Top 10 Greatest Music Artists of All Time

Music is the universal language of the soul. It can make us feel, create, and connect with others in ways that nothing else can. Music is made by people who have a passion for expressing themselves through sound and melody, whether it's with their voice or an instrument.

A music artist or musician is someone who can make music that touches the hearts of listeners around the world. From the solo artists who write and sing their own songs to the band members who play together in harmony, music artists have different personalities, styles, and genres.

There have been many music artists who have changed the history of music. Some have become legends and icons, while others have earned a devoted fan base who love their music.

In this top ten list, let's celebrate the greatest music artists of all time. These are the musicians who have not only made amazing music but have also inspired and influenced countless other musicians.
The Top Ten
1 The Beatles The Beatles were an English pop 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... read more

Indescribable. So amazing, whether you like them or not. They can't be beaten. They were the greatest band who ever lived.

John and George were no Hendrix at guitar. Paul wasn't any John Entwistle. And Ringo was no Neil Peart! But none of that mattered. At all. They just wrote incredible songs. They didn't need insane guitar solos. They were insane songwriters.

The songs this band wrote cannot be explained. If you haven't, take a listen to a couple of albums by the Beatles. Even if you HATE the Beatles because you're a stubborn baby who likes only rap or heavy metal, you'll find at least one song that you love by this band. You will be amazed at the talent of each one of these four lads from Liverpool.

2 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in London in 1970. The original lineup was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, 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... read more

The Beatles understandably hold the number one spot. They were a phenomenon. I don't agree with Michael Jackson at number two, but he was unique. What really irks me are the Zeppelin fans.

Cover bands shouldn't be on any list, especially those that plagiarize music and songs and claim them as their own originals. Zeppelin is the most overrated band in history. I know it was cool to listen to them in high school to impress your friends, but adults should research to see everything they appropriated.

Queen, on the other hand, is the whole package: originality, talent, showmanship - they never needed to steal the work of others. RIP Freddie, I hope you and Bowie can send down some heavenly music ASAP!

3 Michael Jackson Michael Jackson (Michael Joseph Jackson; August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter. He passed away from cardiac arrest caused by a propofol and benzodiazepine overdose on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 500,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael... read more

The most successful entertainer and most recognizable man on Earth, even nearly a decade after his death, Michael Jackson was simply phenomenal. He sold records like no tomorrow, broke through all racial barriers, and his performances were masterpieces. His dance moves are iconic, and his music is unmatched in its reach.

Famous all over the world from childhood, over 30 years after its release, the 1983 album Thriller is still the best-selling album of all time. His other albums, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), all rank among the most successful albums of all time. Jackson received an unmatched amount of celebrity, and in his prime, everyone wanted to be like him.

His dance has influenced the masses even more than his singing in some ways, and he is widely regarded to be the greatest and one of the most influential dancers of all time. From his amazingly choreographed music videos such as Thriller, Beat It, Bad, and Smooth Criminal, to outstanding live performances that sold out faster than any other artist. Not only this, however, but Michael Jackson was also a very charitable entertainer, donating over 500 million to various charities all over the world. He even holds the Guinness World Record for "most charities supported by an entertainer."

Jackson traveled the world attending events honoring his countless humanitarian efforts. Even through all the despicable and downright silly controversy that was sent his way, he pushed through and continued on for his children, family, and the millions of fans all over the world. Michael Jackson will never be forgotten, and nobody will ever reach his level of perfection as a music artist.

4 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English hard rock band formed in London in 1968 as the New Yardbirds. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums) and was very much the child of Jimmy Page who even financed their first tour. He had tasted... read more

They will never be topped. Timeless music that still captures the sound of the rock era while pushing the boundaries of various genres in their decade-long run of sold-out concerts and globally acclaimed records, right from the very first album. Basically, Led Zeppelin was the once-in-a-millennium meeting of the four best rock musicians on their respective instruments, forming one unbelievable band.

