11 Most Popular Vocal Fry Celebrities [+ How to Sound Like Them]Aug 17, 2023
Add A Little Sizzle to Your Sound
Ever tuned into a reality TV show and heard that particular voice quality that's not quite a growl, not quite a purr, but somewhere intriguingly in between? That’s the "vocal fry" — and it's not just your average Joe and Jane using it.
Some of the world's most talked-about celebrities have incorporated this distinct sound into their voice, making it a topic of fascination and conversation among professional voice actors and coaches alike.
If you've ever been curious about which of those vocal fry celebrities really nail it or how you can sound just a bit more like them, you're in the right spot. Let's unpack this unique vocal phenomenon.
What the Fry is “Vocal Fry”?
The human voice is a wonderful thing. It can produce sounds that are high and ethereal, deep and resonant, and everything in between.
But let's focus on the deeper end.
Vocal fry is technically known as the pulse register. It's a mode of voice production where the vocal cords slacken, and air bubbles pop in slow succession. This results in that distinctive low, creaky vibration we associate with, well, frying.
But why the sudden obsession with vocal fry? Well, despite being around for ages, it became particularly trendy in the United States during the late 2000s to early 2010s.
It was around this time that vocal coaches, linguists, and, yes, keen-eared gossip columnists began to notice it permeating pop culture. Television, particularly reality TV, was a big driver, giving viewers a steady dose of vocal fry celebrities week after week.
Critics were divided. Some saw it as a powerful tool, allowing users to convey nonchalance or even a kind of urban sophistication. Others bemoaned it as the downfall of clear speaking — an affectation adopted by the young, particularly women, to sound more like the Hollywood elite.
One thing’s for sure, though: regardless of where you stand on the vocal fry spectrum, its impact and influence in the entertainment industry can't be ignored.
Spotlight On: The Most Popular Vocal Fry Celebrities
Ah, the intriguing world of vocal fry. As we navigate the sonic landscape of today’s entertainment industry, a distinct creak stands out – the signature sound of the vocal fry.
But who are the trailblazing vocal fry celebrities championing this unique vocal texture, and how did they carry it from the corners of voice coaching rooms right into our living rooms, earbuds, and movie theaters?
From chart-topping singers to influential reality TV stars, red carpet-ready models, critically acclaimed actors, and more, here’s a quick breakdown of the A-listers who’ve made vocal fry more than just a sound — they’ve turned it into a statement.
1. Britney Spears
From pop star to pop culture icon, Britney's voice has always been distinctive. Whether it's the catchy hooks of her songs or her interviews, the fry is ever-present.
2. Zoe Kravitz
This leading lady's voice has a naturally husky tone, and her delicate vocal fry only enhances her cool and laid-back persona. Whether she's acting in a drama or giving an interview, her voice is unmistakable.
3. Katy Perry
The pop sensation's music often showcases her wide vocal range, and yes, that includes the signature creak of vocal fry. Offstage, Katy's speaking voice frequently dips into the fry, especially in more casual settings.
4. Ariana Grande
While she can hit whistle notes with ease, Ariana's speaking voice often rests in that comfy fry zone. Her casual chats and interviews often display this vocal quirk.
5. Scarlett Johansson
This Hollywood A-lister has a naturally deep voice that often features hints of vocal fry. It’s part of what makes Scarlett's voice so distinctive and memorable in her film roles and interviews.
Known for her bold music and even bolder personality, Kesha's use of vocal fry in her songs adds a gritty edge that sets her apart. It’s a distinctive sound that’s become a part of her vocal identity.
7. Ira Glass
Yes, men have vocal fry too! The radio personality and host of This American Life is often cited for his notable vocal fry — proving that this trend isn't limited by gender.
8. Emma Stone
Emma's raspy voice — combined with her occasional vocal fry — is one of her signature traits as an actress. It lends authenticity to her characters and helps bring an earthy realism to her performances.
9. Dakota Johnson
The Fifty Shades star's interviews and on-screen performances often include a touch of vocal fry, giving her a unique vocal signature in Hollywood.
10. Gwyneth Paltrow
The Goop queen herself, Gwyneth’s voice often has that laid-back California vibe, complete with the relaxed tones of vocal fry.
11. Kim Kardashian
Last but certainly not least, Kim K. The reality TV star par excellence, her vocal fry has become as much a part of her brand as her businesses. When Kim talks, whether on TV or in interviews, that vocal fry is front and center.
Mastering the Art of Vocal Fry
So, you've listened, you've observed, and now you're absolutely enamored with the husky allure of vocal fry.
Perhaps you’re even wondering: how do I channel the charm of vocal fry celebrities and add that same sizzle to my speech? Luckily, we have good news — channeling your inner celeb has never been easier.
Here's a quick step-by-step guide to mastering the art of vocal fry:
1. Deep Dive Breathing
Let's start with the basics. Before you can fry, you need to breathe. But not just any breathing — we're talking deep, diaphragmatic breathing.
