Music

The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time  

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54.2k votes 1.9k voters 45.6k views 131 items

Beginning in the 1960s, the genre known as folk pop emerged as folk music grew in popularity. While the earliest folk singers and folk bands would never have believed that they'd hit the mainstream. Yet, with catchy songs, big hooks and a carefully crafted persona, pop folk bands started to emerge and caught on both commercially and critically. The earliest folk pop bands helped pave the way for bands in the neo-folk movement that rose to popularity during the late 2000s and early 2010s. Thus, while pop folk hasn't soared to the heights of the hippie years, that doesn't mean it hasn't completely gone away.

So, what are the best folk pop bands? Any list would be incomplete without the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, the Byrds, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Joni Mitchell. While some of these folk artists didn't creative pop music as a whole, their songs were so good that a widespread audience couldn't help but pay attention to what they were doing. These bands paved the way for the likes of Grammy Award winning folk pop band like Mumford & Sons and Iceland's Of Monsters and Men.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best pop folk bands. If you notice that a folk pop band is missing from this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best pop folk bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest pop folk musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular pop folk bands that you might've heard of.
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list ordered by
1
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock
2
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music
3
Najwa Karam is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Arabesque, Pop music, World music
4
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
gnicholls added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music
5
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Folk jazz
6
Gordon Lightfoot is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music
7
The Mamas & the Papas is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Sunshine pop, Rock music, Psychedelic pop
8
Arlo Guthrie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Folk music, Folk rock, Talking blues
9
Joan Baez is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Americana, Pop music, Rock music
10
John Denver is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Western music, Pop music, Traditional music
11
Peter, Paul and Mary is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Folk music, Folk rock
12
Pete Seeger is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Folk music
13
Mumford & Sons is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
JacksonMay added Pop music, Folk rock, Pop rock
14
Judy Collins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Rock and roll
15
Of Monsters and Men is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
JacksonMay added Indie pop, Ska, Folk rock
16
The Byrds is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Jangle pop, Pop music, Raga rock
17
Art Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Popular music, Pop music, Rock music
18
Emmylou Harris is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music
19
The Decemberists is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
JacksonMay added Indie pop, Rock music, Folk rock
20
The Seekers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Pop music, Folk music, Easy listening
21
The Kingston Trio is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Pop music, Folk music
22
Belle & Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rock music
23
Tegan and Sara is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Synthpop, Indie
24
First Aid Kit is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
JacksonMay added Indie pop, Americana, Folk music
25
She & Him is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time
Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music