popular opinion The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

424k votes 22k voters 181k views 1,498 items Follow 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!

1
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The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

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2
+ - 3,667 5,890
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Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

3
+ - 3,595 5,968
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Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
+ - 2,519 5,114
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The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

5
+ - 1,926 4,155
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AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

6
+ - 2,966 5,510
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Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

7
+ - 3,596 5,723
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Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

8
+ - 2,094 4,386
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The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

9
+ - 1,876 3,793
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Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

10
+ - 961 2,056
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Bee Gees Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

11
+ - 2,098 3,853
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David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

12
+ - 1,055 2,052
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Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

13
+ - 2,395 5,064
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Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

14
+ - 2,782 3,712
Ludwig van Beethoven 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Opera, Classical music

15
+ - 1,915 3,071
Simon and Garfunkel 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

The Sexiest Artists of All Time The Worst Albums by Great Bands

16
+ - 985 1,746
Dire Straits 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

17
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Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

18
+ - 2,227 3,897
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Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

19
+ - 561 839
Ella Fitzgerald 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ella Fitzgerald Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

20
+ - 828 1,517
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The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

21
+ - 643 1,046
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Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

22
+ - 1,717 2,465
Johann Sebastian Bach 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

23
+ - 1,001 1,748
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Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

24
+ - 790 1,083
Louis Armstrong 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Louis Armstrong Swing music, Traditional pop music, Jazz

25
+ - 1,454 2,800
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The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

26
+ - 1,014 1,775
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Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

27
+ - 626 910
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Janis Joplin Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

28
+ - 962 1,950
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U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

29
+ - 922 1,402
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Aerosmith Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

The Worst Bands of All Time The Worst Things You Can Make Jokes About

30
+ - 985 1,680
Eagles 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

31
+ - 1,213 2,273
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Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

32
+ - 1,536 2,549
John Lennon 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

33
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Annie Lennox 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Annie Lennox Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music

34
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Nat King Cole 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Nat King Cole Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music

35
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Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

36
+ - 1,406 2,531
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The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

37
+ - 1,041 1,488
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Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

38
+ - 1,040 1,863
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Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

39
+ - 624 923
B.B. King 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
B.B. King Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music

40
+ - 2,435 3,467
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Opera, Ballet, Art song

41
+ - 913 1,412
Creedence Clearwater Revival 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

42
+ - 914 1,206
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

43
+ - 991 1,585
ABBA 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Abba Synthpop, Disco, Pop music

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+ - 645 1,035
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Lynyrd Skynyrd Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock

45
+ - 1,173 1,888
Frank Sinatra 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

46
+ - 1,066 1,727
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Bob Marley Reggae

47
+ - 1,549 2,821
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Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

48
+ - 592 865
Iron Maiden 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

49
+ - 929 1,543
Metallica 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

50
+ - 903 1,317
Guns N' Roses 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music