There’s no better time to take a look back in time at iconic rock stars than in Rocktober. Let’s keep the spirit of rock alive!

Rocktober rock star icon

Elvis Presley

The King of Rock and Roll.

Born in 1935, Elvis Presley set the trend for the, then, newly popular sound of rock and roll. On his 11th birthday, his mother gave him his first guitar and by 1956, he released his first single called Heartbreak Hotel. His musical style together with good looks and sexy dance moves quickly became known throughout America and throughout the 1960s, he spent much of his time starring in films and developing soundtrack albums.

Even though Elvis is the undisputed King of Rock and Roll, his music style stretched over many genres like pop, country, R&B, adult contemporary and gospel and so he was inducted into more than one Hall of Fame. In 1986 he was one of the first members to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also won three Grammy Awards and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36.

Coming from a family with little money and working himself up to fame, Elvis truly symbolises the American dream.

Everybody, let’s rock:

Freddy Mercury

Not just a rock star, but a legend.

What started with piano lessons at the age of seven evolved into a prosperous music career that left a legacy of songs that will live on forever.

Rock and roll originated in the 1950s, but by the 1970s new songs like the Somebody to Love challenged the status quo in length, style and lyrics – Bohemian Rhapsody alone is six minutes long!

Freddie made a name for himself as the lead vocalist of British rock band Queen but also led a solo career and served as a producer for other artists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

Did you know that Freddie was born with four extra teeth in the back of his mount that formed part of his famous buck toothed grin? It was never fixed as he was afraid of losing his remarkable four-octave vocal range.

The song that got a grand total of 14 weeks at Number 1 on the charts:

Bruce Springsteen

One of the world’s best-selling music artists.

Not many people can say that they’ve been part of rock and roll for five decades, but Bruce can. After an initial struggle to success, he had a major breakthrough in 1975 with the Born to Run album which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. Since then, he has shaped mainstream rock with songs like The River (1980), Dancing in the Dark (1984) and The Rising (2002). Over the years, he has won 20 Grammys, an Academy Award, sold more than 150 million records worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Nicknamed ‘The Boss’ because of his habit of collecting money earned during shows and evenly distributing it among the band, Bruce really seems like a stand-up guy. He is also known for charity work and songs that bring hope, which is why it is perhaps no surprise that at the 1999 E Street Band reunion tour, Bruce shouted “I can not promise you life everlasting. But I can promise you life — right now!”.

Bruce is an iconic rockstar still at his game. Enjoy his latest song Letter To You released amid the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020:

Rocktober rock star icon

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

The Godmother of Punk-(rock).

From 1975 to 1990, Joan Jett set the stage for fierce rockstar females. As a founding member alongside drummer Sandy West, Joan started her career with the Runaways in 1975 with the debut single Cherry Bomb released soon after. They disbanded in 1979, but left a lasting impression chronicled in the film The Runaways. 

Soon after the Runaways, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts hit it off. They were known for their rendition of the song I Love Rock ‘n Roll that reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1982. Other favourites include: Bad Reputation, Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah, I Hate Myself for Loving You and Dirty Deeds. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 and on 14 May, 2021, they celebrated the 40th anniversaries of the first two albums, Bad Reputation and I Love Rock ‘n Roll.

“It’s nice that people say I’m the Godmother of Punk. I just say I’m a rock & roller. And how I want to be remembered? As one of the first women to really play hard rock & roll.” – Joan Jett

We will remember you, Joan Jett:

Rocktober rock star icon

Jimi Hendrix

The most epic rock solos of all time.

Jimi Hendrix has become known as a rock legend that excited audiences with his astonishing guitar skills that portrayed an effortless, soulful groove. He started playing guitar as a teenager and was fully self-taught. His mainstream career spanned only four years, followed by a tragic death in 1970 at the age of 27. 

He released his first single in 1967 called Hey Joe and it became instantly popular in Britain. This was shortly followed by Purple Haze and The Wind Cries Mary. Jimi’s most memorable performance was at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival where he performed The Star-Spangled Banner. He was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Did you know that Jimi could play the guitar with his teeth, behind his back, without touching the instrument’s strings and could also upside-down? On top of that, he did this while being left-handed and playing on a right-handed guitar.

Jimi at his best with Purple haze, all around:

Who is your all-time favourite rock star? Tell us in the comments below.