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bands/musicians The Best Blues Artists of All Time

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List Rules Best artists of the blues genre--a style that originated in African-American communities in the Deep South of the U.S.

Whether you like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, or that bluesy broad Etta James, there's now denying they're all some of the most famous blues musicians of all time. This list of blues singers, ranks the best blues music artists, singers, and musicians, and has been voted on and ranked by blues fans worldwide. Add your own list or vote on the top blues artist in history here. These best blues singers are known for their great voices and music that will stand the test of time.

Note that this ranking is for blues artists only - no best blues/blues rock bands here. Many of the greatest bluesmen, old blues singers, and female blues artists are sadly no longer with us, but their legacies live on, often in rock artists who sold millions more records with versions of classic blues songs written by these great blues legends.

Who are the greatest blues artists? These are best blues musicians the world has to offer, from the Mississippi Delta to the streets of Chicago, Detroit, and even London. Make sure to vote for the musicians you consider to be the top blues artists of all time.

1
+ - 2,541 468
Muddy Waters 
                    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Muddy Waters Anthology, Super Blues Fathers and Sons - See The Best Albums Of Muddy Waters

The Greatest Country Blues Songs The Best Rappers of the 2000s

2
+ - 2,854 451
B.B. King 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
B.B. King Let the Good Times Roll, Live at the Regal Ladies and Gentleman... Mr. B.B. King - See The Best Albums Of B.B. King

3
+ - 1,477 274
Howlin' Wolf 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Howlin' Wolf The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions, The Genuine Article Howlin' Wolf

4
+ - 1,577 322
Robert Johnson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers, The Complete Recordings King of the Delta Blues

5
+ - 1,627 272
John Lee Hooker 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
John Lee Hooker I'll Play the Blues for You, Live at the Fox Venice Theatre Collection - See The Best Albums Of John Lee Hooker

6
+ - 1,337 277
Buddy Guy 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Buddy Guy Damn Right, I've Got the Blues A Man & the Blues - See The Best Albums Of Buddy Guy

7
+ - 1,761 368
Stevie Ray Vaughan 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Stevie Ray Vaughan Couldn't Stand the Weather, In Step Texas Flood - See The Best Albums Of Stevie Ray Vaughan

8
+ - 961 180
Albert King 
                    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Albert King I'll Play the Blues for You, In Session Thursday Night in San Francisco - See The Best Albums Of Albert King

9
+ - 707 154
Lightnin' Hopkins 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Lightnin' Hopkins The Very Best of Lightnin' Hopkins, Mojo Hand Texas Blues Giant - See The Best Albums Of Lightnin' Hopkins

10
+ - 1,049 279
Ray Charles 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Ray Charles The Birth of Soul, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music The Spirit of Christmas - See The Best Albums Of Ray Charles

11
+ - 538 179
Son House 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Son House Delta Blues, The Legendary 1941/42 Recordings in Chronological Sequence Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Son House - See The Best Albums Of Son House

12
+ - 660 164
Elmore James 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Elmore James King of the Slide Guitar: The Complete Trumpet, Chief & Fire Sessions The Classic Early Recordings - See The Best Albums Of Elmore James

13
+ - 869 206
Etta James 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Etta James At Last!, Tell Mama I'd Rather Go Blind - See The Best Albums Of Etta James

14
+ - 491 159
Little Walter 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Little Walter Boss Blues Harmonica, Confessin' the Blues Super Blues - See The Best Albums Of Little Walter

15
+ - 541 117
T-Bone Walker 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
T-Bone Walker Good Feelin', Charly Blues Masterworks Volume 14: T. Bone Shuffle - See The Best Albums Of T-Bone Walker

The Best Dubstep Artists The Greatest Songs by '90s One-Hit Wonders

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+ - 495 134
Willie Dixon 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Willie Dixon I Am the Blues, Jazz in Paris: Aux Trois Mailletz I Am the Blues: The Willie Dixon Story - See The Best Albums Of Willie Dixon

17
+ - 614 183
Billie Holiday 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Billie Holiday Lady in Satin, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday at Newport The Best of Billie Holiday - See The Best Albums Of Billie Holiday

18
+ - 491 137
Sonny Boy Williamson II 
                    is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Sonny Boy Williamson II One Way Out, Don’t Send Me No Flowers His Best - See The Best Albums Of Sonny Boy Williamson II

19
+ - 532 116
Freddie King 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Freddie King I Love the Woman / Hide Away, Getting Ready... Live at the Electric Ballroom - See The Best Albums Of Freddie King

20
+ - 420 153
Huddie William Ledbetter 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Huddie William Ledbetter Nothing but the Blues: You Do Me Any Old Way, Where Did You Sleep Last Night: Lead Belly Legacy Volume 1

21
+ - 1,061 211
Jimi Hendrix 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Jimi Hendrix First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection - See The Best Albums Of Jimi Hendrix

