Most Influential Rock 'n' Roll Artists

The Top Ten

1 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.

The undisputed unequalled king of rock n roll, the fabulous Elvis. Had massive influence in the music world and still does in 2019. The most loved and admired artist the world has ever known, he has the most loyal fans of any star. He was is and always will be the brightest star that has ever shone. God bless his wonderful memory.

The greatest rock n roll star of all time, hands down. Amazing talent, the most influential star in music history, and the coolest guy who ever lived. Rest in peace darling man

Without a doubt! Rock n roll would've not have skyrocketed without him!

If not for Elvis, there would not have been the Beatles and many, many others. Rock-n-Roll may not have even caught on. Elvis opened the door that everyone else went through.

2 The Beatles The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were soon known as the foremost and most influential act of rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented ...read more.

They were a POP band, not a rock band. They influenced POP music.

Ignorant Beatles fans quit whining! They often claimed Elvis as their single most influential figure! In Lennon words No Elvis=No Beatles hence No Rock music revolution!

The Beatles clearly had more influence on music and artists than did Elvis. They should be number one, and Elvis second or possibly third.

However, The Beatles influence on music is much broader than Elvis Presley.

The Beatles music influenced songwriters, on how music was produced, presented and instrumentally.

3 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition ...read more.

He spat bars like no one else. I think he was one of the most influencial rappers of the late 15th century

4 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.

Should be much higher. Elvis Presley was important for rock n roll music. But Chuck Berry was also very important. His solos are considered as one of the oldest rock solos of all time.

Chuck Berry IS Rock n Roll!

Why he is at number 8? Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were both important for rock music. Especially rock n' roll music. However Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Beatles and most other artists here are not rock n' roll but rock artists.
Even if you consider them rock n' roll artists, still Chuck Berry outstrikes them. Elvis Presley was important for his rock n' roll voice/vocals. Chuck Berry was important for his rock n' roll guitar. Any rock guitarist who is using distortion, bear Chuck Berry's distorted guitar playing.

5 Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana and passed away on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 500,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King of Pop (a title given to him by Elizabeth Taylor) or under ...read more.

He is not rock 'n' roll.

Not even Rock 'N Roll

He's king of pop.Not rock.His place fits for Led Zeppelin

6 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.

No one's better than Bob. His lyrics stand the test of time, and always will. The best song writer of all time. Hands down.

7 James Brown James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul".
8 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). ...read more.

The best rock and roll band ever!

9 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 Mozart of electric guitar have to be higher!

10 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury ...read more.

One of the most inspiring in the music industry!

The Contenders

11 The Beach Boys The Beach Boys are an American pop rock band formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine.
12 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.

Without a doubt most influential!

13 Fats Domino Antoine "Fats" Domino, Jr. was a French Creole pianist and singer-songwriter. He released five gold records before 1955 and had 35 hit records in the U.S. Top 40. He died on October 25, 2017.
14 Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone, known professionally as Madonna, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She influenced a lot of singers such as: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears. She is known as Queen of Pop and at modern pop culture specifically ...read more.

She is not rock 'n' roll.

She ain't rock.She's pop

15 Ray Charles Ray Charles Robinson, professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer.
16 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.
17 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 ...read more.
18 Nirvana Nirvana was an American grunge band that was formed in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana disbanded after Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. The drummer of the band, David Grohl, went on to start the Foo-Fighters, an alternative rock band. ...read more.

Nirvana? Really?
How comes a majority of the artists on this list are as far away from the rock'n'roll genre as an artist can be?
Rock'n'roll = Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richards,...

Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles,... are other genres of rock. Maybe one can argue that some LZ songs, e.g. Black Dog, have a rock'n'roll resemblance, but the band overall is a hard rock group.

And Madonna, David Bowie and Michael Jackson are not even rock musicians.

I could as well add Tupac Shakur, Frank Sinatra or Pink Floyd, because yeah, they were without a doubt influential.

19 Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine is a rock band formed in Los Angeles, California. The band consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk.
20 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.
21 Little Richard Richard Wayne Penniman, known by his stage name, Little Richard, was an American musician, singer and songwriter. He is widely regarded to be one of the most influential rock musicians of all time.

The guy who started rock 'n roll. He influenced all of the upcoming rock stars incl. The Beatles, Elvis, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury etc.

"The Architect of Rock-n-Roll".

22 Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock band and, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.
23 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, singer John "Ozzy" Osbourne, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. ...read more.
24 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". ...read more.
25 AC/DC AC/DC are a Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014 . They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1979, after which they hired Brian Johnson ...read more.
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