Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Not-so-sensitive guys who know how to sing

What’s the opposite of the sensitive, introspective male pop singer? Boastful, unromantic male singers – guys who are more interested in conquests than in girl friends, who disdain sensitivity and romantic sentiment, and who think “macho” is a synonym for “male.” Where a SIMPS lives to bare his soul in a ballad, these BUMS only do slow songs if they think there’s a market for them; as far as they’re concerned, you’d be a fool to cry

1 of 5

Bo Diddley: He walked 47 miles on barbed wire, used a cobra snake for a necktie, and made the dawn of rock ‘n’roll sound positively menacing. Diddley was a classic tough guy, and his signature beat was definitely not meant for crooning.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

2 of 5

Mick Jagger: Even his most fervent fans have a hard time believing that the swivel-hipped Stone feels affection for anything beyond what he saw in the mirror. Jagger may have oozed sex, but he’s about as romantic as a tax return.


3 of 5

The older Frank Sinatra: He may have been a SIMP when he was just a skinny kid from Hoboken, N.J., but in the twilight of his career Sinatra had transformed into a hard-swinging, mobster-friendly, mean-spirited old tough. Even so, he knew how to sell a slow song.


4 of 5

Johnny Rotten: After snarling his way to infamy as the singer with the Sex Pistols, his next band, Public Image Ltd., managed to have a minor hit in Britain with This Is Not a Love Song. As if anyone expected one from him.

Alastair Grant/AP

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 5

Jay-Z: He’s got 99 problems, but showing a softer side ain’t one. Even marriage to Beyoncé, a church-going good girl, hasn’t softened this former drug dealer’s rep. Of course, if he keeps cutting songs about his infant daughter, that may change.


Report an error