Popular Opinion The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time  

Ranker Music
Originally by
13.2M votes 59.7k voters 463.5k views 2,077 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!
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list ordered by

1
15,418 12,140
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First L added Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

2
16,235 11,191
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First L added Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

3
14,061 11,798
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First L added Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
14,430 10,474
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First L added Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

5
12,308 9,851
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First L added Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

6
14,617 10,895
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First L added Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

7
12,286 10,013
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First L added Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

8
10,833 10,136
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First L added Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

9
12,096 8,675
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First L added Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

10
11,862 9,144
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First L added Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

11
10,900 9,432
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First L added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

12
11,080 9,704
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First L added Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

13
10,559 8,780
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

14
10,848 8,532
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First L added Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

15
10,629 8,696
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First L added Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

16
10,974 8,831
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First L added Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

17
9,649 8,705
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First L added Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

18
11,715 8,149
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Opera, Classical music

19
9,605 9,621
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First L added Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

20
11,262 8,914
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First L added Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

21
10,205 8,327
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First L added Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

22
9,383 8,891
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First L added Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Disco

23
9,932 8,234
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First L added Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

24
10,027 8,394
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First L added Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

25
10,361 8,360
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time
Country pop, Rock music, Folk rock