since its release. A true testament to how even the most famous low female voice can impact music today.

Wrap Up

As you can see, plenty of music singers have found success thanks to having a particularly low voice. Whether performers are contralto or contrabass singers, they can tell stories with a soothing low tone. Johnny Cash and Barry White have created legacies that have stood for decades thanks to their iconic low voices. Meanwhile, Amy Winehouse and Lana Del Rey have shown that even female singers can succeed with contralto voices even in the modern age.

When it comes to breaking records, though, fewer heralded singers have broken new ground. As smaller performers like Tim Storms and Joy Chapman broke world records, it shows what the human voice can produce when pushed. It’s why famous singers with the lowest voices make huge impacts whenever they sing.

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