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POPULAR List of Famous Session Musicians

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

Items include everything from Willie Nelson to Josh Freese.

From reputable, prominent, and well known session musicians to the lesser known session musicians of today, these are some of the best professionals in the session musician field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous session musicians ever?" and "What are the names of famous session musicians?" then you're in the right place. (204 items)
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Photo:  uploaded by Reference

Willie Hugh Nelson is an American singer-songwriter, musician, guitarist, author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie, combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger and Stardust, made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in ...more

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Age: 83

Birthplace: Abbott, Texas, United States of America

Profession: Activist, Film Score Composer, Poet, Record producer Television producer, + more

Credits: Forrest Gump, Shrek, Wag the Dog, Brokeback Mountain

Also Ranked

#99 on Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

#6 on The Top Country Artists of All Time

#53 on The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

#28 on The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

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Phil Spector is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Photo:  uploaded by Reference

Phillip Harvey Spector is an American record producer, songwriter, and the originator of the Wall of Sound production method. At the height of his career, Spector was a pioneer of the 1960s girl-group sound, and produced more than twenty-five Top 40 hits from 1960 to 1965, writing or co-writing many ...more

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Age: 77

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Profession: Record producer, Businessperson, Songwriter, Session musician

Credits: Goodfellas, Dirty Dancing, Gremlins, Full Metal Jacket

Also Ranked

#71 on Rock Stars Who Would Make The Best President

#63 on List of Famous Jewish Singers and Songwriters

#39 on Celebrity Death Pool 2016

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Ricky Skaggs is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License

Ricky Lee Skaggs is an American country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, mandocaster and banjo. ...more

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Age: 62

Birthplace: Cordell, Kentucky, United States of America

Profession: Mandolinist, Arranger, Record producer, Guitarist Musician, + more

Credits: Next of Kin, The Cat in the Hat, Raw Deal, The Beverly Hillbillies

Also Ranked

#63 on The Top Country Artists of All Time

#14 on The Best Banjo Players in the World

#4 on The Best Mandolinists in the World

#5 on The Greatest Mandolinists of All Time

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Nicky Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA-2.0

Nicholas Christian "Nicky" Hopkins was an English pianist and organist. Hopkins recorded and performed on many notable British and American pop and rock music releases from the 1960s through the 1990s including many Rolling Stones songs. ...more

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Age: Died at 50 (1944-1994)

Birthplace: London, United Kingdom

Profession: Session musician, Keyboard player

Credits: Last Song

Also Ranked

#83 on The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

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Jeff Porcaro is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License

Jeffrey Thomas "Jeff" Porcaro was an American drummer, songwriter, and producer best known for his work with the rock band Toto. Porcaro was one of the most recorded session musicians in history, working on hundreds of albums and thousands of sessions. While already an established studio player in ...more

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Age: Died at 38 (1954-1992)

Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America

Profession: Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Drummer Session musician

Also Ranked

#35 on The Best Drummers of All Time

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Michael Kamen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Photo: Freebase/Fair use

Michael Arnold Kamen was an American composer, orchestral arranger, orchestral conductor, song writer, and session musician. ...more

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Age: Died at 55 (1948-2003)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Profession: Conductor, Film Score Composer, Arranger, Songwriter Composer, + more

Credits: Die Hard, X-Men, Brazil, Lethal Weapon The Iron Giant, + more

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Gackt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License
7

Gackt


Gackt Camui, better known by his stage name Gackt, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He has been active since 1994, first as the frontman of the short-lived independent band Cains:Feel, then for the now defunct visual kei rock band Malice Mizer, before starting his solo ...more

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Age: 43

Birthplace: Okinawa Prefecture, Japan

Profession: Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Model Author, + more

Credits: Shiki, Bunraku, Moon Child, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker, + more

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Ry Cooder is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Session Musicians
Photo:  Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Ryland Peter "Ry" Cooder is an American musician and composer. He is a multi-instrumentalist, but is known for his slide guitar work, his interest in roots music from the United States, and, more recently, his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries. His solo work has been ...more

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Age: 70

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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

Credits: Paris, Texas, Streets of Fire, The Long Riders Last Man Standing, + more

Also Ranked

#86 on The Best Blues Artists of All Time

#36 on The Greatest Mandolinists of All Time

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