Thousands of great singers can perfectly hit the right notes. But only a few have perfect pitch—also known as absolute pitch or AP—which is a rare ability to identify and mimic any note on the spot just by listening to it. No audio reference whatsoever!
From the great Freddie Mercury to the world-famous K-pop star Jungkook of BTS, these singers have a decoding power that many others can only dream about. So, without further ado, here are the 21 famous singers with perfect pitch:
1. Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury, also known as one of the greatest entertainers ever, is famed for his exquisite singing style, vocal range, and perfect pitch. The Queen frontman had a distinctive voice and an incredible ear for music that could never be replicated. His vocal control is like no other. He had the magical ability to blend highs, lows, and mid-range notes with immense precision, all thanks to his perfect pitch sense. In fact, his vocals and pitch were so impressive that it had been a matter of study for so many years.
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2. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey’s mother discovered that she could sing any song she had just heard when she was little. She can easily identify notes that are off-key and sing what her mother plays note per note. That’s when she knew her daughter had a perfect pitch at the age of four. With her AP, powerful voice, showmanship, and beauty, Mariah became one of the famed pop singers of the 90s. She showcased her stunning ability to mimic notes dead on and her five-octal vocal range in numerous hits like Always Be My Baby, Emotions, and All I Want For Christmas Is You.
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3. Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder is one of the few ones to have a perfect pitch. This rare ability made him a legendary singer, producer, and composer spanning genres from soul and R&B to jazz and funk. A famous blind musician, he had signed a record deal when he was only 11. And by the time he turned 13, he had already released the number-one hit song Fingertips. His other hits include Sir Duke and Singed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.
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4. Charlie Puth
Charlie Puth is an acclaimed singer and musician who discovered he had perfect pitch. He could recognize any note when he was only four years old. There was a time when he used his perfect pitch to pull pranks, which got him suspended from school. He often shows off his perfect pitch skill during interviews and in compositions. From gaining popularity through viral YouTube videos, he would go on to release hits like See You Again, We Don’t Talk Anymore, and Left And Right.
5. Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra is arguably one of the most legendary musical figures of the 20th century. He didn’t have any formal music education, but he had perfect pitch. His superhuman sense made him able to pinpoint an out-of-tune instrument in a playing orchestra while working as a conductor. He went on to make Billboard hits and win nine Grammys with iconic songs like Strangers In The Night and The Way You Look Tonight.
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6. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is the “King of Pop” for many good reasons. He is a man of many incredible skills—beatboxing, playing multiple instruments, singing falsetto, songwriting, and having a perfect pitch. He uses his absolute pitch in making music like the hit Beat It. He builds every element of a track—the lyrics, strings, and chords—in his head, and he would sing every note of every chord and harmony through beatboxing.
7. Jung Kook of BTS
Jung Kook is part of the world-famous K-pop group, BTS. His perfect vocals and perfect pitch add to the list of reasons why he got the “golden maknae” and “musical prodigy” titles. He can hit every note played on queue, although he’s too modest to brag about it. Another famous singer with a perfect pitch we have on this list, Charlie Puth, said so too.
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8. Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby was known as the “Songbird Supreme.” The American jazz singer dominated the music charts throughout much of his career. He starred in numerous movies and recorded over a thousand songs. But it was his song White Christmas that made him a household name. He was a crooner notorious for his easy-going and incredibly soothing voice, like velvet. He also had a perfect pitch, and according to his friend, Hoagy Carmichael, Bing can perfectly pitch to the train’s whistle while asleep.
9. Whitney Houston
Not only does Whitney Houston have a perfect pitch, but she can also sing the highest notes like nobody’s business. Her vocal skills and perfect pitch were part of the reason why she was nicknamed “The Voice.” The musical legend—she was the first artist with seven consecutive number ones and the first woman to enter the Billboard 200 at number one—recorded hits including I Will Always Love You.
10. Karen Carpenter
Karen Carpenter was an American singer and one-half of the duo, Carpenters. She is best remembered for her angelic voice and beautiful melodies in songs like Top Of The World, Close To You, and We’ve Only Just Begun. She also had a perfect pitch, which helped cement her career as one of the greatest female vocalists ever, according to many different publications.
11. Lea Salonga
Lea Salonga is a Filipino singer best known for her Tony-winning role as Kim in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. She’s a Disney legend who provided singing voices to two Disney Princesses: Princes Jasmine and Fa Mulan. She is well-known for her flawless voice control and perfect pitch, which she showcases best in her live performances.
12. Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand is a famous American singer and actress and is an all-time great performer. She was deemed “too ugly to be a star” while young and never got support from her mother. But her voice of an angel and a perfect pitch at age five catapulted her to stardom. She has two Oscars, five Emmys, ten Grammys, and 11 Golden Globes, among other accolades, to her name.
13. Céline Dion
Céline Dion is another famous singer with a perfect pitch with hits like It’s All Coming Back To Me Now and The Power Of Love. Her other hit song, My Heart Will Go On, was the soundtrack for the movie Titanic, which won numerous Oscars, including Best Original Song.
14. Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and the co-founder and leader of the Beach Boys. Apart from a great voice, he has a perfect pitch that allows him to sing amazingly. From taking lessons using a toy accordion, he was discovered to have the gift of a perfect pitch by his choir director at only age eight. And it’s because of his perfect pitch and musical talents that we have Good Vibrations, California Girls, Surf’s Up, and Caroline, No.
15. Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald is best known as the “Queen of Jazz” and the “First Lady of Song.” She was born with the rare perfect pitch that band musicians used her singing voice as reference notes for tuning their instruments. Long before Mariah Carey, Ella made scat singing famous. It’s one of the most difficult vocal techniques to master, which requires immense vocal control and perfect pitch.
16. David Foster
David Foster is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and music producer. His chain of awards— 16 Grammys, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe—is likely due to his perfect pitch. He discovered he had absolute pitch while his mother was fussing with the piano, hit one of the keys, and he named the note. His AP is obvious in his concert events and compositions. David penned smashes like Peter Cetera’s Glory Of Love and Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing.
17. Florence Henderson
Florence Henderson was best remembered for her iconic role as Carol Brady in the 70s sitcom The Brady Bunch. But she also had an impressive Broadway career, starting with the title role of Fanny when she was just 19. However, even before all that, she got a college scholarship, all thanks to her perfect pitch skills.
18. Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews is better known for her musical performance in The Sound Of Music and her perfect pitch. Her singing career began with a radio debut with a duet with Ted Andrews at 11 and a solo performance at 12. Her mentor, concert singer Lilian Stiles-Allen, even wrote an entire book dedicated to Julie’s prodigious voice and rare gift of absolute pitch.
19. Elton John
Elton John is a famed British singer and songwriter. His perfect pitch allowed him to teach himself to play the piano at a very young age. By three years old, the young Elton can play The Skater’s Waltz after learning it by ear. His musical talent and perfect ear for music gave him a career spanning five decades and 38 gold and 31 platinum or multi-platinum albums.
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20. Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper is known for her distinctive personality image with eccentric clothing and a variety of hair colors. But most of all, she’s best known for her incredible four-octave singing and perfect pitch. Her musical talent is a thing of wonder as we can listen to her songs such as Time After Time, True Colors, and Girls Just Want To Have Fun.
21. Ariana Grande
Finishing off our list, we have Ariana Grande, arguably one of the most famous pop stars in recent times. She has an impressive four-octave range and a perfect pitch, which she once described as both a blessing and a curse. Her vocals are always on point, and her whistle notes are notoriously insane. She has numerous hits like No Tears Left To Cry, Thank U, Next, and Dangerous Woman.