Top 10 Music Artists Who are the Biggest Sellouts

When artists started out in one genre and then sold-out so they could make it on the pop charts. Let's discuss these artist who did this crime.
The Top Ten
1 Metallica Metallica is an American Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single "Enter Sandman". more.

They were one of the top metal bands around back in the 80s, now they are just remembered for what they did in the 80s. If Metallica stuck to its roots it would still be on top and would probably be considered the greatest metal band of all time. They still are either considered the greatest metal band of all time or the second greatest to Iron Maiden. From the Black Album and on they have sold out if they stuck to their thrash roots they would probably have came out with albums just as good if not better than their first four albums

For me, it's when they released the Load album. This album, and every other album after it, is nothing more than either alternative or hard rock. Death Magnetic tries, but falls short, in my opinion. Why is Metallica alienating their fan base? Change your image back to thrash metal. Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax don't seem to have an issue with it.

Their first 4 albums defined heavy metal and thrash back in the day. (Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and... And Justice for All) After that, they became huge sellouts. The Black Album was ok, but it isn't what Metallica should be. Everything they've released since 1991 has been alternative, hard rock, mainstream garbage.

All of the big four tried something different during the mid-late 1990s, and that was because Thrash Metal was performing very poorly critically and commercially ( the latter in terms of the genre's standards). If anything, they did a good job in keeping Heavy Metal relevant, and are still doing it to this day.

2 X Japan X Japan is a Japanese heavy metal band from Chiba, formed in 1982 by drummer Yoshiki and lead vocalist Toshi.

X Japan will always be at the top of the hierarchy. The top predator in a food chain if you will.

X Japan have kept to true to themselves even after the 10 year hiatus.

I'm pretty sure most of the people who voted for them here have no idea what this list is about, but this time I won't complain about their ignorance.

I really don't see how they sold out but X-Japan rule most and deserve to be top of most lists. Pure awesome.

How did they sell out? Dahlia (assuming this is the supposed sellout album) was amazing if you ask me.

3 Maroon 5 Maroon 5 is an American pop rock band that originated in Los Angeles, California. Before the current group was established, the original four members, Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick, formed a band known as Kara's Flowers in 1994, while they were still in high school.

"The Adam Levine Experience" is a much more fitting name. Whatever the heck happened to this band, I'll find it difficult to understand. Adam Levine is also quite the egotist, he's following fame and money at this point. He's a famous celebrity, known for being in "The Voice" and has a well-documented personal life. Hardly anybody knows about any of the band members, its almost sad how I tend to pity them somewhat as they can't even display much of their talent.

Maroon 5, wait sorry, The Adam Levine Experience was a pretty solid band. Now, they've become the poster boy for the term "sell-out", and many notable music fans and critics understandably hate the band for this. If anything, blame Adam for all this.

I almost want to cry when I hear a song off of "overexposed". It disgusts me how they destroyed everything they built with their first three albums. "Songs about jane" was funk/alternative rock for the masses and it was excellent. "it wont be soon before long" was more retro sounding but brilliant nonetheless. "Hands all over" was a mix of the two with more Michael jacksonesque sounds in it. "Overexposed" is the quintessential sell out album in recent history. Maroon 5 wasnt selling well so they ditched every shred of rock in their music and made a ton of cash.

As my favorite band of the 2000s I wanted to defend these guys so much. Even as a sellout record, Overexposed was still a good album in my opinion and didn't completely ditch their sound. In fact, for them, it was an experimental album, collaborating with outside writers for the first time. However, V was a sloppy attempt to recreate that, and while it had some good songs, it also had its share of lazy, generic and just plain awful songs. Then "This Summer's Gonna Hurt", "Don't Wanna Know" and "Cold" all came out and it's getting out of hand. This formula is beyond tired and they need to write their own stuff again. Not to mention the raps in the latter two songs are just awful and don't mesh well with the songs.

Their older songs like This Love were awesome, and even the Overexposed and V albums (which were after they were said to have sold out) were still good, but their latest songs prove that they're a shell of what they once were, if not a shell of that. Although their newer songs are catchy bops, they still sound just like every other song nowadays. Also, their newer stuff is mainly about Adam Levine, leaving out the other members of the band.

4 Kiss Kiss is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and the band's original manager, Lew Linet.

This band was selling merchandise from the beginning, when they were arguably the biggest thing going. Now, 40 plus years later people want to call them sellouts. There are millions of fans who felt this way for a long time but keep coming back to support them, even through the disco era. All that ultimately matters is their music and it's mostly great.

How are these guys not in the top 10? Kiss has sold out pretty much every single way possible.

Why is nirvana on this list? The over-merchandising of Nirvana started after Kurt's death, and everything about "In Utero" is far from selling out, it's the exact opposite.

