Most Powerful Lyricists

The Top Ten

1 Michael Jackson 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 more.

Hi music always has a powerful message behind it. Which always made sence and he was very pationate about the way sang it. He could sing the same song a hundred times and it would still sound as good as when he first sang it... love himmm... xoxo MJ - love4mjj

They don't really care about us makes me think alot. I use to get bullied real bad, then I started listening to this song and the lyrics got stuck in my head. And, it was because of this song that I don't get so depressed about is anymore. Thank you mike.. xoxo - _JahLove

Michaels lyrics held powerful messages to the listeners. He was trying to teach his fans and change the world. He made a powerful impact on the world and saved the lives of children with his contributions with his lyrics and the money he donated from writing his powerful lyrics. - love4mjj

He always put something more his songs than the rest. That's maybe why he was (and will be) one of the best singers in the history of music, if not the best. He actually wrote his own songs, so a little part of his magnificence and power we saw in his dancig is in his lyrics too.

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2 Ville Valo Ville Valo Ville Hermanni Valo is a Finnish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead vocalist and main songwriter of the Finnish gothic rock band HIM.

Ville is not just a singer/lyricist... He is a true poet. He is a magnet for all the influences, being painfully aware of them all, good and bad, and sensitive to them so much as to become a powerful conduit for them, sharing his own perceptions with the world passionately. Beauty, ugliness, love, fear, hope, despair... The entire rainbow of every emotion, sensation, deepest darkest places upon which humanity in all its loveliness, ugliness, fearfulness, instincts... Strivings to better itself resides is painted, smudged, redrawn, brought to its bare bone structure in the wild love and war of lyrics and brought to pulse like beats of raw reality and nightmare always holding hands with our desires and dreams trough the eyes of the man, the poet, the traveler trough life in all its aspects we fear and covet to learn and be a part of.. The eyes of this unique soul incarnate in the lyricist and so much more that is Ville Valo, the poet who will take you to the simple truth, to your ...more

His lyrics are always heart warming, the best thing about Ville is that he writes from his heart and does not need others to write songs for him the way these commercial artists like Rihanna and Neyo depend on other song writers. Ville is the 21st century Edgar Allan Poe

His songs are made not from hatred, but from love. He never says "I hate love", but "Yes, it's painful, but this is the best thing, that may happen with you"

A poet!

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3 Serj Tankian Serj Tankian Serj Tankian is a Lebanese-born Armenian-American singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet, and political activist.

Serj is not just a songwriter he is a messenger and protestor of the us not recognizing armenian genocide through his lyrics

in 16? I realize some people don't know what a REAL lyricist is - rock2metal

The best! Why'dyouleavethekeysuponthetable? Hereyougocreateamotherfable! (more of Chop Suey! ) - moose4life19

4 Antim Grahan

Listen to "Forever Winter"--- best lyrics I've heard in a long long time!

5 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.

Have you heard Fade to Black!? Once you hear that, you'll understand why he's the best... Not to mention countless other songs like Ride the Lightning, Creeping Death, Sad But True, One,... And Justice for All, etc.

This man wrote amazing lyrics like One, Sanitarium, Master of Puppets, etc. - RamiroRosas

James is an inspiration to me for his incredible vocals

YES, james deserves a place in the top 10, at least in front of mercury, his lyrics are perfect for the guitar and the bass and the drum, which makes him a ledgend of rock

6 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.
7 Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi is a hard rock band formed in 1983, which had a streak of successful albums in the late 1980s. The band originally consisted of lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Ritchie Sambora (left in 2013), bassist Alec John Such (left in 1994), keyboard David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres. The band's more.

You can listen to Bon Jovi when you are happy and when you are down!
They have a song to every feeling in your life - richie4life

so much emotions in their songs - richie4life

8 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.

His lyrics are powerful, beautiful, poetic, and even cryptic. Art of Life is one of his masterpiece - kurenai_tenshi

The lyrics of Amethyst are just so beautiful. And "whith out you" I think it's so soulful.

