Popular Opinion The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

Ranker Music
Originally by
13.1M votes 53.9k voters 435.1k views 2,010 items

List Rules The best artists of any genre

When VH1 polled fellow artists to name the greatest artists of all time, it seemed like a good idea---but in reality, the list was truly flawed. According to them, Coldplay is better than Pearl Jam, Mariah Carey is only greater than six artists, etc! Not to mention other impactful artists were left off of the list. So I thought that maybe we try the countdown one more time, only this time with the perspective of true music fans...YOU..

This list will begin in no particular order, you will see some names that didn't appear in VH1's version, no artist appears on the countdown twice, and the order is not my personal opinion (I personally think Bob Marley is the greatest artist of all time). If you don't like how the list looks, you have the power to change it. This list includes some of the greatest female vocalists of the past 10 years, and many of the best rock bands and artists of all time. Many of them are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - and some will be, eventually.

So many questions will be answered with the voting results on this list. Nirvana or Pearl Jam? 2Pac or Biggie? The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston? Is Michael Jackson still the King or is Elvis the true immortal? Is Madonna still the undisputed Queen of Pop? Does anyone rock harder than Hendrix? Are Jay-Z and Beyonce the most powerful couple in music history? It's up to you to decide!
list ordered by

1
13,995 10,939
Ranker Video
First L added Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

2
14,279 10,155
Ranker Video
First L added Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

3
12,939 10,818
Ranker Video
First L added Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
13,243 9,727
Ranker Video
First L added Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

5
13,356 10,086
Ranker Video
First L added Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

6
11,539 9,101
Ranker Video
First L added Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

7
11,499 9,281
Ranker Video
First L added Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

8
10,330 9,424
Ranker Video
First L added Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

9
11,346 8,150
Ranker Video
First L added Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

10
11,106 8,597
Ranker Video
First L added Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

11
10,351 8,841
Ranker Video
First L added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

12
10,516 9,029
Ranker Video
First L added Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

13
10,103 8,238
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

14
10,273 8,041
Ranker Video
First L added Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
10,163 8,173
Ranker Video
First L added Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

16
10,367 8,338
Ranker Video
First L added Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

17
9,266 8,225
Ranker Video
First L added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

18
11,046 7,742
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Opera, Classical music

19
9,258 8,961
Ranker Video
First L added Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

20
10,671 8,343
Ranker Video
First L added Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

21
9,761 7,895
Ranker Video
First L added Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

22
9,092 8,359
Ranker Video
First L added Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

23
9,675 7,916
Ranker Video
First L added Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

24
9,569 7,795
Ranker Video
First L added Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

25
10,551 6,786
Ranker Video
First L added Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop

26
9,098 8,019
Ranker Video
First L added New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

27
9,928 7,969
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

28
10,438 7,657
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Opera, Ballet, Art song

29
9,928 7,903
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

30
9,138 8,143
Ranker Video
First L added Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
9,784 7,650
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

32
9,785 6,736
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

33
9,723 7,331
Ranker Video
First L added Reggae

34
9,858 7,664
Ranker Video
First L added Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

35
9,572 7,568
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

36
8,893 7,877
Ranker Video
First L added Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

37
8,707 8,216
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
SethLangley added Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

38
9,546 7,623
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

39
8,917 7,406
Ranker Video
First L added Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock

40
8,651 7,605
Ranker Video
First L added Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

41
8,888 7,037
Ranker Video
First L added Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

42
10,165 7,841
Ranker Video
First L added Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

43
9,113 7,042
Ranker Video
First L added Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

44
9,276 6,600
Ranker Video
First L added Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

45
8,894 7,945
Ranker Video
First L added Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

46
8,860 7,171
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
EricLeguenec added Synthpop, Disco, Pop music

47
8,807 6,793
Ranker Video
First L added Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock

48
9,061 6,650
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
First L added Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

49
9,232 6,272
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

50
8,895 6,825
Ranker Video
First L added Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music