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TRENDING List of Famous Bandleaders

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List of famous bandleaders, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top bandleaders in the world? This includes the most prominent bandleaders, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable bandleaders is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic bandleaders were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned bandleaders.

These people, like James Brown and Ray Charles include images when available.

From reputable, prominent, and well known bandleaders to the lesser known bandleaders of today, these are some of the best professionals in the bandleader field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous bandleaders ever?" and "What are the names of famous bandleaders?" then you're in the right place. (629 items)
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
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James Brown is a film score composer. ...more

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Age: Died at 73 (1933-2006)

Birthplace: Barnwell County, United States of America, United States, with Territories Barnwell, + more

Profession: Record producer, Songwriter, Rapper, Musician Bandleader, + more

Credits: The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Going My Way, Objective, Burma! Sands of Iwo Jima

Also Ranked

#81 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#42 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#49 on Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

#88 on Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

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Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
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Emmylou Harris is an American singer and songwriter. She has released many popular albums and singles over the course of her career, and as of 2015 she has won 13 Grammys as well as numerous other awards. Her work and recordings include work as a solo artist, bandleader, an interpreter of other ...more

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Age: 68

Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America

Profession: Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, Singer-songwriter

Credits: Brokeback Mountain, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Casino The Last Waltz

Also Ranked

#91 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#13 on The Top Female Country Singers

#96 on The Best Female Rock Singers

#14 on The 30+ Greatest Soprano Singers in Music History

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Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
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Paul Frederic Simon is an American musician, actor and singer-songwriter. Simon's fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote nearly all of the pair's songs, including three that reached No. 1 on ...more

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Age: 74

Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician Actor, + more

Credits: Forrest Gump, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Wolf of Wall Street, Watchmen

Also Ranked

#54 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#66 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#27 on The Best Singers of All Time

#3 on The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

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Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
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William James "Count" Basie was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local ...more

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Age: Died at 80 (1904-1984)

Birthplace: Red Bank, New Jersey, United States of America

Profession: Jazz Pianist, Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader Actor, + more

Credits: Blazing Saddles, Cinderfella, Hit Parade of 1943, Norman Granz' Jazz in Montreux: Ella and Basie '79 Norman Granz' Jazz in Montreux: Count Basie Jam '75, + more

Also Ranked

#25 on The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

#24 on The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

#12 on The Best Jazz Composers of All Time

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Duke Ellington is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
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Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist and bandleader of jazz orchestras. He led his orchestra from 1923 until his death, his career spanning over 50 years. Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward, and gained a national ...more

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Age: Died at 75 (1899-1974)

Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Pianist, Musician, Bandleader Lyricist, + more

Credits: Anatomy of a Murder, Ådalen 31, Check and Double Check, Paris Blues NET Playhouse, + more

Also Ranked

#10 on The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

#13 on The Best Piano Composers Ever, Ranked

#1 on The Best Jazz Composers of All Time

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Lawrence Welk is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
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Lawrence Welk was an American musician, accordionist, bandleader, and television impresario, who hosted The Lawrence Welk Show from 1951 to 1982. His style came to be known to his large number of radio, television, and live-performance fans as "champagne music". In 1996, Welk was ranked #43 on TV ...more

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Age: Died at 89 (1903-1992)

Birthplace: Strasburg, North Dakota, United States of America

Profession: Impresario, Musician, Bandleader

Credits: The Lawrence Welk Show

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Chrissie Hynde is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
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Christine Ellen "Chrissie" Hynde is an American singer, songwriter, and musician best known as the lead singer of the rock band The Pretenders. She has been the only constant member of the band throughout its history. She has also released a number of collaborations with other musicians – two of ...more

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Age: 64

Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States of America

Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter Actor, + more

Credits: Lost in Translation, In Bruges, Bridget Jones's Diary, 17 Again

Also Ranked

#95 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#98 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#80 on The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

#54 on Rock Stars Who Would Make The Best President

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Wynton Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
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Wynton Marsalis is a nominee of 2013 News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast. ...more

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Age: 54

Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

Profession: Music Educator, Film Score Composer, Songwriter, Musician Bandleader, + more

Credits: Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy?, Unforgivable Blackness, Tune in Tomorrow, The N-Word On the Shoulders of Giants, + more

Also Ranked

#6 on The Greatest Trumpeters of All Time

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