popular opinion The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

Ranker Music
Originally by
12.9M votes 39.9k voters 348.8k views 1,723 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
10,482 8,185
Ranker Video
First L added The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

2
10,116 8,172
Ranker Video
First L added Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

3
10,378 7,858
Ranker Video
First L added Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

4
10,223 7,623
Ranker Video
First L added Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

5
9,961 8,020
Ranker Video
First L added Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

6
9,475 7,478
Ranker Video
First L added The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

7
8,968 7,520
Ranker Video
First L added The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

8
9,450 7,487
Ranker Video
First L added Elvis Presley Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

9
9,331 6,984
Ranker Video
First L added Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

10
9,353 7,270
Ranker Video
First L added David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

11
8,962 7,342
Ranker Video
First L added AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

12
8,967 7,293
Ranker Video
First L added Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

13
9,039 6,793
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
8,886 6,918
Ranker Video
First L added The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

The Best Movies That Were Originally Panned by Critics

15
8,893 7,013
Ranker Video
First L added Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

16
8,826 6,819
Ranker Video
First L added Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

17
9,199 6,696
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Ludwig van Beethoven Opera, Classical music

18
8,365 6,939
Ranker Video
First L added Aretha Franklin Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

19
8,426 7,211
Ranker Video
First L added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

20
9,077 6,968
Ranker Video
First L added Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

21
8,328 6,948
Ranker Video
First L added Bee Gees Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

The Best Genres of Music

22
8,351 6,849
Ranker Video
First L added The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

23
8,639 6,801
Ranker Video
First L added Fleetwood Mac Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

24
8,604 6,808
Ranker Video
First L added Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

25
8,564 6,789
Ranker Video
First L added The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

26
8,998 6,848
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Opera, Ballet, Art song

27
8,690 7,033
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eagles Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock

28
8,306 7,068
Ranker Video
First L added Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

The Worst Band Names Ever

29
8,693 7,053
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

30
8,845 6,825
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Creedence Clearwater Revival Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop

31
9,578 6,543
Ranker Video
First L added Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

32
8,116 7,184
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
SethLangley added Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

33
8,210 6,968
Ranker Video
First L added Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

34
8,724 6,952
Ranker Video
First L added Johnny Cash Outlaw country, Christian music, Americana

35
8,109 6,748
Ranker Video
First L added Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

The Best Female Poets of All Time

36
8,140 6,520
Ranker Video
First L added Lynyrd Skynyrd Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock

37
8,208 6,880
Ranker Video
First L added Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

38
8,433 6,693
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

39
8,517 6,802
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Frank Sinatra Swing music, Traditional pop music, Big band

40
8,295 6,158
Ranker Video
First L added Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

41
8,562 6,536
Ranker Video
First L added Bob Marley Reggae

42
8,616 5,987
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

Here Are All The Craziest Facts You Didn't Know About Iron Maiden

43
8,204 6,232
Ranker Video
First L added Bruce Springsteen Americana, Blues-rock, Heartland rock

44
8,083 6,006
Ranker Video
First L added Journey Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock

45
8,381 5,959
Ranker Video
First L added Stevie Wonder Motown Sound, Psychedelic soul, Pop music

46
8,234 6,179
ABBA is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
EricLeguenec added Abba Synthpop, Disco, Pop music

47
7,974 5,989
Phil Collins is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Phil Collins Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

48
8,198 6,106
Ranker Video
First L added Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

49
8,296 5,781
Ranker Video
First L added Chuck Berry Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

50
8,387 5,732
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae