popular opinion The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

465k votes 24k voters 191k views 1,505 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!

1
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The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

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2
+ - 3,985 6,419
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Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

3
+ - 3,896 6,460
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Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
+ - 3,887 6,181
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Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

5
+ - 3,224 6,024
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Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

6
+ - 2,724 5,546
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The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

7
+ - 2,600 5,491
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Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

8
+ - 2,274 4,800
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The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

9
+ - 2,326 4,223
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David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

10
+ - 2,010 3,556
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

11
+ - 2,987 4,114
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
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Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

13
+ - 2,032 4,160
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Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

14
+ - 2,416 4,251
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Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

15
+ - 2,066 4,587
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AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

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16
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The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

17
+ - 1,348 2,618
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Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

18
+ - 2,609 3,811
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Opera, Ballet, Art song

19
+ - 1,071 2,171
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U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

20
+ - 1,405 2,612
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Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

21
+ - 1,157 1,752
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Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

22
+ - 1,529 2,747
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The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

23
+ - 1,700 2,796
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

24
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Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

25
+ - 1,701 3,110
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Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

26
+ - 1,116 1,929
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Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

27
+ - 1,130 1,986
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Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

28
+ - 845 1,351
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Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

29
+ - 1,825 2,558
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

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30
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Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

31
+ - 1,036 2,171
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Bee Gees Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

32
+ - 1,138 2,278
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Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

33
+ - 1,188 1,892
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Bob Marley Reggae

34
+ - 1,302 2,029
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
+ - 1,393 2,065
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

36
+ - 898 1,147
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

37
+ - 1,020 1,628
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

38
+ - 1,100 1,858
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

39
+ - 1,005 1,508
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
+ - 885 1,618
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The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

41
+ - 1,093 1,722
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Abba Synthpop, Disco, Pop music

42
+ - 1,089 1,898
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Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

43
+ - 631 849
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Miles Davis Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

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Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

45
+ - 1,125 1,567
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Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

46
+ - 912 1,378
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Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

47
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Janis Joplin Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

48
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The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

49
+ - 989 1,293
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

50
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Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock