bands/musicians The Best Blues Artists of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
76.7k votes 14.3k voters 1M views 259 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
3,610 823
Muddy Waters is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Muddy Waters Anthology, Super Blues, Fathers and Sons

See: The Best Albums Of Muddy Waters

2
4,155 802
B.B. King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
B.B. King 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
2,164 492
Howlin' Wolf is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Howlin' Wolf The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions, The Genuine Article, Howlin' Wolf

4
2,267 480
Robert Johnson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers, The Complete Recordings, King of the Delta Blues

5
2,276 477
John Lee Hooker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
John Lee Hooker I'll Play the Blues for You, Live at the Fox Venice Theatre, Collection

See: The Best John Lee Hooker Albums

6
1,868 457
Buddy Guy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Buddy Guy Damn Right, I've Got the Blues, A Man & the Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Buddy Guy

7
2,536 599
Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Stevie Ray Vaughan Couldn't Stand the Weather, In Step, Texas Flood

See: The Best Albums Of Stevie Ray Vaughan

8
1,395 307
Albert King is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Albert King I'll Play the Blues for You, In Session, Thursday Night in San Francisco

See: The Best Albums Of Albert King

9
988 256
Lightnin' Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Lightnin' Hopkins The Very Best of Lightnin' Hopkins, Mojo Hand, Texas Blues Giant

See: The Best Albums Of Lightnin' Hopkins

10
903 255
Elmore James is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Elmore James King of the Slide Guitar: The Complete Trumpet, Chief & Fire Sessions, The Classic Early Recordings

See: The Best Albums Of Elmore James

11
739 262
Son House is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Son House 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
1,443 457
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Ray Charles The Birth of Soul, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, The Spirit of Christmas

See: The Best Albums Of Ray Charles

The Worst Bands of All Time

13
1,174 323
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Etta James At Last!, Tell Mama, I'd Rather Go Blind

See: The Best Albums Of Etta James

14
779 187
Freddie King is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Freddie King I Love the Woman / Hide Away, Getting Ready..., Live at the Electric Ballroom

See: The Best Albums Of Freddie King

15
738 178
T-Bone Walker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
T-Bone Walker Good Feelin', Charly Blues Masterworks, Volume 14: T. Bone Shuffle

See: The Best Albums Of T-Bone Walker

16
846 275
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Billie Holiday Lady in Satin, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday at Newport, The Best of Billie Holiday

See: The Best Albums Of Billie Holiday

17
699 189
Willie Dixon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Willie Dixon 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

The Best Black Rock Bands

18
688 198
Sonny Boy Williamson II is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Sonny Boy Williamson II One Way Out, Don’t Send Me No Flowers, His Best

See: The Best Albums Of Sonny Boy Williamson II

19
667 227
Little Walter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Little Walter Boss Blues Harmonica, Confessin' the Blues, Super Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Little Walter

20
1,477 332
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Jimi Hendrix First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection

See: The Best Albums Of Jimi Hendrix

21
1,718 420
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
ranker1995 added Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard, Crossroads, Pilgrim

See: The Best Albums Of Eric Clapton

22
552 207
Huddie William Ledbetter is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Huddie William Ledbetter Nothing but the Blues: You Do Me Any Old Way, Where Did You Sleep Last Night: Lead Belly Legacy, Volume 1

The Worst Albums by Great Bands

23
646 212
Johnny Winter is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Johnny Winter The Best of Johnny Winter, Anthology, Livin' in the Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Johnny Winter

24
450 131
Blind Lemon Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Blind Lemon Jefferson Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 1: 1925–1926, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order

25
531 129
Mississippi John Hurt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Mississippi John Hurt Today!, I'm Satisfied, Last Sessions

26
534 129
Albert Collins is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Albert Collins Collins Mix: The Best Of, Showdown!, Ice Pickin'

See: The Best Albums Of Albert Collins

27
423 146
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Bessie Smith Squeeze Me, The World's Greatest Blues Singer, 1923-1933 Empress of the Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Bessie Smith

30 Beautiful Women of Native American Descent

28
397 146
Charlie Patton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Charlie Patton The Rough Guide to Blues Legends: Charley Patton, Founder of the Delta Blues, This Is the Blues

See: The Best Albums Of Charlie Patton

29
443 166
Jimmy Reed is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Jimmy Reed 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
385 173
Junior Wells is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Junior Wells A Night of the Blues, The Real Blues, Messin' With the Kid: Junior Wells 1957-1963

See: The Best Albums Of Junior Wells

31
361 100
Big Mama Thornton is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Big Mama Thornton Sassy Mama, Big Mama Swing, The Original Hound Dog

See: The Best Big Mama Thornton Albums

32
477 140
Blind Willie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Blind Willie Johnson Sweeter as the Years Go By, The Soul of a Man, Praise God I'm Satisfied

15 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

33
322 131
Big Bill Broonzy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Big Bill Broonzy 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
493 187
Robert Cray is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Robert Cray 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
345 116
Otis Rush is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Otis Rush Right Place, Wrong Time, Blues Masters

36
313 112
Sonny Boy Williamson I is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Sonny Boy Williamson I Sugar Mama, Nothing but the Blues, The Blues: Chicago 1937-1945

37
320 130
Skip James is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Skip James The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James, She Lyin', Today!

The 20 Most Epic Wedding FAILs of All Time

38
278 102
Blind Willie McTell is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Blind Willie McTell Mr. McTell Got the Blues, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 2: 23 October 1931 to 19 September 1933

39
198 109
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson He's a Jelly Roll Baker, The Complete Folkways Recordings, Hot Fingers

40
401 152
Taj Mahal is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Taj Mahal Giant Step / De Ole Folks at Home, Kulanjan, The Real Thing

41
653 248
Joe Bonamassa is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
bigrockshow added Joe Bonamassa Driving Towards the Daylight, A New Day Yesterday, Seesaw

42
203 125
Memphis Minnie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Memphis Minnie 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

The Top Country Artists of All Time

43
291 60
Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
tamás-vandlik added Otis Redding Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, The Dock of the Bay, The Immortal Otis Redding

44
445 132
Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Duane Allman Duane Allman: An Anthology, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, Ton-Ton Macoute!

45
442 183
John Mayall is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
John Mayall Empty Rooms, Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, Road Dogs

46
350 110
Bobby Bland is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Bluesboy added Bobby Bland Two Steps From the Blues, Two Steps From the Blues & Here's the Man, Ask Me 'Bout Nothing

47
262 109
Big Joe Turner is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Big Joe Turner Big, Bad & Blue: The Big Joe Turner Anthology, All the Classic Hits 1938-1952

48
185 104
Otis Spann is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Otis Spann Complete Candid Recordings: Otis Spann/Lightnin' Hopkins Sessions (disc 1), Blues Masters, Volume 10

49
285 106
Peter Green is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Peter Green The End of the Game, In the Skies, White Sky

50
305 102
R. L. Burnside is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
R. L. Burnside Heritage of the Blues: No Monkeys on This Train, A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, Burnside on Burnside