9 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.

He has an uncanny ability to write excellent lyrics about any topic; be it the death of his father, teenage boredom, love, mental illness, politics... His lyrics can be silly, they can be poetic, they can be profound- and they are all extremely clever.

Best lyricist from band Green Day, he's the founder and the lead vocalist of the band. His lyrics are as powerful and meaningful as Jesus of Suburbia but his sound are better.

Intelligent lyrics written by a highly intelligent man

You can pick up any Green Day song and read the lyrics..
He does not write any romantic songs, or songs which have stories(usually considered as good lyric songs), but his songs are such that they force one to think about one self.
They change your innerself, the songs are for mankinds benefit.

10 M. Shadows M. 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 lyrics are just superb
His best song is so far away the pain of losing a friend
He's just superb a7x rocks

M shadows is a great songwriter but so far away was actually written by syn.
Also I don't see axl rose on this list

The Contenders

11 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.

I believe the majority of the credit should go to Steve Harris since he wrote the majority of Maiden's lyrics. But Bruce is still a great lyricist in his own right

12 Jarvis Cocker
13 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 more.

Okay... I don't know about you guys but Freddie had THE BEST lyrics you could find. Sure, some songs didn't exactly make any sense but if you looked deeper into it, you'd find much poetry and figured that Freddie was a damn genius.

No, no. He made the most meaningful songs ever, guy with the other comment. But listen: I have found the meaning of Seven Seas of Rhye!
It was a fantasy land Freddie used to dream of as a kid.

Singularly meaningless, psychedelic non-sequiturs.

13th? Really?

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14 Kurt Cobain 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 more.

Kurt is a God... He was a depressed soul who didn't care about the world... His lyrics remain morbid and will always be a mystery... She'll come back with fire... And burn all the liars.. Leave a blanket of ash on the ground...
All hail.. Kurt Cobain..

Pennyroyal Tea made m cry

15 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 participated in side projects like Julien K and Dead By Sunrise. He committed suicide in 2017 after a period of depression. more.

The meanings of his songs are unbearably amazing and really touch your soul cz they're about Chester's past. LP 4ever. - lukestheman4

His lyrics pierce the heart and touch the soul! No that's call lyrics writing!

16 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 more.

My passion is more into metal scene, but when it come to lyricist.. Eminem is the best while James from Metallica came close. This dude should be place at least in top 3.. Seeing him below those band's lyricist makes me sick... Their lyric are nothing compared to Em's which is so real, full of feelings and so close to the listener. - Pyansickness

What they are doing here. EMINEM is the best lyricist, rapper and songwriter of all time. I guess they all are paid by respective singers to vote for them. Eminem is the greatest selling artist of the decade and definitely top selling artist of all time after michael jackson. The way I am, till I collapse, beautiful, not afraid are classics. I think stan is the best written lyrics in human history.

Its seems to be a crime comitted on this list Eminem should be in top3 he is genius lyricist just listen to stan, mockingbird, lose yourself, not afraid ahh let it be just listen his all stuffs and then vote any other else

This man is lyricly insane! Just listen to stan, mockingbird, when I'm gone, cleanin' out my closet, insane, 3 AM, No Love, like toy soldiers, and sing for the moment and you might start to understand.

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17 Tupac Shakur Tupac Shakur Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was an American rapper and actor born on June 16, 1971 in East Harlem, New York. Tupac sold over 75 million records worldwide and has been referred to in multiple major publications such as Rolling Stone as one of the greatest music artists of all time. 2Pac was more.

Just listen to ghetto gospel and wonder why you didn't vote for Tupac Shakur R.I. P :') - Mushroom99

It took Tupac only 5 years in the spotlight to build such a legacy. He is the best lyricist ever. - mmasviba

Best forever alive in he's words

RIP - Nigel17

18 hyde
19 Jared Leto Jared Leto Jared Joseph Leto is an American actor, singer-songwriter, and director. He is well known for being the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars.

