Five Rock Legends Who Rock Sunglasses


In rock n’ roll, a rockstar’s look can be almost as recognizable as their music. If you check out our “100 Greatest Rock Musicians (Plus 50 Honorable Mentions) & Their Hits” post, it’s clear that many legends became well-known not just for their songs but their signature styles that have remained iconic to this day. An essential accessory for many musicians was a pair of sunglasses, which provided both function and fashion on and off stage. Whether it was for vanity, privacy, or due to vision issues, shades helped with all three. Here are five rock legends who rock sunglasses:


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Slash’s status as a guitar-playing legend is undoubted, but he’s well-known for his signature style. The top hat, sleeveless or graphic tee, and leather jacket have been staples in his look for ages. But it’s his sunglasses that give him a cool and mysterious edge, and you’ll rarely see him without them. The Guns N’ Roses guitarist often wears Ray-Ban sunglasses on and off stage. Their Aviators style is just as iconic as Slash is, a fitting pair of shades for this rock legend. He’s often worn them in black, but has branched out to polarized lenses for more flair. His style isn’t purely for coolness or vanity; the hat and shades help make him ease his nerves when he performs on stage.


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Irish rock band U2 were a critical face of rock in the mid-1980s to the early 2000s. During the 90s, the band’s frontman Bono garnered attention for his ever-present sunglasses. Frameless wraparound styles or round glasses with tinted lenses were his go-to, usually from brands like Emporio Armani and Bvlgari. He’s been wearing sunglasses for decades, not just for fashion, but for health reasons as well. Bono often wears sunglasses as he has glaucoma, an eye condition that makes his eyes sensitive to light. The tinted lenses protect him against harsh lights and flashes, common for rockstars of his status.

Jeff Lynne

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Jeff Lynne’s illustrious career is unmatched by many. He’s most famous for being the co-founder and leader of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), but his collaborations and producing work have made him a legend in the music industry. Sunglasses have become synonymous with his image; they’re constant companions whether he’s performing on stage or at a red carpet event. He’s often seen wearing an Aviator-style pair of shades with a double bridge and dark lenses with a gradient. Unlike some icons on this list, he doesn’t wear sunglasses due to a condition. Rather, they help him preserve some privacy.

Joey Ramone

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The Ramones may not have invented punk rock, but they were revolutionary, inspiring countless acts with their music. Lead singer Joey Ramone has been hailed as a godfather of punk, a title which many in the industry still honor him with even after his passing in 2001. Besides his gnarly vocals, the shaggy mop-top hair, leather jacket, and ripped jeans combination he and the rest of the Ramones often wore practically became the uniform for punk and rock acts of the time. Joey Ramone also added a pair of thin-framed round eyeglasses and sunglasses in various tints to his look. His bad eyesight made them essential, but he always maintained coolness despite it.

Billy Gibbons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Sunglasses-wearing rock legends cannot be discussed without the mention of ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. His and Dusty Hill’s matching long beards, hats, and sunglasses may have seemed gimmicky to some, but it helped them stand out—along with their hard rock and blues fusion sound. Billy Gibbons often sported flat top or Wayfarer-style shades. Black frames and dark lenses give him a classic and timeless look, but never a boring one.

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