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 Ten

1 John Lennon John Lennon John 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.

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

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

A real musician.

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2 Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 5th September 1946 - 24th November 1991) was a Zanzibari-born British singer of Indian descent, songwriter and record producer, known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the British rock band Queen. He also became known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave ...read more.

He was the greatest. I love John Lennon, but Freddie was more creative and unique.

Freddie was the GREATEST! It's even proven by science, he had a HUGE vocal range, he made THE MOST complex music and lyrics (My cousin has been playing the piano for YEARS and it's extremely hard for him to play Bohemian Rhapsody) And he also had a much more vibrato than any other singer alive or dead. Again, this is proven by science, so it's a fact, not an opinion!

A very creative musician!

A musician is about more than being a singer. They need to play at least one instrument so Michael Jackson shouldn't be on this list.

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3 Michael Jackson Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana and passed away on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 500,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King of Pop (a title given to him by Elizabeth Taylor) or under ...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.

He is the first!

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.

His songs are so meaningful and they inspire and stimulate actions... and that's something no other artist achieved... He always have that presence, charisma that unites anyone and gets everyone moving.. - graciadolinobv

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4 Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Elvis Presley was an 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.

Coolest of them all. Charisma, looks.

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.

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5 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and artist who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.

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 is the most literary and experimental musician of the century. No one can be compared with him. He is the Shakespeare of 20th century music world.

It's Mister Dylan.

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6 Johnny Cash Johnny Cash John R. "Johnny" Cash (1932-2003) 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. He died of ...read more.

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

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

Him Elvis bob Dylan frank sinatra and definitely bb king

7 Steven 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.

Hair, eyes, lips and butt and still looks sexy at 64

8 Roy Orbison Roy Orbison Roy 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.

9 Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix Jimi 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.

Obviously the greatest guitarist to have ever existed. The people who claim he is overrated are stuck in their narrow minds. Yes some of his stuff is easy to play. But most of it is not. Little to no repetition but instead theme and variation using unique and diverse chord progressions. To memorize the notes and play them the same way he played them is an amazing feat. He was an insane songwriter who correlated love, psychedelics, mythology, and everyday life and struggles into his songs. He was a great singer for his sound in playing and songwriting. No one would have been fit to sing those songs other than Hendrix himself. He was a humble character to top it off with the perfect cherry. People have to keep in mind that in the 60s you had the Beatles, the Stones and a bunch of Motown and folk artists who played guitar that was either just focused on only melody or rhythm. Very uncommonly was it both. Jimi Hendrix just came out of the blue to England and his use of feedback, effects ...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

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10 George Harrison George Harrison George Harrison (1943 - 2001) was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

Wonderful...He is best...😍

The Contenders

11 Ville Valo Ville Valo Ville Hermanni Valo is a Finnish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead vocalist and main songwriter of the Finnish gothic rock band HIM.

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.

12 James Hetfield James Hetfield James 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.

he made metallica what it was - aman28

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

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

13 Ritchie Blackmore Ritchie Blackmore Richard 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.
14 Eric Clapton Eric Clapton Eric 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.

15 K.S. Chithra K.S. Chithra Krishnan 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

Fabulous songs and I loved it

She is the Goddess of Music - Sangeetha Saraswathi.

16 Neil Peart Neil Peart Neil Ellwood Peart (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

17 Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1987, he started the grunge band Nirvana, which became one of the most successful bands ever. 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 ...read more.

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.

Probably one of the best songwriters of all time. Capable of making incredible music, and should forever be remembered as a legend.

Nevermind was the ever album

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

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18 Aretha Franklin Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 - August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter and pianist. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister.

Same for Aretha!

19 Chuck Berry Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. He died on 18 March 2017.

As Bruce Springsteen said "Chuck Berry was Rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist and the greatest pure rock n roll songwriter that ever lived"

Chuck Berry was the original. There is no elvis, there is no clapton there is no rock and roll without Chuck Berry yall

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

20 Bob Marley Bob Marley Robert 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 Marley and the Wailers used music to not only communicate about the troubles of the world, but to give hope and an optimistic view that humanity can unite to solve our problems - played with positive vibrations. They are one of the greatest musicians of all time, and their music is definitely medicine for the soul without negative side effects and impossible to overdose.

Bob is the reference for others

Bob is the message we need

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21 Frank Sinatra Frank Sinatra Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century.

He is the first, talking professional and personal.

1. Frank Sinatra
2. Bing Crosby
3. Chet Baker
4. Tony Bennett
5. Benny Goodman
6. Duke Ellington
7. Ella Fitzgerald
8. Glenn Miller
9. Count Basie
10. Louis Armstrong

Frank Sinatra, in my humble opinion, was the best singer of the 20th century. His voice was pure gold, and I'm not talking about that 98.93745937201113456 pure gold type of brick. I'm talking 100%.

Love Frank Sinatra beautiful beautiful voice so relaxing clean clear and sharp and most of all its classic and will always be

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22 Tom Waits Tom Waits Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits, born December 7, 1949 is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. ...read more.

An American original.

He is brilliant. Listen to TOm Traubert's BLues, or Downtown Train - VaticanCameos

23 Paul McCartney Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer . With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential groups in the history of pop and rock music .

I came to this list and expected to find Paul McCartney at #1 or #2 behind John Lennon. The fact that he is not even in the top 5 is a crime. If he were just a singer that would be one thing, but he wrote so many songs that were influential to me and other baby boomers. I don't agree with this list at all.

I think he is the greatest. Since 1960 till now he has been writing great songs, different styles. Including the most covered song in history.

He should be number 1

Top 10!

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24 David Gilmour David Gilmour David Jon Gilmour is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He joined the progressive rock band Pink Floyd as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1968.

What a musician!

25 Madonna Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She influenced a lot of singers such as: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears . She is known as Queen of Pop and at modern pop culture specifically in 2012 "Madge" or MDNA . She has ...read more.

Greatest female pop star of all time, second only to the Beatles (a group) and Michael Jackson.

The most iconic female singer of the 20th Century! So many iconic hits!

She rules more than 30 years in music and only 18?

Well...it's Madonna. Case closed.

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26 Elton John Elton John Sir Elton Hercules John CBE is an English singer, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.

Plays an instrument (extremely well), sings, writes lyrics, composes and arranges music, produces music. TOP FIVE ALL AROUND greatest musician of the 20th Century.

Best musician of any century!

Definitely NOT John Lennon!

Composer, hitmaker, singer, consummate live performer... Sir Elton John is absolutely THE BEST musician of the 20th century.

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27 Jimmy Page Jimmy Page James Patrick Page is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

Really? The Guitar god at 29? John Lennon at 1? Lennon is overrated and Jimmy Page deserves to be 1

Best guitarist ever, enough said

28 Eddie Van Halen Eddie Van Halen Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen is a Dutch-American musician, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, occasional keyboardist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen.

Eddie van halen is below britney spears...

29 Tupac Tupac Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was an American rapper and actor born on June 16, 1971 in East Harlem, New York. Tupac sold over 75 million records worldwide and has been referred to in multiple major publications such as Rolling Stone as one of the greatest music artists of all time. 2Pac was ...read more.

Greatest artist of the 20th century.

What Tupac below Eminem?!

30 Eminem Eminem Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American rapper, actor and music producer born on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Eminem has sold over 300 million records making him the bestselling hip-hop artist of all time. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce ...read more.

... Do you know when the 20th century was? There are way better people than this bozo.

He sings about his past

31 Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer and singer who was one of the most influential figures in jazz.

When you are one of the founding fathers of jazz, you better be on the list. He was around before Frank Sinatra himself.

The most important musician in the 20th century period

I love Louis Armstrong's hello dolly

He is a visionary

32 Brian Wilson Brian Wilson Brian Douglas Wilson is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer best known for being the multi-tasking leader and co-founder of the Beach Boys.

An absolute TRAVESTY that Brian Wilson is not in the top ten. To list him after most of these artists makes this list invalid

He was a musical genius. FACT. Founder of the Beach Boys.

Should be top 3

33 David Bowie David Bowie David Robert Jones (January 8, 1947 - January 10, 2016) was an English singer born in London, the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He is credited for his experimental and creative musical discography which has won praise and accolades for many critics and fans. ...read more.

37th? This list is a joke, should be 1st or at least top 10 - GamingGodPrime

Always started a new trend or music but was already on the next one before it became too much of a scene

RIP Bowie / Starman / Ziggy / Thin White Duke / MUSIC LEGEND

Under Pressure! Immortal song

34 Whitney Houston Whitney Houston Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 ...read more.

Although this list is full of great musicians, she should definitely be placed in the top 20. Her voice was immaculate.

35 Billy Joel Billy Joel William Martin Joel is an American singer-songwriter, composer and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man", he has been making music since the 1960s, releasing popular albums throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s.

He should be top 10 definitely. First musician to perform in the soviet union after the berlin wall and his music defined a generation.

Billy Joel's piano man inspired me to learn how to play piano

31? Billy Joel is number 31? He never made one song that I didn't like.

Well this incredible musician was not included on this list so I decided to put him on. He single handedly entertained millions of people, and still preforms today.

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36 Bryan Adams Bryan Adams Bryan Guy Adams is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, photographer, philanthropist and activist.
37 Paul Simon Paul Simon Paul Frederic Simon is an American musician, singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel.

He is fantastic. Shame he's not higher.

38 Garth Brooks Garth Brooks Troyal Garth Brooks is an American singer and songwriter. His integration of rock and roll elements into the country genre has earned him immense popularity in the United States.

Just an incredible voice

39 Pete Townshend Pete Townshend Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead guitarist and songwriter for the rock band The Who.

One of the most prominent figures in rock and still criminally underrated. townshend is a musical genius. anyone who takes the time to bless their ears with The Who’s music by listening to their albums chronologicallly will understand this guy. truly phenomenal.

40 Robbie Williams Robbie Williams Robert Peter Williams is an English singer, songwriter and actor. He was a member of the pop group Take That from 1990 to 1995 and again from 2009 to 2012. He has also had commercial success as a solo artist.

Fantastic, awesome artist

41 Beyonce Knowles Beyonce Knowles Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, is an American singer and actress, who started out in the popular pop/r&b girl group Destiny's Child. They had multiple top 5 hits such as "No, No, No", "Say My Name", "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Survivor", "Independent Women", "Bootylicious", and "Jumpin', Jumpin" from ...read more.

Anyone related or married to jay z is awesome to me

Queen B is undeniably the most iconic/talented living musician of this generation. She's got amazing vocals, she's the best live performer/ entertainer and she changed the entire music industry with the release of her selftitled album and Lemonade. She literally can stop the world!

42 Dave Grohl Dave Grohl David Eric "Dave" Grohl is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and film director. He is best known as the former drummer of the hugely popular 90s grunge band Nirvana and the vocalist/guitarist for the alternative rock band Foo Fighters. He has sat behind the ...read more.

impossible he's not #1, he was the drummer for nirvana and the singer of foo fighters, how much better can you get

Dave grohl should be up there with kurt cobain

43 Ozzy Osbourne Ozzy Osbourne John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948. He is also known as ''The Prince of Darkness''. Ozzy is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath. Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath ...read more.
44 Taylor Swift Taylor Swift Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer-songwriter. She was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. She is best known for writing break up songs and for having more than 5 Grammys. She became interested in country music when she was around 9 years old and after watching a documentary about ...read more.

She has good types of music

Whoever added this is clearly a Swiftie and clearly does not know about music.

45 Matt Bellamy Matt Bellamy Matthew James "Matt" Bellamy is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and compose most famous for being the main vocalist in alternative rock band Muse.

Everything in guitar, piano and voice you hear in MUSE, comes from this amazing musician. VOTE!

Bellamy the Best Musician of 00' - Mortymerdied

46 Serj Tankian Serj Tankian Serj Tankian is a Lebanese-born Armenian-American singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet, and political activist.

Serj is a genius. This is his best discography:
1. Chop Suey!
2. Toxicity
3.B.Y.O. B
4. Lonely Day
5. Sugar

47 Jim Morrison Jim Morrison James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American singer, songwriter, and poet best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors.

One of the greatest and most unique and incredible singers/poets of the 20th century. Like Hendrix, he gave his live and lived on the edge, as far out there as he could to create greatness.

I'm sorry but how THE HELL is taylor swift ahead of Mr. Mojo rising

48 Bob Seger Bob Seger Robert Clark "Bob" Seger is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s.
49 Kate Bush Kate Bush

By far one of the most distinguished voices in British Pop who revolutionised the industry whose work is still echoed in music today.

Still underrated. No. 1 composer, producer, arranger etc etc...

50 Adele Adele Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is an English singer and songwriter. Graduating from the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in 2006, Adele was given a recording contract by XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace the same year. She is best known with her international hit singles ...read more.

She hasn't released anything before 2000...

Really good female artist

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