The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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originally by  tags 40,080 votes 3,179 voters 98,774 views 146 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!

  • 17 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 36
    + 104
    - 112

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

    ) open
  2. 40
    + 204
    - 255

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

    ) open
  3. 78
    + 38
    - 62

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

    ) open
  4. 66
    + 49
    - 53


    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

    ) open
  5. 38
    + 111
    - 92


    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

    ) open
  6. 80
    + 38
    - 109

    added by Kel Varnsen
    Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

    ) open
  7. 130
    + 15
    - 84

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

    ) open
  8. 81
    + 60
    - 43

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

    ) open
  9. 12
    + 339
    - 349

    added by jdbranded
    Skiffle, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

    ) open
  10. 134
    + 11
    - 12

    added by StacyWolfe
    Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

    ) open
  11. 55
    + 76
    - 118

    added by KirkSaw
    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

    ) open
  12. 141
    + 50
    - 78

    added by ConnieStarnes
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ) open
  13. 22
    + 235
    - 210

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

    ) open
  14. 19
    + 483
    - 456

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

    ) open
  15. 57
    + 92
    - 153


    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

    ) open
  16. 61
    + 50
    - 40

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

    ) open
  17. 138
    + 70
    - 105

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

    ) open
  18. 3
    + 674
    - 357


    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

    ) open
  19. 83
    + 47
    - 79

    added by danmedsker
    Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music

    ) open
  20. 50
    + 92
    - 179

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock

    ) open
  21. 129
    + 37
    - 44

    ranked low on reranks & added by ChanczProwess
    Psychedelic soul, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    ) open
  22. 32
    + 219
    - 197

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

    ) open
  23. 91
    + 33
    - 83

    added by bdfsu157
    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

    ) open
  24. 26
    + 200
    - 183


    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

    ) open
  25. 28
    + 198
    - 216

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

    ) open
  26. 11
    + 326
    - 258

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

    ) open
  27. 122
    + 38
    - 36

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

    ) open
  28. 146
    + 4
    - 11

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

    ) open
  29. 90
    + 31
    - 86

    added by autosurvive
    Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

    ) open
  30. 82
    + 12
    - 54

    often listed & added by NarimanKashefi
    Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  31. 86
    + 36
    - 55

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

    ) open
  32. 29
    + 151
    - 157

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

    ) open
  33. 9
    + 401
    - 375

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

    ) open buy
  34. 85
    + 12
    - 30

    added by looksharp
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop

    ) open
  35. 30
    + 268
    - 294

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

    ) open buy
  36. 35
    + 184
    - 233


    New Wave, Worldbeat, Experimental music

    ) open
  37. 139
    + 23
    - 33

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

    ) open
  38. 24
    + 302
    - 223

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

    ) open
  39. 8
    + 568
    - 474


    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

    ) open
  40. 73
    + 34
    - 48


    Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ) open
  41. 10
    + 435
    - 240

    ranked low on reranks
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

    ) open
  42. 31
    + 244
    - 220

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

    ) open
  43. 94
    + 43
    - 43

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

    ) open
  44. 133
    + 7
    - 48

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

    ) open
  45. 88
    + 55
    - 48


    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

    ) open
  46. 117
    + 13
    - 11


    Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  47. 2
    + 919
    - 571

    most listed & added by Benjamin Dunn
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

    ) open
  48. 20
    + 352
    - 193

    ranked low on reranks
    Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

    ) open
  49. 97
    + 43
    - 40

    ranked low on reranks
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

    ) open
  50. 105
    + 38
    - 41

    ranked low on reranks
    Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock

    ) open
147 +

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