Greatest Living Rock Musicians

The Top Ten

1 Yoshiki Hayashi Yoshiki Hayashi Yoshiki Hayashi is a Japanese musician, songwriter, composer and record producer. Better known by his stage name Yoshiki, he is best known as the leader and a co-founder of the heavy metal band X Japan, for which he is the drummer, pianist and main songwriter. The band achieved breakthrough success more.

Yoshiki Hayashi... a composer, pianist, drummer, band leader and music producer who puts his life on stake for the sake of his music.
No other artist is as brave as him, putting his music beyond his own limit, with the music itself, undoubtedly breathtaking, deep, beautiful, as dark as a devil's sin and as serene as an angel's heart. - kurotenshi

Yoshiki Hayashi is a music genius, listen to his songs. The way harmony of the melody and composition of his songs are superb. He can compose from rock to ballad. He plays piano very well too and drum (don't ask) just watch X-Japan's concerts or listen to their songs. Art of Life*

This guy is music itself! If music takes a form of a human, that'll be Yoshiki. - kurenai_tenshi

Best drummer because he's genius, music is to inspire not become best technically. I'm sure Yoshiki can be best technically but he know real music, fast but powerful and very beautiful drumming.
He put everything in music, and such multitalented person no other artist can come close to Yoshiki
And more awesome Yoshiki is the only asian musician in top ten list, this prove how overrated is media all about west

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2 Ann Wilson Ann Wilson Ann Dustin Wilson is an American musician, best known as the lead singer and songwriter of the hard rock band Heart.

Ann should be in the hall but only if she goes with Derozier, Fisher, Nancy, Leese and Steve Fossen. These people have a huge role in making Ann what she is today. She is the greatest rock singer ever....

As long as Ann Wilson (HEART) is not in the R&R Hall of Fame, the hall is a joke. Get REAL rockers in there. Ann Wilson is one of the best. Man or female. She is THE QUEEN of rock!

As long as Ann and Nancy Wilson of HEART is not in the R&R Hall of fame, the hall is a joke!! Ann is THE QUEEN of Rock. Period.

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3 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.

This list is awful. Yoshiki hayashi is at number one? What about Neil Peart, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Les claypool, Mike Portnoy, geddy Lee, Dave Lombardo, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, flea, Chuck Berry, and and John Paul Jones? They are some of the best Musicians ever - ryanrimmel

jimmy page behind jared leto? are you nuts? - LucasMota

What drugs have you been taking? Some guys from X Japan or the Guitar God from LED ZEPPELIN

Yeah,I agree with @ryanrimmel here,though it fixed a lot but still why most of the legendary musicians are on low? - zxm

4 Steve Perry Steve Perry Stephen Ray "Steve" Perry is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is known as the lead singer of the rock band Journey during their most commercially successful periods from 1977 to 1987 and again from 1995 to 1998.

who forgot to put him on the list? Invented the power ballad, greatest voice in rock history, has had regular radio play since he picked up the mic. Most downloaded song in history, etc.

5 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.

Robert plant is undoubtedly more influential than the rest of the people on this list, not quite sure why he's #8 right now...
Granted, Steve Perry does have an equally stellar voice, but when was the last time you heard him put out music?

Plant has been churning out music for the last 30 years and is still doing remarkable; and oh ya! Didn't he win a Grammy for album of the year recently...? Hm

There's no one close

Robert Plant on #16?! You must be kidding me, he's one of the most Beautiful voices in Rock n Roll history

One of the best singers of all time - Ajkloth

6 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.

Personally I don't think james is the greatest living rock musician, but he's up there.

I still wonder, that he is alive after than pyrotechnics and alcoholism. - LeperMessiah

Part of the best band ever great man and has changed his life around from rehab - usmcmike43

He is the best. Period. No comment

7 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.

ONLY person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame THREE different times with three different acts.

