Bands/Musicians The Best Blues Artists of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
82.8k votes 15.2k voters 1M views 258 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
3,828 918
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
4,370 897
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
2,419 530
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
2,278 547
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
2,392 522
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
1,987 506
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
2,724 640
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
1,481 333
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
1,036 275
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
961 267
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
787 282
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
1,250 351
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
1,515 491
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
775 193
T-Bone Walker is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
732 212
Sonny Boy Williamson II is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
889 294
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
836 200
Freddie King is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
743 195
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
1,559 357
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
711 243
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
591 220
Huddie William Ledbetter is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
693 232
Johnny Winter is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
566 136
Mississippi John Hurt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Mississippi John Hurt Today!, I'm Satisfied, Last Sessions

24
1,818 454
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
477 140
Blind Lemon Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
450 154
Bessie Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
425 155
Charlie Patton is listed (or ranked) 27 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

28
391 108
Big Mama Thornton is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
468 175
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
415 180
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
503 145
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
574 137
Albert Collins is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
351 135
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
523 213
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
341 141
Skip James is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Skip James The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James, She Lyin', Today!

36
335 119
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
293 114
Blind Willie McTell is listed (or ranked) 37 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

38
215 120
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson He's a Jelly Roll Baker, The Complete Folkways Recordings, Hot Fingers

39
381 123
Otis Rush is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Otis Rush Right Place, Wrong Time, Blues Masters

40
432 168
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
219 136
Memphis Minnie is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
696 280
Joe Bonamassa is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
bigrockshow added Joe Bonamassa Driving Towards the Daylight, A New Day Yesterday, Seesaw

43
265 96
John Mayall & the Bluesbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 43 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

44
329 70
Otis Redding is listed (or ranked) 44 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

45
482 145
Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Duane Allman Duane Allman: An Anthology, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, Ton-Ton Macoute!

46
477 195
John Mayall is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
John Mayall Empty Rooms, Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, Road Dogs

47
325 111
R. L. Burnside is listed (or ranked) 47 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

48
373 120
Bobby Bland is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
282 114
Big Joe Turner is listed (or ranked) 49 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

50
203 117
Ma Rainey is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Ma Rainey Mother of the Blues, Madam Gertrude "Ma" Rainey 1923-1928, Ma Rainey