Dee Snider on why Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant is a singer, ‘not a frontman’

“I’m a HUGE Plant fan vocally…but he showed me nothing as a performer.”

Dee Snider Live

Image: Katja Ogrin / Getty Images

In a series of Tweets that have ruffled the feathers of some fans, Dee Snider explains the difference between a singer and a frontman — and why he considers Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant the former and not the latter.

The debate arose as Snider took to Twitter to commemorate what would’ve been the late drummer Cozy Powell‘s 75th birthday, during which he explained why Plant, despite being one of his “vocal heroes” is arguably “not a frontman”.

Responding to a user who cited the intro to Rainbow’s iconic Stargazer as an example of the drummer’s greatness, Snider wrote: “How amazing was Cozy Powell? Listen to the 1st 11 seconds of this Rainbow song & you will know…”

“Then listen to the rest of Stargazer with the incomparable Ronnie Dio on vocals & you will know why many consider it to be the greatest metal song ever!”

The mention of Ronnie James Dio then sparked a comment from a fan, calling the late artist the best frontman in rock history after Freddie Mercury, an assertion that would warrant a lesson from Snider on how “singer” and “frontman” are two very different roles.

“You are confusing singing with performing,” he wrote. “There is a huge difference between a great frontman & a great singer. Ronnie was one of the greatest singers of all time, but as a frontman, he pretty much just stood on stage & sang.”

“Freddie was an amazing singer AND frontman.”

Explaining that he doesn’t consider Plant to be part of that list as the “quintessential frontman” — as one fan apparently does — Snider said, “I’m a HUGE Plant fan vocally…but he showed me nothing as a performer. Looked amazing, great hair…stood on stage with one hand raised and sang his ass off. Not a frontman in my opinion.”

“And FYI many great frontmen are not great singers.”

He added, “I toured with him. (beat ya) He is one of my vocal heroes, but… My frontmen are all over the stage and interact with the crowd. Showmen. Think David Lee Roth, Paul Stanley, Mick Jagger, Freddy Mercury, Axl Rose…the list goes on.”

Check out Snider’s tweets below.


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