Bands/Musicians The Best Blues Artists of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
80.6k votes 14.8k voters 1M views 256 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.

1
3,732 871
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
4,286 849
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
2,355 499
Robert Johnson is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
2,228 519
Howlin' Wolf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Howlin' Wolf The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions, The Genuine Article, Howlin' Wolf

5
2,345 500
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
1,945 474
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
2,647 625
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
1,453 328
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
1,014 270
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
938 263
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
1,217 344
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
1,487 479
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 Best Dubstep Artists

13
763 277
Son House is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
818 196
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
759 189
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
871 288
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
711 210
Sonny Boy Williamson II is listed (or ranked) 17 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

The Best Frontmen in Rock

18
728 194
Willie Dixon is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
1,529 347
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
689 240
Little Walter is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
679 222
Johnny Winter is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
1,779 440
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 22 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

The Greatest Country Blues Songs

23
576 220
Huddie William Ledbetter is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
467 139
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
552 135
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
561 135
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
455 174
Jimmy Reed is listed (or ranked) 27 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

The Greatest Songs by '90s One-Hit Wonders

28
402 179
Junior Wells is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
414 153
Charlie Patton is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
437 153
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 30 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

31
495 143
Blind Willie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 31 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

32
376 106
Big Mama Thornton is listed (or ranked) 32 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

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

33
339 134
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
512 200
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
369 120
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
327 117
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
328 140
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!

Fun Jobs That Pay Well

38
286 111
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
209 117
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
420 160
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
674 266
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
210 133
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

30 Famous People Who Once Were in Marching Bands

43
316 64
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
467 140
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
464 191
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
362 118
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
255 90
John Mayall & the Bluesbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, Road Dogs

48
271 113
Big Joe Turner is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
192 109
Otis Spann is listed (or ranked) 49 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

50
306 110
Peter Green is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Peter Green The End of the Game, In the Skies, White Sky