List of Famous Percussionists People

List of Famous Percussionists

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List of famous percussionists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top percussionists in the world? This includes the most prominent percussionists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable percussionists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic percussionists 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 percussionists.

List is made up of many different people, including Frank Zappa and John Bonham.

From reputable, prominent, and well known percussionists to the lesser known percussionists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the percussionist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous percussionists ever?" and "What are the names of famous percussionists?" then you're in the right place. (696 items)

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  1. 1

    Richard Starkey Jr., MBE, better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English drummer, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles. On most of the band's albums, he sang lead vocals for one song, including "With a Little Help from My Friends", ...more

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    • Age: age 75
    • Birthplace: Liverpool, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Film Producer, Cinematographer, + more
    • Credits: Robin Hood, A Hard Day's Night, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Yellow Submarine, Caveman, + more
  2. 2
    Buddy Rich
    Photo: Steve

    Bernard "Buddy" Rich was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. Rich was billed as "the world's greatest drummer" and was known for his virtuoso technique, power, groove, and speed.more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1917-1987)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, Actor, Drummer
    • Credits: Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got, Improvisation, Norman Granz: Improvisation, Away We Go, Buddy Rich and His Band: Channel One Suite, + more
  3. 3

    David Eric "Dave" Grohl is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer who is best known as the former drummer for the grunge band Nirvana and the founder and frontman of the rock band Foo Fighters, with which he serves as its main songwriter, lead vocalist, and ...more

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    • Age: age 46
    • Birthplace: Warren, Ohio, United States of America
    • Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Actor, + more
    • Credits: The Muppets, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Nirvana: Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!, Lemmy, Sound City, + more
  4. 4

    Michael John Kells "Mick" Fleetwood is a British musician and actor, best known for his role as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood, whose surname was merged with that of John McVie to form the name of the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in ...more

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    • Age: age 68
    • Birthplace: Redruth, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Musician, Actor, Drummer
    • Credits: The Running Man, Snide and Prejudice, Burning Down the House, Zero Tolerance, Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night, + more
  5. 5
    Charlie Watts
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Charles Robert "Charlie" Watts is an English drummer, best known as a member of The Rolling Stones. He is also the leader of an eponymous jazz band, a record producer, commercial artist, and horse breeder.more

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    • Age: age 74
    • Birthplace: Kingsbury, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Record producer, Musician, Film Producer, Actor, Drummer, + more
    • Credits: Gimme Shelter, Stones in Exile, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, Sympathy for the Devil, Stones at the Max, + more
  6. 6

    Keith John Moon was an English drummer who played with the English rock band the Who. He was noted for his unique style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour. In 2011, Moon was voted the second-greatest drummer in history by a Rolling Stone readers' poll. His drumming continues to be ...more

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    • Age: Died at 32 (1946-1978)
    • Birthplace: England, London
    • Profession: Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Model, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Woodstock, Tommy, The Kids Are Alright, Sextette, 200 Motels, + more
  7. 7

    Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins, LVO, is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music producer and actor. He gained fame as both the drummer and lead singer for the rock group Genesis, and he gained worldwide fame as a solo artist. Collins is one of the most successful songwriters and ...more

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    • Age: age 64
    • Birthplace: England, London
    • Profession: Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Author, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Hook, A Hard Day's Night, Brother Bear, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Balto, + more
  8. 8
    Neil Peart
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Neil Ellwood Peart, OC, is a Canadian musician and author. He is the drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush. Peart has received numerous awards for his musical performances, and is known for his technical proficiency and stamina. Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, Ontario. During adolescence, he ...more

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    • Age: age 63
    • Birthplace: Hamilton, Canada
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Lyricist, + more
    • Credits: I Love You, Man, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, Adventures of Power, + more
  9. 9

    Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker is an English drummer, best known as the founder of the rock band Cream. Baker's work in the 1960s earned him praise as "rock's first superstar drummer", although his individual style melded a jazz background with his personal interest in African rhythms. Baker is an inductee ...more

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    • Age: age 76
    • Birthplace: England, London
    • Profession: Songwriter, Musician, Drummer
    • Credits: Cucumber Castle, Gonks Go Beat, The Cream of Eric Clapton, Blind Faith: London Hyde Park: 1969, Cream: Classic Artists, + more
  10. 10
    Levon Helm
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm was an American rock and Americana musician and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and regular lead vocalist for the Band. Helm was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, multi-instrumental ability, and creative drumming style highlighted on many of the Band's ...more

