The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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10  reranks 20,688 votes 1,628 voters 69,686 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. 57
    Up 32
    Down 36
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco More
    39
    added by: Cory85
    The last surviving Bee Gee.
  2. 129
    Up 10
    Down 14

    John Prine

    Acoustic More
    28
    added by: MikeTrujillo
  3. 40
    Up 126
    Down 168
    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog More
    47
    added by: Ariel Kana
  4. 112
    Up 15
    Down 16
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    30
    added by: Cory85
  5. 108
    Up 7
    Down 9
    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal More
    30
  6. 137
    Up 2
    Down 6
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Alternative country More
    27
  7. 37
    Up 21
    Down 23
    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock More
    48
  8. 138
    Up 2
    Down 6
    Chicano rock, Heartland rock, Alternative rock More
    27
  9. 135
    Up 3
    Down 9
    Rock music, Piano rock, Experimental rock More
    27
  10. 51
    Up 25
    Down 58

    often listed
    Lucinda Williams

    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music More
    42
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  11. 82
    Up 11
    Down 45

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Patty Griffin

    Americana, Folk music, Folk rock More
    33
    added by: LaurieM
  12. 96
    Up 11
    Down 11
    Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music More
    31
  13. 130
    Up 5
    Down 9
    Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound, Country More
    28
  14. 17
    Up 154
    Down 139
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music More
    61
    added by: jdbranded
  15. 65
    Up 36
    Down 72
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock More
    37
    added by: KirkSaw
  16. 121
    Up 29
    Down 39
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    29
    added by: ConnieStarnes
  17. 29
    Up 89
    Down 91
    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    52
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
    Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.
  18. 9
    Up 317
    Down 211
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music More
    68
    added by: Randolph
  19. 53
    Up 51
    Down 74
    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock More
    41
  20. 114
    Up 1
    Down 0
    Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music More
    29
    added by: Honda
  21. 120
    Up 53
    Down 75
    New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music More
    29
    added by: JesusAlonso
    The Cure
  22. 111
    Up 7
    Down 11
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    30
  23. 8
    Up 300
    Down 181
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music More
    69
  24. 71
    Up 13
    Down 36
    Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music More
    35
    added by: danmedsker
  25. 44
    Up 54
    Down 97

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Journey

    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock More
    45
  26. 105
    Up 15
    Down 14
    Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues More
    30
    added by: ChanczProwess
  27. 22
    Up 136
    Down 103
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock More
    57
    added by: couchlock420
  28. 63
    Up 14
    Down 31
    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock More
    37
    added by: bdfsu157
  29. 23
    Up 49
    Down 45

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Taylor

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music More
    56
  30. 27
    Up 129
    Down 117
    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music More
    54
    added by: ohnoitsmanasco
  31. 24
    Up 170
    Down 142
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music More
    56
    added by: TVs Frank
  32. 94
    Up 12
    Down 5
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    32
    added by: Veggamattic
  33. 62
    Up 15
    Down 36
    Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal More
    37
    added by: autosurvive
  34. 125
    Up 7
    Down 11
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music More
    29
  35. 31
    Up 90
    Down 84
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    52
    added by: KirkSaw
  36. 15
    Up 260
    Down 155

    ranked low on reranks
    Stevie Wonder

    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music More
    63
    added by: Ron Mexico
  37. 122
    Up 5
    Down 8
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop More
    29
  38. 18
    Up 171
    Down 168

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    U2

    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock More
    59
    added by: Kel Varnsen
  39. 36
    Up 125
    Down 166
    New Wave, Worldbeat, Experimental music More
    48
  40. 128
    Up 6
    Down 8
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock More
    28
    added by: autosurvive
  41. 20
    Up 191
    Down 135
    Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop More
    59
    added by: Ariel Kana
  42. 107
    Up 6
    Down 9
    Blues-rock, Hard rock More
    30
    added by: autosurvive
  43. 4
    Up 350
    Down 193
    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock More
    78
  44. 119
    Up 2
    Down 1
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music More
    29
    added by: HercMcca
  45. 99
    Up 10
    Down 9
    Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music More
    31
  46. 16
    Up 165
    Down 124
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock More
    62
  47. 19
    Up 149
    Down 93
    Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock More
    59
    added by: couchlock420
  48. 90
    Up 4
    Down 1
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    32
    added by: looksharp
  49. 60
    Up 4
    Down 7
    Contemporary Christian music, Alternative rock More
    38
    added by: looksharp
  50. 88
    Up 10
    Down 8
    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock More
    32
  51. 140 +

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