7 Most Popular Audiobook Narrators of All Time

Story book narration has been around for sometime. It even came long before the ebooks were conceived. In fact, most parents use it to bring their children to the world of imaginings especially during bedtime. With the help and power of technology, the audiobook was invented. It made way for narrators to showcase their skills, with some of them becoming legends. Here’s a list of the most popular audiobook narrators of all time.


1. Jim Dale


He is one of the most sought-after audiobook narrators ever to grace the industry. He is famous for his ability to produce 134 different voices in his interpretation of the Harry Potter books. In fact, he has been cited by the Guinness Book of World Records for his creation of the highest number of character voices in a single audiobook. Some of his most successful narrations include the Harry Potter septet, Around the World in 80 Days, The Night Circus, and Peter Pan.


Dale has won nine “Audie” awards. His is also the voice behind the first six of the top ten best selling audiobooks of all time.


2. Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou is known all over the world for her entrancing baritone voice and great words of inspiration, encouragement and comfort. She is also a great writer of stories and poetry. Some of her most famous work as an audiobook narrator include Letter to My Daughter, A Song Flung Up to Heaven and I Know Why Caged Birds Sing.


3. Garrison Keillor


Known as America’s Favorite storyteller, Keillor is one of the most perceptive commentators of Midwestern American life. A prolific writer, he has authored dozens of newspaper and magazine articles and over 10 books for children and adults. His most successful narrations include Homegrown Democrat, A Christmas Blizzard and My Little Town: Stories from Lake Wobegon.


4. Jeremy Irons


At some point, the silky, rich haunting voice of Jeremy Irons became the standard by which voices of other narrators are judged. Globe and Mail writer Johanna Schneller describes it as “like sinking into a bath of black pearls, or taking sips of liquid morphine. He could say, “Pass the salt” and makes you weep. His narrations which included the King’s English have been applauded for their precision and dramatic flair. Iron’s most famous narrations include Lolita, The Alchemist, James and the Giant Peach and Brideshead Revisited.


5. Toni Morrison


Morrison is a gifted writer who can send chills to your spine for every page you read. She is also a great narrator who can give you similar effects when she delivers her stories audiographically with her raspy yet majestic voice. Morrison received a Nobel Price for Literature in 1993. Her highly acclaimed narrations include Beloved, Home, and Paradise.


6. Alan Cumming


Alan Cumming is a South American writer, actor and narrator who became famous not only for his talents but because of his racy stage roles and sly-sounding Scots brogue. He was nominated to dozens of awards for film and stage acting since 1988 and won a lot of them. In 2012, he was awarded the Best Voice Award by AudifileAwards, a print and online magazine that reviews audiobooks, audio programs, commentaries and dramatizations in audio format. Cumming’s greatest narrations include About a Boy, Macbeth and Leviathan.


7. Lorelei King


A multi-awarded audiobook narrator, King is the favorite narrator of best-selling authors including Janet Evanovich, Darynda Jones and Patricia Briggs. She is a recipient or numerous Audiofile and Audie Awards for her various narrations. In 1999, she was voted Performer of the Year by the United Kingdom Advertising Producers’ Association. In 2001, she was voted Female Performer of the Year at the Spoken Word Awards and in 2011, Audible.com awarded her as the Best Narrator or the Year. King is best known for her work on Notting Hill, The Saint, and Chuggington.


These are some of the most successful audiobook narrators ever to live on the planet.  By looking at each of their profiles, you can certainly tell that their original goal was to master the four elements of a great video narrative in order to excel in their profession. This is solid proof that audiobook narrators are made and not born. With patience, determination, focus and constant practice, you too can step on the right track to success.


photo credit for featured image: paige_eliz (flickr.com)

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