Music

The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated April 1, 2020 594.1k votes 8.9k voters 109.3k views 541 items

List Rules Upvote your favorite pop groups, bands, singers and artists

Update: Follow Ranker's official New Pop 2020 playlist on Spotify!

For years, pop music has dominated your radio dial. No matter where you listen, there's no doubt that pop music bands and pop music artists have had a major impact in shaping music. Even as the faces and stylings of what exactly is pop music has changed, the one thing that remains constant is that pop music has endured. Starting with doo-wop and early rock and roll and eventually becoming more hip hop and R&B-driven, the only thing that links pop music artists to each other is the power and reach of their best songs. 

So, who should be at the top of the pop music artists list? Any pop music artists list should have, at minimum, Madonna and Michael Jackson at or near the top. Both of these amazing pop music artists have managed to endure over the years, with their material, even multiple decades after initially released, are still being played on radio today. On this list of pop music, the artists, bands, or pop duos who are on here should be easily recognizable faces whose songs are ones that you'd know if you heard them. Pop music artists are a rare breed and is a broad term, so please vote accordingly.

What are the greatest pop music bands? Whether you think it should be current pop artists or classics, that's up to you to decide on this list of pop music artists. However, when determining who should be considered the best pop music artists, you shouldn't be voting on popular pop music bands. This should only take into account the quality of their songs.  This list answers the questions "who are the best pop music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest pop music musician ever?" If you notice a pop group or pop artist missing, feel free to add them to this poll. It's up to you to decide who is the best pop musician of all time, so choose wisely.

list ordered by
1
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Motown Sound, Rock music & Electronic music; Nationality: United States of America
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant ...more

More Michael Jackson 

#9 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #2 of 1,042 The Best Singers of All Time The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All Time

2
Queen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
MichaelNedergaard added
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals and piano), Brian May (lead guitar and vocals), Roger Taylor (drums and vocals) and ...more

More Queen 

#848 of 1,038 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time #1 of 620 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time The Best Queen Songs of All Time

3
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
HercMcca added Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Experimental rock; Nationality: England
Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as bass player for the Beatles. His ...more

More Paul McCartney 

#1 of 303 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #13 of 695 The Best Rock Vocalists The Best Paul McCartney Songs

4
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
HercMcca added Genre: Blues-rock, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: England
John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as the rhythm guitarist for ...more

More John Lennon 

#12 of 695 The Best Rock Vocalists 28 Facts You Didn't Know About John Lennonlisted on Famous Accordionists

5
The Police is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
KennethWeaver added
The Police were a British rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar, primary songwriter), Andy Summers (guitar) and ...more

More The Police 

#1,035 of 1,038 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time #84 of 620 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time The Best Police Albums of All Time

6
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Hip hop music, Doo-wop & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America
James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of ...more

More James Brown 

#69 of 695 The Best Rock Vocalists #119 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years The Best James Brown Albums of All Time

7
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Rock music, Psychedelic pop & Electronic music; Nationality: United Kingdom
David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (, BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry ...more

More David Bowie 

#544 of 1,139 The Best Actors in Film History #130 of 330 The Coolest Actors Ever The Best David Bowie Songs of All Time

8
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
HercMcca added Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Experimental rock; Nationality: United Kingdom
George Harrison (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English musician, singer-songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the ...more

More George Harrison 

#54 of 695 The Best Rock Vocalists #99 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years The Best George Harrison Albums of All Time

9
The Supremes is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
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

More The Supremes 

#36 of 156 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever #77 of 133 Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums The Best Supremes Albums of All Time

10
Ranker Video
Blondie is an American rock band founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band were pioneers in the early American new wave and punk scenes of the mid-late 1970s. Its first ...more

More Blondie 

#63 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #75 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #3 of 156 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever

11
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
ABBA (Swedish pronunciation: [²abːa]) are a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group's ...more

More ABBA 

#370 of 844 These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time #78 of 502 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s All Of The Drama And Heartache Behind ABBA’s Feel-Good Disco Hits

12
Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
HercMcca added Genre: Country pop, Pop music & Soft rock; Nationality: United Kingdom
Olivia Newton-John, (born 26 September 1948) is an English-Australian singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, dancer, and activist. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five ...more

More Olivia Newton-John 

#46 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever The Best Olivia Newton-John Albums of All Timelisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

13
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
passionsears added
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

More The Kinks 

#239 of 502 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #121 of 2,179 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time The Best Kinks Songs of All Time

14
Ranker Video
Duran Duran () are an English new wave band formed in Birmingham in 1978. The band were one of the most successful acts of the 1980s, but by the end of the decade, membership and music style ...more

More Duran Duran 

#19 of 285 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #86 of 502 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s The Best Duran Duran Albums of All Time

15
Ranker Video
The Jackson family is an American family of singers who originated in Gary, Indiana. Performing as members of The Jackson 5 and as solo artists, the children of Joseph Walter and Katherine ...more
16
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Genre: Rock music, Folk music & Folk rock; Nationality: United States of America
Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's musical career has spanned seven decades with his fame and commercial success beginning as half of ...more

More Paul Simon 

#2 of 303 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters The Best Paul Simon Solo Songs of All Timelisted on All U.S. Senators from Illinois

17
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Adult contemporary music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: Canada
Céline Marie Claudette Dion (born 30 March 1968) is a Canadian singer. Born into a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, she emerged as a teen star in her homeland with a series of ...more

More Celine Dion 

#3 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #10 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years The Best Celine Dion Songs

18
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Swing music, Traditional pop music & Big band; Nationality: United States of America
Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is ...more

More Frank Sinatra 

#376 of 1,139 The Best Actors in Film History The Best Frank Sinatra Songs of All Timelisted on Republicans in Hollywood: Republican Celebrities List

19
Ranker Video
Eurythmics were a British pop duo consisting of members Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart. Stewart and Lennox were both previously in the band the Tourists (originally known as the Catch), who ...more

More Eurythmics 

#66 of 285 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #150 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

20
Dusty Springfield is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Blue-eyed soul, Pop music & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United Kingdom
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien (16 April 1939 – 2 March 1999), professionally known as Dusty Springfield, was an English pop singer and record producer whose career extended from the ...more

More Dusty Springfield 

#232 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #64 of 1,042 The Best Singers of All Time The Best Dusty Springfield Albums of All Time

21
Rod Stewart is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: New Wave, Rock music & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: England
Sir Roderick David Stewart, (born 10 January 1945) is a British rock singer and songwriter. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. Stewart is one of the best-selling ...more

More Rod Stewart 

#50 of 695 The Best Rock Vocalists #77 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years The Best Rod Stewart Albums of All Time

22
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
KennethWeaver added Genre: Pop, Dance & Electronic; Nationality: United States of America
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is known for her unconventionality, provocative ...more

More Lady Gaga 

#164 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #2 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years The Best Lady Gaga Songs of All Time

23
INXS is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
JanandBillCollins added
INXS (pronounced "in excess") were an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. The band's founding members were bassist Garry Gary ...more

More INXS 

#45 of 502 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #168 of 2,179 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timelisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

24
WHAM! is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
KennethWeaver added
Wham! were an English pop duo consisting of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, formed in London in 1980. They became one of the most commercially successful pop acts of the 1980s, selling more ...more
25
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
The Bangles are an American pop rock band that were formed in Los Angeles in 1981. They recorded several hit singles during the 1980s, including "Walk Like an Egyptian" (Billboard ...more

More The Bangles 

#57 of 502 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #6 of 156 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever