Robert Plant

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About Robert Plant

As Led Zeppelin’s long-haired, bare-chested frontman, Robert Plant was the archetypical rock god. Born in Staffordshire, England, and raised on Delta blues, Plant—as a writer and singer, both with Zep and in his ongoing solo career—braided the visceral impact of hard rock with Eastern classical music, Celtic folk and mysticism, reshaping rock music not as a vehicle for youth culture, but for myth. A powerful singer who once said he wanted his voice to cut like a tenor sax, Plant also helped define the modern rock vocal—wailing, penetrative—and influenced just about anyone who ever tried to keep rank with an electric guitar, from Jack White and Eddie Vedder to Axl Rose and Chris Cornell. His best '70s turns with Zeppelin remain immortal—has any singer turned the blues inside out the way Plant does on “Black Dog”? But just as interesting are muse-following moments like 1988’s “Tall Cool One”, in which he keeps pace with New Wave, or 2007’s Grammy-winning collaboration with folk singer Alison Krauss, Raising Sand, which revealed a plain-spokenness barely hinted at with Zeppelin. Speaking to Musician in 1990, Plant joked that he’d never tried to copy anyone with his voice: “It just developed, until it became the girlish whine that it is today.”

West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England
20 August 1948
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