Music

The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated June 1, 2020 632.3k votes 9.4k voters 119.4k views 545 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 

The Best Michael Jackson Songs of All Time #148 of 232 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time #2 of 1,043 The Best Singers 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 

The Best Queen Songs of All Time #3 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #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

More ABBA 

All Of The Drama And Heartache Behind ABBA’s Feel-Good Disco Hits #71 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #313 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

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

More David Bowie 

David Bowie and His Mysterious Connections to the Occult and Paganism #4 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #110 of 273 The Greatest British Actors of All Time

5
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 5 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 

The Best James Brown Albums of All Time #108 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #533 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

6
The Police is listed (or ranked) 6 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 

The Best Police Albums of All Time #42 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #35 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

7
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 

#62 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #58 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #78 of 232 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

8
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 8 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 

Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Lady Gaga #9 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #2 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

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

More Frank Sinatra 

Smooth Facts You Didn't Know About Frank Sinatra #72 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #590 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

10
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 10 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 

28 Facts You Didn't Know About John Lennon #29 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalistslisted on Famous Accordionists

11
Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 11 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

More Fleetwood Mac 

Fascinating Stories From Stevie Nicks’s Love Life #15 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #14 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

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

More Billy Joel 

The Best Billy Joel Songs of All Time #51 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriterslisted on Famous Accordionists

13
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 13 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 

The Best Paul McCartney Songs #1 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #14 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists

14
The Supremes is listed (or ranked) 14 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 

The Best Supremes Albums of All Time #117 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #100 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

15
Bee Gees is listed (or ranked) 15 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

More Bee Gees 

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

16
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 

The Best Duran Duran Albums of All Time #36 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #213 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

17
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 17 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 

The Best George Harrison Albums of All Time #60 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #33 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

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

More Shania Twain 

The Unbelievably Tragic Life Of Shania Twain #79 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #381 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

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

More Dusty Springfield 

The Best Dusty Springfield Albums of All Time #95 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #50 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

20
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 20 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

More The Beatles 

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

21
Neil Diamond is listed (or ranked) 21 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

More Neil Diamond 

The Best Neil Diamond Albums of All Time #39 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #45 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists

22
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Pop music, Dance-pop & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and ...more

More Whitney Houston 

The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time #1 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #3 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

23
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time
Genre: Blue-eyed soul, New Wave & Pop music; Nationality: Scotland
Ann Lennox OBE (born 25 December 1954) is a Scottish singer-songwriter, political activist and philanthropist. After achieving moderate success in the late 1970s as part of the new wave band The ...more

More Annie Lennox 

The Best Annie Lennox Albums of All Time #120 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #36 of 668 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

More Simon and Garfunkel 

The Best Simon And Garfunkel Songs #45 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #58 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

25
Celine Dion is listed (or ranked) 25 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 

The Best Celine Dion Songs #378 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #3 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever