Seth Riggs

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Seth Riggs at the "Margareta Svensson Riggs and Seth Riggs Summer Vocal Workshop" in Varberg, Sweden July 26, 2013

Seth Riggs (born September 19, 1930)[1][2][3] is an American singer, actor, and vocal coach.[4][5] He has created the vocal technique "Speech Level Singing",[6] and has worked with performers such as Prince, Michael Jackson,[7][6] Stevie Wonder,[6] José José, Ray Charles, Madonna,[6] Johnny Hallyday, Sohyang, AGNEZ MO, Bette Midler,[6] Julio Iglesias[6] and Barbra Streisand.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Riggs started singing when he was about 7 years old, and joined the Washington National Cathedral Boys' Choir as a 9-year-old.[8] Riggs has been a vocal coach since 1949, when he was serving in the Navy as a gunner.[9][10] He "received his music education from Peabody Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music", and also received a B.A. in drama from Johns Hopkins University.[11] After receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Peabody Conservatory, Riggs gave a masterclass which Richard Cassilly attended, and afterwards asked Riggs to help him with his voice.[12] Riggs studied voice with teachers including American baritone John Charles Thomas and Italian tenor Tito Schipa,[11] and in New York City with Keith Davis who was at the time teaching the majority of singers on Broadway.

Riggs conducts workshops and masterclasses around the world together with his wife, Margareta Svensson Riggs.[13][14]

SLS (Speech Level Singing)[edit]

Riggs created SLS that blended singers’ head voice and chest voice while applying SLS (speech level singing) techniques that benefited Prince, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Barbra Streisand, and numerous others. In 1995 SLS's CEO, Dave Stroud, developed a teaching platform, which was implemented in 2000, requiring all of SLS's vocal teachers to undergo lessons and testing from one or more of seven SLS master classes and would be tested and approved if they were to be associated with Seth Riggs.[15][16][17]

Personal life[edit]

Riggs is married to singer Margareta Svensson,[18] The two met when Svensson came to Seth Riggs for singing lessons in 1995. In 2008, they became a couple, and four years later, in 2012, they married and their daughter Samantha was born.[19][20][21]


  • Singing For The Stars – A Complete Program For Training Your Voice (1992, Alfred Music)
  • American Idol Singer's Advantage: Male Version (2008, Hal Leonard Corporation)


  1. ^ Hoch, Matthew (3 April 2018). So You Want to Sing CCM (Contemporary Commercial Music): A Guide for Performers. ISBN 9781538103623.
  2. ^ "Seth Riggs on Facebook". Facebook. Archived from the original on 2022-04-30.[user-generated source]
  3. ^ "Vocal Coach Seth Riggs on Working with Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and More". Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Seth Riggs Vault". Playbill. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  5. ^ New China TV (2013-09-26), Michael Jackson's teacher trains Chinese teen star, retrieved 2016-10-05
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Singing seminar scheduled Aug. 28", The Herald-Palladium (August 20, 1999), p. 6.
  7. ^ Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2009). Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958–2009. Grand Central Publishing, 2009. p. 348. ISBN 978-0-446-56474-8.
  8. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2022-06-22. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  9. ^ Vaziri, Aidin (May 1, 2005). "A Spacey Chat With Stars' Voice Coach". SF Gate. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  10. ^ Beale, Lauren. "Voice coach to the stars Seth Riggs lists his home and studios for sale in Hancock Park". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  11. ^ a b "Voice Conference At COD, Feb. 1-2", The Desert Sun (January 29, 1974), p. 13.
  12. ^ Fred Rasmussen, "Richard B. Cassilly, 70. world-renowned operatic tenor", The Baltimore Sun (February 3, 1998), p. 9B.
  13. ^ "Seth Riggs and Margareta Svensson Riggs on New China TV". YouTube. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Hollywoodfru på besök i Morgonskiftet - Morgon i P4 Jönköping". Radio Sveriges. July 29, 2013. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  15. ^ "Dave Stroud by Susan McCallister Bee". Bee Music Studios. June 10, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  16. ^ "Guest Interview with Dave Stroud Part 1". LA Sight Singer. July 25, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  17. ^ "Ep. 24 How To Become A Master Vocal Coach w/ Dave Stroud". The Working Singer Podcast. July 1, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  18. ^ "Hollywoodfrun sa ja till Seth, 81". Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  19. ^ "Margareta Svensson: "Graviditeten var fantastisk"". Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  20. ^ "Hollywoodfrun Margareta Svensson har fått barn". Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Margareta Svensson (43) fikk barn med Seth Riggs (81)". Retrieved 7 February 2021.

External links[edit]