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List of Famous Percussionists

List of famous percussionists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top percussionists in the world? This includes the most prominent percussionists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable percussionists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic percussionists 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 percussionists.

List is made up of many different famous percussion players, including Frank Zappa and John Bonham.

From reputable, prominent, and well known percussionists to the lesser known percussionists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the percussionist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous percussionists ever?" and "What are the names of famous percussionists?" then you're in the right place.
  • Sir Richard Starkey (born 7 July 1940), known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles. He ...more
  • Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He is considered one of the most influential drummers of all time and was known for his virtuoso ...more
  • David Eric Grohl (born January 14, 1969) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and director. He is the founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter of the rock band Foo ...more
  • Michael John Kells Fleetwood (born 24 June 1947) is a British musician and actor, best known as the drummer, co-founder, and de facto leader of the rock band Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood, whose surname ...more
  • Charles Robert Watts (2 June 1941 – 24 August 2021) was an English drummer, best known as a member of the Rolling Stones from 1963 until his death. Originally trained as a graphic artist, he started ...more
  • Keith John Moon (23 August 1946 – 7 September 1978) was an English drummer for the rock band the Who. He was noted for his unique style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour. His ...more
  • Philip David Charles Collins (born 30 January 1951) is an English drummer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was the drummer and later became singer of the ...more
  • Neil Ellwood Peart (September 12, 1952 – January 7, 2020) was a Canadian musician and writer best known as the drummer and primary lyricist of the rock band Rush. Peart received numerous awards for ...more
  • Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939) is an English drummer and a founder of the rock band Cream. His work in the 1960s earned him the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer", ...more
  • Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm (May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012) was an American musician and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and one of the vocalists for the Band. Helm was known for his deeply ...more
  • John Paul Densmore (born December 1, 1944) is an American musician, songwriter, author and actor. He is best known as the drummer of the rock band the Doors, and as such is a member of the Rock and ...more
  • Thomas Lee Bass (born October 3, 1962) is an American musician and founding member of Mötley Crüe. As well as being the band's long-term drummer, Lee founded rap-metal band Methods of Mayhem, and has ...more
  • Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, and bandleader. His work is characterized by nonconformity, free-form ...more
  • Vincent Samson Appice (born September 13, 1957) is an American rock drummer best known for his work with the bands Dio, Black Sabbath, and Heaven & Hell. Of Italian descent, he is the younger brother ...more
  • William Thomas Berry (born July 31, 1958) is a retired American musician who was the drummer for the alternative rock band R.E.M. Although best known for his solid, economical drumming style, Berry ...more
  • Nicholas Berkeley Mason, (born 27 January 1944) is an English drummer, best known as a founder member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. Mason is the only Pink Floyd member to have been ...more
  • Michael Charles Avory (born 15 February 1944) is an English musician, best known as the longtime drummer and percussionist for the English rock band the Kinks. He joined them shortly after their ...more
  • Kenny Aronoff (born March 7, 1953 in Albany, New York) is an American drummer who has been the sideman for many bands both live and in the studio. He is most recognized as being the longtime drummer ...more
  • Carmine Appice ( ) (born December 15, 1946) is an American drummer and percussionist most commonly associated with the rock genre of music. He has received classical music training, and was ...more
  • Fred Astaire (born May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) was an American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer, and television presenter. He is widely considered the most influential dancer in the history of ...more
  • Richard John Cyril Allen (born 1 November 1963) is an English drummer who has played for the hard rock band Def Leppard since 1978. He overcame the amputation of his left arm in 1985 and continued to ...more
  • Lars Ulrich (; Danish: [laːs ˈulˀʁæk]; born 26 December 1963) is a Danish musician, songwriter, record producer and podcaster. He is best known as the drummer and co-founder of the American heavy ...more
  • Eddie Vedder (born Edward Louis Severson III; December 23, 1964) is an American musician, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter best known as the lead vocalist and one of three guitarists of ...more
  • Joseph Michael Kramer (born June 21, 1950) is the American drummer for the hard rock band Aerosmith.
  • Sheila Cecelia Escovedo (born December 12, 1957), better known under the stage name Sheila E., is an American percussionist, singer, author, and actress. She began her career in the mid-1970s as a ...more