Best Musicians of the 20th Century

armthehomeless06
These are individual artists, not bands, the people you add to the list may be a member of a band though.

The Top TenXW

1Michael JacksonMichael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana and passed away on June 25, 2009. Michael Jackson was a singer, songwriter, producer, choreographer, entertainer and humanitarian. He donated (at least) a remarkable 300,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King ...read more.

It's amazing how overrated Michael Jackson has become since his death. Based on how many people worship him, you'd think he was God himself. He's not God people; calm down. Top ten definitely, but definitely not number one.

The king of pop and a legendary icon of music! - roblist

Music is about reaching the soul and damn MJ new how to do that. His voice and music touched my heart and soul in ways other musicians could never do. The depth of songs like Stranger In Moscow, Who Is it, and Morphine go beyond the lyrics; the mood, the feel, and especially what it makes me feel is magical.

I hate Michael Jackson!

V27 Comments
2Freddie MercuryFreddie Mercury was born in Stone Town, Tanzania he later became a British singer, songwriter and record producer, known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the rock band Queen. He also became known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range. Before he became a singer he has been ...read more.

Beautifully exquisite. The man was perhaps best known for his flamboyancy and weirdness as a man. As the singer of one of the most memorable bands in the world and a man who cared little of what people thought of him, it sure is ironic that his legacy isn't the one to have bitten the dust.

Greatest of all time, no question.

Fantastic performer.
Fantastic songwriter.

Strictly a middleweight, does not deserve to be top 10.

V11 Comments
3John LennonJohn Winston Ono Lennon, MBE was an English singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He was assassinated by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980 at age 40 .

It's obvious most of those voting are too young to remember how great the Beatles were.

Individual artists the best are elvis Presley john lennon paul McCartney chuck berry ray Charles Michael Jackson isn't even rock and roll music its disco crap Michael Jackson can't even play guitar

What on earth is John Lennon doing so low down! Michael Jackson 1st... Bloody hell! Lennon is the best! And always will be!

John is the best

V7 Comments
4Elvis PresleyElvis Presley was a American musician and actor. Known as "The King" He was mostly known for his number 1 singles including "Heartbreak Hotel" "Hound Dog" "Jailhouse Rock" "Love me Tender" Elvis debuted in the movie "Love me Tender" and focused less on his music and continued that way. ...read more.

Elvis changed the history of music... he was a phenom of music.
Fantastic performer also. Best musician ever with over 1billion sales worldwide.
1. Elvis Presley
2. John Lennon
3. Bob Dylan
4. Paul McCartney
5. Michael Jackson
6. Freddie Mercury - i-love-rock-n-roll

I can't believe he's not #1 or at least in the top 3. Its hard to rate musicians who were the kings of their genres. In my opinion it should be

1. Elvis Presley
2. Michael Jackson
3. Johnny Cash (how the hell wasn't he even in the top 10? )
4. John Lennon
5. Stevie Wonder (Don't know why he wasn't here either)

Then the rest are debatable.

People don't call him the king for nothing! He has been the highest grossing dead celebrity for years. Right now he's probably second to Michael, which is typical when a different icon passes away recently.

No one will come close to Elvis! I love all kinds of music, but this is so obvious! He had that "it" thing that you can't buy or learn. He was the man!

V6 Comments
5Bob DylanBob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist and writer . he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2016 .

I'm a beatlesfan, but I cannot deny Dylan has changed the surface os the music world even more than The Beatles, so I voted for mr. Dylan. Anyone who voted on James Hetfield is insane. Metallica never had 1 percent of the impact on the music as Dylan / The Beatles had. - Panther

Paul McCartney is famous for the Beatles. Freddie Mercury is famous for Queen, Bob Dylan is famous for Bob Dylan. He's done as much for music as those higher on the list, but did pretty much everything himself. That is why he is the greatest musician who ever lived.

Bob Dylan, and John lennon are two of the greatest musicians ever to walk the earth.

It's Mister Dylan.

V1 Comment
6Steven Perry

Actually, his name is spelled Stephen.
Stephen Perry is an amazing singer. He was the lead singer for Journey from 1977 to 1996. He also had two solo albums, one in 1984 and one in 1994. Not only does he have a beautiful voice, but his range is breathtaking.

V1 Comment
7Ville Valo

What can I say! The most underrated, amazingly talented singer of all time. MOre people should pay attention to just how talented this man is!

