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Best Beards in Music

Fantastic Face Fur

Best Beards in Music

The beard has long assumed an important place in music history. In folk and blues, a beard is required to demonstrate you have the necessary gravitas for the subject matter; in metal the beard is a sign of strength.

Or maybe because you don't have a proper job and don't have to look smart in an office, you think, why not?

We take a look at 20 of the best beards in music today, and of yesteryear.

Images: Rex/Allstar

Bill Gibbons, Dusty Hill & Frank Beard

Attributes: 2 x long and strong, 1 x no beard, but called Beard

Chronicle of the chin: Where else to start but the mighty ZZ Top? As if boasting twin frontmen who have sported huge and impressive beards since the dawn of time wasn't enough, they have a drummer, with no beard, called Frank Beard. It was almost as though he realised that if he joined in with the growth it would just be too much for the world to handle.


Dave Grohl

Attributes: Brown, heavy, rugged

Chronicle of the chin: Dave Grohl is one of those people who is perhaps just too perfect. Best drummer of his generation, anthemic songwriter and singer, awesome axeman and nicest guy in rock. We should hate him, but how can you have anything against a man with a beard so strong, manly and rock? Resistance is futile: Dave we are not worthy.


Rick Rubin

Attributes: Grey, bushy, Jesus

Chronicle of the chin: As befits someone credited with resurrecting the careers of many legends who thought their best days were behind them, Rubin has taken to sporting a serious Jesus beard in the last decade. A shamen-like figure in the studio, we'd definitely do whatever he told us to do, as long as we got to have a stroke of that beautiful thing.


George Michael

Attributes: Fine, delicate, stubbly

Chronicle of the chin: Sure, George has had a plethora of hit records and sung with pretty much every great artist out there, but his greatest achievement? The prime exponent of designer stubble. Oft-imitated, never beaten, no-one rocks the precision facial fur like George. Craig David and Jason Derulo, if you think you can compete with George, you're taking the Michael.


John Lennon

Attributes: Dark, strong

Chronicle of the chin: Once a baby-faced, clean shaven nice boy from Liverpool, when Lennon wanted to show he was serious about world peace and anti-capitalism, he brought out the full Jesus look. You simply have to trust a man with a good beard who stays in bed all day. Or, at the very least, admire his lifestyle.


Kerry King

Attributes: Seriously long, thick, nuanced

Chronicle of the chin: The first appearance of a god of metal on the list, and they come no finer than Kerry King of Slayer. Fully bald, in order to draw even more attention to the hair-snake upon his chin, this is a truly stunning example of just what can be achieved in the beard arena. Best viewed during a headbanging session accompanied by some mighty riffs.


Barry Gibb

Attributes: Golden, sleek

Chronicle of the chin: Part man, part lion, Barry was, and is, the coolest member of the Bee Gees. Brought disco to the masses at the same time as constantly wearing white suits with large collars, to match his perfect white teeth, juxtaposed with a silky mane and beautiful beard. A gold chain too? Yeah, why the hell not.


Simon Neil

Attributes: Brown, thick & lustrous

Chronicle of the chin: A strong pretender to the throne of best beard in rock today, Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil has never been afraid to unleash his beard, even dyeing it blonde at one stage, which made him look like a young Gandalf. The Scottish have always been proud wearers of face fuzz and, without doubt, Neil is their modern-day Beard Braveheart.


Shavo Odadjian

Attributes: Long, thin, braided

Chronicle of the chin: System of a Down bass player Shavo is certainly inappropriately-named, for this man does not shave (well, not his chin anyway, and that's what counts). Sporting a scaled, braided beard that is truly mesmerising, Odadjian is a worthy member of the magnificent metal beard club (if that doesn't actually exist, it should do).


Seasick Steve

Attributes: White, fulsome, hobo

Chronicle of the chin: Becoming a famous modern-day bluesman hasn't changed Steve - he looks pretty much the same as he did when he was homeless. A lovely classic, straggly white number; if the popularity ever dries up, he could at least take up a career as a shopping mall Santa.