Beth and I was made for loving you like the songs or not you got to call it like you see it and how is A7X sell outs they are the best they sell out just because the lead singer Mshadow doesn't want to scream himself hoarse he wanted to sing the horror he wanted to sing! There last album also had screaming and in god hates us and there new single not ready to die

Pushing KISS merchandise on talk shows has only served one purpose; telling the world how much Gene Simmons has sold out.

5 Taylor Swift Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer-songwriter. more.

1.She is always pop. Country pop to Electronic Pop/Synth Pop/Dance Pop to Indie Folk/Indie Pop/Folk Pop.

2. She is already top charts with Country songs, she didn't chase mainstream popularity.

She could use her fame to make country a force to be reckoned with in the charts and prefers to make something like "Shake it off".

What happened in Reputation, I won't understand. She has great songs throughout most of her country 2006 - 2010 discography and there are standouts in Red and 1989. Reputation on the other hand, just falls flat and is really disappointing. You know, she's making a diss song of sorts, yet its also the same woman who sung about a boy who passed away from Neuroblastoma. Damn it!

Yeah there's bands and artists on here who made little change and are called sell outs like U2 and Green Day (who really just evolved their sound, and experimented different subgenres.) on the other hand you have Taylor Swift who literally went from country music to pop music. All because she wanted more attention and mainstream success. This artist makes Green Day going from punk rock to alternative rock less noticeable.

6 Nickelback Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta, Canada. The band is composed of guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger, and drummer Daniel Adair.

They sold out before anyone actually heard of them. Their first album, The Curb was heavy and their newer stuff is very poppy. I wish they could go back to not always singing about sex and partying and all that crap.

Who remembers their album Curb? No one, since their fans love their new poppy music. Like with Metallica, they were heavy and processed by money to make themselves softer.

How could anyone forget them? Apparently they had a grunge sound at the beginning, and then decided to go all radio-friendly with the latter of their albums

I hate Nickelback. But some of their earlier stuff is pretty good.

7 The Black Eyed Peas The Black Eyed Peas is an American hip hop group, consisting of rappers,, Taboo, and singer Fergie.

A group who have sold out, not once but twice. Originally they were a supposedly legit band who had respect in the hip hop community. Fergie then joined, and they became a pretty good pop band for a while. Then I Gotta Feeling came along, and they lost any semblance of identity to become generic soulless pop-dance music that occupy the charts these days. Thankfully they went on hiatus before they steeped too much further in that part of their career, clearly due to diminishing returns. When they inevitably reunite, they should hopefully return to what they originally were, but the chances on that are sadly slim. A sellout in every sense of the word.

This group apparently used to be an actual band and play instruments. I didn't know this now since they use computerized beats and autotune in all of their songs. Almost as big of a sellout as Taylor Swift.

In the beginning, they were a well-respected rap group. Then came Fergie and they turned to crap. The final straw was The E.N.D., featuring that "I Gotta Feeling" song that idiots made more popular than anything Elvis or Simon and Garfunkel released. (NO JOKE.)

They started playing live instrumentals and now use beats and autotune in their electronic music. That has to be top 3 at least.

8 Fall Out Boy Fall Out Boy is an American pop rock band formed in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, in 2001. The band consists of vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley.

I know everyone calls them sell outs, but why? Because they became popular artists? So becoming popular = sellout/bad? Whoever is thinking in this mentality needs to reevaluate their mentality. Their music does change a lot, but that doesn't mean they are sellouts.

I could get behind Save Rock and Roll and even American Beauty/American Psycho, but Mania...sell out in the essence of sell out. It's cliche but: SELL OUT BOY!

They definitely sold out. Compare songs like sugar we're going down to pop rock GARBAGE like centuries or my songs know what you did in the dark.

They sold out after the hiatus, Pete Wentz realized that he really liked money after the flop that Arma Angelus was so he decided "hey lets say we're a pop-rock group but instead lets make bad pop music with a drum machine and just silence Andy."

9 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. more.

What is Bowie doing in this list?
What is Rod Stewart doing in this list?
These two are British music legends.
They are top artist's world wide, respected by all that are music lovers and music fans.
Most artist's in the world look up to thes two, they would love to write and perform songs like Bowie or Rod Stewart made world famous.

Ok, so his late 80s to 90s stuff was very much him selling out, he came back with The Next Day and Blackstar, which are two of his finest works

10 Rod Stewart Roderick David "Rod" Stewart is a British rock singer-songwriter. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry.
The Contenders
11 Snoop Dogg Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr., (born October 20, 1971) known professionally as Snoop Dogg, is an American rapper, actor, record producer, and television personality from Long Beach, California.

I'm seriously surprised how no one talks about Snoop Dogg selling out just like they do with Metallica selling out. Snoop started collaborating with terrible artists like Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Jason Derulo, PSY, promoting terrible rappers like Wiz Khalifa, Far East Movement, even guest stared on Big Time Rush!
Besides all of that, he hasn't been himself either. Right now he's trying to be a wannabe Rastafarian, even calling himself "Snoop Lion."

Snoop really has changed. He's in his 40's Now so he should just retire already. He was a gangster back then but now he's a joke that's not funny.

In my opinion, he should be number 1. He started promoting terrible rappers like Far East Movement and Wiz Khalifa. And he started rapping with a lot of terrible artists (Lil Wayne, Miley Cyrus, Big Time Rush, Jason Derulo, Psy, Soulja Boy, Katy Perry, the list goes on). He even said that Lil Wayne is dope!

How is this guy not higher?! He really is one of the biggest sellouts in music history! Really!

He promoted Wiz Khalifa (and apparently, Snoop likes anyone who smokes weed). And when you keep getting promoted by Snoop, you're gonna be mainstream forever. But I haven't heard from Wiz Khalifa since so I'm glad he's gone. No more. We don't need anymore whack rappers killing up the genre.

Snoop, you are one of the greatest rappers of all time. Why did you rap with Big Time Rush? Did your kids tell you to do it? We're they like "daddy that's one of our favorite bands. Can you go rap with them? " Just why?

12 Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles formed in 1985. The classic lineup, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Apart from hard rock they are also more.

With every member that left Guns n Roses, they took a bit of talent with them. I hated Chinese Democracy and is nothing like Appetite For Destruction

13 Genesis Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey in 1967. The most commercially successful and long-lasting line-up includes keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins.

I think they had the biggest drop in Quality in music, if we take Metallica for exemple The Black Album, Load and Reload are good albums (even great in the case of The Black Album) just not Thrash Metal, St Anger and Lulu sucked but those where uncommercial experiments. And they did return to form with Hardwired & Death Magnetic.
However I do feel that people are being too hard on Phil collins, A Trick of the Tail & Wind and Wuthering are as great as the Peter Gabriel albums, And Then There Were Three & Duke are also good though Steve Hackett's exit did hurt them and Phil's side project Brand X is awesome.
I Blame the 80's.

I wholeheartedly disagree with this. I understand if 80s Genesis isn't your thing, but the music still had soul, and the band wasn't just in it for the money. Also, if anyone's to blame for the shift in styles, it's Tony Banks and (to a lesser extent) Mike Rutherford - they wanted to write hit songs, while Phil didn't even want to be the singer at first. Phil also tried to get the entirety of Supper's Ready in the setlist of one of their later concerts, but the other two declined. However, regardless of whose fault the shift is, the music was still good. Even if you're a hardcore prog fan, the band still made tons of great music until the very end. Even considering the period after Duke, which many believe to be the point where the pop influence simply became too much, we still got gems like Dodo/Lurker, Mama, Home by the Sea, Domino, The Brazilian, Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (the album version), Driving the Last Spike, Dreaming While You Sleep, Fading Lights, and more! And that's just ...more

They went from being one of the best bands to being one of the worst bands in a short time. "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" was one of the best albums ever. They threw it all away to be the British Kansas, they were only in it for the money. Disgraceful phonies, I could never even look at an album cover of theirs ever again. Peter sold out soon after, I have no interest in him now either. Very disappointing, worst sellout in the history of rock.

How is Genesis not on this list!? There first 5 albums (or 6 if you count From Genesis to Revelation [The band considers Trespass to be the first Genesis album, so I do as well]) are some of the most interesting and unique rock music there is! It almost gives you a fantastical feeling listening to it. No one in rock music has seemed to recreate or sound like early Genesis in anyway (Although Marillion came close). But once Peter Gabriel quit and Phil Collins took over the vocal duties, there music became bland quick. Then in the 80's the stopped making progressive rock music and made generic pop music that are 90% cheesy love songs. It does not even sound like the same band!

14 Coldplay Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996. The band consists of Chris Martin (lead vocalist and pianist), Jonny Buckland (lead guitarist), Guy Berryman (bassist) and Will Champion (drummer and backing vocalist). Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed more.

From songs like "In my place" or "Speed of sound" to collaborate with the Chainsmokers. If this doesn't scream sellout, nothing will.

For the older fans, Coldplay is that kid you used to be friends with and go to school with. They were shy and gawky, but at least they were friendly and honest. Unfortunately, they secretly wanted very badly to fit in and be liked. To this end, at some point during summer vacation, that kid starts hanging out with the wrong crowd, eventually reinventing themselves. By the time you see them again, they're a completely different person. Now, they hang out with the cool kids and want nothing to do with you. That's Coldplay.

You know a musician has sold their soul to the devil when they have collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna, Beyonce, and Jay Z.

