On Instagram, Whitesnake singer David Coverdale unveiled a brand new look, sporting a cropped hairstyle, trading his blonde color for shades of grey. And it has fans talking.
Before becoming an MTV and radio fixture amid the meteoric rise of hair metal, Coverdale was an unknown singer from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, England, tabbed as Ian Gillan‘s successor in Deep Purple in 1973, alongside co-vocalist and bassist Glenn Hughes. His luscious locks were noteworthy back then, but it was his sultry croon that won fans over.
After Purple’s demise, Coverdale formed Whitesnake, which was a blues rock band for several albums before their glow-up/blow-up in the mid-to-late ’80s. They overhauled their style and personnel with the help of A&R legend John Kalodner, who, in part, masterminded the group’s 1987 self-titled classic, bearing enduring hits in “Here I Go Again,” “Still of the Night” and “Is This Love,” among others.
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In tandem with this surge in popularity, Coverdale’s hair represented the apex of the hair metal label and that mane had been intact ever since. Well, until this week, at least.
The 71-year-old singer, who plans to retire Whitesnake sometime soon (a farewell leg was aborted last year due to Coverdale’s health issues), unveiled his updated visage, shouting out photographer Payton T Murphy, makeup artist Jenna Peterson and hair stylist Josh Stinnett.
Both the hair and makeup was the subject of a lot of chatter in the comments section as fans appeared to be quite surprised by Coverdale’s decision to part ways with his long, loose curls.
“The hair is spot on, but please NO makeup,” exclaimed one Instagram user, which sparked a series of replies within that one comment alone, many showing support for the cropped hair while noting the makeup isn’t the best. Of course, Coverdale wearing makeup isn’t the issue as it’s something he’s done for decades, it’s just that fans generally find it unflattering in this instance.
Another person wondered if the Whitesnake legend was wearing a wig. “He posted a pic a few days ago in the snow and his hair was long and blonde,” noting they think this photo was taken specifically for a designed shoot rather than debuting a more permanent look.
Taking aim at some of the trolls and detractors, someone else writes, “David posts all the time about loving and accepting us all as we are, wherever we are from. It seems a pity that so many ‘fans’ don’t seem to be able to return the favor. No judgement here — you are amazing David, and always have been.”
Our thoughts? You do you, David! Be comfortable in your own skin, your own hair… whatever you want to do with your image, unabashedly go for it!
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10 Artists With the Most Iconic Hairstyles in Rock + Metal
Hi, my name is AJ, and I am the vocalist of the horror-influenced metal/rock band We’re Wolves. When I’m not creating and playing music with the band, I am a licensed professional barber in Boca Raton, Fla. I’ve been in the industry cutting hair professionally for eight years.
It has always been rad to see how trendy haircuts are interconnected with music. You can tell a lot about a band just by their hair. Whether they’re goth, rock, metal, punk, etc., hairstyle plays a critical part in the image of a band. Take it from me, a licensed professional guy in a metal band who cares a lot about his hair.
Let’s jump into my top 10 most iconic hairstyles in rock and metal.