Whether you listen to Led Zeppelin, rock, or even if you don't listen to music at all, you have heard the heart-pulsing, emotional vocals of Plant or the ripping tone of Page. Without a doubt, they were the best there ever was and most likely ever will be.

5 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are 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

The single greatest music artist ever. With most songs, I can't remember the words too well, but with EVERY Pink Floyd song, not only can I remember the words, but I can also sing along to the guitar. Their music takes you on a journey from start to finish, from Astronomy Domine (their first song) to High Hopes (their last).

Before I heard Pink Floyd, I didn't know the meaning of life. But after hearing songs like Echoes, Time, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Wish You Were Here, Money, Comfortably Numb (I could easily go on and on), I found the meaning of life to be listening to Pink Floyd. I will forever be in debt to David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett.

6 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... read more

Why did I get into rock music? One answer: Green Day's American Idiot musical. They will surely hold the title for the greatest punk band of all time, alongside the likes of The Clash. With a gritty, fantastic voice like Billie's, his powerful guitar and keys, Mike's awesome bass playing, and Tre kicking ass on the drum kit, they will go down in history for sure.

Also, it's not an opinion that shows up too much, but I like to think that Green Day is also one of the most experimental bands of all time. If you want proof, check out the entirety of the Nimrod and Warning albums as evidence that these gods can do anything.

7 Metallica Metallica is an American Heavy/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

Such a badass band. While Black Sabbath sort of pioneered the metal sound, Metallica truly initiated the era of heavy metal, including thrash metal, which was their subgenre. All of the heavy metal elitists who listen only to obscure black and death metal bands call Metallica "sell-outs," an overused term.

To me, selling out is not just achieving mainstream success. It's achieving it and then sacrificing musical quality to make money. Metallica never lost their quality, even during their Black Album era in the '90s. So many legendary metal tracks came from this band, replete with amazing guitar solos, that I have to place them at number eight on the top ten list.

8 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

SERIOUSLY?! 14th place isn't an acceptable position for these absolute legends. Need I say more? They've appealed to all generations of people for four decades now and are the best rockers out there.

With over 200 million album sales and over 50 million on Back in Black alone (the best-selling rock album of all time), they have hits that never have and never will get old. Songs like Thunderstruck, You Shook Me All Night Long, Highway to Hell, Hells Bells, and Back in Black prove this. They are the best of the best and always will be. For those about to rock, we salute you.

9 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... read more

Eminem is the most extraordinary musician to ever live. No artist brings the emotion to the microphone like Shady does. He created the best album of all time, the Marshall Mathers LP. He became the best rapper to ever live, while being the only white rapper on the scene in the early 2000s, which makes everything he did even more impressive. No artist has ever beaten the odds better than Marshall Mathers, the king of rap.

Eminem is a very impactful artist. He may not be recognized as the number one artist yet, but give it a few years. People will look back on him and place him in the same group as Michael Jackson and The Beatles. The fact that an artist who emerged just sixteen years ago is already number five really makes a statement. In my opinion, his lyrics have more meaning than those of the others on this list by quite a bit.

10 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

I can't believe they are still active after all these decades. Hackney Diamonds is amazing! Rock and roll will never die! Long live the Stones!

The Rolling Stones' music is amazing. It makes you feel like you can be yourself. I could never really explain why I loved the Stones so much, but every time I listened to them, I wanted to dance and jump in the air. Watching Mick Jagger dance on stage, being so comfortable doing any kind of dance without caring if he looked silly, is inspiring.

The Newcomers

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The Contenders
11 Elvis Presley Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Dubbed the "King of Rock and Roll", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined... read more

This isn't even contestable. Elvis started in the '50s and is still a household name today in 2019. The King paved the way for so many other artists and gave inspiration to the likes of not only Michael Jackson but also Bruno Mars. Ever wonder where Bruno's moves come from? Elvis the Pelvis.

His earlier hits included "Jailhouse Rock," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," and "Hound Dog." Then there is one of the most beautiful performances of any song ever with "Can't Help Falling in Love."