Look at his body of work then greatest comes to mind - Clyde2112

Another underrated man - waldo

8 Neil Peart Neil Peart Neil Ellwood Peart, OC (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.

Great drummer & lyricist. Enough said. - guitargirl_94

Most experts think he is the greatest rock drummer of all time. His body of work with Rush speaks for itself, 20 studio albums is amazing. Look up his Der Trommler drum solo;you will be amazed

He should be #1! - Medmac

9 Richie Sambora Richie Sambora Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora is an American rock guitarist, producer, singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years.

He is a great, perfect guitarist in all style, he has amazing voice, full of passion, so VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
King of Swing

10 Mick Jagger 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. V 1 Comment

The Contenders

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

One of the biggest infulences on modern music. Certainly the best song writer of our time!

Won the Nobel Prize in Literauture.

12 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.

I have never seen anyone put so much feel into his guitar. - russian

13 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 more.

I don't really understand him when ever he speaks... hahah, but dang, he can sing great live and his songs are awesome. Ozzy FTW! - rharris1997

I'm honestly kind of surprised he's still alive - Cheese567

Ozzy rules
Ozzy is one of the greatest singers n performers ever! - OzzyVanHalen

ozzy is so awesome and his music rocks

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14 Chester Bennington Chester Bennington Chester Charles Bennington (March 20th, 1976 - July 20th, 2017) was an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known for being the lead singer of Linkin Park. He also has a few side projects like Julien K and Dead By Sunrise. He committed suicide in 2017 due to depression.

Technically he might not be the best. Even his range is limited when compared with other prominent names. But this guy has got a wonderful voice and he puts all of his emotion into it. Listen to classics like carousel, breaking the habit, crawling, and one, let down, my december and let me know if you think otherwise.

The best by a long shot. Chester Bennington and Linkin Park kept music alive when others tried to destroy it. - lukestheman4

Have you heard him sing? If you have you would agree that he is the best.

Chester is the best singer of all time!

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15 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 .

PAUL SHOULD BE #1! Paul McCartney is the best. He is the greatest musician who ever walked the earth. He is a legend and he is 69 and still touring. AND HE IS BRITISH! YOU GOTTA LOVE EM BRITS. Paul McCartney changed my life, literally. Not because I'm a crazy fan but because I would not have my bff if it weren't for him. The Beatles are awesome and Paul has the best band ever now! So if you don't like or know Paul (not in person) you are weird! Old pop rocks. New pop sucks. Justin beiber fans put Paul in this position (no offense Justin, hope I hurt you girls)

Silly... Ask the 17 artist ahead of Paul here... THEY would ALL say that PAUL MCCARTNEY is NUMBER 1... REALLY let's stop grasping at straws here... I realize that Paul has been with us for 50 YEARS but face it... It STILL hasn't gotten ANY BETTER than Paul McCartney! We should feel blessed that we were here to experience McCartney's MAGIC! - frank

There is NO reason why Paul McCartney should be this low. Come on people! The Beatles were legen *wait for it* dary! And he still sounds amazing to this day.

This is do stupid to have him listed way down here...Who runs this page. CNN?

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16 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 more.

Greatest guitarist of all time. He can play amazing bluesy solos with so much feel in them, very weird middle eastern sounding solos only he is truly capable of pulling off and extremely technical classically inspired solos that laid the groundwork for the shredders of the 80s. Plus he wrote some of the greatest riffs of all time. - TheStargazer

17 Brian May Brian May Brian Harold May is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen.

Brian May is highly under rated but definitely the Best Living Rock Guitarist ever! He never got much recognition when Freddie was alive & when Freddie passed... he didn't play publicly! But now he & Roger Taylor have decided to revive QUEEN & have chosen to collaborate with Adam Lambert as the front man! They each have their time in the spotlight now & that's the way it should be! The three of them are Great! Brian should be much higher on this list!

Still rocking and bringing 100% after all these years, Queen with Freddie were outstanding, and unforgettable and now Roger and Brian with Adam Lambert are still filling venues to 3 generations of fans,...bravo...Brian is as good as he ever was and still thrills us.

Brian May is one of the greatest out there and he will continue to be. He's still rocking to this day and I doubt he's ever gonna stop. Too bad Deacy did though. I understand why he retired but I still want him back. And Freddie, we all miss you.

