Bands/Musicians The Best Blues Artists of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
86.9k votes 15.8k voters 1.1M views 257 items

List Rules Best artists of the blues genre--a style that originated in African-American communities in the Deep South of the U.S.

Whether you like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, or that bluesy broad Etta James, there's now denying they're all some of the most famous blues musicians of all time. This list of blues singers, ranks the best blues music artists, singers, and musicians, and has been voted on and ranked by blues fans worldwide. Add your own list or vote on the top blues artist in history here. These best blues singers are known for their great voices and music that will stand the test of time.

Note that this ranking is for blues artists only - no best blues/blues rock bands here. Many of the greatest bluesmen, old blues singers, and female blues artists are sadly no longer with us, but their legacies live on, often in rock artists who sold millions more records with versions of classic blues songs written by these great blues legends.

Who are the greatest blues artists? These are best blues musicians the world has to offer, from the Mississippi Delta to the streets of Chicago, Detroit, and even London. Make sure to vote for the musicians you consider to be the top blues artists of all time.
list ordered by

1
3,957 1,017
Muddy Waters is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Anthology, Super Blues, Fathers and Sons

See: The Best Albums Of Muddy Waters

2
4,522 988
B.B. King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Let the Good Times Roll, Live at the Regal, Ladies and Gentleman... Mr. B.B. King

See: The Best Albums Of B.B. King

3
2,530 606
Robert Johnson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
King of the Delta Blues Singers, The Complete Recordings, King of the Delta Blues

4
2,361 622
Howlin' Wolf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions, The Genuine Article, Howlin' Wolf

5
2,464 592
John Lee Hooker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
I'll Play the Blues for You, Live at the Fox Venice Theatre, Collection

See: The Best John Lee Hooker Albums

6
2,045 577
Buddy Guy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Damn Right, I've Got the Blues, A Man & the Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Buddy Guy

7
2,864 670
Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Couldn't Stand the Weather, In Step, Texas Flood

See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Ray Vaughan

8
1,544 348
Albert King is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
I'll Play the Blues for You, In Session, Thursday Night in San Francisco

See: The Best Albums Of Albert King

9
1,083 289
Lightnin' Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
The Very Best of Lightnin' Hopkins, Mojo Hand, Texas Blues Giant

See: The Best Albums Of Lightnin' Hopkins

10
994 283
Elmore James is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
King of the Slide Guitar: The Complete Trumpet, Chief & Fire Sessions, The Classic Early Recordings

See: The Best Albums Of Elmore James

11
822 303
Son House is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Delta Blues, The Legendary 1941/42 Recordings in Chronological Sequence, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Son House

See: The Best Albums Of Son House

12
1,573 516
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
The Birth of Soul, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, The Spirit of Christmas

See: The Best Albums Of Ray Charles

13
1,293 384
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
At Last!, Tell Mama, I'd Rather Go Blind

See: The Best Albums Of Etta James

14
809 204
T-Bone Walker is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Good Feelin', Charly Blues Masterworks, Volume 14: T. Bone Shuffle

See: The Best Albums Of T-Bone Walker

15
758 226
Sonny Boy Williamson II is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
One Way Out, Don’t Send Me No Flowers, His Best

See: The Best Albums Of Sonny Boy Williamson II

16
921 310
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Lady in Satin, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday at Newport, The Best of Billie Holiday

See: The Best Albums Of Billie Holiday

17
871 212
Freddie King is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
I Love the Woman / Hide Away, Getting Ready..., Live at the Electric Ballroom

See: The Best Albums Of Freddie King

18
769 204
Willie Dixon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
I Am the Blues, Jazz in Paris: Aux Trois Mailletz, I Am the Blues: The Willie Dixon Story

See: The Best Albums Of Willie Dixon

19
1,629 374
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection

See: The Best Albums Of Jimi Hendrix

20
739 252
Little Walter is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Boss Blues Harmonica, Confessin' the Blues, Super Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Little Walter

