The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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11  reranks 23,944 votes 1,934 voters 74,401 views by  Ranker
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The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

List Criteria: The best song writers - must be prolific

Who is the best songwriter alive today? The musician responsible for the lyrics and music that's the most memorable, significant and lasting in all of rock history, who is still with us today. We're talking, over the course of an entire career, the person who has written the most great songs--the best songwriters of the 21st century. A few things to keep in mind: (1) Songwriting teams are acceptable if they truly worked together (for example, Elton John writing music to Bernie Taupin's lyrics). When possible, as in the case of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, separate them and focus on individual songwriting. (2) LIVING songwriters. Living. (3) I think the ratio of "great songs" to "not good songs" is important to consider. If someone has 2 classic albums of great songs and then 5 albums worth of garbage, that impacts the overall view of the career, no matter how good the original work was. Something to keep in mind.

Add your own selections below and vote up the people you feel are worthy of the title of Greatest Living Rock Songwriter. PLUS, if you have Spotify, you can listen to full songs from each of the listed songwriters on our Ranker playlist!
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 11 ReRanks
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 127
    Up 10
    Down 19

    John Prine

    Acoustic More
    31
    added by: MikeTrujillo
  2. 43
    Up 41
    Down 47
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco More
    51
    added by: Cory85
    The last surviving Bee Gee.
  3. 14
    Up 212
    Down 150
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    67
    added by: KirkSaw
  4. 72
    Up 14
    Down 36
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    39
    added by: kerijonuts
  5. 114
    Up 2
    Down 1
    Adult contemporary music, Chanson, New Wave More
    33
    added by: coldspacemusic
  6. 35
    Up 100
    Down 96
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    54
    added by: KirkSaw
  7. 129
    Up 57
    Down 103
    Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap More
    30
    added by: Randolph
  8. 73
    Up 39
    Down 89
    Alternative rock, Alternative country More
    39
    added by: Alby Thompson
  9. 86
    Up 26
    Down 69

    often listed
    Paul Westerberg

    Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    37
    added by: LaurieM
  10. 5
    Up 363
    Down 315
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    77
  11. 24
    Up 206
    Down 157
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    61
    added by: Ariel Kana
  12. 125
    Up 8
    Down 16
    Americana, Country pop, Country rock More
    31
  13. 96
    Up 11
    Down 52

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Patty Griffin

    Americana, Folk music, Folk rock More
    36
    added by: LaurieM
  14. 77
    Up 28
    Down 68

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Steve Earle

    Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock More
    39
    added by: Clark Benson
  15. 61
    Up 26
    Down 64

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lucinda Williams

    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    45
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  16. 53
    Up 24
    Down 18
    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    48
    added by: autosurvive
  17. 76
    Up 10
    Down 25

    often listed
    John Hiatt

    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    39
    added by: biker terry
    f
  18. 128
    Up 5
    Down 11
    Americana, Rock music, Rock and roll More
    31
  19. 31
    Up 121
    Down 144
    Ballad, Country pop, Pop music More
    56
    added by: Randolph
  20. 33
    Up 136
    Down 139
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    56
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  21. 25
    Up 59
    Down 23
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    61
    added by: jrdale1
  22. 56
    Up 11
    Down 9
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    46
    added by: nanfan58
  23. 113
    Up 16
    Down 19
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    34
    added by: Cory85
  24. 37
    Up 138
    Down 153
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    54
    added by: Clark Benson
    Young/Young/Johnson
  25. 124
    Up 3
    Down 6
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    32
    added by: HercMcca
  26. 109
    Up 9
    Down 13
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal More
    34
  27. 11
    Up 338
    Down 287
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music More
    71
    added by: Randolph
  28. 16
    Up 70
    Down 65

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Taylor

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    65
  29. 55
    Up 16
    Down 14
    Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    46
  30. 21
    Up 163
    Down 141
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    63
    added by: couchlock420
  31. 34
    Up 56
    Down 37
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    55
  32. 67
    Up 8
    Down 15
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music More
    41
    added by: cheeseburger
  33. 92
    Up 11
    Down 13
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music More
    36
    added by: autosurvive
  34. 27
    Up 144
    Down 124
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    58
    added by: couchlock420
  35. 46
    Up 40
    Down 29
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    50
  36. 2
    Up 593
    Down 333

    the people's #1
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    94
    added by: Benjamin Dunn
  37. 94
    Up 15
    Down 9
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    36
    added by: Veggamattic
  38. 58
    Up 15
    Down 14
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    45
    added by: autosurvive
  39. 118
    Up 8
    Down 10
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    33
    added by: autosurvive
  40. 45
    Up 78
    Down 134
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    51
    added by: LaurieM
  41. 50
    Up 27
    Down 16

    ranked low on reranks
    Eric Clapton

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae More
    48
  42. 116
    Up 8
    Down 14
    Bubblegum pop, New Wave, Rock music More
    33
  43. 82
    Up 12
    Down 7
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    38
    added by: looksharp
  44. 112
    Up 7
    Down 11
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop More
    34
  45. 69
    Up 5
    Down 14
    Contemporary Christian music, Alternative rock More
    40
    added by: looksharp
  46. 123
    Up 3
    Down 5
    Disco, Pop music, Euro disco More
    32
    added by: HercMcca
  47. 119
    Up 5
    Down 6
    Disco, Pop music, Euro disco More
    33
    added by: HercMcca
  48. 20
    Up 118
    Down 101
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    63
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  49. 63
    Up 11
    Down 14
    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal More
    44
  50. 49
    Up 54
    Down 87

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ozzy Osbourne

    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    48
  51. 130 +

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