popular opinion The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

Originally by
498k votes 25k voters 266k views 1,548 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!
list ordered by

1
+ - 5,012 7,195
Ranker Video v
The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like The Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

2
+ - 4,263 6,957
Ranker Video v
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

3
+ - 4,168 6,986
Ranker Video v
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
+ - 4,151 6,662
Ranker Video v
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

5
+ - 3,458 6,556
Ranker Video v
Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

6
+ - 2,905 6,017
Ranker Video v
The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

7
+ - 2,768 5,959
Ranker Video v
Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

8
+ - 2,431 5,266
Ranker Video v
The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

9
+ - 2,542 4,653
Ranker Video v
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

10
+ - 2,123 3,991
Simon and Garfunkel 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

11
+ - 3,186 4,535
Ludwig van Beethoven 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Opera, Classical music

12
+ - 4,719 6,202
Ranker Video v
Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

13
+ - 2,176 4,559
Ranker Video v
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

14
+ - 2,592 4,636
Ranker Video v
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

15
+ - 2,206 5,001
Ranker Video v
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

The Sexiest Artists of All Time Incredibly Famous Bands Playing Shows You Would Never Imagine They Would

16
+ - 2,785 4,176
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Opera, Ballet, Art song

17
+ - 1,710 3,543
Ranker Video v
The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

18
+ - 1,490 2,837
Ranker Video v
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

19
+ - 1,209 2,440
Ranker Video v
Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

20
+ - 1,828 3,367
Ranker Video v
Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

21
+ - 1,395 2,194
Frank Sinatra 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

22
+ - 1,451 2,903
Ranker Video v
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

23
+ - 1,604 2,571
Ranker Video v
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

24
+ - 947 1,735
Ranker Video v
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

25
+ - 1,195 2,028
Eagles 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

26
+ - 1,214 2,116
Ranker Video v
Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

27
+ - 1,279 2,013
Ranker Video v
Bob Marley Reggae

28
+ - 1,219 2,164
Ranker Video v
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

29
+ - 982 1,262
Eric Clapton 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

The Worst Bands of All Time The Worst Qualities in a Woman

30
+ - 1,153 2,015
Ranker Video v
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
+ - 1,149 2,372
Ranker Video v
U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

32
+ - 1,925 2,754
Johann Sebastian Bach 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

33
+ - 913 1,515
Ranker Video v
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

34
+ - 1,104 1,742
Metallica 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

35
+ - 1,061 1,378
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

36
+ - 1,491 2,192
Paul McCartney 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

37
+ - 886 1,366
Ranker Video v
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

38
+ - 1,167 1,823
ABBA 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Abba Synthpop, Disco, Pop music

39
+ - 1,829 3,013
John Lennon 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

40
+ - 1,627 3,016
Ranker Video v
The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

41
+ - 748 1,179
Ranker Video v
Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

42
+ - 1,073 1,612
Creedence Clearwater Revival 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

43
+ - 1,088 2,280
Ranker Video v
Bee Gees Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time 15 Dating Tips That Will Strengthen Your Relationship

44
+ - 1,241 1,890
Ranker Video v
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

45
+ - 1,086 1,915
Dire Straits 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

46
+ - 780 1,174
Ranker Video v
Lynyrd Skynyrd Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock

47
+ - 936 1,506
Ranker Video v
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

48
+ - 679 939
Miles Davis 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Miles Davis Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

49
+ - 940 1,256
Ranker Video v
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

50
+ - 974 1,474
Ranker Video v
Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music