Music

The Best Blues Artists of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
105.3k votes 18.9k voters 1.2M 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, and for spearheading legendary tracks with their good blues bands.

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 blues greats you consider to be the top blues artists of all time.

list ordered by
1
Muddy Waters is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
2
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

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#167 of 455 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #53 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best B.B. King Albums of All Time

3
Robert Johnson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
4
John Lee Hooker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
I'll Play the Blues for You, Live at the Fox Venice Theatre, Collection

More John Lee Hooker

#174 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #358 of 1,066 The Best Singers of All Time #35 of 655 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

5
Howlin' Wolf is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions, The Genuine Article, Howlin' Wolf

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#523 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #364 of 1,066 The Best Singers of All Time #240 of 346 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

6
Buddy Guy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
7
Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
8
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

More Albert King

#644 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Albert King Albums of All Timelisted on Famous Left Handed People

9
Lightnin' Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
10
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

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#751 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #179 of 655 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #204 of 270 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

11
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

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#1,081 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #462 of 711 The Best Rock Vocalists #1,249 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

12
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
13
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 13 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

More Ray Charles

#96 of 455 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #93 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Ray Charles Songs

14
Sonny Boy Williamson II ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
15
Freddie King is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
I Love the Woman / Hide Away, Getting Ready..., Live at the Electric Ballroom

More Freddie King

#1,628 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #94 of 655 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Timefeaturing The Best Freddie King Albums of All Time

16
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
17
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 17 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

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#9 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Jimi Hendrix Songs of All Timelisted on Famous Left Handed People

18
T-Bone Walker is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Good Feelin', Charly Blues Masterworks, Volume 14: T. Bone Shuffle

More T-Bone Walker

#1,480 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #784 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #108 of 655 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

19
Little Walter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
20
Willie Dixon is listed (or ranked) 20 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

More Willie Dixon

#1,278 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #120 of 193 The All-Time Best Rock Bassistsfeaturing The Best Willie Dixon Albums of All Time

21
Big Mama Thornton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
22
Mississippi John Hurt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
23
Blind Lemon Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 23 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

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#700 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #388 of 711 The Best Rock Vocalists #2,444 of 2,831 The Most Influential People of All Time

24
Charlie Patton is listed (or ranked) 24 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

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#414 of 711 The Best Rock Vocalists #1,111 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,051 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

25
Huddie William Ledbetter... is listed (or ranked) 25 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

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#882 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #274 of 346 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time #189 of 298 The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like