The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

413k votes 22k voters 240k views 1,497 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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!
Collection Photo:  via wikimedia
  • 157 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 4,239
    - 5,943

    the people's #1 & added by First L
    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

    ;
  2. 2
    + 3,562
    - 5,642
    Queen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  3. 3
    + 3,486
    - 5,738
    Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

    ;
  4. 4
    + 3,500
    - 5,499
    Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

    ;
  5. 5
    + 2,842
    - 5,272
    Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    often listed & added by First L
    Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  6. 6
    + 2,454
    - 4,902
    The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,879
    - 2,847


    Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

    ;
  8. 8
    + 2,712
    - 3,516


    Opera, Classical music

    ;
  9. 9
    + 2,331
    - 4,859
    Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  10. 10
    + 2,021
    - 3,675
    David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

    ;
  11. 11
    + 3,961
    - 5,361
    Madonna is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by First L
    Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1,996
    - 4,224
    The Who is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    often listed & added by First L
    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1,886
    - 3,947
    AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

    ;
  14. 14
    + 2,167
    - 3,716
    Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  15. 15
    + 2,366
    - 3,323

    ranked low on reranks
    Opera, Ballet, Art song

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,407
    - 2,647
    The Doors is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,820
    - 3,608
    Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,249
    - 2,266
    Elton John is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,485
    - 2,447


    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  20. 20
    + 879
    - 1,129


    Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

    ;
  21. 21
    + 986
    - 1,717
    Rush is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  22. 22
    + 891
    - 1,370


    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

    ;
  23. 23
    + 971
    - 1,695
    Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  24. 24
    + 753
    - 1,203
    Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

    ;
  25. 25
    + 951
    - 1,631


    Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

    ;
  26. 26
    + 1,147
    - 1,847


    Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,326
    - 2,124

    added by First L
    Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1,018
    - 1,672

    added by First L
    Reggae

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1,501
    - 2,767
    Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1,680
    - 2,389


    Classical music

    ;
  31. 31
    + 938
    - 1,906

    often listed & added by First L
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1,149
    - 2,139
    Prince is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  33. 33
    + 991
    - 1,526

    ranked low on reranks & added by First L
    Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,369
    - 2,445

    added by First L
    Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

    ;
  35. 35
    + 193
    - 138

    ranked low on reranks
    Romantic music, Art song, Classical music

    ;
  36. 36
    + 818
    - 1,486
    The Police is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    often listed & added by First L
    New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

    ;
  37. 37
    + 684
    - 1,061
    Genesis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

    ;
  38. 38
    + 811
    - 1,115
    Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Lubbock sound, Rock music, Rockabilly

    ;
  39. 39
    + 440
    - 646


    Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

    ;
  40. 40
    + 608
    - 883
    Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

    ;
  41. 41
    + 1,014
    - 1,834
    Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    often listed & added by First L
    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

    ;
  42. 42
    + 682
    - 964
    Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Doo-wop, Motown Sound, Rock music

    ;
  43. 43
    + 948
    - 2,031
    Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    often listed & added by First L
    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

    ;
  44. 44
    + 504
    - 597

    ranked low on reranks
    Opera, Ballet, Art song

    ;
  45. 45
    + 514
    - 687


    Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

    ;
  46. 46
    + 445
    - 677


    Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1,239
    - 1,947


    Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  48. 48
    + 447
    - 604
    James Brown is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music

    ;
  49. 49
    + 917
    - 1,270
    Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

    added by First L
    Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  50. 50
    + 968
    - 1,721

    often listed & added by SethLangley
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
1498 +

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