Hugh Jackman Cannot Sing PERIOD

by Kali Tuttle
Hugh Jackman

Don’t get it twisted, folks: Hugh Jackman is not a good singer and does not deserve a world tour. I’d rather watch a world tour of Justin Bieber than Hugh Jackman at this point.

I’ll admit — I, too, used to think the man was a great singer. He definitely hits the notes, right? That’s all there is to singing. But then my best friend, Michaela, began complaining about him one day. Why? Because Hugh Jackman is a horrible singer. Ever since I talked to her, I have noticed that Hugh Jackman is just horrible at singing and it’s cringy to listen to. Let me outline the reasons she gave me.

Note: I love Hugh Jackman as an actor and a person. He’s a great guy! But he cannot sing and should not pretend that he can.

A Little Too Nasally

While The Greatest Showman (2017) may be one of Hugh Jackman’s most popular performances right now, I’m not going to focus on it as much. He doesn’t sound horrible in that film because he’s heavily autotuned, which is another issue I’ll address later.

This recording of “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables (2012) sounds fine to the untrained ear, but there’s a few flaws that, once they were pointed out by my musically talented friend, I am unable to ignore.

First of all, he seems to sing from his nose. This makes the entire song sound quite nasally. Of course, there are instances when one should sing through their nose, such as when one wants to sing with resonance. Yet, it just seems strange for Hugh Jackman to do so, since he’s made that his entire register when his voice isn’t remotely nasally when he’s speaking.

He’s also heavily straining his voice to hit the notes. Sure, to hit high notes you should be straining a bit. However, it kind of sounds like Jackman might have an aneurysm before he actually hits them. It’s almost painful to listen to.

He Can’t Sing High Notes

Something that I have learned from Michaela is that to sing in a high voice, you should transition to your head voice. In singing, your head voice is the one that you feel buzzing in your skull rather than in your chest, where it would be for most performances.

Hugh Jackman

Image via Geek Tyrant

Jackman hasn’t mastered that. Rather than using that head voice or even transitioning into a falsetto, he seems to think that the solution to singing higher is to sing louder. Instead of being pleasing to the ear, it sounds very strained and uncomfortable. And not only is it uncomfortable to listen to, it is probably doubly uncomfortable to actually sing.

The fact that he sings like that worries me. He could be a great singer if he simply had some better training! Unfortunately, the way he’s singing, he will most likely lose his ability to sing in the future. Or contract nodes, which I found out is an actual thing and not just something they made up on Pitch Perfect (2012).

Incorrect Technique

It’s hard for anyone to go from singing a low note to a high note. That’s just a lot of strain for the voice, especially if you aren’t a trained singer. However, there is a proper way to do so and Hugh Jackman has not learned that way.

When transitioning from a low to a high note, one should give more energy to the low note so that one can float to the high note and “pop it out,” as Michaela describes. Jackman does the exact opposite of this: he gives more energy to the high note. Not only does it make it sound like a very tense note, it is a very tense note and is very bad for his voice. If he’s not careful, singing like that could ruin him.

Hugh Jackman

Image via Playbill

Hypocritical Much?

That subtitle is mainly aimed at me. Despite my entire family somehow possessing the ability to sing like angels, I cannot sing very well. I can carry a tune for a minute or two, but I can’t promise that it will be in the correct register or that it will sound anything like it’s supposed to.

Hugh Jackman

Image via Arkansas Business

So, maybe I’m not the right one to be critiquing Hugh Jackman’s singing. What I should do is have Michaela write this article herself, as she could definitely add more insight than I could. However, since I am the writer, I took it upon myself to pen the words she told me.

Yet, I think we all have the right to our opinions. Sure, some opinions are crap. I have a feeling that this article will probably anger a lot of Hugh Jackman fans, which is a sizable population. And, I don’t blame them. I still insist that the man is a fantastic actor. Frankly, I’m just not one for his singing.

Similar Cases

I find Hugh Jackman’s case very similar to Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast (2017) or Russell Crowe in Les Misérables. Both had average voices (though Russell Crowe’s was decidedly…ahem…less average) and yet both were chosen for some of the biggest musicals of all time.

Hugh Jackman

Image via Celeste Headlee

Honestly, with so many great singers in the world — many of whom are also actors and actresses themselves — why is Hollywood still choosing mediocre singers to star in their best musicals? They probably spend more on professional vocalists to dub over the mediocre ones than they actually would on a musically talented actor or actress. Why depend on autotune when you can just depend on the people you hire? Honestly, we’ve had too many dubs and autotune freaks taking over the music industry to have it take over the movie industry too.

What I’m trying to say is that Hugh Jackman really can’t take all the blame. He’s a product of a Hollywood that seems to treasure pretty looks over anything else. It doesn’t really matter to audiences if an actor has a good singing voice or not, even if they’re in a musical. As long as they look good while they’re doing it, they could be the worst singer in the world and people would still flock to the theaters. There’s always autotune, right?

Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on Hugh Jackman’s singing abilities? Comment down below!

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D December 18, 2022 - 9:31 pm

If Michaela is telling you it’s ever OK to sing “through your nose,” then you need to stop listening to her.

