The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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10  reranks 21,508 votes 1,727 voters 70,839 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
  • 10 ReRanks
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 125
    Up 10
    Down 16

    John Prine

    Acoustic More
    32
    added by: MikeTrujillo
  2. 56
    Up 35
    Down 39
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco More
    43
    added by: Cory85
    The last surviving Bee Gee.
  3. 16
    Up 177
    Down 127

    ranked low on reranks
    Carole King

    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    68
    added by: KirkSaw
  4. 62
    Up 14
    Down 33
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    41
    added by: kerijonuts
  5. 31
    Up 92
    Down 88
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    55
    added by: KirkSaw
  6. 133
    Up 55
    Down 101
    Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap More
    30
    added by: Randolph
  7. 64
    Up 38
    Down 86
    Alternative rock, Alternative country More
    40
    added by: Alby Thompson
  8. 71
    Up 26
    Down 66

    often listed
    Paul Westerberg

    Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    38
    added by: LaurieM
  9. 7
    Up 349
    Down 245
    Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock More
    78
  10. 22
    Up 194
    Down 141
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    63
    added by: Ariel Kana
  11. 124
    Up 8
    Down 13
    Americana, Country pop, Country rock More
    32
  12. 79
    Up 11
    Down 49

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Patty Griffin

    Americana, Folk music, Folk rock More
    37
    added by: LaurieM
  13. 66
    Up 27
    Down 65
    Americana, Heartland rock, Country rock More
    39
    added by: Clark Benson
  14. 51
    Up 26
    Down 61

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Lucinda Williams

    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    46
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  15. 49
    Up 20
    Down 17
    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    47
    added by: autosurvive
  16. 65
    Up 9
    Down 23
    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    39
    added by: biker terry
    f
  17. 132
    Up 4
    Down 9
    Americana, Rock music, Rock and roll More
    31
  18. 34
    Up 112
    Down 133
    Ballad, Country pop, Pop music More
    52
    added by: Randolph
  19. 28
    Up 131
    Down 122
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    58
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  20. 32
    Up 42
    Down 14
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    54
    added by: jrdale1
  21. 50
    Up 10
    Down 7
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    46
    added by: nanfan58
  22. 113
    Up 15
    Down 18
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    33
    added by: Cory85
  23. 48
    Up 118
    Down 142
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    48
    added by: Clark Benson
    Young/Young/Johnson
  24. 127
    Up 2
    Down 4
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    32
    added by: HercMcca
  25. 99
    Up 9
    Down 11
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal More
    34
  26. 11
    Up 323
    Down 218
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music More
    72
    added by: Randolph
  27. 24
    Up 53
    Down 50

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Taylor

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    61
  28. 106
    Up 6
    Down 11
    Blues-rock, Hard rock More
    34
    added by: autosurvive
  29. 90
    Up 13
    Down 12
    Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    36
  30. 21
    Up 152
    Down 98
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    63
    added by: couchlock420
  31. 43
    Up 41
    Down 27
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    49
  32. 122
    Up 7
    Down 13
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music More
    32
  33. 87
    Up 10
    Down 11
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music More
    36
    added by: autosurvive
  34. 25
    Up 136
    Down 109
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    60
    added by: couchlock420
  35. 47
    Up 24
    Down 24
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    48
  36. 2
    Up 551
    Down 275

    the people's #1
    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    93
    added by: Benjamin Dunn
  37. 91
    Up 14
    Down 7
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    36
    added by: Veggamattic
  38. 110
    Up 11
    Down 12
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    33
    added by: autosurvive
  39. 118
    Up 7
    Down 9
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    32
    added by: autosurvive
  40. 35
    Up 72
    Down 128
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk More
    52
    added by: LaurieM
  41. 69
    Up 20
    Down 10

    ranked low on reranks
    Eric Clapton

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae More
    38
  42. 115
    Up 7
    Down 12
    Bubblegum pop, New Wave, Rock music More
    33
  43. 83
    Up 6
    Down 4
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    36
    added by: looksharp
  44. 128
    Up 2
    Down 4
    Chanson, Pop music, Jazz More
    32
    added by: HercMcca
  45. 109
    Up 6
    Down 9
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop More
    33
  46. 59
    Up 5
    Down 10
    Contemporary Christian music, Alternative rock More
    42
    added by: looksharp
  47. 123
    Up 2
    Down 3
    Disco, Pop music, Euro disco More
    32
    added by: HercMcca
  48. 116
    Up 3
    Down 3
    Disco, Pop music, Euro disco More
    33
    added by: HercMcca
  49. 30
    Up 93
    Down 94
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    57
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  50. 107
    Up 7
    Down 11
    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal More
    33
  51. 134 +

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