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    • Age: Died at 72 (1940-2012)
    • Birthplace: USA, Elaine, Arkansas
    • Profession: Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Actor, Drummer, + more
    • Credits: The Right Stuff, Shooter, Coal Miner's Daughter, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, In the Electric Mist, + more
  11. 11
    John Densmore
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    John Paul Densmore is an American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the drummer of the rock group The Doors.more

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    • Age: age 71
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Songwriter, Musician, Film Producer, Actor, + more
    • Credits: The Doors, When You're Strange, Dudes, The Doors Collection, Dead Man Walking: The Concert, + more
  12. 12
    Tommy Lee
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Thomas Lee Bass, best known as Tommy Lee, is a Greek-American musician and founding member of heavy metal band Mötley Crüe. As well as being the band's long-term drummer, Lee founded rap-metal band Methods of Mayhem, and has pursued solo musical projects. He has been married to model Elaine Starchuk and ...more

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    • Age: age 53
    • Birthplace: Athens, Greece
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Film Producer, + more
    • Credits: Vanilla Sky, The New Guy, The Twilight Zone, Rock Star, E!'s Pam: Girl on the Loose!, + more
  13. 13

    Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 53 (1940-1993)
    • Profession: Conductor, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Composer
    • Credits: Y Tu Mamá También, Head, 200 Motels, The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers, The Amazing Mr. Bickford, + more
  14. 14
    Vinny Appice
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Vincent Paul "Vinny" Appice, is an American rock drummer and the younger brother of drummer Carmine Appice. He is best known for his work with the bands Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and Big Noizemore

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    • Age: age 58
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Musician, Drummer
  15. 15

    William Thomas "Bill" Berry is a retired American musician and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the drummer for the alternative rock band R.E.M. In addition to his drumming duties, Berry played many other instruments including guitar, bass guitar, and piano, both for songwriting and on R.E.M.more

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    • Age: age 57
    • Birthplace: Duluth, Minnesota, United States of America
    • Profession: Songwriter, Musician, Drummer, Farmer, Multi-instrumentalist
    • Credits: Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return, R.E.M.: Road Movie, R.E.M.: Pop Screen, R.E.M.: In View: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003
  16. 16

    Nicholas Berkeley "Nick" Mason is an English musician and composer, best known as the drummer of Pink Floyd. He is the only constant member of the band since its formation in 1965. Despite solely writing only a few Pink Floyd songs, Mason has co-written some of Pink Floyd's most popular compositions ...more

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    • Age: age 71
    • Birthplace: England
    • Profession: Record producer, Musician, Author, Drummer, Composer
    • Credits: More, Pink Floyd: Pulse, The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story, La Carrera Panamericana, Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon, + more
  17. 17
    Mick Avory
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Michael Charles "Mick" Avory is an English musician, best known as the longtime drummer and percussionist for the British rock band, The Kinks, joining them shortly after their formation in 1964 and remaining with them until 1984, when he left amid creative friction with guitarist Dave Davies. He is the ...more

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    • Age: age 71
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Drummer
    • Credits: The Kinks: One for the Road, The Kinks: The Golden Years, The Kinks EP, The Kinks: Life on the Road, The Kinks: In Performance
  18. 18
    Kenny Aronoff
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Kenny Aronoff is an American rock drummer. He has played drums for many musicians, including John Mellencamp, Bob Seger, Belinda Carlisle, Elton John, John Fogerty, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meat Loaf, BoDeans, Gregg Alexander, The Smashing Pumpkins, Chickenfoot, Tony Iommi, Jon Bon Jovi, Vasco Rossi, Cinderella, ...more

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    • Age: age 62
    • Profession: Drummer
    • Credits: BoDeans: Homebrewed Live from the Pabst
  19. 19
    Carmine Appice
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Carmine Appice is an American drummer/percussionist, most commonly associated with the rock genre of music. He has received classical music training, and was influenced early-on by the work of jazz drummers Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. Appice is best known for his associations with Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, ...more

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    • Age: age 69
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Songwriter, Musician, Actor, Drummer
    • Credits: Black Roses, Cactus: Live, Vanilla Fudge: When Two Worlds Collide, Carmine & Vinny Appice: Drum Wars: The Ultimate Battle, Carmine Appice: Drum Master Class, + more
  20. 20
    Fred Astaire
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Fred Astaire was an American dancer, choreographer, singer, musician and actor. His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films and several award-winning television specials and issued numerous recordings. He was named the fifth ...more

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    • Age: Died at 88 (1899-1987)
    • Birthplace: USA, Nebraska, Omaha
    • Profession: Musician, Film Producer, Choreographer, Actor, Singer, + more
    • Credits: The Towering Inferno, Top Hat, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, Holiday Inn, Swing Time, + more
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