21
609 232
Huddie William Ledbetter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Nothing but the Blues: You Do Me Any Old Way, Where Did You Sleep Last Night: Lead Belly Legacy, Volume 1

22
717 242
Johnny Winter is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
The Best of Johnny Winter, Anthology, Livin' in the Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Johnny Winter

23
590 146
Mississippi John Hurt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Today!, I'm Satisfied, Last Sessions

24
1,884 479
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
ranker1995 added 461 Ocean Boulevard, Crossroads, Pilgrim

See: The Best Albums Of Eric Clapton

25
498 148
Blind Lemon Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 1: 1925–1926, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order

26
441 160
Charlie Patton is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
The Rough Guide to Blues Legends: Charley Patton, Founder of the Delta Blues, This Is the Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Charlie Patton

27
463 163
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Squeeze Me, The World's Greatest Blues Singer, 1923-1933 Empress of the Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Bessie Smith

28
436 184
Junior Wells is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
A Night of the Blues, The Real Blues, Messin' With the Kid: Junior Wells 1957-1963

See: The Best Albums Of Junior Wells

29
485 180
Jimmy Reed is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Big Boss Man, The Vee-Jay Box: The Complete Singles and Other Rarities, Ain't That Loving You Baby: Singles As & Bs 1953-1961

See: The Best Albums Of Jimmy Reed

30
411 117
Big Mama Thornton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Sassy Mama, Big Mama Swing, The Original Hound Dog

See: The Best Big Mama Thornton Albums

31
517 152
Blind Willie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Sweeter as the Years Go By, The Soul of a Man, Praise God I'm Satisfied

32
596 145
Albert Collins is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Collins Mix: The Best Of, Showdown!, Ice Pickin'

See: The Best Albums Of Albert Collins

33
361 143
Big Bill Broonzy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Rocking in Chicago 1949-53, Volume 2 The Post War Years, Nothing But the Blues: Mississippi River Blues

See: The Best Big Bill Broonzy Albums

34
537 226
Robert Cray is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Sweet Potato Pie, The Blues Collection 25: Who's Been Talkin'

See: The Best Robert Cray Albums

35
352 146
Skip James is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James, She Lyin', Today!

36
346 125
Sonny Boy Williamson I is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Sugar Mama, Nothing but the Blues, The Blues: Chicago 1937-1945

37
309 118
Blind Willie McTell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Mr. McTell Got the Blues, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 2: 23 October 1931 to 19 September 1933

38
221 126
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
He's a Jelly Roll Baker, The Complete Folkways Recordings, Hot Fingers

39
400 131
Otis Rush is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Right Place, Wrong Time, Blues Masters

40
449 179
Taj Mahal is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Giant Step / De Ole Folks at Home, Kulanjan, The Real Thing

41
226 144
Memphis Minnie is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Complete Recorded Works 1935-1941 in Chronological Order, Volume 5: 27 June 1940 to 12 December 1941, The Complete Post-War Recordings in Chronological Order

42
282 102
John Mayall & the Bluesbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, Road Dogs

43
356 77
Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
tamás-vandlik added Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, The Dock of the Bay, The Immortal Otis Redding

44
721 299
Joe Bonamassa is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
bigrockshow added Driving Towards the Daylight, A New Day Yesterday, Seesaw

45
500 152
Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Duane Allman: An Anthology, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, Ton-Ton Macoute!

46
484 200
John Mayall is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Empty Rooms, Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, Road Dogs

47
334 115
R. L. Burnside is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Heritage of the Blues: No Monkeys on This Train, A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, Burnside on Burnside

48
386 125
Bobby Bland is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Bluesboy added Two Steps From the Blues, Two Steps From the Blues & Here's the Man, Ask Me 'Bout Nothing

49
288 120
Big Joe Turner is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Big, Bad & Blue: The Big Joe Turner Anthology, All the Classic Hits 1938-1952

50
210 123
Ma Rainey is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Mother of the Blues, Madam Gertrude "Ma" Rainey 1923-1928, Ma Rainey