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The 2 singers Brian Johnson listed as his heroes

Brian Johnson


The 2 singers Brian Johnson listed as his heroes

Brian Johnson was born in Dunston, County Durham, England back in 1947 and started his musical career in 1962, being part of many local bands in the early days. He first achieved fame as the vocalist of Geordie, which had some minor hits in the 70s but it was obviously, in 1980 that his whole life changed when he joined AC/DC as Bon Scott’s replacement and recorded their best-selling album “Back In Black”.


In the following decades, Johnson showed that he was the right man for the job and made AC/DC even bigger. During his career he had the chance to see many incredible singers performing and revealed who are the two who are his heroes.

The 2 singers Brian Johnson listed as his heroes

Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin)

Led Zeppelin was obviously a huge influence of all Hard Rock bands that appeared in the 70s and they really were an inspiration for Brian Johnson. Curiously, it was after singing the band’s classic “Rock and Roll” with a local band he was part of, that he realized he could really sing. So that’s one of the reasons why Johnson calls Plant one of his heroes.

He recalled that story in an interview with BBC Radio 2 on the show “Tracks Of My Years” in 2022 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage). “At the time, people were all doing those Rod Stewart and David Bowie voices. They were getting all the gigs because they could copy the tunes. Bob Seger hadn’t really come out yet. But that was as close that I could get, which was what you wanted. Because if you could do covers for the clubs that’s what people wanted. They didn’t want to hear original songs.”

He continued:

“It was hard and (I was thinking) ‘what the hell can I sing?’. Then even though it was ‘Black Dog’ the first one I heard, I remember the guy started rehearsing. I could sing up there. I couldn’t believe it and I went ‘I can do this! This is great’. Se we started doing it,” Brian Johnson said.

“Rock and Roll ” was released on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album “Led Zeppelin IV” (1971). That record also had other famous tracks like “Black Dog”, “The Battle Of Evermore”, “Stairway To Heaven” and “Going To California”.

Plant and Johnson are really good friends . The Led Zeppelin vocalist was even interviewed by Johnson on his TV show a few years ago.

Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company)

Another singer that Brian Johnson said was one of his heroes was the Free and Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers. The AC/DC vocalist had the chance to see the singer playing live many times over the years, including in the 70s. They became really good friends and even performed together a few times, including once when Robert Plant also joined them.

Back in 2018, Rodgers celebrated the 50th anniversary of his career and Johnson talked about the singer in an official statement posted on his website.

“I can’t believe it was 50 years ago that I first heard Paul Rodgers velvet voice singing ‘The Hunter’. It became the Anthem for every Pub, Working Men’s Clubs and City Halls across the UK. Paul was the epitome of what every Rock singer should be. He had the looks, the moves and a soul voice that made everything swing. That’s not an art, it’s a gift.”

Brian Johnson continued:

“He also wrote the coolest songs, from ‘All Right Now’, ‘My Brother Jake’, ‘Bad Company’, ‘Feel Like Making Love ‘, all still classics to this day. In 2017 in the theater in Oxford, I had the honor of singing with Paul and Robert Plant. That’s two heroes in one song, I get chills when I think of it. Paul’s voice is still in perfect shape and you have got to see him live.”

“I can see no better way of celebrating 50 years of Paul Rodgers than the live recording at The Royal Albert Hall. The spirit of Free lives on in Free Spirit, and Paul Rodgers is the embodiment of it all. Cheers Paul and never stop,” Brian Johnson said.

Besides achieving fame as the frontman of Free and Bad Company, Paul Rodgers was also part of the supergroup The Firm, alongside Jimmy Page, and released many solo albums. The most recent one is Midnight Rose, released in 2023.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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