The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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by  * Ranker
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tags 34,693 votes 2,693 voters 92,199 views 160 items f p @

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!
  • 14 ReRanks
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  1. 34
    + 82
    - 89

    added by Cory85 Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco The last surviving Bee Gee.

    ) open
  2. 35
    + 186
    - 226

    added by Ariel Kana Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

    ) open
  3. 75
    + 32
    - 42

    added by Cory85 Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  4. 68
    + 34
    - 37

    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

    ) open
  5. 38
    + 81
    - 71

    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

    ) open
  6. 77
    + 35
    - 89

    added by Kel Varnsen Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

    ) open
  7. 131
    + 13
    - 74

    often listed & added by LaurieM Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

    ) open
  8. 81
    + 47
    - 30

    ranked low on reranks Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

    ) open
  9. 145
    + 1
    - 0

    added by StacyWolfe Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Rock music

    ) open
  10. 9
    + 298
    - 318

    often listed & added by jdbranded Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

    ) open
  11. 135
    + 2
    - 0

    added by StacyWolfe Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

    ) open
  12. 53
    + 66
    - 100

    added by KirkSaw Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

    ) open
  13. 132
    + 45
    - 64

    added by ConnieStarnes Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ) open
  14. 17
    + 209
    - 182

    added by ohnoitsmanasco Disco, Pop music, Rock music Electric Light Orchestra founder and excellent producer.

    ) open
  15. 20
    + 431
    - 435

    added by Randolph Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

    ) open
  16. 58
    + 78
    - 130

    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

    ) open
  17. 61
    + 31
    - 23

    ranked low on reranks & added by Honda Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

    ) open
  18. 133
    + 65
    - 95

    added by JesusAlonso New Wave, Gothic rock, Pop music The Cure

    ) open
  19. 3
    + 611
    - 306

    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

    ) open
  20. 83
    + 34
    - 64

    added by danmedsker Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music

    ) open
  21. 50
    + 83
    - 157

    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock

    ) open
  22. 128
    + 30
    - 35

    added by ChanczProwess Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ) open
  23. 27
    + 201
    - 174

    added by couchlock420 Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ) open
  24. 87
    + 27
    - 61

    added by bdfsu157 Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

    ) open
  25. 23
    + 179
    - 162

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

    ) open
  26. 31
    + 175
    - 188

    added by ohnoitsmanasco Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  27. 14
    + 298
    - 225

    added by TVs Frank New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  28. 111
    + 30
    - 25

    ranked low on reranks & added by Veggamattic Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

    ) open
  29. 120
    + 1
    - 0

    Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music

    ) open
  30. 155
    + 1
    - 1

    added by StacyWolfe Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop, Gangsta rap

    ) open
  31. 152
    + 1
    - 1

    added by StacyWolfe Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, Gangsta rap

    ) open
  32. 143
    + 1
    - 0

    added by StacyWolfe Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap

    ) open
  33. 91
    + 21
    - 69

    ranked high on reranks & added by autosurvive Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

    ) open
  34. 66
    + 10
    - 30

    added by NarimanKashefi Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  35. 142
    + 1
    - 0

    added by StacyWolfe Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ) open
  36. 82
    + 26
    - 37

    added by cheeseburger Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

    ) open
  37. 33
    + 133
    - 134

    added by KirkSaw Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rhythm and blues

    ) open
  38. 13
    + 363
    - 347

    added by Ron Mexico Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

    ) open
  39. 28
    + 242
    - 266

    added by Kel Varnsen Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

    ) open
  40. 39
    + 168
    - 212

    New Wave, Worldbeat, Experimental music

    ) open
  41. 157
    + 16
    - 26

    added by autosurvive Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

    ) open
  42. 25
    + 261
    - 208

    added by Ariel Kana Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop

    ) open
  43. 8
    + 506
    - 453

    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

    ) open
  44. 71
    + 26
    - 30

    Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ) open
  45. 5
    + 404
    - 203

    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

    ) open
  46. 30
    + 212
    - 204

    added by couchlock420 Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock

    ) open
  47. 94
    + 29
    - 28

    added by looksharp Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ) open
  48. 156
    + 5
    - 38

    often listed & added by looksharp Contemporary Christian music, Alternative rock

    ) open
  49. 88
    + 35
    - 30

    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

    ) open
  50. 116
    + 2
    - 0

    Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
161 +

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