popular opinion The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

422k 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
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The Beatles Pop music, Rock music Pop rock

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2
+ - 3,655 5,876
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Queen Pop music, Rock music Heavy metal

3
+ - 3,587 5,955
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Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock Experimental rock

4
+ - 3,587 5,709
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Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock Rock music

5
+ - 2,957 5,494
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Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music Electronic music

6
+ - 2,514 5,100
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The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music Protopunk

7
+ - 1,914 3,055
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
+ - 2,775 3,699
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
+ - 4,088 5,511
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Madonna Pop music, Rock music Electronic music

10
+ - 2,390 5,052
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Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music Rock music

11
+ - 2,087 4,376
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The Who Popular music, Pop music Rock music

12
+ - 2,091 3,843
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David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop Electronic music

13
+ - 1,923 4,143
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AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock Rock music

14
+ - 1,870 3,783
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Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music Folk music

15
+ - 2,221 3,888
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Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music Experimental rock

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16
+ - 2,426 3,456
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
+ - 1,451 2,790
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The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music Protopunk

18
+ - 1,209 2,265
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Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop New Wave

19
+ - 1,049 2,044
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Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music Rhythm and blues

20
+ - 1,712 2,458
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

21
+ - 1,529 2,542
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music Rock music

22
+ - 1,364 2,165
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Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music Americana

23
+ - 550 748
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Miles Davis Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz Jazz-funk

24
+ - 1,035 1,574
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Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul Pop music

25
+ - 1,544 2,816
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Nirvana Rock music, Grunge Alternative rock

26
+ - 1,057 1,723
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Bob Marley Reggae

27
+ - 1,285 2,386
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Elton John Pop music, Rock music Piano rock

28
+ - 982 1,675
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music Folk rock

29
+ - 470 709
Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Nat King Cole Jump blues, Swing music Traditional pop music

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30
+ - 910 1,203
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul Rock music

31
+ - 1,000 1,744
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Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music Rock music

32
+ - 560 835
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ella Fitzgerald Ballad, Swing music Traditional pop music

33
+ - 1,402 2,528
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The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music Psychedelic pop

34
+ - 987 1,582
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Abba Synthpop, Disco Pop music

35
+ - 1,013 1,769
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Rush Progressive metal, Rock music Heavy metal

36
+ - 911 1,408
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul Swamp pop

37
+ - 532 650
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Opera, Ballet Art song

38
+ - 771 1,236
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Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock Grunge

39
+ - 1,170 1,884
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music Big band

40
+ - 832 1,133
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Buddy Holly Lubbock sound, Rock music Rockabilly

41
+ - 472 624
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James Brown Hip hop music, Doo-wop Pop music

42
+ - 478 510
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Kinks Music hall, Pop music Rock music

43
+ - 959 1,948
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U2 Rock music, Alternative rock Punk rock

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Genesis Rock music, Pop rock Soft rock

45
+ - 943 1,285
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Ray Charles Soul blues, Pop music Rock music

46
+ - 408 583
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock Rock music

47
+ - 1,037 1,861
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Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock Power metal

48
+ - 789 1,081
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Louis Armstrong Swing music, Traditional pop music Jazz

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+ - 704 986
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Marvin Gaye Doo-wop, Motown Sound Rock music

50
+ - 540 765
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The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk New Wave