music The Best Blues Artists of All Time  

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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
3,563 622
B.B. King is listed (or ranked) 1 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

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2
3,118 689
Muddy Waters is listed (or ranked) 2 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

3
1,861 386
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
1,993 391
John Lee Hooker is listed (or ranked) 4 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 Albums Of John Lee Hooker

5
1,945 409
Robert Johnson is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
1,633 379
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
2,203 499
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
1,198 239
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
872 213
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
800 217
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
1,296 390
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
659 232
Son House is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
1,032 284
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
679 156
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
665 154
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

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16
753 236
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
625 169
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

18
605 177
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
596 202
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
1,294 286
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
1,502 354
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
560 181
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
492 188
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
381 125
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
467 116
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
467 115
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
360 130
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

28
400 153
Jimmy Reed is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
340 132
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

15 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do 30+ Jokes That Make Zero Sense Unless You've Played The Game

30
436 128
Blind Willie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 30 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

31
346 160
Junior Wells is listed (or ranked) 31 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

32
304 87
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

33
277 121
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

34
445 165
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'

35
276 98
Sonny Boy Williamson I is listed (or ranked) 35 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

36
305 105
Otis Rush is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Otis Rush Right Place^! Wrong Time, Blues Masters, Windy City Blues

37
288 118
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!

38
178 92
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
232 86
Blind Willie McTell is listed (or ranked) 39 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

40
567 198
Joe Bonamassa is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
bigrockshow added Joe Bonamassa Driving Towards the Daylight, A New Day Yesterday, Seesaw

41
362 134
Taj Mahal is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Taj Mahal Giant Step / De Ole Folks at Home, Kulanjan, The Real Thing

42
178 107
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

43
381 111
Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Blues Artists of All Time
Duane Allman Duane Allman: An Anthology, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, Ton-Ton Macoute!

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44
237 46
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
390 167
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
306 96
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
237 99
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
165 92
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
272 89
R. L. Burnside is listed (or ranked) 49 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

50
162 94
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