The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters Bands/Musicians
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by  * Ranker
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tags 37,378 votes 2,818 voters 96,355 views 153 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!

  • 16 ReRanks
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  1. 36
    + 92
    - 104

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

    ) open
  2. 41
    + 191
    - 243

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

    ) open
  3. 79
    + 36
    - 53

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

    ) open
  4. 65
    + 43
    - 45

    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

    ) open
  5. 40
    + 94
    - 83

    Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

    ) open
  6. 82
    + 35
    - 101

    added by Kel Varnsen Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music

    ) open
  7. 132
    + 13
    - 79

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

    ) open
  8. 80
    + 56
    - 36

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

    ) open
  9. 142
    + 4
    - 6

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

    ) open
  10. 13
    + 310
    - 338

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

    ) open
  11. 130
    + 8
    - 6

    added by StacyWolfe Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

    ) open
  12. 55
    + 70
    - 109

    added by KirkSaw Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

    ) open
  13. 136
    + 46
    - 70

    added by ConnieStarnes Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ) open
  14. 21
    + 223
    - 195

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

    ) open
  15. 19
    + 456
    - 443

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

    ) open
  16. 54
    + 89
    - 141

    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

    ) open
  17. 69
    + 37
    - 34

    added by Honda Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

    ) open
  18. 135
    + 66
    - 101

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

    ) open
  19. 3
    + 640
    - 330

    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

    ) open
  20. 88
    + 40
    - 74

    added by danmedsker Outlaw country, Rock music, Folk music

    ) open
  21. 50
    + 89
    - 167

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

    ) open
  22. 125
    + 33
    - 39

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

    ) open
  23. 30
    + 209
    - 184

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

    ) open
  24. 92
    + 30
    - 74

    added by bdfsu157 Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

    ) open
  25. 26
    + 186
    - 173

    Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music

    ) open
  26. 27
    + 187
    - 199

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

    ) open
  27. 11
    + 309
    - 243

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

    ) open
  28. 117
    + 35
    - 30

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

    ) open
  29. 145
    + 3
    - 5

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

    ) open
  30. 91
    + 28
    - 78

    added by autosurvive Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

    ) open
  31. 77
    + 11
    - 43

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

    ) open
  32. 85
    + 32
    - 46

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

    ) open
  33. 29
    + 141
    - 147

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

    ) open
  34. 9
    + 383
    - 359

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

    ) open
  35. 84
    + 9
    - 20

    added by looksharp Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop

    ) open
  36. 32
    + 253
    - 281

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

    ) open
  37. 35
    + 176
    - 222

    New Wave, Worldbeat, Experimental music

    ) open
  38. 144
    + 19
    - 30

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

    ) open
  39. 24
    + 280
    - 213

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

    ) open
  40. 10
    + 531
    - 465

    Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

    ) open
  41. 74
    + 30
    - 41

    Smooth soul, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

    ) open
  42. 8
    + 415
    - 226

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

    ) open
  43. 34
    + 224
    - 210

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

    ) open
  44. 97
    + 36
    - 36

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

    ) open
  45. 127
    + 7
    - 42

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

    ) open
  46. 89
    + 44
    - 38

    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

    ) open
  47. 112
    + 10
    - 5

    Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  48. 2
    + 866
    - 549

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

    ) open
  49. 20
    + 321
    - 184

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

    ) open
  50. 95
    + 38
    - 32

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

    ) open
154 +

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