1 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.
A Icon? For sure. Important in Rock? Yes. More important than Elvis Presley? No. Your argument about covers is very lame. Elvis covers in 1954-55 are better than the originals ( " Baby Let's play house ", " Blue moon of Kentucky ", " Mystery Train ", " Milcow Blues boogie " etc... ) because he covered them with his distinctive style. After 1956 ( exept for some songs ) many songs that Elvis recorded were especcially written for him and not covers. Also, your argument about Elvis as being more Country / Pop is lame. Elvis is pure Rockabilly while at Sun Records and when he moved to RCA in 1956 till 1958 ( after that he was drafted in the army till 1960 ) he only recorded Rock and Roll, Ballads and Gospels. There's only 0,1% country pop during that period. About your " Berry defined Rock and Roll... " comment. Just read or listen ( at YouTube ) to what Chuck Berry himself said about Elvis " Elvis Presley is the greatest there ever was, is, or ever will be... ( Chuck Berry quote ) ". And ...more
Yes, he was much more important than Presley! While Presley made only covers and his songs were more like country/pop songs, Berry defined Rock and Roll as well. Also, more bands covered Berry's songs than Presley's...
In 2009 Bob Dylan was asked to name musicians alive at that time who were more legendary than him. He named one person. The unsurpassed Chuck Berry
Most iconic figure in R nR history indeed! :-)
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2 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.
Should be number one.
Great voice and frontman! - Bobdobb
3 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.
Without him this list would not even exist.
Put him up
As Much As I Love Dio, More People Would Reginize Elvis - Du
4 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.
5 David Bowie
David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer born in London on January 8, 1947, and was 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. ...read more.
Another fabulous vocalist and frontman. Remade his characters constantly. Had great relationships with singers and muscians across many genres of music. From Iggy Pop to Bing Crosby. - Bobdobb
6 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.
One of the best and most innovative guitarists ever. Had a guitar with him almost everywhere he went. - Bobdobb
7 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.
8 Lemmy Kilmister
Ian Fraser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. He was a bassist and a singer known for his raspy voice. He died in 2015 from cancer and other health problems.
Fantastic musician that also played with Hawkwind, a psychedelic, electronic rock band from the early 70s. Slayed it all with Ace of Spades song.
Only human I've seen that could do meth and bourbon every day and live as long and healthily as he did. Amazing. - Bobdobb
9 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 .
10 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.
11 Jim Morrison
James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American singer, songwriter, and poet best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors.
Defined the term "frontman", and was among the most literate of songwriters. Morrison over Freddie? Absolutely!
Outstanding rebel frontman with a dynamic vocal ability. - Bobdobb
12 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.
13 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.
14 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.
Excellent starter of pop rock. - Bobdobb
15 Joe Strummer
John Graham Mellor, known by his stage name Joe Strummer, was a British musician, singer, actor and songwriter who was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the Clash.
16 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.
17 Joey Ramone
Jeffrey Ross Hyman, professionally known by Joey Ramone, was an American musician and singer-songwriter, lead vocalist of the punk-rock band The Ramones.
18 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.
One of the best Rock vocalists and frontmen ever. - Bobdobb
19 Little Richard
Richard Wayne Penniman, known by his stage name, Little Richard, is an American musician, singer and songwriter.
One of the most important figures of early rock and roll along with outstanding showmanship and a larger than life personality. Talent beyond most of his peers. - Bobdobb
The Architect of Rock&Roll.
20 Eddie Cochran
Edward Raymond "Eddie" Cochran (October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960) was an American musician. Rock and roll pioneer, he was only 21 years old when he died in a car crash. ...read more.
21 Ahmet Ertegün
Possibly the most important executive in the history of the music industry.
22 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.
23 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.
24 Debbie Harry
Deborah Ann "Debbie" Harry is an American singer-songwriter and actress, best known as the lead singer of the new wave and punk rock band Blondie.
25 Iggy Pop
James Newell Osterberg, Jr., known professionally as Iggy Pop, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor.
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 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.
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.
29 Ian Curtis
Ian Kevin Curtis (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980) was an English musician and singer-songwriter. He is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division. ...read more.
30 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.
31 Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker.
32 Alan Freed
33 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.
The only "three time" inductee to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.
34 Tom Petty
Thomas Earl "Tom" Petty was an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist and record producer.
35 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.
36 Bill Graham
37 George Harrison
George Harrison was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.
One of the greatest musicians of all time, but had to play third banana in his own band. None of it could have happened the way it did without him.
38 Phil Spector
Phil Spector is American record producer known for his work with Leonard Cohen, Ramones, John Lennon and The Beatles. He was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for the murder of Lana Clarkson in 2007.
39 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.
40 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.
41 Steven Wilson
Steven John Wilson is an English musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, most closely associated with the progressive rock genre. He is best known for his band Porcupine Tree.
42 Patti Smith
Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith is an American singer-songwriter, poet, and visual artist who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.
43 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.
44 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.
45 Marc Bolan
Marc Bolan, born Mark Feld (30 September 1947 – 16 September 1977) was an English singer-songwriter, musician, guitarist, and poet. He was best known as the lead singer of the glam rock band T. Rex. Bolan was one of the first pioneers of the glam rock movement of the 1970s. He died at age 29 in a ...read more.
46 Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin (1943-1970) was an American singer who rose to fame as the main singer of acid band Big Brother and the Holding Company. She was known for her eccentric hippie style and psychedelic rock music.
47 Lou Reed
Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was the guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, and his solo career spanned five decades. ...read more.
Christa Päffgen (16 October 1938 – 18 July 1988), better known by her stage name Nico, was a German singer-songwriter, lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, and actress who became famous as a "Warhol superstar" in the 1960s. ...read more.
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.
Paul David Hewson, known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist. His original nickname was Bono Vox which means "big voice".