music The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

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511k votes 26k voters 268k views 1,560 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
+ - 5,074 7,391
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The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

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2
+ - 4,223 7,188
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Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

3
+ - 4,343 7,132
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Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

4
+ - 4,210 6,847
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Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

5
+ - 3,547 6,729
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Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

6
+ - 2,942 6,190
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The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

7
+ - 2,848 6,127
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Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

8
+ - 2,585 4,813
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David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

9
+ - 2,461 5,429
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The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

10
+ - 4,783 6,352
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Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

11
+ - 3,242 4,678
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Opera, Classical music

12
+ - 2,156 4,134
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

13
+ - 2,198 4,710
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Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

14
+ - 2,623 4,779
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Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

15
+ - 465 474
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George Michael Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-pop

The Sexiest Artists of All Time 16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

16
+ - 2,833 4,303
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Opera, Ballet, Art song

17
+ - 2,226 5,152
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AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

18
+ - 1,733 3,676
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The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

19
+ - 1,234 2,258
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Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

20
+ - 1,954 2,858
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

21
+ - 1,516 2,973
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Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

22
+ - 1,166 2,111
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Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

23
+ - 1,482 3,018
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Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

24
+ - 1,622 2,667
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Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

25
+ - 1,305 2,105
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Bob Marley Reggae

26
+ - 1,516 2,268
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

27
+ - 1,844 3,475
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Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

28
+ - 1,215 2,112
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

29
+ - 1,223 2,538
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Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

The Worst Bands of All Time 39 Ways to Repel a Potential Girlfriend

30
+ - 961 1,847
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The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

31
+ - 1,414 2,289
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

32
+ - 1,853 3,081
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

33
+ - 1,228 2,196
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Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

34
+ - 1,166 2,452
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U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

35
+ - 997 1,333
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

36
+ - 1,189 1,897
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Abba Synthpop, Disco, Pop music

37
+ - 1,262 1,950
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Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

38
+ - 1,643 3,084
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The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

39
+ - 1,077 1,449
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

40
+ - 926 1,584
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Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

41
+ - 1,118 1,827
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

42
+ - 1,107 2,344
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Bee Gees Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

43
+ - 899 1,438
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Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time The Best Subarus of All Time

44
+ - 1,099 1,987
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

45
+ - 1,082 1,682
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

46
+ - 813 1,313
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Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

47
+ - 759 1,248
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Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

48
+ - 949 1,578
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Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

49
+ - 1,203 1,730
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Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

50
+ - 949 1,315
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Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly