Music

The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated January 2, 2020 105.4k votes 8.3k voters 342.9k views 279 items

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

Albums: Abbey Road, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, Rubber Soul, + more

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

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The Worst Beatles Songs #2 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bandslisted on The Best English Boy Bands

2
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music & Folk music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, + more

Bob Dylan (born 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. Much of his most ...more

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The Best Bob Dylan Songs #3 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriterslisted on 1970s Christian Pop Artists

3
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

Albums: Let It Bleed, Exile on Main St., Sticky Fingers, Beggar's Banquet, Some Girls, + more

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

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The Best Rolling Stones Albums of All Time #5 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #94 of 338 The Greatest American Rock Bands

4
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

Albums: Pet Sounds, Surfin' USA, Ultimate Christmas, Endless Summer, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys, + more

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

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The Best Beach Boys Songs of All Time #47 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #9 of 338 The Greatest American Rock Bands

5
Creedence Clearwater Rev... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

Albums: Green River, Cosmo's Factory, Willy and the Poor Boys, Bayou Country, Pendulum, + more

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

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The Best Creedence Clearwater Revival Albums of All Time #10 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #1 of 338 The Greatest American Rock Bands

6
Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added Genre: Rock music, Rhythm and blues & Rock and roll; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Great Twenty-Eight, Maybellene, Two Great Guitars, Rock, Rock, + more

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

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The Best Chuck Berry Albums of All Time #57 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #12 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

7
The Everly Brothers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added

Albums: Christmas With The Everly Brothers, The Everly Brothers Sing Great Country Hits, It's Everly Time, Born Yesterday, All-Time Original Hits, + more

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

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The Best Everly Brothers Albums of All Time #137 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #63 of 338 The Greatest American Rock Bands

8
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Genre: Christian music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Jailhouse Rock, The Sun Sessions, From Nashville to Memphis: The Essential '60s Masters, Can’t Help Falling in Love / Rock-A-Hula Baby, Elvis Presley (Legacy Edition), + more

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

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13 Conspiracy Theories About Elvis Being Alive That People Still Believe #19 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalistslisted on 1970s Christian Pop Artists

9
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
ChangesDownClub added

Albums: The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur (or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire), The Kink Kronikles, Something Else by The Kinks, Face to Face, + more

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

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The Best Kinks Songs of All Time #29 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #37 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

10
The Who is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
CWinn added

Albums: Who's Next, Tommy, Quadrophenia, Live at Leeds, The Who Sell Out, + more

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

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Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About The Who's 'Who Are You' #6 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #17 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

11
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

Albums: Saturday Night Fever, Main Course, Spirits Having Flown, Living Eyes, Size Isn't Everything, + more

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

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The Best Bee Gees Albums of All Time #78 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bandslisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

12
The Mamas & the Papa... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added

Albums: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, Deliver, The Mamas & the Papas, Monday, Monday, + more

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

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Jaw-Droppingly Out-Of-Control Stories From The Mamas & The Papas #69 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #66 of 338 The Greatest American Rock Bands

13
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
ChangesDownClub added

Albums: Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, Bookends, The Graduate, The Concert in Central Park, + more

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

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The Best Simon And Garfunkel Songs #45 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #24 of 338 The Greatest American Rock Bands

14
The Hollies is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

Albums: Would You Believe?, Bus Stop, He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother / 'Cos You Like to Love Me, The Hollies, + more

The Hollies are a British rock group best known for their pioneering and distinctive three-part vocal harmony style. The Hollies became one of the leading British groups of the 1960s (231 weeks ...more

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The Best Hollies Albums of All Time #94 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #117 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

15
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
MatthewGill added

Albums: The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Meddle, Animals, + more

Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. They emerged from London's underground music scene during the late 1960s, and became one of the most commercially successful and ...more

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The Best Pink Floyd Songs #89 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #4 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

16
Eric Burdon & the An... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

Albums: The Greatest Hits of Eric Burdon and The Animals, House of the Rising Sun, The Best of The Animals, The Best of the Animals, The Singles Plus, + more

The Animals are an English rhythm and blues and rock band, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne in the early 1960s. The band moved to London upon finding fame in 1964. The Animals were known for their ...more

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The Best Animals Albums of All Time #100 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #123 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

17
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
DennisNJ added

Albums: The Doors, L.A. Woman, Strange Days, Morrison Hotel, Light My Fire, + more

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

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The Best Doors Albums of All Time #11 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #14 of 338 The Greatest American Rock Bands

18
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Crabbs added

Albums: Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin II, Physical Graffiti, Houses of the Holy, + more

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

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12 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Robert Plant #1 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #2 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

19
The Jimi Hendrix Experie... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
richerb added

Albums: Electric Ladyland, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Live at Monterey, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, + more

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

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#9 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #33 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #192 of 604 The Most Hipster Bands

20
Johnny Cash is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added Genre: Outlaw country, Christian music & Americana; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: American V: A Hundred Highways, American IV: The Man Comes Around, At Folsom Prison, American Recordings, American III: Solitary Man, + more

John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, ...more

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The Best Johnny Cash Songs of All Time #8 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalistslisted on 1970s Christian Pop Artists

21
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
Genre: Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book, Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium I, Music of My Mind, + more

Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950), better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. A prominent figure in popular music, ...more

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22
Jefferson Airplane is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added

Albums: Surrealistic Pillow, Volunteers, Bark, Long John Silver, Crown of Creation, + more

Jefferson Airplane was a rock band based in San Francisco, California, that became one of the pioneering bands of psychedelic rock. Formed in 1965, the group defined the San Francisco Sound and ...more

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The Best Jefferson Airplane Albums of All Time #74 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #45 of 338 The Greatest American Rock Bands

23
Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added Genre: Lubbock sound, Rock music & Rockabilly; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Buddy, 20 Golden Greats, What You Been A-Missin': What You've Been A-Missin', The Buddy Holly Story, That'll Be The Day, + more

Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of ...more

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What Actually Happened The Day The Music Died? #73 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #79 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

24
The Monkees is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
looksharp added Genre: Bubblegum pop, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Then & Now...The Best of the Monkees, Headquarters, Daydream Believer / Goin' Down, Head, More of the Monkees, + more

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

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The Best Monkees Albums of All Time #11 of 418 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #155 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

25
Cream is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s
richerb added

Albums: Disraeli Gears, The Very Best of Cream, Fresh Cream, Wheels of Fire, Those Were the Days, + more

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

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The Best Cream Albums of All-Time #21 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #39 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time