Most Influential Music Artists Ever


The Top TenXW

1Michael Jackson

The greatest artist, the greatest entertainer, a superb composer, a brilliant person in terms of business and making music and most importantly a great humanitarian and a good person though a bit odd sometimes but it is what made him magical, cosmic and unique... he broke a lot of records having 31 Guinness world records including best entertainer of all time, an artist who donated most to charities donating not less than $350 million, best selling album of all time, highest paid artist of all time and many more. He is the most popular and the most famous.. Though a lot of elvis and Beatles fans won't agree.. however wherever site you go, still Michael Jackson remains at the top.. moreover some may not say so especially if you're a westerner but the fact is that he is the most famous in the whole world, ask anyone, may it be illiterate, someone from the alps or someone who knows no civilization, if you mention the name "Michael JACKSON" then they'd all smile and say "hey I know that ...more - graciadolinobv

All of the 3 acts listed above this are all amogst the most influetnial (The Beatles being the best artist of all times), however in terms of influence in the world, Michael Jackson is the clear world music icon, followed by Elvis presley, Michael Jackson's unique singing voice and dance moves re-defined the meaning of pop music and is the model most aspiring pop artists follow.

The one - the only king of pop

With The Beatles and Elvis they are very influential and are one of the most popular people in music but Michael is one of the most popular HUMAN ever.

V9 Comments

Since the 1960's every artist has copied The Beatles, Michael Jackson liked them so much he bought their catalogue and covered their music. No one has been more imitated by top artists than The Beatles. Even the typical rock band format was established by them - most previous stars just sang and had back-up musicians, these guys ran the whole show, even deciding which songs to release and record their own songs when the record label wanted them to do covers.

Revolutionary sound in the music industry generating worldwide attention and appeal in an era when there was no internet. No other artists pushed musical boundaries while at the same time maintaining MASS appeal like the Beatles did. The fact that 50 years later, much of their music has withstood the test of time and continues to capture the imagination of young and old is a sound testament to their genius and deserved status of most influential musical artists of all time.

I don't know actually, but I think when beatles made a song they knew what the history about that song. It's make the song have a powerful feeling to who listened all of the song from beatles.

The best band of all time

V11 Comments
3Elvis Presley

He continues to touch millions world-wide despite the fact that he has been dead for 35 years and that he had never traveled outside the U.S. and Canada. - bobinator3010

I hate most of the music from his generation but I can't help but love the king(:

Elvis is what made rock n roll popular in the first place.

I voted for Elvis because Elvis influenced The Beatles - Ajkloth

V6 Comments

QUEEN FOREVER NUMBER ONE. He inspired countless musicians and even till this day, he is acknowledged for his greatness. Despite Michael being slightly more popular than Queen, Queen has had much more influence to today's artists than you think. Maybe the mainstream hail Michael but the mainsteam sucks, if you actually look at the ones who don't suck like the Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and blah blah blah... They don't suck and their inspiration's Queen. Sorry, Michael, you were great, but Queen's better.

Queen should be number one on this list. How can you get better than Freddie Mercury's vocals, Brian May's guitar wails, john Deacon's killer bass, Roger Taylor's pounding drums. Just a sheer heart attack.

One of the best front men and musicians ever alongside a truly amazing guitarist, even my 7 year old loves queen!

I love this band so much. Bohemian Rhapsody is the most influential song of all time.

V5 Comments
5Led Zeppelin

Classic musicians in their own right. Their music is still popular, and can be heard around the world, on the radio throughout the day. Their timeless style, influencing and drawing in young and old fans alike.

Michael Jackson? Really? Eminem? 2PAC? This list is terrible

Michael jackson is classic and blows led zeppelin away

V4 Comments
6Jimi Hendrix

He was the first left handed guitarist and one of the first African American people or man to be so influential that when he died people were so sad they had many people go on a riot

7K.S. Chithra

She influenced other singers. They willing to sing like her. This is her success

She is not just so influential, She mean it

If you hear chithra voice you easly influenced by her

Who the heck is she?

V6 Comments
8Bob Dylan

If you have listened to any music after the 1960s you are listening to music that was affected by Bob Dylan. Go look up on youtube the beatles comments on bob dylan and you can see the effect that he had on the greatest band in the history of music. Behind the beatles, he is the most covered artist of all time. He blended the depth of folk music with rock. He Sung blowing in the wind at the march on washington right before MLK jr gave his I have a dream speech. He didn't just change music He changed the world.

Bob Dylan makes the case for the most influential of all time. His popularity is surpassed by more famous acts such as the Beatles and Elvis but it can be easily argued Bob Dylan has been more influential. If there were a pedigree of musicians allowing influences and styles to be traced to the beginning of modern music, Bob Dylan would be at the very beginning.