Brian May is undoubtedly one of the best (and most underrrated) guitarists and singers of all time. Maybe that's because Freddie got all the attention. Sure he deserved it. Obviously.

18 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.

Without a doubt, the best guitar player living today!

19 Matt Shadows Matt Shadows Matthew Charles Sanders, better known by his stage name M. Shadows, is an American musician, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter and founding member of the American metalcore/alternative metal band Avenged Sevenfold.

His voice cheers me up when I'm down but I love the whole band

Awesome singer from a great band!

20 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 .

Paul and John retort: we wrote Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, and Abbey Road.

Sorry Paul and John, Waters wrote the Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and the Wall

21 Phil Collins Phil Collins Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins is an English singer-songwriter and musician, who has also worked as a record producer and actor.

Why isn't Phil Collins higher on this list? He may not have been Madonna or Michael Jackson, but he's still one of the greatest hits of the 80s, and always will be. One of his nicknames is "Little Elvis", but if you ask me, he's even better than Elvis!

i love my phil! true genius with songs. low come on...

22 Bruce Dickinson Bruce Dickinson Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, is an English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster. He is most well known for being the lead singer in heavy metal band Iron Maiden and his solo career.

Iron Maiden is one of the most influential metal bands! This man is a legend and should be at least #5! - gibsonrock53


23 Rob Halford Rob Halford Robert John Arthur "Rob" Halford is an English singer and songwriter, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest and famed for his powerful wide ranging operatic voice.
24 Amy Lee Amy Lee Amy Lynn Hartzler, known professionally as Amy Lee, is an American singer-songwriter, classically trained pianist and composer. She is also the lead singer to the Arkansas band Evanescence.
25 Slash Slash Saul Hudson, known professionally as Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

What the hell is wrong with people? He is and has always the been the greatest rocker in the world along with Eddie Van Halen.

26 Neil Young Neil Young Neil Percival Young, OC OM is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.
27 Benjamin Burnley Benjamin Burnley Benjamin Jackson Burnley IV is an American musician, composer, and producer, best known as the founder and frontman of the American rock band Breaking Benjamin.
28 David Lee Roth David Lee Roth David Lee Roth is an American rock vocalist, songwriter, actor, author, and former radio personality.
29 Geddy Lee Geddy Lee Geddy Lee Weinrib, known professionally as Geddy Lee, is a Canadian musician, singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush.

This man is the greatest bassist ever in my opinion. He plays an amazing bass, an amazing keyboard, and sings at the same time! He needs top 10. At least - ryanrimmel

I agree again with @ryanrimmel,this man is so low on the list - zxm

30 Gackt Gackt

An amazing artist, he can shake the hearts of his fans

31 Mike Shinoda Mike Shinoda Michael Kenji "Mike" Shinoda is an American musician, rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, graphic designer, manager and film composer.
32 Mike Mangini Mike Mangini Mike Mangini is an American drummer. Since 2010, he has been a member of progressive metal band Dream Theater, following the departure of founding drummer Mike Portnoy.
33 Les Claypool Les Claypool Leslie Edward "Les" Claypool is an American musician, singer, songwriter, composer, author and actor best known as the bassist and lead vocalist of the band Primus.
34 Axl Rose Axl Rose William Bruce Rose Jr., better known as 'Axl Rose', is an American singer born on February 6, 1962, in Lafayette, Indiana. He Is the founder and lead singer of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. He is a celebrated but controversial figure in the world of rock.
35 Jon Bon Jovi Jon Bon Jovi John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., known as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor, best known as the founder and frontman of rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983. He is famous for his band's hit song “Livin’ On A Prayer“ released in 1986. He more.

Jon Bon Jovi has survived the test of time! Three decades later we still croon to 'you give love a bad name'!

he's a legend!
one of the greatest rock voices! - richie4life

36 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.

Chris is an amazing songwriter who has written some of the most beautiful songs of all time and sings them incredibly well. Also, the frontman for Soundgarden and Audioslave... I mean really, I'm surprised there is even another person on this list!

This shouldn't even be a question its so easy. This guys the best of the best.

