Most Influential Music Artists Ever


Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Michael 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 man". while shrugging their shoulders if you ask about Beatles or elvis... undeniably no matter which angle to look at, Michael Jackson is the king of music...


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
More comments about Michael Jackson

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.
Let it be is the most influential song ever
More comments about Beatles

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.


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.
More comments about Elvis Presley

4K.S. Chithra
If you hear chithra voice you easly influenced by her
She influenced other singers. They willing to sing like her. This is her success
She is not just so influential, She mean it
More comments about K.S. Chithra


THE NUMBER 1. Can't get better. They are very influential. I mean, where do you think Lady Gaga got her name? I mean...
"All you hear is... Radio Goo goo... Radio GA GA! " DER

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.

6Led Zeppelin
Michael jackson is classic and blows led zeppelin away
Michael Jackson? Really? Eminem? 2PAC? This list is terrible
Led zep the Beatles nina simone, and artists who have the talent to be able to write music on a entire cd or how I like to put it the b side and have a fan listen to it ten year, twenty years, thirty years later on radio

7Jimi Hendrix
Jimi the left handed mistro

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
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
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.
More comments about 2pac


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


10Linkin Park
The 21st century began with the kickoff of one of the current generation's most influential artists, Linkin Park. With their fusion of modern and classic musical styles, instrumentation, and technology with popular Hiphop and Metal, these pioneers negated the need to fit into a genre and simply pursued the expression of pure art.
Though still young, Linkin Park's wide variety of music stretches across many genre of music. There are constant covers seen by other upcoming artists and youtube sensations

The Contenders

11The Velvet Underground

12Chuck 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.


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

13Bob 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.
Bob first daylight secong

14Whitney Houston
She is the worlds most famous vocalist ever hands down.


15The Kinks

16The Who

17Pink 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

It is mind-boggling why U2 is not even #3 only behind The Beatles and Michael Jackson, yet they are the most influential live rock band (listen to how some rock bands try to copy their vibe) and rock music overall. With larger-than-life rock riffs/vibe, Bono's powerful voice, and convincing lyrics (about world peace), U2, still to this day, has remained one of the most influential figures in music, as evidenced by their ubiquitous media presence into the 21st century

And who can forget Bono's glasses?
U2 not only was one of the few rock bands to survive through turbulent periods in rock music, but they have stayed together for over 30 years. They rose to superstar status in 1987 and have only climed uphill since. Bono's influence as an activist for ending poverty and making peace has led to his nomination for the noble peace prize. Perhaps only The Beatles can match the influence U2 has had over the entire world.

19The Sex Pistols


She's made tonnes of dance crazes which have swept the world into mimicking the dance. Like crazy in love, baby boy and the most influential music video - single ladies.


21Bee Gees

22The Smiths

23K. J. Yesudas

The Celestial singer Dr KJ YESUDAS is the Most Influential Music Artists Ever. God of music or Voice of God. Greatest singer in the world. Voice of India.

Yesudas he is a living legend who recorded more than 50,000 Songs and sings at concerts around 50,000 songs in multiple languages.

Gaana gandharva Yesudas sir is the most influential singer - music artist. Living legend Gandharva

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!

25The Stone Roses

26The Rolling Stones

27Earth, Wind & Fire

28Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams should be in the top ten to be honest
Very influential - most artists copy this one


Em shows how you can come from nothing and turn into one of the greatest rappers ever he tells you to never give up and if you listen to his verse on airplanes pt 2 he didn't have friends he concentrated on rap and it paid off
His songs are so deep and full of meaning, listen to "when I'm gone" and "mockingbird"
Best and the most influential rapper of all time


More comments about Eminem

31Britney Spears
Britney Spears Is Amazing! Maybe she hasn't got the best voice in the world but at least after her ups and downs of her past she still making number 1 hits and don't forget that she has sold over 105 million copies worldwide...
from 2000's Britney is the most influential and successful female singer. No one can even compare with her.


32Black Sabbath
They created and Influenced the whole Heavy Metal scene. Need I say more?
They created the greatest music genre we will ever see

33Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash should be within the top ten easily, what are people playing at? Vote Cash up now.


35Green Day
How can be Green Day so down the list? Just fell it's influence in songs like "Wake me up when September ends", "Boulevard of broken dreams", "Before the lobotomy", "21 guns" and "Basket Case"...
Come on people, Vote for Green Day...
Green Day should at least be in the top five. They are influential, as they made their own way in the music industry and write their own music. Best band ever!



37The Strokes

38Frank Sinatra

39Celine Dion

40Red Hot Chili Peppers

41Avril Lavigne


43Bob Marley
He was world peace
He sung his soul.

44Bryan Adams


She is a role model & amazing at singing, dancing and being a philanthropist. She is definitely one of the most influential people in the world!

Shakira is very influential just because her IQ is the highest in music industry


46Backstreet Boys

47Tom Waits

48The Doors

49Stevie Wonder


51Taylor Swift

52David Bowie
Is no way less influential than Miley Cyrus!

53Buddy Holly
He influenced bob Dylan, famously influenced the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, he was a very talented person.


55New York Dolls

Influences of as Kiss, Hanoi Rocks, Blondie, The Clash, Ramones, Dead Boys, Mötley Crüe, Faster Pussycat, JetBoy, Guns N' Roses, The Damned, The Smiths, and Japan.

56Hank Williams



59Duran Duran

60Bruce Springsteen

61The Killers



64Jennifer Lopez

successful singer and actress


65Shania Twain


67Belinda Carlisle

Belinda's Heaven is place on Earth is everlasting song


68Kelly Clarkson

69Spice Girls

They were the Bomb in the 90s


70Biggie Smalls

71The Stooges

72Leonard Cohen

73Janis Joplin

74Marvin Gaye

75Beastie Boys

76Bo Diddley

Didn't he like invent rock guitar or something? This man is the start of modern music, just saying.




79Kate Bush


81The Beards

82The Cure

83Depeche Mode

84Miley Cyrus

85Mike Ness
Probaly the most under rated band ever, combining coutry and punk to make grate music.

86Guns N' Roses


88Dire Straits


90John Lennon

91The White Stripes

92Billy Joel


94The Verve

95Justin Timberlake

96Tina Turner

97Kurt Cobain

Her style and class still influence artists today

99Take That


Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List






see more...

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 4 years, 323 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list contains 265 items, has been remixed 5 times.

Updated Saturday, April 19, 2014

List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.