OK, I’m going to need you to brace yourself. I have some hard news and you will not like it.
Axl Rose, lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, turns 60 today.
How could this have happened? Surely, with his bad-boy persona, he seemed destined to party super hard and go out in a blaze of glory in his mid-30s like rock stars do, right? I mean, back in the day he was trashing hotel rooms, dating beautiful models, ingesting things that may not have been so legal at the time — all the fun stuff that almost certainly ensures an early departure from this mortal coil.
But he didn’t.
Instead, he’s celebrating six decades on this Earth and is back on the road, fronting Guns N’ Roses, touring the country, singing songs he wrote when he was 25.
Is his voice as good as it once was? He still has that beautiful howl that lets you know instantly it’s Axl Rose singing, but it (like so many memories) is a little faded, a little less pure, and a lot less feral.
Age’ll do that to you.
For a side-by-side comparison of Axl Rose’s voice then and now check out this video where voice instructor Ken Tamblin breaks it all down:
So, let’s raise a toast to the singer born William Bruce Rose, Jr. in Lafayette, Indiana, back in 1962. And let’s remember that he got his start singing in the church choir before starting G&R in 1985.
Instead of being sad about how almost none of us can party or perform like we used to, let’s look back to Axl’s heyday when he was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the best and most recognizable voices of all time.
Happy birthday, Axl.