Best Songwriters Ever

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The Top Ten

1 John Lennon - The Beatles John Lennon - The Beatles 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?

2 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist and writer . he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2016 .

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

Lyrical genius

3 Roger Waters - Pink Floyd Roger Waters - Pink Floyd George Roger Waters, is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He was mostly known for the secondary lead vocals and bassist of Pink Floyd .
4 Paul McCartney - The Beatles Paul McCartney - The Beatles 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.

5 Freddie Mercury - Queen

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.

Freddie's lifetime songwriting output does not equal one good year of Paul McCartney's.

Why don't you take a photo of him?

6 Pete Townshend - The Who Pete Townshend - The Who 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 .
7 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.
8 Rik Emmet - Triumph

Who?

9 Neil Young Neil Young Neil Percival Young, OC OM is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.
10 Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1987, he started the grunge band Nirvana. 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 Seattle home in 1994.

The Contenders

11 Gordon Lightfoot Gordon Lightfoot
12 George Harrison - The Beatles George Harrison - The Beatles George Harrison was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.
13 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.
14 Syd Barret - Pink Floyd
15 James Taylor 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.
16 Thom Yorke Thom Yorke Thomas Edward "Thom" Yorke is an English musician best known as the singer and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band Radiohead.
17 Keith Richards - The Rolling Stones Keith Richards - The Rolling Stones Keith Richards is an English musician—primarily a guitarist—singer, songwriter, best-selling memoirist, and founding member of the rock band The Rolling Stones.
18 Ray Davies - The Kinks Ray Davies - The Kinks 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.
19 Chris Cornell Chris Cornell 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. He died on May 17, 2017.
20 Buddy Holly 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.
21 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.
22 Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell
23 Roger Waters Roger Waters George Roger Waters, is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He was mostly known for the secondary lead vocals and bassist of Pink Floyd .
24 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.
25 Mick Jagger - The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger - The Rolling Stones 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.
26 Tom Cochrane - Red Rider
27 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.
28 Mikael Akerfeldt Mikael Akerfeldt Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath for three albums up until 2012. ...read more.
29 Mike Portnoy Mike Portnoy Michael Portnoy is an American drummer primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater. Known for his technical skill as a drummer, Portnoy has won 30 awards from the Modern Drummer magazine.
30 Elton John Elton John
31 Sting 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
32 Adriano Celentano
33 Seweryn Krajewski
34 Charles Aznavour Charles Aznavour
35 Vladimir Vystotsky
36 Hal David
37 Burt Bacharach
38 Gerry Goffin
39 Carole King 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.
40 Neil Sedaka
41 Sezen Aksu
42 Smokey Robinson Smokey Robinson William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr. is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive.
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 Steven Tyler Steven Tyler Steven Tyler is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and former television music competition judge, best known as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, and occasional piano and percussion.
45 Alice Cooper Alice Cooper Alice Cooper is an American singer, songwriter, musician and occasional actor whose career spans over five decades.
46 Joe Perry Joe Perry Anthony Joseph "Joe" Perry is the lead guitarist, backing and occasional lead vocalist, and contributing songwriter for the American rock band Aerosmith.
47 Ronnie James Dio 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.
48 Dave Mustaine 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.
49 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.
50 Robert Plant Robert Plant Robert Anthony Plant is an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.
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List Stats

100 votes
61 listings
6 years, 341 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Bob Dylan
2. John Lennon - The Beatles
3. Paul McCartney - The Beatles
BeatlesFan1964
1. Eminem
2. Mick Jagger - The Rolling Stones
3. Ray Davies - The Kinks
NK1998
1. Bob Dylan
2. Paul Simon
3. John Lennon - The Beatles
Billyv

WRemix
View All 5

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