Every major musician in the 60's paid debt to Dylan, including The Beatles, Lou Reed, and Hendrix. In turn, they influenced evryone else! He should be #1 if not close.

9Chuck Berry

Set the stage for a whole new generation of rock and he was black. In his time this was unheard of! He really is the king, Elvis is #2. - fireinside96

Chuck berry, buddy holly, bill haley. All great singers that people seem to have forgotten, sadly

The single most influential rock musician that has ever lived

10The Velvet Underground

Um, you can thank these guys for punk music, and any band that got influenced from this genre.

These guys or Lou should be #2 behind the Beatles.

The Newcomers

?Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren is a highly underrated artist. He is a multi instrumentalist who literally Kills on Guitar. He would play all of the instruments on a lot of his albums. He opened new doors for music. He made 30 minute experimental pieces! He was way ahead of his time. Not to mention he produced bands such as "New York Dolls", " Hall And Oates", "Meat Loaf- he played guitar in Bat Out Of Hell also" "Cheap Trick" "XTC", and "Patti Smith". Some works to check out by him are " Something/Anything? ", "A Wizard, A True Star", " Todd", "Initiation", " Hermit of Mink Hollow", "A Capella ", " Global" "No World Order".

?Scott Joplin

The Contenders

11Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd, the greatest rock band of all time on number 16? While Elvis Presley has been ranked higher than them! Pink Floyd deserve to be on #1 or #2

Listen to the guitar work, the rest is just gravy!


Madonna is the smartest artist she understand everything that's why she still here and still on top! <3 #QueenOfPop!

Madge is on the same level with Beatles, Elvis or Frank Sinatra.
She makes the music history - Alexandr


Though Pac is a great rapper, your missing two who should be way ahead of him, first james brown, the godfather of soul, without him he there would be no MJ or Pac. Your also forgetting the greatest lyricist of them all Biggie- he really grew up in the streets selling drugs and who not, as opposed to 2pac who came from a family of African American extremists, and actually live a middle class live and studied ballet and Shakespeare at a wealthy high school before he realized there was more money in rapping. I'm not trying to take anything away from him, I think he has just be slightly overstated on his influence in the music scene...slightly

2pac has got to be at least in the top 3, he was way more than just a rapper! He fight's for what he believes in and doesn't back down. Fought for women's rights and black rights against the goverment and police. He had a thug side to him because he was raised in the ghetto and at the same time a intelligent side when he tried to get his message across though his songs. His thug side was brought out even more when he was shot in 1994 and went to jail in 1995 for a crime he didn't commit. The system was always out to get him. Live by the gun, die by the gun.R.I. P

If this man hadn't been born then this world would be full of hate and racism. I personally think that he was more influential than Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther-King.

He should be top 3 hands down

V6 Comments
14Buddy Holly

He influenced bob Dylan, famously influenced the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, he was a very talented person.

15Bob Marley

Not just an influential musician, but an inspiration to mankind.

He was one of the greatest people to ever be famous

What the hell! Marley is a legend he inspired nations. He influence the entire continent of Africa. He also was a social and political activist. He started a religious movement. He is a diety in the music world. This list is the most influential muscians not most influential American musicians.

Bob Marley belongs at number 1

V6 Comments

With today's male artists copying his style, it's safe to say that he is the most influential, probably top 5. Plus, couldn't Prince play like 59 (? ) instruments?

Prince should be in the top ten, his music is amazing


Nirvana brought grunge into the mainstream. Their story is interesting. They were the soundtrack to teens lives in the nineties. Iggy Pop said, and I quote,"Kurt Cobain was truly a nobody from nowhere who reached out and touched the world. And he may have touched it right in its wound"

Why Nirvana is so low on the list? They are the kings of their genre. They changed the face of music in 90's. Cobain is one of the most influential musicians of all time. Common people!

Nirvana changed music forever and when kurt died rock died with him. his lyrics tell us that it is okay for us to be different and that we should be ourselves no matter what, he influences still so many people and was one of the greatest artists of all time. period.

18David Bowie

This is outrageous! Bowie influenced have the artist above him on this list!

Is no way less influential than Miley Cyrus!

David's music career has spanned half a century he has not become a parody of himself by rehashing the same things like a lot of other bands. He's an absolute musical icon! 'n

19The Kinks
20The Who
PSearch List

Related Lists

Music Artists You'd Like to Perform at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremonies Music Artists You'd Like to Perform at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremonies Greatest Music Artists of All Time Music Artists Who Sold-Out Most Overrated Music Artists

List StatsUpdated 1 Dec 2015

1,000 votes
324 listings
6 years, 184 days old

Top Remixes (13)

1. Elvis Presley
2. Beatles
3. Michael Jackson
1. Michael Jackson
2. Beatles
3. Linkin Park
1. Beatles
2. Elvis Presley
3. The Velvet Underground

View All 13


Add Post

Error Reporting

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