music The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

388k votes 171k views 1,481 items Embed

List Rules The best artists of any genre

When VH1 polled fellow artists to name the greatest artists of all time, it seemed like a good idea---but in reality, the list was truly flawed. According to them, Coldplay is better than Pearl Jam, Mariah Carey is only greater than six artists, etc! Not to mention other impactful artists were left off of the list. So I thought that maybe we try the countdown one more time, only this time with the perspective of true music fans...YOU..

This list will begin in no particular order, you will see some names that didn't appear in VH1's version, no artist appears on the countdown twice, and the order is not my personal opinion (I personally think Bob Marley is the greatest artist of all time). If you don't like how the list looks, you have the power to change it. This list includes some of the greatest female vocalists of the past 10 years, and many of the best rock bands and artists of all time. Many of them are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - and some will be, eventually.

So many questions will be answered with the voting results on this list. Nirvana or Pearl Jam? 2Pac or Biggie? The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston? Is Michael Jackson still the King or is Elvis the true immortal? Is Madonna still the undisputed Queen of Pop? Does anyone rock harder than Hendrix? Are Jay-Z and Beyonce the most powerful couple in music history? It's up to you to decide!

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The Beatles Pop music, Rock music Pop rock

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2
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Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock Experimental rock

3
+ - 3,370 5,423
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Queen Pop music, Rock music Heavy metal

4
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Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock Rock music

5
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Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music Electronic music

6
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Simon and Garfunkel 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel Pop music, Worldbeat Rock music

7
+ - 2,587 3,345
Ludwig van Beethoven 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Opera, Classical music

8
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The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music Protopunk

9
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Madonna Pop music, Rock music Electronic music

10
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Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music Rock music

11
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AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock Rock music

12
+ - 1,871 3,519
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David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop Electronic music

13
+ - 2,248 3,176
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Opera, Ballet Art song

14
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Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music Experimental rock

15
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The Who Popular music, Pop music Rock music

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16
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The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music Protopunk

17
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Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music Folk music

18
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Nirvana Rock music, Grunge Alternative rock

19
+ - 1,603 2,283
Johann Sebastian Bach 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

20
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Paul Simon 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Paul Simon Rock music, Folk music Folk rock

21
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Bee Gees Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul Disco

22
+ - 1,078 1,753
Frank Sinatra 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music Big band

23
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Eagles 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music Folk rock

24
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Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop New Wave

25
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Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music Rock music

26
+ - 1,397 2,328
John Lennon 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music Rock music

27
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Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music Americana

28
+ - 921 1,658
Dire Straits 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock Rock music

29
+ - 912 1,463
ABBA 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Abba Synthpop, Disco Pop music

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30
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Guns N' Roses 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock Rock music

31
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Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock Grunge

32
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The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music Psychedelic pop

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Genesis Rock music, Pop rock Soft rock

34
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The Police New Wave, 2 Tone Ska punk

35
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Nat King Cole 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Nat King Cole Jump blues, Swing music Traditional pop music

36
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Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock Heartland rock

37
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Ella Fitzgerald 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ella Fitzgerald Ballad, Swing music Traditional pop music

38
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Elton John Pop music, Rock music Piano rock

39
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Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music Rhythm and blues

40
+ - 1,187 1,898
Paul McCartney 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music Experimental rock

41
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Phil Collins 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Phil Collins Blue-eyed soul, Pop music Rock music

42
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Bob Marley Reggae

43
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The Arcana 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Arcana

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Aerosmith Glam metal, Blues-rock Rock music

45
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U2 Rock music, Alternative rock Punk rock

46
+ - 825 1,079
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul Rock music

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Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock Power metal

48
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Rush Progressive metal, Rock music Heavy metal

49
+ - 848 1,319
Creedence Clearwater Revival 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul Swamp pop

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Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music Rock music