popular opinion The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

Originally by
487k votes 25k voters 263k views 1,543 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
+ - 4,913 7,043
Ranker Video v
The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like The Best Restaurants at LAX

2
+ - 4,086 6,827
Ranker Video v
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

3
+ - 4,175 6,792
Ranker Video v
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

4
+ - 4,082 6,512
Ranker Video v
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

5
+ - 3,385 6,394
Ranker Video v
Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

6
+ - 2,857 5,865
Ranker Video v
The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

7
+ - 2,725 5,809
Ranker Video v
Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

8
+ - 2,389 5,115
Ranker Video v
The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

9
+ - 4,634 6,091
Ranker Video v
Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

10
+ - 2,474 4,515
Ranker Video v
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

11
+ - 3,123 4,394
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
+ - 2,074 3,865
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
+ - 2,139 4,429
Ranker Video v
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

14
+ - 2,533 4,513
Ranker Video v
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

15
+ - 2,163 4,863
Ranker Video v
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

The Sexiest Artists of All Time The 36 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

16
+ - 1,675 3,412
Ranker Video v
The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

17
+ - 2,728 4,048
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Opera, Ballet, Art song

18
+ - 1,604 2,942
Ranker Video v
The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

19
+ - 1,894 2,676
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

20
+ - 1,195 2,095
Ranker Video v
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

21
+ - 1,189 2,052
Ranker Video v
Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

22
+ - 1,786 3,269
Ranker Video v
Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

23
+ - 1,796 2,958
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
+ - 1,079 2,233
Ranker Video v
Bee Gees Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

25
+ - 1,167 1,922
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

26
+ - 1,577 2,461
Ranker Video v
Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

27
+ - 1,424 2,829
Ranker Video v
Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

28
+ - 1,462 2,730
Ranker Video v
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

29
+ - 1,255 1,965
Ranker Video v
Bob Marley Reggae

The Worst Bands of All Time The Conspiracy Theories You Believe Are True

30
+ - 1,364 2,090
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

31
+ - 959 1,195
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

32
+ - 1,136 1,968
Ranker Video v
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

33
+ - 897 1,466
Ranker Video v
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

34
+ - 1,181 1,623
Ranker Video v
Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

35
+ - 1,455 2,115
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
+ - 1,218 1,851
Ranker Video v
Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

37
+ - 1,038 1,334
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

38
+ - 1,186 2,347
Ranker Video v
Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

39
+ - 1,133 2,316
Ranker Video v
U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

40
+ - 867 1,320
Ranker Video v
Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

41
+ - 1,076 1,691
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

42
+ - 1,146 1,774
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Abba Synthpop, Disco, Pop music

43
+ - 1,050 1,553
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time The Best Skateboarding Games of All Time

44
+ - 765 1,129
Ranker Video v
Lynyrd Skynyrd Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock

45
+ - 928 1,211
Ranker Video v
Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

46
+ - 640 889
Ranker Video v
The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

47
+ - 923 1,669
Ranker Video v
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

48
+ - 916 1,450
Ranker Video v
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

49
+ - 716 1,000
Ranker Video v
Janis Joplin Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

50
+ - 963 1,433
Ranker Video v
Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music