10 Scariest Musicians Ever: Poll Results
Just as the calendar rolled into October, we got into the spooky spirit of Halloween by asking Billboard.com readers which musician scares the living daylights out of them. You weren't afraid to vote in huge numbers, and now, just in time for the scariest time of year, we reveal the 10 artists you chose as the most frightening of all time. Boo!
10. Gene Simmons of Kiss
5. Alice Cooper
Long before there was a Rob Zombie or a Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper unleashed "School's Out" onto the sunshine-filled early '70s. And between his "school's out forEVER" snarl, his sinister dripping eyeliner, and his snakes-as-apparel, the term "shock rocker" was practically coined just for him.
4. Ozzy Osbourne
What would this list be without music's Prince of Darkness himself? Your many votes cast the infamous Black Sabbath singer and sinister solo artist fourth on the list as much for classic metal creepouts like "Iron Man" and "Bark At The Moon" as the crazy stories that have become Ozzy lore. The most famous tale, of course, being the time he supposedly bit off a bat's head at a 1982 gig. In later days, Ozzy's rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" proved similarly terrifying.
Never seen without mortifying masks and orange jumpsuits that would scare the wits out of Hannibal Lecter, the members of Slipknot -- itself named for the rope-tie used in wild west hangman's nooses -- long went only by numbers. With the look down pat, the Iowa band's pitch-black metal scared up fans (who are lovingly called "maggots") all through the early '00s -- and remained enough of a memorable nightmare to this day to beat scary elders Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne in this poll.
2. Lady Gaga
The queen of bizarre-pop's Little Monsters landed their Mother Monster at No. 2 on the list, with a whopping 35% of the vote. Think Lady Gaga isn't scary? Think again. She opened a wound onstage at the 2009 MTV VMAs and "bled" on her piano, and just this year she was literally hatched ( from an egg at the Grammys) as an alien, complete with spiny facial and body prosthetics. Why? She was "Born This Way," of course.
1. Marilyn Manson
Who is the only person frightening enough to top the alien Lady Gaga in our Scariest Musicians Poll? Marilyn Manson squeaked into the number one spot by a margin of less than one percent. Named after a combination of Marilyn Monroe and serial killer Charles Manson, he clearly studied KISS, Alice Cooper and Ozzy, then out-scared them all with a combination of threatening, gravel-voiced industrial rock, distressed bondage gear, mangled dental appliances, videos full of vaguely human beasties creeping through dead warehouses, worms, straight-jackets, mad-scientist labs, and dark side Kabuki makeup. Congratulations Marilyn Manson! If there were a musical human embodiment of the word "nightmare," it would be you.