22
+ - 441 131
Johnny Winter 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Johnny Winter The Best of Johnny Winter, Anthology Livin' in the Blues - See The Best Albums Of Johnny Winter

23
+ - 308 93
Blind Lemon Jefferson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Blind Lemon Jefferson Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 1: 1925–1926 Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order

24
+ - 360 101
Blind Willie Johnson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Blind Willie Johnson Sweeter as the Years Go By, The Soul of a Man Praise God I'm Satisfied

25
+ - 282 124
Junior Wells 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Junior Wells A Night of the Blues, The Real Blues Messin' With the Kid: Junior Wells 1957-1963 - See The Best Albums Of Junior Wells

26
+ - 1,235 282
Eric Clapton 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard, Crossroads Pilgrim - See The Best Albums Of Eric Clapton

27
+ - 377 88
Mississippi John Hurt 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Mississippi John Hurt Today!, I'm Satisfied Last Sessions

28
+ - 336 128
Jimmy Reed 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Jimmy Reed Big Boss Man, The Vee-Jay Box: The Complete Singles and Other Rarities Ain't That Loving You Baby: Singles As & Bs 1953-1961 - See The Best Albums Of Jimmy Reed

29
+ - 273 107
Charlie Patton 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Charlie Patton The Rough Guide to Blues Legends: Charley Patton, Founder of the Delta Blues This Is the Blues - See The Best Albums Of Charlie Patton

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time 39 Ways to Repel a Potential Girlfriend

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+ - 293 104
Bessie Smith 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Bessie Smith Squeeze Me, The World's Greatest Blues Singer 1923-1933 Empress of the Blues - See The Best Albums Of Bessie Smith

31
+ - 372 134
Robert Cray 
                    is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Robert Cray Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Sweet Potato Pie The Blues Collection 25: Who's Been Talkin'

32
+ - 370 97
Albert Collins 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Albert Collins Collins Mix: The Best Of, Showdown! Ice Pickin' - See The Best Albums Of Albert Collins

33
+ - 239 97
Big Bill Broonzy 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Big Bill Broonzy Rocking in Chicago 1949-53, Volume 2 The Post War Years Nothing But the Blues: Mississippi River Blues

34
+ - 237 99
Skip James 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Skip James The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James, She Lyin' Today!

35
+ - 145 73
Lonnie Johnson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson He's a Jelly Roll Baker, The Complete Folkways Recordings Hot Fingers

36
+ - 248 63
Big Mama Thornton 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Big Mama Thornton Sassy Mama, Big Mama Swing The Original Hound Dog

37
+ - 230 84
Sonny Boy Williamson I 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Sonny Boy Williamson I Sugar Mama, Nothing but the Blues The Blues: Chicago 1937-1945

38
+ - 179 63
Blind Willie McTell 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Blind Willie McTell Mr. McTell Got the Blues, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order Volume 2: 23 October 1931 to 19 September 1933

39
+ - 239 86
Otis Rush 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Otis Rush Right Place, Wrong Time Blues Masters

40
+ - 321 134
John Mayall 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
John Mayall Empty Rooms, Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton Road Dogs

41
+ - 287 110
Taj Mahal 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Taj Mahal Giant Step / De Ole Folks at Home, Kulanjan The Real Thing

42
+ - 430 145
Joe Bonamassa 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Joe Bonamassa Driving Towards the Daylight, A New Day Yesterday Seesaw

43
+ - 138 91
Memphis Minnie 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Memphis Minnie Complete Recorded Works 1935-1941 in Chronological Order, Volume 5: 27 June 1940 to 12 December 1941 The Complete Post-War Recordings in Chronological Order

The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders The Best Adventure Travel Companies

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+ - 300 90
Duane Allman 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Duane Allman Duane Allman: An Anthology, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective Ton-Ton Macoute!

45
+ - 223 74
R. L. Burnside 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
R. L. Burnside Heritage of the Blues: No Monkeys on This Train, A Ass Pocket of Whiskey Burnside on Burnside

46
+ - 249 76
Bobby Bland 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Bobby Bland Two Steps From the Blues, Two Steps From the Blues & Here's the Man Ask Me 'Bout Nothing

47
+ - 204 79
Big Joe Turner 
                    is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Big Joe Turner Big, Bad & Blue: The Big Joe Turner Anthology All the Classic Hits 1938-1952

48
+ - 132 74
Otis Spann 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Otis Spann Complete Candid Recordings: Otis Spann/Lightnin' Hopkins Sessions (disc 1), Blues Masters Volume 10

49
+ - 132 77
Ma Rainey 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Ma Rainey Mother of the Blues, Madam Gertrude "Ma" Rainey 1923-1928 Ma Rainey

50
+ - 166 27
Otis Redding 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Otis Redding Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, The Dock of the Bay The Immortal Otis Redding