37 David Bowie David Bowie David Robert Jones was an English singer born in London on January 8, 1947, the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He died in New York on January 10, 2016 at the age of 69, a hero to millions. more.

Bowie is dead

Best of the absolute best hands down.

38 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.

The looks, the songs, the voice, the performance. Chuck Berry is the father, teacher and idol of all the above! His guitar style was a blueprint for 10.000 popsongs. Chuck Berry (born 1926) should be at number one!

So sad; we lost him.


Best vocalist, best multiinstrumentalist, best lyricist, best composer from the band l'arc~en~ciel - ronluna

40 Ian Gillan Ian Gillan Ian Gillan is an English singer and songwriter. He originally found success as the lead singer and lyricist for Deep Purple, and the original singer on the rock opera concept album Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber, where Gillan had the leading role (Jesus Christ).
41 Tom Morello Tom Morello Thomas Morello is an American musician, singer-songwriter and political activist. He is best known for his tenure with the band Rage Against the Machine and then with Audioslave.

The coolest musician worlds

He made great riffs for Ratm

42 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.
43 Jimmy Barnes Jimmy Barnes James Dixon Swan, better known as Jimmy Barnes, is a Scottish-born Australian rock singer-songwriter.
44 Bruce Springsteen 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 more.

Should be a milk carton for his mysterious absence off this list.

In my opinion third only to Jagger and page. Image plays a huge part in these categories as well as the work, sure not technically the best. But an artist you can love not just respect,ps I wouldn't consider Dylan rock hence the omission.

45 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 more.

The multitalented Dave Grohl ranked at 32 is a gross abomination. The drummer for the legendary "NIRVANA", frontman for the "FOO FIGHTER" that after nearly a 20 year career are still winning Grammys, collaborated with Tenacious D, Queens of the Stone Age. His drumming abilities are not human. He wrote the hymn "Everlong", and has a voice which can screech with energy and emotion and at times be do gentle and soothing. This man is a musical genius and just an extraordinary human being in general.

How is Dave Grohl this low?! He is the best drummer ever and in addition to that plays guitar, bass, and sings too, all of which he does very well. He even produces music and not just his own; he did a great EP for Zac Brown Band. He has played with Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, and Them Crooked Vultures just to name a few. He is not the best singer, guitarist or bassist, but he is good at all of them; with his amazing drumming he is definitely the best overall musician!

plays like fifty six thousand instruments and is a master at all of them, great frontman, song writer, guitar player, drummer and more

He knows how to play drums, guitar, can sing and write songs and is a nice guy. He is very talented.

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46 Mark Knopfler Mark Knopfler Mark Freuder Knopfler is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer. He is best known for being the frontman of the British band Dire Straits.

Knopfler should be in the top 20... Not only is he an amazing guitarist, but a great songwriter too. Is songs like sultans of swing, tunnel of love and brothers in arms are masterpieces!... Even Bob Dylan said he's good and played with clapton and Chet Atkins!... Should be higher in the list

47 Jeff Beck Jeff Beck Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.

Amazing guitarist, still going strong. - RedStripedd

The man, the myth, the legend.

48 Flea Flea Michael Peter Balzary (born October 16, 1962), better known by his stage name Flea, is an Australian-born American musician, best known as the bassist, a co-founding member, and one of the composers of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers with whom he was inducted in 2012 into the Rock and Roll Hall more.

One of the best bassists and songwriters ever

49 Miyavi Miyavi
50 Billie Joe Armstrong Billie Joe Armstrong Billie Joe Armstrong is an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor who is best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Green Day, which he co-founded with Mike Dirnt.

Very humorous and funny man, but also very good singer, guitarist and songwriter! - Green_Day

Billie Joe is just brilliant songwriter and singer

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List Stats

4,000 votes
126 listings
10 years, 236 days old

Top Remixes (11)

1. Eddie Van Halen
2. Ann Wilson
3. Steve Perry
1. Eric Clapton
2. Eddie Van Halen
3. Bruce Dickinson
1. Robert Plant
2. Jimmy Page
3. Mick Jagger

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