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Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider thinks Ronnie James Dio and Robert Plant are great singers but not real “performers”

Dee Snider thinks there’s a difference between “singers” and “frontmen”, believes Robert Plant and Dio lacked stage presence, unlike real “performers” such as Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger



Dee Snider has discussed what he thinks makes a great frontman while in conversation with his fans on Twitter. The main takeaway from his friendly debate is that he believes that Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and the late Ronnie James Dio were not great “performers”.

While the Twisted Sister frontman hails the two musicians as hugely talented vocalists – in fact, he hails Dio as “one of the greatest singers of all time” – he reveals that he was never entirely convinced by their live presence, saying that Dio’s idea of a live performance was that he “pretty much just stood on stage & sang”.

The discussion was ignited following Snider’s commemorative post for late Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell, to mark what would have been his 75th birthday on December 29.

Within the message, the vocalist salutes Powell as a “rock god” while suggesting that his followers check out the introduction to Rainbow’s 1976 song Stargazer. He then urges to them to listen to the rest of the track “with the incomparable Ronnie Dio on vocals & you will know why many consider it to be the greatest metal song ever!”.

In response, one fan argued that Queen’s Freddie Mercury actually should be considered the greatest frontman, instead of Dio, leading Snider to untangle what he believed to be a misunderstanding of the difference between a great “singer” and “frontman”.

“You are confusing singing with performing,” Snider writes. “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.”

When another fan proposed Robert Plant as a “quintessential frontman”, the Twisted Sister vocalist says: “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.”

In a later post, he adds: “My frontmen are all over the stage and interact with the crowd. Showmen. Think David Lee Roth, Paul Stanley, Mick Jagger… Axl Rose… the list goes on.” 

Understandably, Snider’s statements left more than a few of his followers feeling disgruntled, leading him to clarify his argument.

“I knew this would upset people” Snider admits. “I am NOT saying that Dio, Plant etc, don’t have stage presence. They have it in SPADES! But they are not performers.”

Of his own experience as a frontman, he continues, “I learned the importance of the performance over vocals one night in the ’70s in a club with Twisted Sister. 

“We did our opening song and my voice was completely gone. So I just started going crazy on stage. It was the BEST reaction the band had gotten to date. Changed my game.”

Check out the tweets below:

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