Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson and Keith Richards have one thing in common: they entered the world of music as boy sopranos. Whatever happened to other famous treble boy singers once their sopranos became lost to puberty?
Is that a Boy? Sopranos of the Male Variety…
Justin Bieber, one of the hottest boy singers that sound like little girls, is actually considered a treble or boy soprano. Justin Bieber Songs points out that occasionally his vice may cross over into the falsetto range. He shares this trait with the late Michael Jackson, another former boy soprano (as outlined by the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber).
It is a common misconception that the soprano voice range is reserved only for women. Of course, male sopranos are generally only boys. They are sometimes known as trebles. Unfortunately, these boy sopranos lose their ethereal singing voices as soon as the larynx drops and affects a breaking of the voice.
Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson and … Who Are the Other Famous Boy Singers?
Rolling Stones bad boy Keith Richards was a treble of some renown. As a member of a boy sopranos trio, Monsters and Critics reveals that Richards actually regaled the Queen of England during a performance at Westminster Abbey.
Rewind the Fifties reminds us of another treble, who might have been one of the most famous boy singers of his time: Frankie Lymon. As the tragic lead singer of a group known as The Teenagers, Lymon showcased a classic rise to fame based on raw talent, fortuitous events and the rise of Motown.
After the Voice Breaks
Boy sopranos do not stay trebles forever, and eventually these boy singers must graduate to others parts. A famous example is Ernest Lough, who immortalized “O, For the Wings of a Dove” in 1927. His 2000 obituary in the Guardian reveals that after his voice broke, the young singer went on to work in advertising and only later returned to a church choir – as a bass baritone.
Paul Miles-Kingston sang in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem.” His ethereal boy soprano voice mingled with the famous sound of Placido Domingo’s voice and also graced Westminster Abbey. Now an adult, Boy Soloist explains that he found employment as music teacher.
It is anyone’s guess what professional direction Justin Bieber’s career will take once his voice breaks completely. That being said, it is noteworthy that there are already several boy sopranos nipping at the youngster’s heels, ready to take their spots in the brief limelight that the treble offers them.