Top 10 Canadian Male Singers - All-Time

Have taken the liberty to restrict it to rock, pop, folk & blues categories. Thus, no classical or jazz singers - which if I allowed it I’d have to list at least 3 singers in the top 10 (2 classical, 1 jazz).

Here’s my list. Feel free to add, subtract, delete, debate!

  1. Paul Anka (the Canadian Sinatra)
  2. Gordon Lightfoot (too huge body of work to ignore)
  3. Robert Goulet
  4. Burton Cummings, Neil Young (tie)
  5. Geddy Lee, Kenny Shields (tie)
  6. Stan Rogers, Jack Scott (tie)
  7. Michael Buble
  8. Leonard Cohen
  9. Bryan Adams
  10. Bob Nolan (Sons of the Pioneers)

Hon. mentions = Shawn Mendes, Drake, Tommy Common, Wilf Carter, Hank Snow, Steven Page, Alan Frew, Alan Doyle, Mike Reno.

I would throw in Bruce Cockburn and Ray St.Germain

looks like Bob Nolan left the same year Ken Curtis joined

Agree about Cockburn.

Nolan, incidentally born or raised early in Winnipeg before moving to Maritimes and ultimately to USA where he worked with Curtis (Festus from Gunsmoke) and Leonard Slye (who changed his name to Roy Rogers)

Although not deserved of a Top 10, Stompin’ Tom should be in such a list, Bad on me for forgetting the Stomper. . . . . he might be the most iconic of all Canadian male singers!

Bobby Curtola from Port Arthur was a really nifty rock 'n roll crooner in his day (35+ yr career)

I can’t stand Biebers music but he has to be on the list because he is the biggest name in pop music in terms of name recognition .

Johnny is gonna be a homer and name two Montrealers. Andy Kim and Gino Vannelli. Although, Johnny would place them in a lower tier than Lyle’s top 10.

I’ll add Jim Cuddy for his voice, and Gord Downie for his presence.

Chad Kroeger if you can remove some of the bad publicity .

Black Cars Look Better in the Shade.


Harry Manx

edit out Joni…male singers only I see

Tom Cochrane
George Beverly Shea
Ronnie Hawkins
Ronnie Prophet
David Clayton Thomas
Andy Kim

Honorable mention to Jim Byrnes and Tom Jackson.

say what? Joni is a transsexual? When did she become he?

Haha…ya I missed the male part of the post. Since edited out


Here’s a guy who might be on the list in a couple or 3 years.

Colter Wall from Saskatchewan. Kid is only 23, yet he sounds like a combination of a young Johnny Cash meeting a younger Guy Clark . . .

John McDermott

Also; Pagliaro, Ian Thomas, Keith Hampshire

Robbie Robertson

Definitely some of my favourites up there, especially Neil Young.

I often think about (and listen to) his song “Old Man” . . . started listening to him as a teen and always imagined how much I’d know when I turned 24. Then later I did turn 24 and still knew squat. . . . and that was almost 24 years ago and not much has changed, though my own Old Man is now gone and I’m just about one myself I guess.

And last year, I bumped into Neil in a cafe in Peterborough, not realizing it was really him. I thought to myself ‘that guy looks like a younger Neil Young’. The last few appearances on TV make him look older than he did that day anyway. Later, I read online that he’d been spotted in Peterborough and realized that it actually had been him. Oh well, wish I had thanked him for his songs in some way.

One thing about Neil Young - if you went up to him man to man, told him you loved his stuff, inspired by “Old Man” and offered to buy him coffee, he prolly woulda sat down with you and talked about everything other than music, perhaps world politics, Trump, the CFL, etc. Who knows?

When I had a book & record shop years ago Burton Cummings walked into my shop. I immediately recognized him and asked if he;d mind if I locked the door. He asked “Why man?” and I told him once a couple fanboys walked in he’d wouldn’t be able to shop with guys slobbering all over him, I wouldn’t make any money and the whole thing would get screwed up". He quickly agreed. Spent about $120, that was nearly 20 yrs back

I don’t like fawning over famous folks - treat them like everyone else. Some of the folks I’ve had come into my places over the years:

  • Cummings, The Perpetrators (J Nowicki), Julia Roberts, Joey Shithead (DOA), Guy Maddin, Valerie June (blues singer), Big Dave McLean, founder of the greatest prog rock band in Japan, Ghost plus a few lower level, mid level actors, musicians, directors, writers, poets & gangstas!!!

Yes, after recounting my near run-in, I read or heard that some clerk in the local music shop recognized him there, buying a guitar or something, chatted with him, and Neil ended up jamming with the clerk’s band that night. Could be urban legend, but seems like the kind of guy who might do that.