popular opinion The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

424k votes 181k views 1,498 items 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!

1
+ - 4,362 6,188
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The Beatles Pop music, Rock music Pop rock

The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like The Funniest Shows on TV Right Now

2
+ - 3,674 5,900
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Queen Pop music, Rock music Heavy metal

3
+ - 3,602 5,973
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Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock Experimental rock

4
+ - 3,600 5,727
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Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock Rock music

5
+ - 2,970 5,515
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Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music Electronic music

6
+ - 2,524 5,117
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The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music Protopunk

7
+ - 1,915 3,077
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel Pop music, Worldbeat Rock music

8
+ - 2,783 3,717
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Opera, Classical music

9
+ - 4,101 5,526
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Madonna Pop music, Rock music Electronic music

10
+ - 2,399 5,069
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Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music Rock music

11
+ - 2,099 4,389
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The Who Popular music, Pop music Rock music

12
+ - 2,101 3,859
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David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop Electronic music

13
+ - 1,928 4,159
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AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock Rock music

14
+ - 2,230 3,902
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Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music Experimental rock

15
+ - 1,877 3,797
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Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music Folk music

The Sexiest Artists of All Time The Worst Albums by Great Bands

16
+ - 2,435 3,472
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
+ - 1,457 2,804
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The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music Protopunk

18
+ - 1,057 2,054
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Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music Rhythm and blues

19
+ - 1,214 2,278
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Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop New Wave

20
+ - 1,069 1,727
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Bob Marley Reggae

21
+ - 1,043 1,578
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Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul Pop music

22
+ - 1,539 2,551
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music Rock music

23
+ - 1,294 2,389
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Elton John Pop music, Rock music Piano rock

24
+ - 1,553 2,823
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Nirvana Rock music, Grunge Alternative rock

25
+ - 1,717 2,467
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

26
+ - 989 1,680
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music Folk rock

27
+ - 1,369 2,172
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Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music Americana

28
+ - 555 755
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Miles Davis Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz Jazz-funk

29
+ - 914 1,207
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul Rock music

The Worst Bands of All Time The Worst Things You Can Make Jokes About

30
+ - 1,005 1,749
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Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music Rock music

31
+ - 1,408 2,532
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The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music Psychedelic pop

32
+ - 992 1,587
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Abba Synthpop, Disco Pop music

33
+ - 916 1,412
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul Swamp pop

34
+ - 1,016 1,776
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Rush Progressive metal, Rock music Heavy metal

35
+ - 776 1,239
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Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock Grunge

36
+ - 561 840
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ella Fitzgerald Ballad, Swing music Traditional pop music

37
+ - 1,173 1,889
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music Big band

38
+ - 471 716
Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Nat King Cole Jump blues, Swing music Traditional pop music

39
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James Brown Hip hop music, Doo-wop Pop music

40
+ - 835 1,138
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Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music Rockabilly

41
+ - 948 1,288
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Ray Charles Soul blues, Pop music Rock music

42
+ - 963 1,952
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U2 Rock music, Alternative rock Punk rock

43
+ - 711 1,095
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Genesis Rock music, Pop rock Soft rock

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Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock Power metal

45
+ - 534 658
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Opera, Ballet Art song

46
+ - 480 514
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Kinks Music hall, Pop music Rock music

47
+ - 791 1,083
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Louis Armstrong Swing music, Traditional pop music Jazz

48
+ - 706 988
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Marvin Gaye Doo-wop, Motown Sound Rock music

49
+ - 542 767
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The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk New Wave

50
+ - 1,274 1,975
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music Experimental rock