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List of famous bandleaders, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top bandleaders in the world? This includes the most prominent bandleaders, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable bandleaders is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic bandleaders were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned bandleaders.

These people, like James Brown and Ray Charles include images when available.

From reputable, prominent, and well known bandleaders to the lesser known bandleaders of today, these are some of the best professionals in the bandleader field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous bandleaders ever?" and "What are the names of famous bandleaders?" then you're in the right place. (629 items)
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
Photo:  Getty Images/Getty Images

James Brown is a film score composer. ...more

Age: Died at 73 (1933-2006)

Birthplace: Barnwell, South Carolina, United States of America

Profession: Record producer, Songwriter, Rapper, Musician, Bandleader, + more

Credits: The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Going My Way, Objective, Burma!, Sands of Iwo Jima

Also Ranked

#70 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#68 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#75 on The Best Singers of All Time

#46 on Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

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Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

Emmylou Harris is an American singer and songwriter. She has released many popular albums and singles over the course of her career, and as of 2015 she has won 13 Grammys as well as numerous other awards. Her work and recordings include work as a solo artist, bandleader, an interpreter of other ...more

Age: 70

Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America

Profession: Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, Singer-songwriter

Credits: Brokeback Mountain, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Casino, The Last Waltz

Also Ranked

#97 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#14 on The Top Female Country Singers

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Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
Photo:  Illya Sawenok/Getty Images

Paul Frederic Simon is an American musician, actor and singer-songwriter. Simon's fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote nearly all of the pair's songs, including three that reached No. 1 on ...more

Age: 75

Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Actor, + more

Credits: Forrest Gump, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Wolf of Wall Street, Watchmen

Also Ranked

#44 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#36 on The Best Singers of All Time

#3 on The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

#1 on Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

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Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Bandleaders
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

William James "Count" Basie was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local ...more

Age: Died at 80 (1904-1984)

Birthplace: Red Bank, New Jersey, United States of America

Profession: Jazz Pianist, Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, Actor, + more

Credits: Blazing Saddles, Cinderfella, Hit Parade of 1943, Norman Granz' Jazz in Montreux: Ella and Basie '79, Norman Granz' Jazz in Montreux: Count Basie Jam '75, + more

Also Ranked

#2 on The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

#28 on The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

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