music The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

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12M votes 27k voters 272k views 1,496 items Follow Embed

List Rules The best artists of any genre

When VH1 polled fellow artists to name the greatest artists of all time, it seemed like a good idea---but in reality, the list was truly flawed. According to them, Coldplay is better than Pearl Jam, Mariah Carey is only greater than six artists, etc! Not to mention other impactful artists were left off of the list. So I thought that maybe we try the countdown one more time, only this time with the perspective of true music fans...YOU..

This list will begin in no particular order, you will see some names that didn't appear in VH1's version, no artist appears on the countdown twice, and the order is not my personal opinion (I personally think Bob Marley is the greatest artist of all time). If you don't like how the list looks, you have the power to change it. This list includes some of the greatest female vocalists of the past 10 years, and many of the best rock bands and artists of all time. Many of them are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - and some will be, eventually.

So many questions will be answered with the voting results on this list. Nirvana or Pearl Jam? 2Pac or Biggie? The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston? Is Michael Jackson still the King or is Elvis the true immortal? Is Madonna still the undisputed Queen of Pop? Does anyone rock harder than Hendrix? Are Jay-Z and Beyonce the most powerful couple in music history? It's up to you to decide!
list ordered by

1
+ - 7,917 5,188
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The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

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2
+ - 7,904 5,188
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Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

3
+ - 7,878 5,163
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Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

4
+ - 7,898 5,170
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Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

5
+ - 7,859 5,181
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Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

6
+ - 7,848 5,152
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The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

7
+ - 7,817 5,158
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The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

8
+ - 7,849 5,153
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Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

9
+ - 7,802 5,148
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Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

10
+ - 7,779 5,159
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AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

11
+ - 7,837 5,142
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David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

12
+ - 7,805 5,119
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Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
+ - 7,833 5,102
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

14
+ - 7,766 5,141
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The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

15
+ - 7,713 5,130
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Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

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16
+ - 7,689 5,130
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U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

17
+ - 7,652 5,114
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Bee Gees Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

18
+ - 7,742 5,129
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Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

19
+ - 7,757 5,124
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Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

20
+ - 7,812 5,123
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Opera, Classical music

21
+ - 7,675 5,114
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The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

22
+ - 7,749 5,124
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Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

23
+ - 7,758 5,128
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Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

24
+ - 7,690 5,105
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The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

25
+ - 7,702 5,116
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Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

26
+ - 7,692 5,113
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Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

27
+ - 7,597 5,098
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

28
+ - 7,693 5,113
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

29
+ - 7,787 5,118
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Opera, Ballet, Art song

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30
+ - 7,626 5,102
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Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

31
+ - 7,735 5,118
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

32
+ - 7,723 5,111
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Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

33
+ - 7,868 5,081
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Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

34
+ - 7,702 5,111
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

35
+ - 7,715 5,115
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Bob Marley Reggae

36
+ - 7,638 5,112
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

37
+ - 7,612 5,101
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Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

38
+ - 7,568 5,084
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Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

39
+ - 7,610 5,074
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

40
+ - 7,528 5,061
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Lynyrd Skynyrd Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock

41
+ - 7,646 5,097
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Abba Synthpop, Disco, Pop music

42
+ - 7,764 5,093
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

43
+ - 7,619 5,087
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Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

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44
+ - 7,568 5,076
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Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

45
+ - 7,668 5,075
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Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

46
+ - 7,457 5,044
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Phil Collins Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

47
+ - 7,502 5,043
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Journey Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock

48
+ - 7,568 5,041
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Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

49
+ - 7,725 5,067
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

50
+ - 7,534 5,031
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Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal