TOP 10: Best Beards in the Music Industry
Published: March 9, 2012 - 2:03pm
From the ferocious world of heavy metal to the Southern rock cats with that blues influence all the way to the puzzling UK hip hop scene, behold my choices for the best beards in music today.
No matter what your significant other tells you, beards are cool. Combining enough glorious facial hair with the ability to rock one's ass off and you have accumulated enough credit onto your Mancard that you can do pretty much whatever the hell you want and get away with it. Although John Lennon, Jim Morrison and even Dimebag Darrell were all considered at one point, they were excluded on this list to include musicians still alive and performing to this day.
#10. Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys)
The frontman and guitarist for one of the best rock outfits currently on the planet not only sounds like he's traveled through time from the 70's but he looks like it too. Although he currently does not sport the facial hair (he recently shaved off his amazing beard in support of the new record), when you listen to the Keys' newest offering 'El Camino', you can still hear the spirit of it's epicness living on through the music.
#9. Rick Ross
Rick Ross might actually have earned the award for best groomed beard on this list. Just the shape of this large man's bald head sitting firmly atop said bristles looks quite impressive. Ross' entire image is one that emits cool and the beard is an important piece of that puzzle. It might not be as effective here if Ross also had hair on top of his head, but for now it looks damn good. No other beards on this list can exemplify an essence of pimpery like Ross.
#8. Kerry King (Slayer)
What first started out as a braided goatee has spawned into what can only be described as facial hellfire. Kerry King's demon beard is one of the most intimidating examples of facial hair – ever. Even if you take away King's tribal tats that wrap around his head he would still look scary because of that beard. It's one of the few on the list that could actually be used as a baseball bat in a creepy game of face ball.
#7. Rick Rubin
Legendary music producer Rubin looks like he just crawled out of a hazy opium tent in some desert. You wouldn't know that this is the man responsible for producing some of the greatest records of all time. From the Chili Peppers, System of a Down, Johnny Cash to more recently Jay-Z, Rubin and his enormous beard know what the hell they are doing at those soundboards. If you don't believe me, go watch Rubin's cameo in Jay-Z's music video for '99 Problems' – you can't miss it. No really you can't miss it; he's the big white dude with the giant beard walking beside Jay-Z.
#6. Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead)
Stylistically speaking you probably wouldn't have pegged Lemmy for this list. But even though his chin remains spotless, those gigantic mutton chops that eventually high-five each other over Lemmy's Lips do count as a beard. He is undoubtedly one of metal's longest standing icons and that facial hair is a huge part of the man's image. If you've ever wanted to grow glorious chops then Lemmy has the blueprint for you to follow if you want to scare the shit out of the bros whilst at the pub.
#5. Vinnie Paul (Hellyeah!)
The Pantera drummer is one of the few people in the entertainment biz who can still get away with putting steps into his hair. Even more bizarre is that, although Paul's face can sometimes look like a Super Mario Level, those beard lines act like permanent war-paint. One of the all out best metal drummers past or present, he's always ready to prove his reigning place on the music scene. You have to be one tough as hell dude to put that much effort into facial grooming and not catch flak from the Texans.
#4. Scroobius Pip
UK rapper Scroobius Pip is a lyrical wizard. A fitting statement considering his beard is almost Lord of the Rings Gandalf length. Watching this young dude casually sporting a ballcap and epic beard belt out poetic and sometimes bizarre rap lyrics, you just have to sit back and applaud the absurdity. His vocal style is unique, his work original and his beard unmatched in the hip hop world. There isn't a popular rap artist out there now who can outbeard Scroobius Pip, period.
#3. Neil Fallon (Clutch)
Clutch is, unfortunately, one of the most underrated Southern rock bands. Their scorching blues-inspired music has been consistently kicking ass under the radar for over a decade, so it's fitting that front man Neil Fallon also happens to be the proud owner of a beast of a beard. It's one of the most 'complete' beards on the list aesthetically and it's just so fitting knowing that Fallon looks like that when you lose yourself in the music. Bonus points: Clutch have a song called 'Burning Beard' – listen to it now.
#2. Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society)
One of the best guitarists alive today also sports the manliest beard I've ever seen. Fun fact: when I saw Wylde performing live with Ozzy a couple years ago he played what seemed like an 18 minute guitar solo during 'No More Tears' and he actually used his beard to play the guitar. I'm not making that shit up. When you can play an epic solo using your damn beard, you win. The only reason Wylde is not #1 on this list, is because it's impossible for anyone to top a music/beard mashup list if you're not in ZZ Top.
#1. Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
He's the coolest rock and roll guy on earth and he has the most prestigious beard in the music industry today. Gibbons is a cancer survivor; and when battling the illness he lost all of the hair on the top of his head, so it's a medical miracle that he even has a damn beard -- let alone the best beard in music history. Predictable choice? Without a doubt, yes. But to have the lead singer/guitarist of ZZ Top anything less than reigning champion of the beard wars would be blasphemous; and I'm not about to make that bold of a statement. If this list were to be made 20 years ago – the outcome would be the same and that's one hell of an accomplishment for beards everywhere. Gibbons – I salute you.
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