His lyrics is something special. If you heard his songs once-there's no way back. - Alejandro-Bantik

20 Bob Dylan 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.

Why Bob Dylan is not at the top of this list is beyond me. He deserves to be at the top with his powerful lyrics. In 2008, the Pulitzer Prize jury awarded Dylan a special citation for... "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power. " - ybothermatt

you can kill l7972 kids and eat 5614 ice-creams, Bob Dylan would still be able to kick your ass... - Overdose

Bob Dylan is one of the best songwriters of all time. When he writes a song it means somthing, not some of these young bloods who are just getting there feet wet.

21 Tim McIlrath Tim McIlrath Timothy James "Tim" McIlrath is an American punk rock musician. He is the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, songwriter and co-founder of the American punk rock band Rise Against.

In this list - Tim McIlrath is way too underrated in my opinion. Every single song by Rise Against makes you think, makes you aware and makes you want to deal with the issue in the song. There are songs that nearly make you cry, there are songs that make you angry because you realize every single word of it is true. He puts a complicated feeling, a big problem, his anger and much more in a few sentences. In my opinion there is no better lyricist than him.

He should be #1 not #21. ALL the lyrics he writes have message.

It's the only time I've written something like this here, but Tim really deserves to be higher on this list. Because his lyrics are about truly meaningful things, many of them might be hard to digest, because yes, you have to be thinking about these issues and that's usually not very comfortable. It's not the riot-inducing punk of the 70s, but the thought-provoking lyrics preserved something of that.

McIlrath, in my opinion, is the only modern song-writer whose work actually means something - every single song Rise Against has performed is useful, not just as a work of art, but in raising awareness and dealing with issues that matter.

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22 Kelly Clarkson Kelly Clarkson Kelly Brianne Clarkson is an American singer, songwriter and children's book author. She rose to fame in 2002 after winning the inaugural season of the television series American Idol, which earned her a record deal with RCA Records. Clarkson's debut single, "A Moment Like This", topped the US Billboard more.

Listen to Irvine or Can I Have A Kiss, and you'll see. - ilovekelly75

23 Roger Waters Roger Waters George Roger Waters is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He is mostly known for being the secondary lead vocalist and bassist of Pink Floyd.

Roger Waters is 23th?
Come on.Just listen to The wall,The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.
Every Song in his albums has a story. His songs is about War,Society,Modern Life and so many other fields.
He is the Most Powerful Lyricist.

24 Izzy Stradlin Izzy Stradlin Jeffrey Dean Isbell, better known by his stage name Izzy Stradlin, is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter.

he was the main lyricist of guns n roses. - ronluna

25 Layne Staley Layne Staley Layne Thomas Staley was an American musician who served as the lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. more.

Pure and honest lyrics with the most powerful and beautiful voice to back them up.

Powerful should have been Layne's middle name. He sang with such passion and his talent isn't matched by a lot on this list.

26 Isono Kyo Hiroshi

best lyricist from bands d'erlanger, die in cries, bug. his lyrics are as powerful and meaningful as hyde but his sound are better. - ronluna

27 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.
28 Neil Peart Neil Peart Neil Ellwood Peart (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.

Neil is a very thoughtful, intelligent, and influential lyricist. - asphaltpilot

29 Maynard James Keenan Maynard James Keenan Maynard James Keenan, often referred to by his initials MJK, is an American musician, record producer, winemaker, and actor, best known as the vocalist for Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool.

once the snake is drowned, and as I look in his eyes, my fear begins recalling all of the times
i have died
and will die
i don't mind

30 Jonathan Davis Jonathan Davis Jonathan Howsmon Davis, also known as JD and JDevil, is an American musician best known as the leading vocalist and frontman of the nu metal band Korn.

The best from far, should be number 1 - Frestazzi

31 Kim Jaejoong Kim Jaejoong Kim Jae-joong, also known mononymously as Jaejoong, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, actor, director and designer. He is best known as a member of the Korean pop group JYJ, and was one of the original members of boy band TVXQ.