Enchanting deep voice, great lyrics, perfect face. He always gives his fans everything he has in his heart

Ville Valo is definitely the best. He's every bit deserving of the 20th and the 21st till the end of time.

8K.S. ChithraKrishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer from Kerala. Chithra also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music.

She is the all time best female singer of India. Period.

She is the great musician of India

V2 Comments
9Johnny CashJohn R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author, who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide.

Wait... johnny cash is all the way down here?

My favorite anyway no matter what you think... Jake

V1 Comment
10James HetfieldJames Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

Michael Jackson is so overrated, I bet ya, best looking woman, he would come first, people James is the writer rhythm guitarist and singer

if I were a girl and 25 years older id marry him - kman73

V1 Comment

The Contenders

11Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter . Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated ...read more.

How is he not higher than this. He started the whole acting insane on stage thing. Angus Young wouldn't even be half of what he is now without Jimi Hendrix as his inspiration. - UFasten8Me

Hendrix did it all in three years. 50 years later we are still searching for new unheard Jimi music. NO ONE changed pop music more than Jimi Hendrix. PERIOD

Hands down the best guitarist ever... Just an evil genius nobody compares

JIMI IS GOD! ENOUGH SAID!

V3 Comments
12Roy OrbisonRoy Kelton Orbison, professionally known as Roy Orbison, nicknamed Big O, was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and musician, mostly known for his complex voice and for hits such as, "Oh, Pretty Woman".

Absolutely the best and my all-time favorite.

13George HarrisonGeorge Harrison was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.V1 Comment
14Eric ClaptonEric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. He has also been a member of Derek and the Dominos.

Great guitarist, music writer for guitar, beautiful emotional melodic playing, great style. - wsl777

if you add up all of his accomplishments there is no comparison - armthehomeless06

Why must everyone vote for Michael jackson? He was terrible and he was not the king of pop. Eric Clapton has always been brilliant and is the king of blues rock.

15Ritchie BlackmoreRichard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work in the hard rock/metal bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. He was ranked number 16 on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" in 2004, and number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the ...read more.
16Neil PeartNeil Ellwood Peart, OC (born September 12, 1952 in Hamilton, Canada) is a Canadian-American musician and author, best known as the drummer and primary lyricist for the rock band Rush. Peart has received numerous awards for his musical performances.

What a terrible list of musicians to pick from. Where's Bruce hornsby? Ask Clapton!? Neil Peart best on the list though!

Greatest drummer ever changed the whole drumming, In music.
Geddy Lee and Alex lifeson. Are some of the best power trios ever.
Vote Beatles UP by the way

17Kurt CobainKurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1988, he started the grunge band Nirvana. He was a talented yet troubled grunge performer. Kurt Cobain became a rock legend in the 1990s with his band. He committed suicide at his Seattle home in 1994.

For a man who had a troubled life, he sure was capable of making amazing music. He will be remembered along with the rest of these men and women whether people would like it or not.

The best songwriter of all time (and a really nice guy by the way :) ) - nivvAna

Are you kidding... his music was mediocre at best.. no wonder he killed himself

Nevermind was the ever album

V2 Comments
18Bob MarleyRobert Nesta "Bob" Marley was a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim.

Bob's music is medicine to our minds, soul and body. His songs are spiritual and uplifting and speaks truth. It brings a message to all people. Bob was one of the great spiritual messengers of our time. His music is always fresh and new. That reggae beat throbs with the heart and soothes the whole being.

Bob is the reference for others

V5 Comments
19Aretha FranklinAretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer–songwriter and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L.V1 Comment
20Chuck BerryCharles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.

I can't stop listing to chuck berry's johnny b goode

PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Most Influential Leaders of the 20th Century Top Ten Magicians of the 20th Century Best 20th Century War Movies Best Rock Bands of the 20th Century Top 10 Greatest Bands of the 20th Century

List StatsUpdated 8 Dec 2016

2,000 votes
125 listings
8 years, 130 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Bob Dylan
2. Johnny Cash
3. Roy Orbison
kyle4redsox
1. Brian Wilson
2. Paul McCartney
3. Paul Simon
PetSounds
1. Elvis Presley
2. John Lennon
3. Freddie Mercury
MaxSchmidt48

WRemix
View All 5

Posts

Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.
P