Music

The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules If I missed one of your favorite artists of this era, you may add them to this list.

List of the best pop artists of the 60s, ranked. The 1960s may very well be the best decade for music in the rock era. Music from the decade 1960-69 can bring back good memories for many who grew up in this era and holds a certain allure for those who were born later. It's tough to decide which artists were truly the best of the 60s - perhaps the easiest way to judge these 1960s bands is by their staying power. Yes, many on this list were popular bands in the 60s, but which ones continue to touch future generations with their songs? The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles are at the top of this list with good reason. For many, they epitomize 1960s music - the atmosphere and attitude of the time - and when younger listeners want to tap into that era, they usually flip one of those bands on and listen to the best singers of the 60s. 

This does not mean that everyone loves these bands. The question of the top 60s artists is subjective - that's why we are putting it up for a vote. Upvote your favorites and add any 60s musicians you love that somehow didn't make it on the list. 
list ordered by
1
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Abbey Road, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are regarded as the most ...more
2
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Let It Bleed, Exile on Main St., Sticky Fingers
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts. ...more
3
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Green River, Cosmo's Factory, Willy and the Poor Boys
Creedence Clearwater Revival (often referred to as Creedence or CCR) was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s which consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and ...more
4
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Pet Sounds, Surfin' USA, Ultimate Christmas
The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band. Formed in 1961, they gained popularity for their close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a California youth culture of surfing, girls, and ...more
5
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. ...more
6
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Jailhouse Rock, The Sun Sessions, From Nashville to Memphis: The Essential '60s Masters
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th ...more
7
Ricky Nelson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Ken Von Geldern added Rick Sings Nelson, Rudy the Fifth, The Rock 'n' Roll Era: Ricky Nelson: 1957-1972
Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) was an American pop star, musician, and singer-songwriter. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television ...more
8
The Who is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
CWinn added Who's Next, Tommy, Quadrophenia
The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle and ...more
9
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
DennisNJ added The Doors, L.A. Woman, Strange Days
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger. The band took its ...more
10
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
ChangesDownClub added The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur (or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire), The Kink Kronikles
The Kinks are an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s. The ...more
11
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
ChangesDownClub added Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, Bookends
Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They are best known for achieving commercial and critical success in the ...more
12
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book
Stevland Hardaway Morris (né Judkins; born May 13, 1950), better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. A prominent figure ...more
13
The Everly Brothers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added Christmas With The Everly Brothers, The Everly Brothers Sing Great Country Hits, It's Everly Time
The Everly Brothers were an American country-influenced rock and roll duo, known for steel-string acoustic guitar playing and close harmony singing. Consisting of Isaac Donald "Don" ...more
14
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Saturday Night Fever, Main Course, Spirits Having Flown
The Bee Gees were a pop music group formed in 1958. Their lineup consisted of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were especially successful as a popular music act in the late ...more
15
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added The Great Twenty-Eight, Maybellene, Two Great Guitars
Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" ...more
16
The Mamas & the Papas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, Deliver, The Mamas & the Papas
The Mamas & the Papas was an American folk rock vocal group that recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968, reuniting briefly in 1971. They released five studio albums and seventeen singles, ...more
17
The Byrds is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
ChangesDownClub added Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Mr. Tambourine Man, Younger Than Yesterday
The Byrds were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn (known as Jim ...more
18
Cream is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
richerb added Disraeli Gears, The Very Best of Cream, Fresh Cream
Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup power trio consisting of bassist/singer Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/singer Eric Clapton. Their unique sound was characterised by a ...more
19
The Temptations is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
The Temptations Christmas Card, The Very Best of Christmas, The Temptations Sing Smokey
The Temptations are an American vocal group who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group's work with producer Norman ...more
20
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
richerb added Electric Ladyland, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love
The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an English-American rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Composed of singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, bassist and ...more
21
The Supremes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection: The Best of The Supremes, Diana Ross & the Supremes: 20 Golden Greats, Love Child
The Supremes were an American female singing group and a premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most ...more
22
The Four Seasons is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
The 4 Seasons' Christmas Album, Working My Way Back To You, Greatest Hits
The Four Seasons are an American rock and pop band that became internationally successful in the 1960s and 1970s. Since 1970, they have also been known at times as Frankie Valli and the Four ...more
23
Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
The Essential Roy Orbison, King of Hearts, Mystery Girl
Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician known for his impassioned singing style, complex song structures, and dark, emotional ...more
24
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Crabbs added Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. ...more
25
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added Then & Now...The Best of the Monkees, Headquarters, Daydream Believer / Goin' Down
The Monkees are an American rock and pop band originally active between 1966 and 1971, with reunion albums and tours in the decades that followed. Their original line-up consisted of the ...more