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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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