Axl Rose shock choice for rock's top singer

Guns N'Roses star Axl Rose, who kept the world waiting 15 years for his comeback album, has been declared the greatest lead singer of all time.

He beat showmen such as the late Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant in a poll conducted by musicians' website Musicradar.com.

Rose was a huge star in the late '80s but – apart from occasional live shows – faded from view for many years until 2008, when Guns N'Roses released the long-awaited but poorly received Chinese Democracy album.

The hard rocker is known for his shrieking performances on tracks such as Sweet Child O' Mine and Welcome To The Jungle.

He appeared at Leeds Festival in August with Guns n'Roses but upset some with his late arrival and eccentric behaviour, although he was far worse at the sister event in Reading when the band kept the crowd waiting an hour and had to cut short their set.

Musicradar said: "We can't think of a more contentious choice for the greatest lead singer of all time.

"Forget the moustachioed, cornrowed croaking caricature of recent years and think back to the late 1980s. Axl Rose: dangerous, lean, angry, confrontational, controversial."

No female stars figured in the list until 24th place, which was taken by Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks.

Mercury, who died in 1991, was runner-up in the poll, with Led Zeppelin star Plant in third position.

Beatles stars John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney both figured in the top 10, in fifth and 10th places respectively.

Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger finished in 14th place.