We looked at the vocal ranges of these iconic singers — and they’re really impressive

16 May 2022, 17:08 | Updated: 16 May 2022, 17:12

The musicians with the most impressive vocal ranges
The musicians with the most impressive vocal ranges. Picture: Classic FM

By Sofia Rizzi

From Pavarotti to Prince, some of these musicians’ vocal ranges span a spectacular four octaves.

A middle C on the piano can also be described as a C4 – and any number above or below that measures an octave. So, a C3 would be an octave below C4, while C5 would be an octave above.

That considered, the vocal ranges seen here are nothing short of a miracle.

Luciano Pavarotti is hailed as the world’s greatest tenor, and his impressive vocal range proves just that. In his prime, the larger-than-life tenor could hit an F5 – that’s an octave and a half above middle C.

Read more: The heart-warming reason Princess Diana once sat in the pouring rain to hear Pavarotti live

Then, there are those of musicians from the pop world. While David Bowie and Freddie Mercury both had ranges spanning four octaves, Prince could hit a gobsmacking B6.

Beyoncé isn’t far off that either, with a versatile range starting at A2 and hitting E6. Plus, Lady Gaga’s earthy lower register allows her to hit a B flat 5.

As heavenly and awe-inspiring as the high notes are, let’s not forget the lower register. Montserrat Caballé and Renée Fleming, for instance, can both reach an F sharp 3. Montserrat Caballé hits this note in Strauss’ opera Salome.

Read more: When soprano Montserrat Caballé sang an earth-trembling, 16-second top B during a Verdi epic

But it’s Mariah Carey who takes the prize for the largest vocal range of all. She can reach a low F2 and hit an unbelievable G7, a note that dolphins would envy, and that only some dogs can hear.

Don’t believe us? Have a listen to this: