Top 10 Best Songwriters of All Time

The Top Ten

1 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.

Clever ploy by whoever put this list together, to "split" the Lennon-McCartney votes. This allows someone much less deserving to possibly be at the #1 spot, although either John or Paul should be at the top regardless. It is nice that George Harrison is at least recognized by the list though. Simply put; Lennon-McCartney songs have outsold and out-charted everybody else on this list COMBINED. Paul McCartney himself is the most successful musician of all time, period.

Across The Universe, Rain, Strawberry fields, Walrus, Dear Prudence, Sexy Sadie, Revolution, If I Fell, Your Bird Can sing, This Boy, Lucy In The Skies, A Day In The Life, You're Gonna Lose that Girl, Imagine, All You Need Is Love. He is number one in every sense of the word!

It appears that the vote-splitting is exactly what has happened, but if you combine Lennon/McCartney's percentages they become #1.
Freddie Mercury should in no way, shape, or form, be anywhere near the top ten of this list, though the list itself is poorly done.
Why would anyone split up Jagger/Richards, and where are Holland/Dozier/Holland?

Incomparable depth, creativity, cutting edge and progressive, experimental, life affirming, life questioning and broad sighted writer of our time. Sheer genius!

2 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.

He is arguably the greatest musician of all time, and wrote as many great songs as the dang beatles.

Lyrical genius

3 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 .

Paul has written over 100 great hits. Nobody can equal him in this respect.

4 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.

Bohemian Rhapsody, The March of the Black Queen, The Millionaire Waltz, Great King Rat, Innuendo... Great Songwriter

Freddie was amazing songwriter: Bohemian Rhapsody, Don't stop me now, Love of my life, Death on two legs, Innuendo, Crazy little thing called love, It's a hard life, Mr. Bad guy, Love me like there's no tomorrow, Princes of the universe...and a lot more.

Freddie was an amazing song writer, equal with John Lennon, and much better, than Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney couldn't write never ever a masterpiece like Bohemian Rhapsody.

This is the most realistic of the "best song writer" lists that I have seen... Freddie was great.

5 Roger Waters George Roger Waters is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He is mostly known for being the secondary lead vocalist and bassist of Pink Floyd.

Best of the best - PinkF

Yeah, very good

6 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.

Such a unique sound, love his writing. - TheHabsFan

7 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.

He's so underrated even though he's up there with the likes of Lennon and McCartney!

8 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.
9 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.
10 Mick Jagger Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger is an English singer, songwriter, and actor, best known as the lead vocalist and a co-founder of the Rolling Stones.

The Newcomers

? Otis Redding Otis Ray Redding, Jr. was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger, and talent scout.
? 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.

The Contenders

11 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.
12 Neil Young Neil Percival Young is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.
13 Rik Emmett

His Lyrics are inspiring. Too bad No one knows who triumph is anymore - Goalie1

Who?

14 Gordon Lightfoot Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. is a Canadian singer-songwriter who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music. He is credited with helping to define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s.
15 Ray Davies Raymond Douglas "Ray" Davies is an English musician. He was the rhythm guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for The Kinks, which he led with his younger brother, Dave.

Ray Davies the greatest of all time!

Should be #1.
he worte so many great songs.

16 Robert Plant Robert Anthony Plant (born 20 August 1948) is an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.
17 James Taylor James Vernon Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time, and he has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
18 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.
19 Buddy Holly Buddy Holly, born Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959) was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was a rising star when a tragic plane crash struck him down at age 22. ...read more.
20 Keith Richards Keith Richards is an English musician—primarily a guitarist—singer, songwriter, best-selling memoirist, and founding member of the rock band The Rolling Stones.
21 Sting Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE, known professionally by his stage name Sting, is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor, and philanthropist. He is best known as the lead singer for the English band The Police
22 Joni Mitchell Roberta Joan Mitchell, professionally known as Joni Mitchell, is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Drawing from folk, pop, rock, and jazz, Mitchell's songs often reflect social and environmental ideals as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment, and joy.
23 Konstantin Wecker
24 Jim Steinman
25 Burt Bacharach
26 Syd Barrett Roger Keith Barrett was an English musician, composer, singer, songwriter, and painter. Best known as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd, Barrett was the lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter in its early years and is credited with naming the band.
27 Serge Gainsbourg Serge Gainsbourg, born Lucien Ginsburg (2 April 1928 – 2 March 1991), was a French singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer, poet, painter, screenwriter, writer, actor, and director. ...read more.
28 Tuomas Holopainen Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen (born 25 December 1976) is a Finnish songwriter, multi-instrumentalist musician (but mainly keyboardist) and record producer, best known as the founder, leader, keyboardist and songwriter of symphonic metal band Nightwish. He also studied jazz and classical styles.
29 David Bowie David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie (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.

Totally agree

30 Chris Cornell Christopher John "Chris" Cornell was an American rock musician and singer-songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band Soundgarden and as former lead vocalist and songwriter for the supergroup Audioslave. His vocal range was C2 to A5, while ...read more.
31 Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and humanitarian. He is known for his work with the E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss", Springsteen is widely known for his brand of poetic lyrics, Americana, working class and sometimes political ...read more.
32 Thom Yorke Thomas Edward "Thom" Yorke is an English musician best known as the singer and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band Radiohead.
33 Till Lindemann Till Lindemann is a German singer, songwriter, musician, actor, poet, and pyrotechnician. He is best known as the lead vocalist and frontman of the German Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein.
34 Charles Aznavour Charles Aznavour (1924-2018) is a French and Armenian singer, songwriter, actor, public activist and diplomat.

Because over 1000 brilliant songs. - Rigel

35 Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona; July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American heavy metal singer, songwriter and musician. He fronted and/or founded numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture ...read more.

GREATEST OF ALL TIME

36 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.
37 Jeff Lynne

Jeff Lynne wrote 95% of the songs for the Electric Light Orchestra. He wrote with Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and George Harrison. He wrote songs for Brian Wilson, Joe Cocker, Helen Reddy, the Everly Brothers, and many others. Once you hear one of his songs, you'll be singing it in the car, in the shower, in bed, on the toilet, for weeks. You can't get it outta you head, which of course, he wrote. He also wrote Livin' Thing, Showdown, Mr Blue Sky, Turn to Stone, Telephone Line, Free Fallin', I Won't Back Down, Runnin' Down a Dream, When We was Fab, Handle with Care, You got It, and When I Was a Boy.

Top 10 easily

38 Steve Harris Stephen Percy "Steve" Harris is an English musician and songwriter, known as the bassist, occasional keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

He wrote half of Iron Maiden’s hits by himself

39 John Deacon John Richard Deacon (born 19th of August 1951) is a retired English musician, who is best known as the bassist for the rock band Queen.
40 Hildegard Knef

Nick Cave

41 Jerry Cantrell Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. is an American musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist best known as the founder, lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains.
42 Tom Cochrane
43 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.

Elton John & Bernie Taupin forever.

44 Carole King Carole King is an American composer and singer-songwriter. She is the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the USA, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1999. King also wrote 61 hits that charted in the UK, making ...read more.
45 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 wrote some of the greatest songs of all time. - PhoenixAura81

46 Dave Mustaine David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own ...read more.
47 Harry Chapin Harry Forster Chapin was an American singer-songwriter, humanitarian, and producer best known for his folk rock and pop rock songs, who achieved worldwide success in the 1970s and became one of the most popular artists and highest paid performers.
48 John Petrucci John Peter Petrucci is an American guitarist, composer and producer. He is best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Compared to his level of skill, John Petrucci is relatively unknown in the modern music industry.
49 Noel Gallagher Noel Thomas David Gallagher is an English musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist. He served as the lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the rock band Oasis.

Everything he writes is magic. Deserves #1, honestly.

50 Morrissey Steven Patrick Morrissey (born 22 May, 1959), known as Morrissey, is an English singer, songwriter and author, rose to prominence as the lead singer of The Smiths, an indie rock band - which was active from 1982 to 1987 . Since then, Morrissey has had a solo career making the top ten of the UK singles ...read more.
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