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These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

Updated November 9, 2020 295.2k votes 33.0k voters 448.0k views816 items

List RulesVote on whether or not you think the songwriters should be considered the best of all time

If you ask anyone who has ever tried, it's tough to write one song, nevertheless a batch to be considered a songwriter. Add to the mix that the song actually getting recorded and becoming a hit, it's pretty hard to be a great songwriter. Yet that's what make the greatest songwriters different from Average Joe who has tried to pen a song. The best songwriters usually have written multiple hits that not only their most ardent fans know, but also casual listeners.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney are considered two the best songwriters. The Beatles were fueled by this legendary duo's prowess and are debatably the greatest band because these two outstanding songwriters.

Similarly to Lennon and McCartney, Bob Dylan is another songwriter who can be considered one of the greatest of all time. Dylan's songwriting introduced powerful imagery and themes that were deeply layered within the context of his writing. His songwriting influenced an entire generation of bands, songwriters and fans, including another member of this list, Bruce Springsteen.

This is the Ultimate List of the greatest songwriters of all time. Everyone on this list is considered one of the best at his or her craft. Vote for the songwriter who you think is the greatest, which shouldn't be too easy with a list like this one.
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    Lennon–McCartney (sometimes McCartney–Lennon) was the songwriting partnership between English...  more
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    5,181
    4,300

    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music
    Bob Dylan (born May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet, and visual...  more

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  • 3
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    2,882

    Paul Simon

    Rock music, Folk music
    Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor....  more

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  • 4
    3,871
    3,783

    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music
    Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and...  more

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  • 5
    2,615
    2,076

    Paul McCartney

    Pop music, Rock music
    Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician,...  more

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  • 6
    480
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    Rickie Lee Jones

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues
    Rickie Lee Jones (born November 8, 1954) is an American vocalist, musician, songwriter,...  more

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  • 7
    2,868
    2,470

    John Lennon

    Blues-rock, Pop music
    John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an...  more

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  • 8
  • 9
    1,769
    1,569

    Freddie Mercury

    Rock music, Pop music
    Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British...  more

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  • 10
    2,913
    3,220

    George Harrison

    Pop music, Rock music
    George Harrison (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English musician,...  more

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  • 11
    1,107
    1,187

    Tom Petty

    Blues-rock, Heartland rock
    Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter,...  more

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  • 12
    4,193
    4,426

    Prince

    Hip hop music, Synthpop
    Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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  • 13
    1,569
    989

    Simon and Garfunkel

    Pop music, Worldbeat
    Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon...  more

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  • 14
    1,671
    1,406
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus...  more

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  • 15
    1,205
    1,330

    Roger Waters

    Folk rock, Progressive rock
    George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943) is an English songwriter, singer, bassist, and...  more

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  • 16
    1,278
    1,213

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Opera, Classical music
    Ludwig van Beethoven ( (listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn̩] (listen); baptised 17...  more

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  • 17
    538
    567

    Page & Plant

    Blues-rock, Folk rock
    Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, both formerly of the English hard rock band Led Zeppelin,...  more
  • 18
  • 19
    1,139
    1,336

    John Fogerty

    Americana, Blues-rock
    John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter....  more

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  • 20
  • 21
    975
    1,133

    Buddy Holly

    Lubbock sound, Rock music
    Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Buddy...  more

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  • 22
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    Billy Joel

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music
    William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and...  more

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    Barry Gibb

    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul
    Sir Barry Alan Crompton Gibb, (born 1 September 1946) is a British-American singer,...  more

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  • 24
    956
    942

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Classical music
    Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and...  more

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    599
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    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop
    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more

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