Kenny Rodgers

Attributes: white, classic

Chronicle of the chin: A man almost as famous for his beard as his music, we're pretty sure there's never been a point in Kenny's life where he hasn't had a full fuzz. His mother must have been pretty surprised. Lending gravitas to this god of country, his beard is a crucial part of who he is, and of course, the many people who aspire to be him, all listed at the brilliant www.menwholooklikekennyrodgers.com.


Ben Bridwell

Attributes: Dark, unkempt, shaggy

Chronicle of the chin: Flying the flag for today's discerning Americana beard-wearers, Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell keeps it country with this effort. A serious musician needs a serious beard, and set off against a white shirt and waistcoat, we know this man means business.


Mick Fleetwood

Attributes: Big and beardy

Chronicle of the chin: Very much like Kenny Rodgers, the beard has been an integral part of the Fleetwood look for his entire career. Staying with him through lineup changes, (top) hair loss, marriage and divorce, the one thing Mick can rely on is his facial hair - you can see the love for it in his eyes. Having sported a variety of styles through to today's silver fox affair, our personal favourite is the 'Brit Award Disaster-Era' beard, accessorised with neckerchief, hat and microphone stand too small for him.


Serj Tankian

Attributes: Brown, perfectly square

Chronicle of the chin: The second member of System of a Down to appear on this hotly-contested run down, Serj goes for the angular look, with a pure square of chin fur accompanied by tidy vertical sideburns and a straight horizontal 'tache. If this was in a gallery it would be hailed as art. It must be a good beard - have you seen how happy he looks?


Ray LaMontagne

Attributes: Dark, generally bushy, serious

Chronicle of the chin: Big Ray has a voice like a bear and fur to match. Has never knowingly smiled, but we think that's just down to his constant concentration, silently urging his beard to grow thicker and stronger. A noble ambition in life if ever there was one.


Michael Eavis

Attributes: Grey/white, solid

Chronicle of the chin: A truly bold style of beard from Eavis, as it is an oasis of follicles in a face hair-desert. 'Mr Upside-Down Face' is as famous for his beard as his festival, as he was awarded Beard of the Decade in 2009 by the BLF (Beard Liberation Front) ahead of Fidel Castro. We need give no more justification for his place in this list.


Kyp Malone

Attributes: Big, bushy, salt 'n' pepper

Chronicle of the chin: A true star of the new brigade, the TV On The Radio guitarist, bass player and vocalist nonchalantly displays this magnificent effort; a full bush of a beard, with flecks of grey amongst a mainly dark sea. They may not have songs for radio, but that beard should be on TV. All the time.


Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens

Attributes: tidy, dignified, grey/white

Chronicle of the chin: A real ambassador for the beard, Yusuf's commitment to facial decoration has survived career highs, lows, withdrawal from music, re-entry, and conversion to Islam. Named a Man of Peace by Mikhail Gorbachev, in a just world, he would receive an award for Man of Beard from ZZ Top. Maybe we should write to them and suggest it.


Claudio Sanchez

Attributes: Loads of hair, loads of beard

Chronicle of the chin: Perhaps we're being influenced by the big hair here, but the combination of it with the still-impressive-on-its-own beard is truly a sight to behold. The frontman of Coheed & Cambria, who make dense, thick and big songs, Carlos is a literal representation of them onstage. Strongly rumoured that his hair is so big because his body is lighter than air and would float into space if he ever cut it off.


Mark Everett

Attributes: Big, bushy and dark

Chronicle of the chin: Eels' frontman Mark 'E' Everett has famously experienced some very tough times in his life, with cancer, suicide and terrorism all affecting members of his family. However, he always seems to channel this into a generally positive outlook on life; perhaps when it all gets too much, he gives that magnificent beard a cuddle, and everything feels better.