Start by sitting comfortably in a quiet space. Ideally, you’ll want to use a straight-backed chair or a cozy floor cushion — whatever makes you feel grounded. Once settled, if it helps you concentrate better, gently close your eyes. Begin the process of inhaling deeply, ensuring it's your abdomen expanding, not just your chest. Visualize this breath reaching down to the pit of your stomach, collecting all the energy there. As you release this breath, slowly exhale and let your voice naturally tumble to its lowest pitch. This kind of breathing is not only meditative and relaxing but is essential for priming your vocal cords to venture into the vocal fry territory.
Over at A VO's Journey, we champion the power of the voice and understand the nuances involved in mastering different vocal techniques. Whether you're looking for coaching, VO training, or just a community of fellow voice enthusiasts — we’ve got you covered.
2. The Prolonged 'Ahhh'
With a solid foundation laid via deep breathing, it's time to add some flair. That said, the next step introduces sound, allowing you to experiment with the texture and tone of your voice.
Start by filling your lungs with a deep, diaphragmatic breath, as practiced earlier. Then, channel that breath into producing a steady, prolonged "Ahhhh." Let the sound flow effortlessly, maintaining an even tone. As you continue and your breath supply starts to run low, you'll notice a shift in your voice — a raspier, gravelly undertone emerges.
Recognize it? Revel in it! That’s the vocal fry making its appearance.
3. Vocal Fry Scales
Vocal exercises have been the cornerstone of every great singer’s regimen. When it comes to mastering the sound of our favorite vocal fry celebrities, scales are no exception. The purpose? Training your vocal cords to oscillate in that specific 'fry' pattern across different pitches.
Here's how you can integrate vocal fry into your scale exercises:
- Foundation First: Before you even start with scales, ensure you're comfortably accessing the fry at your natural pitch. This becomes your foundation.
- Low to High: Start at the lowest pitch, where you can comfortably produce vocal fry. As you ascend the scale, attempt to maintain the fry. Initially, you might notice it fades or disappears. That's okay. With practice, you’ll be able to fry at higher pitches.
- High to Low: This can be trickier! Begin from a higher note and descend down the scale. The challenge is to keep the vocal fry consistent as you go to the deeper notes, which are naturally more susceptible to fry.
- Use a Keyboard or App: If you're serious about mastering this, using a keyboard or a vocal training app can be beneficial. Play or listen to each note as you try to match it with your fry-infused voice.
- Patience and Persistence: Remember, like all vocal techniques, achieving the perfect fry across scales isn't something that'll happen overnight. Some of the best vocal fry celebrities have taken years to perfect their sound. Be patient with your progress and practice consistently.
By integrating the vocal fry into your scale exercises, you're not only adding that coveted crispy twist but also expanding the range over which you can produce and control this trendy vocal nuance.
4. The Morning Fry
When you wake from a refreshing night's sleep, your vocal cords are at their most relaxed state — which often leads to a naturally lower pitch in your voice. This morning huskiness is a golden opportunity for vocal fry practice.
After you've pushed aside the blankets and let out that initial yawn, take a moment to greet the day with a prolonged "Good Morning" using your best vocal fry technique directed at yourself in the mirror. The reflection isn't just to check if your hair's a mess but to connect with the sound of your voice.
By incorporating this into your daily wake-up routine, it becomes a habitual practice. Over time, this repetition in the morning sets the tone (literally) for the rest of the day. As with any skill, the more you practice, the more intuitive and refined the technique becomes.
And who knows? After a while, you might find that the morning's vocal fry practice invigorates you as much as that first cup of coffee.
5. Record and Listen
In today's digital age, one of the most accessible and effective feedback tools is a simple recording.
Using the voice recording feature on your phone, capture snippets of your vocal fry exercises. Whether it’s a few sentences from a book, a monologue, or just you discussing your day's plans, just go for whatever you’re feeling at the moment. Once recorded, play it back. This allows you to be an audience to your voice, helping you recognize areas of improvement and noting progress.
Does your vocal fry feel organic? Are there moments it seems forced or out of place? These recordings serve as an honest reflection of where you stand on your vocal fry journey. Another beneficial approach is sharing these audio clips with a trusted circle. Preferably, someone who understands the vocal fry trend or just someone whose feedback you value. Their insights can offer a fresh perspective.
But as you traverse this journey, always remember – it's about striking the right balance. Emulating vocal fry celebrities is exciting, but ensuring it sounds natural and not overly done is where the true mastery lies.
From Creaks to Conversations
Like any vocal technique, mastering the fry requires understanding, practice, and a pinch of patience. But with the steps outlined above, you'll be well on your way to sounding like the vocal fry celebrities that have both fascinated and inspired critics, reporters, and older generations everywhere.
Remember: vocal techniques are tools. And, when used wisely, they can add layers of depth and nuance to your voice. So as you embark on this vocal journey, let curiosity be your guide. Explore the different shades of your voice, experiment with its various textures, and most importantly… just have fun with it.
Whether you're practicing for personal enjoyment or seeking to carve a niche in the voice industry, always embrace the uniqueness of your sound — it’ll make all the difference.
For now, though, here's to the fry and all the sizzling conversations it'll inspire!