He has written so many good songs of TVXQ and JYJ.. Listen to Wasurenaide, I Will Protect You and JYJ's In Heaven.. They are truly amazing, powerful and really touching. - paulinealedia

32 Robert Plant Robert Plant Robert Anthony Plant (born 20 August 1948) is an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.
33 John Lennon 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.

Cutting edge, brutally honest, self reflective and clever beyond measure!

The most profound and heartfelt lyricist of all time.

Much higher!

34 Kate Bush Kate Bush

Running up that hill and The sensually world. That's all I need to say.

35 Matt Bellamy Matt Bellamy Matthew James "Matt" Bellamy is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and compose most famous for being the main vocalist in alternative rock band Muse.

He can touch my soul with a single song, he is very creative, poetic, haunting, and apocalyptic :P

I just say "Bliss"

36 Kyo Kyo Kyo is a Japanese musician, singer, lyricist and poet. He is best known as the vocalist of the metal band Dir en grey. He has been with the band since its inception in 1997 and was formerly in La:Sadie's.
37 Bon Scott Bon Scott Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott was a Scottish-born Australian rock musician, best known for being the lead singer and lyricist of Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980. He was born in Forfar and lived in Kirriemuir, Scotland, for 5 years before moving to Melbourne, Australia, more.
38 Immortal Technique Immortal Technique Felipe Andres Coronel, better known by the stage name Immortal Technique, is an American rapper and urban activist from Lima, Peru. He was born on February 19, 1978

He songs tell powerful stories, he needs to be a lot more recognized - roblist

Dance with the Devil and Revolutionary say it all - roblist

39 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 more.

Dio was severely underrated as a lyricist. His lyrics contain amazing metaphors. Dio was very philosophical. He was the best metal lyricist and I think the best music lyricists of all time.

40 Jimi Hendrix 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 more.
41 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).

Wow! Listen to Space Truckin or Child in Time and youll see what I mean!

42 Neil Finn

I can't believe anyone even considered a terrible artist like Kelly Clarkson above Neil! - CrowdedChisel

43 Steve Harris Steve Harris Stephen Percy "Steve" Harris is an English musician and songwriter, known as the bassist, occasional keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

He wrote at least 90 of Iron Maidens songs. He is very influential. - gibsonrock53

44 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.
45 Tom Waits Tom Waits Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits, born December 7, 1949 is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. more.
46 ZP Theart ZP Theart ZP De Villiers Theart is a South African singer, songwriter, and the lead vocalist for Skid Row. Theart first garnered attention as the original singer of British power metal band DragonForce.
47 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.

What absolutely amazes me about Thom Yorke's lyrics is that despite being very simple and at times, cliched phrases from the day to day world, you can never really be sure that how you interpret his words was actually what he meant while writing them. It's the lyrical equivalent of "The art of disguise is hiding in plain sight." His lyrics are intelligent, and as a listener, he makes you think. It's like Radiohead's music on the whole - in order to feel it, you first have to think about it. They evoke emotions you never thought you had in you.

53.. now thats rediculous.. definitely deserves a top ten spot.. thom yorke might as well be god

"When I am king, you will be first against the wall"

48 Mariah Carey Mariah Carey Mariah Carey, born March 27, 1970, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is one of the biggest best-selling women in the music industry, with 18 number 1 records to her name. She is regarded as a sex symbol through her songs and music videos, and she is "well known" for her over-the-top more.

we can relate to her lyrics and to her records...
ain't you?... - yohpercy

49 Pete Wentz Pete Wentz Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III (born June 5, 1979)is an American musician. He is best known for being the bassist, lyricist, and backing vocalist for the American rock band Fall Out Boy. Before Fall Out Boy's inception in 2001, Wentz was a fixture of the Chicago hardcore scene and was notably the lead more.

I'm glad Pete made it into the top 100 at least. Still deserves to be higher, though.

50 Leonard Cohen Leonard Cohen Leonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality and personal relationships. Cohen died on November 7, 2016 at the age of 82.
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