Kali Tuttle January 9, 2023 - 9:54 am


Kristin November 23, 2021 - 3:51 am

I come from a huge family of performers and musicians. My brother performed for the prince of England. Another brother is a singer and music producer. My dad is a jazz musician. My Mother sings, had five children that all sing. I have been trained in several different styles since I was the whopping age of two years old. Not discredit your friend (I will you because as you said, you can’t even sing). Hugh Jackman actually has a very good voice. The acting has A LOT to do with a lot of what you complained about, because all this article is, is a big complaint from someone who actually does not personally know what they are talking about. First off about the high notes…NO ONE SHOULD EVER STRAIN TO HIT A NOTE!! It hurts the vocal chords and throat and he potential to be damaging. Also makes do not have head voices, they have falsetto. Another thing most people who don’t know what they’re talking about including people on TV, women do not have a falsetto only men. Women use their head voice they are transition as much smoother. A woman’s voice doesn’t have as big of a break in it as a males voice. Now for the nasal comment…every singer, even the best trained singer can sound nasally at times. It has to do with not opening up the throat enough. Hugh does not far into a nasal singing category. Actually Justin Bieber sings more through his nose because of his style of singing. Broadway singing is much different and as stated before, a character portrayal can have an effect on how the vocals come out. Hugh is a great character actor. In Les Mis, they all sang live to give it a more realistic feel. Put yourself in that characters shoes. We’ll written article but please check all facts before posting. Thank you and God Bless!

Kristin November 23, 2021 - 3:52 am

Sorry meant males and makes but my phone autocorrected

Anonymous December 24, 2021 - 11:11 pm

Maybe you’re the one that doesn’t know what she’s talking about, because men most certainly have both falsetto AND head voice.

Also, I find Jackmans singing to be extremely strained and dislike him altogether as a singer.

MyPha August 2, 2020 - 9:26 pm

I love your review. I been looking for an audience that entertains my opinion. As, obviously, it’s in the minority. He’s a great actor and very good eye-candy, particularly in his younger days. But his singing is sub-par and very hard on the ear. I agree with you that Hollywood doesn’t do justice to other talented actors that can showcase both (singing and acting) talents over purely an eye-draw.

Anonymous April 12, 2020 - 1:17 am

I’m TGS he’s not strained at all, what you’re actually hearing is his mixed voice which is an argument in the music community whether it exists for guys or not (it does). For a guy mixed naturally sounds strained because it doesn’t sit in a register but it allows you to stylize your high notes

Kali Tuttle April 13, 2020 - 2:14 pm

I didn’t know that! I still don’t like it or think it sounds good though lol

Anonymous February 21, 2020 - 7:30 am

You do realize he has been doing musicals theatre for a long ass time, right? Google him in Oklahoma.

Elora May 29, 2021 - 10:08 am

And? That just means he’s popular, as that’s all it usually takes to get cast in things. His voice is not remotely that great.

Dallas Bradshaw August 30, 2019 - 11:11 pm

I think that his vocal range is small and not very flexible. But I think that part of singing is how well you enertain the audience, and also how honest you are with yourself while singing. And I do believe that Jackman embodies both of those very well. As someone who is not a very good singer and has a small range like him, I enjoy singing to his songs. So I will say that his singing is very enertaining. It’s kinda like some movies. We know and understand that they aren’t the greatest masterpieces we have ever seen, but for it to be our favorite (or something we enjoy) it doesn’t neccesarily have to be the most cinematic or visually appealing. It’s just a preference thing. Long story short, Hugh Jackman isn’t the greatest singer, but he is one good enertainer, and sometimes that’s all you need.

Kali Tuttle September 2, 2019 - 2:53 pm

Touche! He is a fantastic entertainer, to the point where he even went on tour. I guess, like with anything, it’s all a matter of opinion!

Ugonna Wosu April 20, 2019 - 9:58 am

I don’t agree about nasality, but I do think he sounds constricted like could strain very soon. He also seems to think trying to sing “heavy” all the time is the way to go.

The Animation Commendation December 31, 2018 - 3:01 pm

I know nothing about the mechanics of singing, so I can’t make any opinion. I personally never had a problem with his singing though.

Vuava December 29, 2018 - 4:52 am

Sorry, you are incorrect.

Kali Tuttle December 31, 2018 - 7:33 pm

Wouldn’t be the first time lol

P.M. Henderson December 29, 2018 - 3:14 am

Honestly, I realized he’s overrated when I heard him sing, “The Letter” with Richard Marx. No no no! Not the right kind of voice for that type of song at all!

Now, when they did “To Where You Are” together, it was better. But still… when paired with a musician like Marx, Jackman’s shortcomings become obvious.

Reenie December 28, 2018 - 4:08 pm

I disagree. I think he has a limited vocal range that has not been well showcased in his mainstream roles. He was not a great choice for Valjean, though I think he did OK. He would have in fact been a great Enjorlas, when he was the right age. Also, I think the music from The Greatest Showman is kinda garbage so how well he did isn’t my main problem there.

But this guy can in fact sing:

Kali Tuttle December 31, 2018 - 7:32 pm

I’ll agree that that is a better performance of his! A lot less grating on the ears. However, I still stand by my original opinion that he isn’t good enough to have a world tour.

Anonymous February 21, 2020 - 7:32 am

Clearly the less popular opinion. Did you watch The Greatest Showman?

Kali Tuttle February 23, 2020 - 4:39 pm

I sure did! But singing louder does not mean singing better. He just doesn’t have the right technique when it comes to singing.

Nick Kush December 28, 2018 - 9:39 am

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Natasha Alvar December 28, 2018 - 9:30 am

hahaha! Oh no you didn’t Kali. I was hoping this was satire but it falls under analysis. Good luck to you! Btw, I responded to you in my post:

I look forward to your reply :)

Kali Tuttle December 28, 2018 - 2:37 pm

Lol thanks I’m gonna need it. I’ll have to go look at that article!

Olaf Lesniak December 28, 2018 - 9:30 am

I checked to see whether this was categorized as Satire. It wasn’t. 😑

Kali Tuttle December 28, 2018 - 2:37 pm

I never write satire. Everything I speak is the truth.


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