Some people just do what they want to and have to do. They don’t have an excuse or reason for not doing it. In this list, these people couldn’t see the world, but what they saw, no one else could. This made them stand out. They were god gifted but also worked hard to achieve it. Here a list of top ten Blind Male Musicians.
List of Contents
- 10 Ronnie Milsap (Genre- Country, Blue-eyed soul, soft rock)
- 9 Nobuyuki Tsujii (Pianist and composer)
- 8 Blind Willie Johnson (Genre- Gospel, Gospel Blues)
- 7 George Shearing (Genre- jazz, bebop, swing, cool jazz)
- 6 Moondog (Genre- Third stream, classical, experimental, minimal)
- 5 Blind Willie McTell (Genre- country blues, Piedmont blues, ragtime, Delta blues, gospel)
- 4 José Feliciano (Genre- soft rock, Latin pop, Bolero, acoustic)
- 3 Art Tatum
- 2 Stevie Wonder (Genre- soul, pop, R&B, funk, jazz)
- 1 Ray Charles (Genre- R&B, soul, pop, blues, gospel, country, jazz, rock and roll)
- Top 10 Blind Male Musicians of the World
10 Ronnie Milsap (Genre- Country, Blue-eyed soul, soft rock)
Ronnie Lee Milsap, born on 16th January, 1943, is a singer and pianist from America. Born with a congenial disorder, he was almost blind. His mother abandoned him as a baby and was brought up by his grandparents. Eventually, he lost his vision completely and both his eyes were removed. He was interested in music since he was a child, especially gospel music, country music and was inspired by musicians like Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and little Richard.
His music instructor noticed his talent at a very young age of 7 years. He learned many instruments and later, mastered piano. Ronnie’s first success came in the year 1973 with is single “I Hate You”, followed by two more singles which were massive hits “Pure love” and “Please don’t tell me how story ends”. He became the most successful blind singer of country music, with his hits like “(there’s) No Gettin’ over me”, “Any day now”, “Smokey Mountain Rain”, “It was almost like a Song” and many more. He got 6 Grammy awards and 40 No.1 hits.
9 Nobuyuki Tsujii (Pianist and composer)
Born on 13th September, 1988, in Tokyo, Japan, is a pianist and a composer. He can be called a wonder boy as he has achieved so much at such a young age and making a place in this list with other brilliant musicians itself says a lot about his talent. He started playing piano at a very young age and won 1st prize at the All Japan Music of Blind Students competition.
Later he participated in numerous competitions like Van Cliburn International Piano Competition where he tied for gold. He is a composer as well. When he was 12, he performed his own composition. He composed music for a film and got the Critics Award for Film Music Artist. In 2014, a film “Touching the Sound” was documented on his life by Peter Rosen.
8 Blind Willie Johnson (Genre- Gospel, Gospel Blues)
Born on 25th January 1897, in Pendleton, Taxes, was an American Guitarist and singer. He was not blind by birth but the cause of his blindness is still unknown. Willie always wanted to be a preacher since childhood. He had a very brief career as a musician with 30 tracks for Columbia records during 1927-1930. In some of the recordings he use to play slide guitar and in some fast, rhythmic style.
His song wordings were mostly religious. He died at an early age of 48 due to malarial fever. He was poor all his life and use to perform on streets of various cities in Texas. Eventually, his songs were interpreted by my musicians and became a part of Oscar nominated films. The songs include “Dark was the night”, “It’s nobody’s Fault but mine”, “cold was the ground” etc.
7 George Shearing (Genre- jazz, bebop, swing, cool jazz)
Born on 13th August, 1919, George was a jazz pianist from Britain. He was blind by birth and started learning piano at an age of 3. He got formally trained at Linden Lodge School for the Blind for four years. He made his first broadcast with BBC radio in 1937.
In 1940, after joining Harry Parry’s band, he won 7 Melody Maker polls. Later he moved to the United States, where his style of mixing swing, modern classical and bob became famous. He headed a famous jazz group for several years and recorded for MGM Recorders, Capitol Recorders and Discovery Recorders. He composed nearly 300titles including “Lullaby of birds”, had many albums on Billboard Charts during 50s, 60s, 80s and 90s. He died at the age of 91, on 14th February 2011.
6 Moondog (Genre- Third stream, classical, experimental, minimal)
Louis Thomas Hardin, born on 26th May, 1916, was a musician, composer, poet and creator of many instruments from America. He started playing drums at a very young age before losing his eye sight at the age of 16 in an accident.
He shifted to New York in the year 1943, where he got a chance to meet Arturo Toscanini and Leonardo Bernstein and jazz performers like Benny Goodman and Charlie Parker, whose compositions often influenced his work. In 1940s to 1972, he was a street performer and a poet in New York. He had a pen name “Moondog”.
He settled in Germany in the year 1974 and set up a company for his artistic ventures. He invented numerous instruments including “oo”, “ooo-ya-tsu” and “hus”. The best known of all his creation is “trimba”.
