music The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

Ranker Music
Originally by
12.8M votes 31.4k voters 290.5k views 1,559 items Embed

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
8,718 6,150
Ranker Video
First L added The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

The Funniest TV Characters of All Time The Best Genres of Music

2
8,485 6,133
Ranker Video
First L added Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

3
8,632 6,109
Ranker Video
First L added Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

4
8,527 5,997
Ranker Video
First L added Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

5
8,500 6,140
Ranker Video
First L added Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

6
8,326 5,943
Ranker Video
First L added The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

7
8,159 5,911
Ranker Video
First L added The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

8
8,364 5,948
Ranker Video
First L added Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

9
8,302 5,875
Ranker Video
First L added David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

10
8,169 5,866
Ranker Video
First L added Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

11
8,273 5,789
Ranker Video
First L added Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

12
8,102 5,944
Ranker Video
First L added AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

13
8,329 5,635
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Simon and Garfunkel Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

14
8,100 5,793
Ranker Video
First L added The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

15
8,129 5,826
Ranker Video
First L added Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

The Worst Band Names Ever The Best Handgun Brands, Ranked by Gun Lovers

16
7,935 5,879
Ranker Video
First L added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

17
7,940 5,804
Ranker Video
First L added Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

18
8,093 5,801
Ranker Video
First L added Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

19
8,289 5,772
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Opera, Classical music

20
7,874 5,794
Ranker Video
First L added Bee Gees Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

21
7,879 5,767
Ranker Video
First L added The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

22
7,982 5,760
Ranker Video
First L added The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

23
7,977 5,771
Ranker Video
First L added Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

24
8,181 5,854
Ranker Video
First L added Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

25
7,986 5,816
Ranker Video
First L added Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

26
7,863 5,849
Ranker Video
First L added Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

27
8,234 5,858
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Opera, Ballet, Art song

28
7,967 5,918
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

29
8,052 5,867
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

How The Lead Singer Of The Beach Boys Became A Slave To His Psychotic Therapist 13 Practical Jokes Gone Horribly Wrong

30
7,737 5,871
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
SethLangley added Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

31
7,799 5,860
Ranker Video
First L added Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

32
8,010 5,920
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

33
8,068 5,887
Ranker Video
First L added Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

34
8,514 5,688
Ranker Video
First L added Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

35
7,852 5,779
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

36
8,020 5,867
Ranker Video
First L added Bob Marley Reggae

37
7,708 5,775
Ranker Video
First L added Lynyrd Skynyrd Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock

38
7,737 5,703
Ranker Video
First L added Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

39
7,810 5,833
Ranker Video
First L added Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

40
8,075 5,724
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Johann Sebastian Bach Classical music

41
7,821 5,595
Ranker Video
First L added Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

42
7,868 5,707
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

43
7,787 5,645
Ranker Video
First L added Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

The Best EDM YouTube Channels The Best Oscar-Winning Songs

44
8,057 5,476
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

45
7,840 5,586
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
EricLeguenec added Abba Synthpop, Disco, Pop music

46
7,887 5,375
Ranker Video
First L added Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

47
7,820 5,496
Ranker Video
First L added Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

48
7,942 5,505
Ranker Video
First L added Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

49
7,705 5,419
Ranker Video
First L added Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

50
7,580 5,381
Nat King Cole is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Nat King Cole Jump blues, Swing music, Traditional pop music