Greatest Musicians of All Time


The Top TenXW

1Michael Jackson

He was a great singer, dancer, and songwriter, but not musician. To have him ahead of anyone in the top ten is laughable. He's not on the best guitarist, bass, drum, or any brass instrument list. I do think to even be eligible for this list you have to play SOMETHING. What did he play?

Couldn't agree more, RIP MJ you will never be forgotten.

His music is a gift from heaven

I agree gift from god. A lot of people think that he faked his death. King of pop!

V9 Comments
2Paul McCartney

Only one, along with Beethoven, Mozart, and possibly Hendrix, in this top 20 who is legitimate. Jackson at number one is utterly ridiculous. Prince is several galaxies above him as a musician.

Paul mccartney is the greatest musician of all time then john lennon then elvis presley nobody else compares to them.

Paul McCartney and john lennon and elvis are the three best ever

Keep calm and save rock 'n roll

V7 Comments
3Freddie Mercury

Greatest LEGEND THERE IS. It's right that he's number one here. He made songs out of great fun and out of pure genius. No one can compare to how genius Freddie was. His music will be forever cherished till the end of time... RIP Freddie Mercury, you were truly the greatest.

Well this is legend not musician what is he doing on this list he should be at 1 st place at top 10 legends list.

Bohemian rhapsody. Enough said

V4 Comments
4Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven's music challenges the listener to experience deep swings of emotion from agony to elation, from peaceful to triumphant. His music is complex and ever-changing, it can be intentionally atonal in one moment, then rhythmic or melodic the next. It is that constant dynamism which makes his music brilliant, it guides the deep-thinking listener through an experience synonymous to life itself. And, at the risk of sounding shallow, his music is often so ridiculously exuberant, inspirational, and life-affirming that no one--Mozart, Bach, or the greats of our current era--comes even remotely close to matching his otherworldly genius.

Beethoven the greatest, purest, deepest, most original musical mind ever. His music is quality in a very beautiful and elegant form. He composed many pieces that is humanly impossible. But he did it! He wrote great music notwithstanding his health problems. What more if he had lived longer and healthy?

I can't believe this guy's only fourth! He should at least be ahead of ELVIS. So deep and pure and beautiful! Greatest music ever written

This is the pioneer of classical and complex music, he deserves 10 times more respect than that Michael Jackson

V9 Comments
5John Lennon

Should be the best for he is the masterpiece of singing - songwriting. John Lennon also the most inspiring and most influential, not only in musical talents but in peaceful activities too. John Lennon should be a gift from heaven, should be a son of God for he is a peace - minded person. Go John Lennon for the win!

I'm so sad that he was murdered. Rest in peace john lennon. Chapman is a horrible awful person. - SammySpore

Greatest of all time MR John Lennon

At least in the top 3! Come on

V5 Comments
6Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart wasn't only a prodigy but a revolutionary. His work was more ground breaking and original than Beethoven's in his particular time period. Imagine if had lived to old age.

Presley, Dylan. and Jackson above Mozart and Beethoven! Good God. Well... at least some of us know who these two are. >_> - fireinside96

Beethoven above Mozart is fine and Elvis, Beatles and Queen being above him is not exactly right, but they're pretty awesome... Screw Michael Jackson being at number 1 though

Mozart is the best musician in all time

V7 Comments
7M. Shadows

Hail to the king vocals sums that up

8George Harrison

George was a great musician, but among the ten best of all time? That's a bit of a stretch, but I did love the guy.

Great songwriter, singer and has played more than 25 instruments.Still one of the most underrated musicians of his time.RIP

10Elvis Presley

A legendary singer one of the best selling over all musicians and the best selling solo musician

can't stand his music but he is the king of rock and I just got to except that

Like many in this top twenty, a great and legendary performer but not a great musician.

The Newcomers


The Contenders

11Synyster Gates
12Bob Dylan

Should be ranked 2nd. Changed popular singing. Greatest lyricist of all time. His influence in music is unmatched. Going electric at the Newport folk festival and his doings in the civil rights movements changed pop culture and the world. There would be no Hendrix Springsteen nirvana and the genre of rap in general if it weren't for Dylan give credit where credit is due!

13K.S. Chithra

What a grace she has... CHITHRA IS LIVING LEGEND

I'm not familiar with her, but seeing the rest of the top twenty as it is I have to ask: Does she even play a musical instrument?


So many of the top people on this list are lead singers who don't play an instrument. I think a lot of folks voting on this list don't realize they're not voting for a singer or writer, but someone who plays an instrument, or preferably, several instruments.

Definitely the best rapper ever. He has definitely changed the rap genre of music, and makes some of the best music out there

Excuse me, I was looking for the best musicians list? Can anyone tell me where I can find it?

This is not music anymore

V6 Comments
15Jimi Hendrix

Best guitar player of all time a genius he could play guitar left handed right handed wonky handed and with his very easily he has great stage presence and emotion.

16Kurt Cobain

You always notice that stage where celebrities often do drugs and die from them. Especially what happened to kurt cobain. My theory is that some of them are just scarred. Like, they're scarred of being famous and they just want to be left alone. Now I don't know if this was true with kurt but he did say that the fame was too much for him. Think about it people, when you're on top of the world it gets really overwhelming. There are some people out there who are planning for a future but are scarred to be famous because they are just normal people who want to be left alone. And whether if they're artists some of them didn't plan for their work to stand out from all the others, they've probably done their work just for themselves and for others to enjoy. If you are so famous that you'll be remembered throughout all of history wouldn't that be way too much pressure? Do you really want to waste your life for the hell of stardom? In my opinion, we should only chose art that really stands ...more

I honestly want to be famous because I want to make a difference. I want to do people a favor by doing something totally new and extraordinary whether it be science, art, sports, politics, or any kind of subject. I don't care if I get famous because I don't care about myself (I'm an atheist, but I'm a really nice guy). So I'm willing to sacrifice my life for the new things I want to bring to humanity. So don't worry about me. I'm doing just fine. As long as I make a difference then humanity will be having new ideas, whether we can use them to help us uncover the secrets of life and the universe as we know it.

It must also not be easy dealing with people when you're famous. Whether someone talks about your work in a bad way, someone hates you, or someone makes fun of you in a depressing or offensive way. you have to be strong about that. It really takes a lot of guts if you have enough.

He has change the world with his music he was one of the last real musicians the day he died was the day music died WE MISS you KURT

V10 Comments
17David Bowie

This is just wrong
A Man like this should at least be in the top 10

18Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy should be at least in the top ten. He ROCKS! He isn't called the "Prince of Darkness" or the "Godfather of Heavy Metal" for nothing. I LOVE Ozzy! He deserves so much more credit than this. Ozzy forever!

19Dave Mustaine

He started with Metallica, got thrown out (for a reason), this made him depressed for his whole life, he wrote some classic Metallica songs (metal militia, phantom lord and even parts of leper messiah) made up megadeth wich is (as Thrash Metal band) even more popular. He is awesome and will always be it

He does have an amazing voice and Megadeth rocks!

20Pete Quaife
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List StatsUpdated 26 Nov 2015

500 votes
156 listings
5 years, 132 days old

Top Remixes (7)

1. Michael Jackson
2. Paul McCartney
3. Slash
1. Michael Jackson
2. Ludwig van Beethoven
3. Paul McCartney
1. John Lennon
2. Elvis Presley
3. Paul McCartney

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