5 Blind Willie McTell (Genre- country blues, Piedmont blues, ragtime, Delta blues, gospel)
William Samuel Mc Tier, born on 5th May, 1898, was a guitarist and singer. He was born with blind in 1 eye, but lost his vision completely during his childhood. He stared playing guitars in his teens. He soon started performing on streets of Augusta and Atlanta and recorded for the first time for Victor Records in 1927.
He never had a major hit, but recorded with different labels from 1920s to 1930s. One of his famous songs is “Statesboro Blues”. He used to use a 12 string guitar. In 1940s and 50s he use to play in Atlanta on the streets with Curley Weaver.
He died of alcoholism and diabetes. He was not very successful commercially but was actively recording in 40s and 50s amongst the few of the blues musicians. He influenced many artists like Alvin Younghood Hart, Ralph Mc Tell, Taj Mahal, Chris Smither and White Stripers.
4 José Feliciano (Genre- soft rock, Latin pop, Bolero, acoustic)
José Montserrate Feliciano García or just José Feliciano,born on 10th September, 1945, is a singer, composer and Puerto Rican virtuoso guitarist. He was blind by birth due to congenial glaucoma. He was introduced to music at an early age of 3.
He started with playing accordion until he got his first guitar from his dad. He use to listen rock n roll, jazz and classical guitarists. Wes Montgomery and Andrés Segovia were his favorites. He gained popularity in 60s after his album in 1968, Feliciano, which was a hit.
He is known for his rendition The Door’s “Light My Fire” and the Christmas single “Feliz Navidad”. The music he plays is a blend of 6 styles. He still records in both English and Spanish.
3 Art Tatum
Arthur “Art” Tatum, Jr., born on 13th October, 1909, is a jazz pianist from America. By birth he had cataract, due which he was blind in one and had minimal vision in the other eye. As a kid he used to learn different tunes, copy piano roll and use to play piano very fast.
This showed how talented he was and had a great memory. He as kid remembered basketball league stats. like an encyclopedia. In music he got inspired by Fats Waller and James P. Johnson. He was hugely acknowledged as the greatest piano players and was the biggest influence on the later generation of pianists. He was appreciated for his technical expertise, which set new standards for jazz pianists.
2 Stevie Wonder (Genre- soul, pop, R&B, funk, jazz)
Stevland Hardaway Morris, born on 13th May, 1950, is a singer, musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer from America. He was born 6 weeks earlier and due to oxygen rich incubator, it caused him to lose his eye sight. He started playing like piano, drums and harmonica at a very tender age. He started with playing on the streets and sometimes at dances and parties. He was a child prodigy and is considered as the most commercially successful performers of 20th century.
He has been working with Motown since the age of 11 and continued it till 2010s. His known singles include “Sir Duke”, “you are the sunshine of my life”, “superstition” and “I just called to say I love you” and albums include Innervisions, Songs in the Key of Life and Talking Book. He has received many awards like 25 Grammy Awards, 30 songs which were a part of US top ten, and sold 100 million records all over the world.
1 Ray Charles (Genre- R&B, soul, pop, blues, gospel, country, jazz, rock and roll)
Ray Charles Robinson, born on 23rd September, 1930, is a composer, singer, songwriter and musician from America. Among friends he was called “Brother Ray” and was also referred as “The Genius”. He was not blind by birth; he lost his sight at an age of 7 due to glaucoma. He started playing piano at an age 3 and developed his talent in school.
He discovered the soul music genre by mixing blues, gospel and rhythm & blues style. He worked for numerous labels like ABC, Warner Bros., Atlantic, Swing Time etc. His first hit with Atlantic was in year 1953, “Mess Around” following “it should have been me”, the same year. His other hits include “I Got a Woman”, “This Little Girl of Mine” “A Fool of You” “What’d I say” etc. he died at an age of 73 due to liver disease.
Top 10 Blind Male Musicians of the World
|Sr No.||Blind Male Musicians Names|
|1||Ray Charles (Genre- R&B, soul, pop, blues, gospel, country, jazz, rock and roll)|
|2||Stevie Wonder (Genre- soul, pop, R&B, funk, jazz)|
|4||José Feliciano (Genre- soft rock, Latin pop, Bolero, acoustic)|
|5||Blind Willie McTell (Genre- country blues, Piedmont blues, ragtime, Delta blues, gospel)|
|6||Moondog (Genre- Third stream, classical, experimental, minimal)|
|7||George Shearing (Genre- jazz, bebop, swing, cool jazz)|
|8||Blind Willie Johnson (Genre- Gospel, Gospel Blues)|
|9||Nobuyuki Tsujii (Pianist and composer)|
|10||Ronnie Milsap (Genre- Country, Blue-eyed soul, soft rock)|
These musicians inspire us a lot by achieving so much in life by whatever they have, instead of crying over what they don’t. Always count your blessing, talk about what you have and what you can do with it. Work Hard and Be Happy!!