Sometimes, style whispers its presence, while at other times, it boldly asserts itself. Embracing audacious flair, we now showcase the most striking mustaches of the contemporary music scene, bypassing the historical opulence of Puccini and Strauss to dive into the eccentric elegance of Little Richard.
Certainly, the definition of a mustache is not etched in stone, and some may question our selections. While we collectively acknowledge the focus on the upper lip, should a mustache be discounted if it shares space with a soul patch? And what about instances like Bob Weir’s formidable lipholstery — must one of the most impressive facial hair displays in history be overlooked simply because it accompanies a beard?
In the end, we’ve chosen to embrace the inclusive spirit of the mustache. Whether you sport a delicate pencil line or aim for the celestial, your allure is undeniable, and your growth is celebrated. Embark with us on this adventurous journey through the world of mustaches below.
13. FRED DURST
Style: Fatherly Cool
In the saga of Lollapalooza 2021, Limp Bizkit’s performance stood out as a cultural phenomenon, marked by a set that left audiences both puzzled and entertained. Amidst the unconventional choice to play their new song through the sound system rather than performing it live, frontman Fred Durst stole the spotlight with his fresh dad-vibes transformation. The pièce de résistance? Durst’s unmistakable dad ‘stache, now a defining element of his visual persona. And if you pay attention, you might just sense it expressing mild frustration on the sidelines of a little league game.
12. JUSTIN HAWKINS
Style: Captain Hook Unleashed
In the grand narrative of The Darkness’ discography, a fervent celebration of aesthetics unfolds, and nowhere is this commitment to style-as-substance more evident than in the facial follicles adorning Justin Hawkins. Whether he’s raising it up, letting it cascade down, or playfully twisting it into unconventional shapes, the mustache under Hawkins’ nose is a testament to his unwavering dedication to having more fun than anyone else in the room. It’s a Captain Hook on a bender vibe that defines his distinctive look.
11. BOB WEIR
Style: When the Bow Outshines the Gift
In the evolution of this once baby-faced co-founder of the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir embraced a transformative journey into middle age, complete with a luxuriant beard and a captivating mustache that graces his nose like a meticulously wrapped ribbon. During Weir’s standout moments, the mustache elegantly ascends towards the sky, conveying a dynamic sense of motion and rescuing this facial adornment from the pitfalls of appearing as unevenly-trimmed bristles.
10. JIMI HENDRIX
Style: Effortlessly Artful
In his role as a guitar virtuoso, Hendrix attained a level of mastery that allowed him to strategically discard technique, rendering rock stardom simultaneously awe-inspiring and approachable. His mustache echoed this same deceptive ease, appearing both lengthy and compact as it adorned his smile or accompanied a contemplative moment with a joint. Hendrix’s whiskers became an aspirational ‘stache, the type of facial hair that instills the belief that, just perhaps, you too could exude that level of coolness.
This is an honorable mention for Jimi’s twin Andre 3000 and his ice-cold, legendary wordsmithing facial hair.
09. CARLOS SANTANA
Style: Smooth Operator
Similar to his renowned guitar tones, Santana’s mustache once sported a carefree and unrefined charm, but in recent times, he has adopted a more polished approach. However, one constant remains: the pivotal role played by his facial hair in the maestro’s guitar solos. Tensing, quivering, and roaring in harmony with every note and run, Santana’s mustache is a steadfast companion, adding its own flair to the sonic journey.
Style: Refined Elegance
Prince’s mustache, akin to every facet of his persona, radiates an air of meticulously crafted sensuality—each detail carefully pondered and flawlessly executed. While it may not be the most voluminous ‘stache in the realm of music, envisioning a Tom Selleck-worthy bushel of facial hair on the gender-bending, impeccably put-together artist seems incongruous. It’s the impeccably groomed finesse that renders it quintessentially Prince.
07. JAMES HETFIELD
Style: The Fierce Hogan
In the realm of metal, it’s only fitting that one of the genre’s most formidable figures boasts one of its most iconic mustaches. What’s even more appropriate is that this facial feature seems to eternally cast a scowl upon James Hetfield’s countenance. Whether he’s unleashing a solo to a crowd of 100,000 or tenderly embracing a puppy, the man exudes ferocity, all thanks to the commanding presence of his glorious mustache.
06. LITTLE RICHARD
Style: Retro Chic with a Hint of Excess
Known as the “Architect of Rock and Roll,” Little Richard not only crafted innovative sounds but also revolutionized their presentation. This extended to his mustache, a style that, at various impeccably groomed moments, could oscillate between appearing prepared for a luxurious night out at a five-star venue and reflecting the aftermath of an all-night revelry. It’s a visual testament to his ability to encapsulate the dynamic spirit of an era.
05. JOHN OATES
Style: The Unattainable Swagger
John Oates possesses a mustache that commands attention and prompts a mix of emotions. There’s admiration for the impressive feat on display, coupled with a lingering sense of regret that achieving such mustache greatness may forever remain beyond reach. It’s a poignant blend of emotions, leaving a lasting impact that lingers in your thoughts long after the encounter has concluded.
04. FREDDIE MERCURY
Style: Runway-Worthy Elegance
Freddie Mercury’s mustache stands as a sartorial statement akin to a prized accessory named GQ’s “Accessory of the Year.” It exudes a simplicity that, on the iconic singer, captivates like a high-fashion model gracing the glossy pages. However, attempting to replicate the same flair may evoke a sense of desperation, much like trying to don a bold watch or a singular earring, or navigating the resurgence of fanny packs—cool again, but seemingly reserved for the truly attractive. Mercury’s facial adornment, both uncomplicated and flamboyant, is as alluring as belting out “Scaramouch!” and as elusive as reaching one of his trademark high notes.
03. DAVID CROSBY
Style: The Facial Fortress
In his illustrious six-decade career, the outspoken David Crosby embraced a mustache that seemingly questioned the necessity of lips. Perhaps reflecting a penchant for selective conversation, this facial hair acts as a formidable face shield, concealing the entire terrain between mouth and nose like a non-negotiable “No Trespassing” sign.
02. FRANK ZAPPA
Style: The Energetic Companion
If the late Pablo Picasso were to have lent his artistic touch to Frank Zappa’s mustache, the result might very well resemble this cubist, assertive mound of hair. Zappa’s mustache-soul patch combination stands as an iconic facet of his artistic legacy, mirroring the balance found in his music—a harmonious blend of intensity and silliness. Much like a lively companion, it seems to have its own set of daily needs: three meals, two walks, and a healthy outlet for its boundless energy.
01. LEMMY KILMISTER
Style: The Lemmy Signature
Reducing it to its elements unveils a horseshoe mustache, mutton chops, and perhaps a couple of other livestock-inspired metaphors yet to be coined. However, dissecting the components hardly does justice to the furious grandiosity of the whole, much like attempting to distill the essence of “Ace of Spades” by dissecting its E-chords. The “Lemmy” isn’t just a fashion statement; it’s a rebellious declaration against the very notion of conformity, establishing itself as a distinct genre in its own right.