7 Singers Who Were Told They Couldn’t Sing: But Changed the World Anyway

There are countless stories of singers who were told they couldn't sing. But they didn't let that stop them. They worked hard and became some of the most successful singers in the world. In this blog post, we will discuss seven singers who were told they couldn't sing, but went on to change the world anyway!

I hope by sharing this knowledge that I inspire you to not give up on your dreams and that self-belief is the only superpower you need to achieve anything in life!

7 Singers Who Were Told They Couldn't Sing: But Changed the World Anyway

Elvis Presley

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Elvis Presley is one of the most iconic singers in American history, but it wasn't always easy for him. As a young man, Elvis was told time and time again that he couldn't sing.

He did terribly in music class and was below average compared to his classmates. So much so, his teachers said Elvis had no aptitude for singing and told him he should pursue another career.

Elvis even auditioned for a local quartet but was rejected. After a performance at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, the concert manager told him to quit and become a truck driver!

But Elvis never quit. He studied gospel and blues and eventually was discovered by Sam Phillips of Sun Records. Despite all the odds, Elvis became one of the most successful singers of all time.

So if you're ever feeling down about your own talents, remember Elvis Presley and never give up on your dreams.

Ronan Keating

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Ronan Keating knows a thing or two about hard work. Despite being one of the most successful pop singers of all time, Ronan was almost dropped from his band, Boyzone, in the early days because a producer thought he “couldn’t sing.”

Ronan could have easily been discouraged by this setback, but instead, he used it as motivation to work harder and prove the doubters wrong. Ronan’s dedication paid off, and today he is one of the best-selling artists in the world.

Ronan’s story is a reminder that anything is possible with enough determination and hard work. No matter what obstacles life may throw your way, always remember to stay focused on your goals and never give up on yourself.

Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott

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Hillary Scott was told she could not sing, auditioning for American Idol twice and failing to make it to the judges round both times. Hillary instead found success with her bandmates in Lady Antebellum, dominating the country charts along the way.

Hillary may never have faced the judges but with five Grammys to her name, we don't think she's too disappointed she never made it through. Hillary's story is one of determination and resilience in the face of adversity.

For Hillary, it just goes to show that the path to success is never a straight line. There will be detours and roadblocks along the way, but if you stay focused on your goals, you will eventually find your way to the top.


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Madonna is one of the most successful singers in history, but it is a well known fact that Madonna was never a strong singer. She was very skilled at marketing herself and went down the route of “sex-sells” at a time when it was very controversial.

Her music was always catchy and she had a great stage presence, but her voice was never the strongest part of her act. In fact, many music critics have said that Madonna's vocal abilities are “mediocre” at best.

But what Madonna lacked in vocal talent, she made up for in hard work and determination. She is one of the highest-selling artists of all time and has achieved global superstardom.

Madonna's story is a reminder that sometimes it's not about raw talent, it's about what you do with what you have. If you're willing to work hard and think outside the box, you can achieve anything!

Colbie Caillat

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While American Idol has undoubtedly found some major stars over the years, there have also been plenty of talented singers who have slipped through the cracks. Colbie Caillat is another example.

Caillat auditioned for the show not once but twice and failed to impress the judges on either occasion. However, Caillat didn’t let the rejection get her down.

She continued to pursue her passion for music, and in 2009 she was named one of the top 100 best-selling musicians of the 2000s. Caillat’s story is a reminder that talent and determination can overcome even the biggest obstacle.

So if you’ve ever been rejected or told that you can’t do something, remember Colbie Caillat and keep fighting for your dreams.


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Shakira has always had a passion for music, and at a young age she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the industry. However, when Shakira tried to join the school choir, her music teacher deemed her voice too “unruly” and gave her a harsh critique, saying that she sounded like a goat.

Despite this setback, Shakira persisted in her musical ambitions, working tirelessly to refine her vocal skills and establishing herself as one of the most successful artists of all time.

Today, Shakira's unique vibrato is recognized around the world and she has sold over 60 million records – proving that even bad singers can be great musicians with enough determination and dedication.

So next time you feel discouraged about your endeavors, just remember Shakira's story – remember that it's never too late to turn things around and achieve success.

7. Fred Astaire

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Fred Astaire was a dancer, singer, actor, and arguably one of the most talented individuals in Hollywood history. Even so, his journey to success was not an easy one. In 1933, Fred received a harsh critique from a director during a screen test: “Can't sing. Can't act. Balding. Can dance a little.”

Despite this discouraging assessment of Fred's abilities, Fred pushed on and continued to pursue his dreams. Throughout his career, Fred went on to star in films that are now considered cultural classics, including Funny Face, Daddy Long Legs, and Top Hat.

Fred's success serves as an inspiration to all of us who have been told that we cannot achieve our goals or dreams; with hard work and determination, we can overcome any obstacle to achieve the things we want in life.

So never give up – with Fred Astaire as our example, anything is possible!

What You Can Do To Improve Your Own Singing Voice

No matter how talented you are, there is always room for improvement. If you're not satisfied with your singing voice, there are some things you can do to make it better.

Start by taking some vocal lessons from a qualified instructor. They will be able to help you identify any weaknesses in your technique and give you specific exercises to improve your vocal range, pitch, and power.

In addition to taking lessons, be sure to practice regularly. The more you sing, the better your voice will become. You can also try recording yourself and listening back to identify any areas that need improvement.

Finally, remember that confidence is key. If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will.

Vocals Aren't Everything

Hopefully, you have also taken away that vocals are not the only thing that goes into the making of a star. There are many other factors that contribute to success, including talent, dedication, and determination.

Contrary to popular belief, your vocal range is not entirely genetic and so, with the right guidance you can find your sound and improve on the talent you already have!

Work on your overall package and learn all of the free tips we share about marketing yourself in this day and age! There is no one size fits all solution, so keep trying different things until you find what works best for you.

I highly recommend you check out this free 5-part mini singing course by Singorama (it's FREE!) to help you improve your vocal range. Just click the image to sign up for the course!
free mini singing course

Never give up on your dreams and always strive to be the best that you can be!

Thanks for reading.