Although Paradise was said to be their sellout song, I would still rather listen to it than 90% of what is on the radio now. Anyway, they started out as a rock band and gradually transitioned to pop (although they still made great songs, like A Sky Full of Stars), and then worked with The Chainsmokers on "Something Just Like This", which says enough already.

While they've always been pop rock, they at least had some alternative leanings when they started out. Now they've gone completely pop, which while more successful utterly angers their die hard fans, and casual listeners for making boring music.

15 Gwen Stefani Gwen Renée Stefani (born October 3, 1969) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She is a co-founder and the lead vocalist of the band No Doubt, whose singles include "Just a Girl" and "Don't Speak" from their 1995 breakthrough studio album Tragic Kingdom, as well as "Hey more.

An unfortunate example of a true sellout. I understand that not everyone is super talented. I understand you only have so many songs in you. But I'd rather fade into rock obscurity with a couple of great tunes under my name than prop-myself up with a bunch of cookie-cutter, pop garbage just to stay famous. 1995 Gwen wouldn't even recognize herself today.

Okay, now this chick is actually a sell out, and not Tom DeLonge. She gave up her band No Doubt, which is Ska Punk, in order to be a pop artist and become more popular. She doesn't put passion in her pop music. Meaning she did sell out, when someone does not even put passion into something, just doing it for fame, that is big time selling out.

I really liked her in No Doubt. She left the band to produce terrible mainstream music that appeals to the lowest common denominator in an attempt to make money. If you look up sellout in the dictionary, her picture should be there.

Can't believe she isn't number one. No Doubt were a great band, and she threw it all away to sing about "B-A-N-A-N-A-S" and prance around with Harajuku girls... I could rant for days about what a sell-out and disappointment she is.

16 Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk, punk rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1987. The members include Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals and guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass), Tré Cool (drums) and Jason White (guitar) . Green Day are associated with punk rock, pop punk and alternative rock. Some of their more.

Sure they started out as punk rock, but at least they generally stayed as some form of punk, even in American Idiot. It was still an album about rebellion, just this time against the government when previously they rebelled against society.

They went from songs like jaded take back geek stink breath to wake me up when September ends and last night on earth. Generic pop songs. At least in the last 3 albums they weren't aiming for money

Look at them in the 80s now look at them. They didn't sell out to big but their Music changed drastiually and they are getting closer to sellouts by music release to music release.

They should be a lot higher. Warning sucked, then I gained back their respect once American Idiot came out, and after that they sucked and still do.

17 Santana Santana is an American Latin rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana.
18 Imagine Dragons Imagine Dragons is an American pop rock band from Provo, Utah, and are now based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Imagine Dragons' lineup consists of lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman. The band first gained exposure with the release of their more.

The early 2010s were an era were pop unleash its worst and an album like Night Visions was like a breath of fresh air.

Years later, they make Believer, which is so atrocious not even having Dolph Lundgren in the MV can redeem it.

Their second album is the definition of sophomore slump.

They did that with Origins.

19 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd was an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters more.

Pink Floyd changed their sound when Roger Waters turned Pink Floyd into an autocracy. They never sold out, they just let one guy take over the band. Once Roger Waters disbanded Pink Floyd and David Gilmour reformed it, they went back to their signature sound. Despite all this, I still think Pink Floyd is the best band of all time.

Egomanic Waters ruined a great band by falling out with the "sound" of Floyd, Gilmour and Wright (RIP), believing he was the only one that mattered. His solo work is depressing, relentless utter crap

20 Avril Lavigne Avril Ramona Lavigne is a Canadian–French singer-songwriter and actress. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million.

She "sold out" in the sense that her new music was a lot more pop oriented and flamboyant, but she clearly thought she was still "pop punk" until her latest album. I see it that her second album she was really upset about her grandfather passing away, and her following album is her somewhat her trying to put that part of her life behind her. Let go is my favorite album by her, if I had to say the album where she was probably closest to her actual self, without emotions that greatly impacted her music to be super downbeat, or upbeat, it'd have to be Goodbye Lullaby. Her newest album her fight with Lyme diseases was clearly a huge influence, and she even seems to wear more formal, and more importantly clothes that cover more of her. This is probably because Lyme disease is from ticks, and wearing longer clothing seems like and easy solution to try to stop from ticks getting on you.

How dare you put Avril Lavigne here!

21 Huey Lewis
22 Billy Idol William Michael Albert Broad, known professionally by his stage name Billy Idol, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor.
23 Usher Usher Terry Raymond IV is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. Born in Dallas, but raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee was where he lived until moving to Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 12 where his mother put him in local singing competitions all over the city.
24 Jefferson Starship
25 Chris Brown Christopher Maurice "Chris" Brown (born May 5, 1989) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actor. Born in Tappahannock, Virginia, he was involved in his church choir and several local talent shows from a young age. He is most well known for his physical assault towards the singer Rihanna in more.
8Load More
PSearch List