Music

The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time 

Ranker Music
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Updated May 21, 2020 613.6k votes 9.2k voters 116.4k views 544 items

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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

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The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All Time #14 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #38 of 398 The Best Frontmen in Rock

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

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The Best Queen Songs of All Time #1 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

3
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 3 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

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All Of The Drama And Heartache Behind ABBA’s Feel-Good Disco Hits #324 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #39 of 161 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever

4
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 4 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

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The Best David Bowie Songs of All Time #6 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #83 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

5
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

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#67 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #65 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #5 of 161 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever

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

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The Best James Brown Albums of All Time #114 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #51 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

7
The Police is listed (or ranked) 7 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

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The Best Police Albums of All Time #442 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #38 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

8
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 8 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

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9
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 9 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

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Smooth Facts You Didn't Know About Frank Sinatra #38 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #4 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

10
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 10 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

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11
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 11 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

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12
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Blue-eyed soul, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first hit and signature song of the same ...more

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The Best Billy Joel Songs of All Time #61 of 311 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriterslisted on Famous Accordionists

13
The Supremes is listed (or ranked) 13 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

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The Best Supremes Albums of All Time #23 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #25 of 161 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever

14
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band formed in July 1967, in London. The band have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. ...more

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Fascinating Stories From Stevie Nicks’s Love Life #242 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #3 of 161 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever

15
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

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The Best Duran Duran Albums of All Time #238 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #37 of 415 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

16
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 16 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

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The Best George Harrison Albums of All Time #60 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #18 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

17
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
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 #495 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timelisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

18
Shania Twain is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Country pop, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: Canada
Shania Twain, OC (; born Eilleen Regina Edwards; August 28, 1965) is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actress. She has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female artist ...more

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The Best Shania Twain Songs #81 of 311 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #44 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

19
Dusty Springfield is listed (or ranked) 19 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

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The Best Dusty Springfield Albums of All Time #92 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #99 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

20
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
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 #227 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #64 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

21
Olivia Newton-John is listed (or ranked) 21 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

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22
Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Christian music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
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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The Best Elvis Presley Songs of All Time #19 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists #141 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

23
Neil Diamond is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Folk music; Nationality: United States of America
Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor. With 38 songs in the Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, Diamond has sold more ...more

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The Best Neil Diamond Albums of All Time #49 of 311 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #46 of 696 The Best Rock Vocalists

24
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
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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25
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
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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