My top 3 greatest musicians or musical groups of all time are as follows:

1. Elvis Presley
2. The Beatles (side note: they have the most number 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits of any other band or artist)
3. Bruno Mars (Bruno is only in his 30s and he already has so many hit songs that everybody knows. I always say that he is today's Elvis.)

12 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

One of the best bands that changed music in general. Their lead singer, Kurt Cobain (one of the greatest musicians of all time), influenced many generations and, in my opinion, improved how music was back then. Why is Nirvana ranked No. 12? It should at least be No. 9 or in the Top 10.

Through their short seven-year career, Nirvana almost shook the world with their three albums. Imagine if Kurt Cobain were still alive. Then maybe, today Nirvana would've been probably bigger than Metallica too. RIP Kurt Cobain.

13 Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American alternative rock band formed in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. The current members include Mike Shinoda (vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave "Phoenix" Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (DJ), and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park is associated with a mixture... read more

They are without a doubt the best band today. Their lyrics are fantastic, and their music is the perfect fusion of alternative rock and rap. Chester's voice is one of the best in the entire history of rock - so powerful and versatile. He can go from melodic vocals to screams easily.

Mike is a fantastic rapper and a good melodic singer, as well as a good songwriter. Brad is a much too underrated guitarist, and the other members, Phoenix, Rob, and Joe, are underrated too. If you listen to their songs, you can feel the emotions they put into their art.

In my opinion, they need to be at least in the top 5. There are a lot of people who hate on them because they were nu-metal and because of One More Light, etc. There is nothing wrong with trying different genres. It only proves that they are talented.

P.S. Numb is not overrated. Just listen to it and try to be open-minded.

True legends.

14 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English Heavy Metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The most critically acclaimed period for the band was from 1983-1989. With vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, lead guitarist Dave Murray, rhythm guitarist Adrian... read more

Iron Maiden and Motörhead are the best and most recognizable NWOBHM bands. There's just no competition. I love both of these bands.

Though I have loved metal/hard rock music all my life, even some death metal, Iron Maiden changed everything. I was around fourteen, I think, living in Helena, Montana, at the time. Walking home from school, I always stopped into the local record store to see if anything good had come out.

I had just recently gotten into albums from Judas Priest, Scorpions, Rush, and Van Halen. I really liked this stuff, but why I had never heard it on the radio always puzzled me. Anyhow, the guy at the counter said, "Check this out. It's 'Where Eagles Dare' from Iron Maiden. The album is called Piece of Mind," and wow, what a cover. He handed it to me, and well... (you fill in the rest). Just turned fifty this year. Up the Irons!

15 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

I love bands like Green Day, or even Queen and the like, but they're not better artists than Ziggy Stardust himself. No one has gone through so many transformations so seamlessly like Bowie has. His creative brilliance is reflected in records like the legendary "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars," "Low," "Blackstar," etc.

David Bowie was one of those rare artists who was able to make not one, but multiple masterpieces. Green Day is great. Linkin Park isn't, but both need to be behind this man in terms of artistry. Rest in peace.

16 Radiohead Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).

Get Radiohead above Imagine Dragons. Imagine Dragons is one of the worst bands of all time, while Radiohead is one of the greatest bands of all time. Screw Imagine Dragons, they suck.

I got heavily interested in Radiohead very late. The first time I ever heard of this band was when their 2016 album "A Moon Shaped Pool" was released, and I was mesmerized the first time I heard it. It was unlike any other rock music I had ever heard.

It's extremely experimental, softcore, and minimalist in nature, and I loved every bit of it. I began to dig deeper into the band's discography and must say that it's been a while since I've found a band with such consistency. Radiohead's lyrics are fantastic, and their style is always unique and hypnotic. I may also be a sucker for Thom Yorke's voice. I got hooked on this band so hard and so fast that they need to have my number one spot.

17 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... read more

I am a huge fan of Imagine Dragons. Their alternative style is fantastic, and their songs are very deep and dark. Tracks like Demons, Radioactive, Monster, I'm So Sorry (my favorite), It's Time, and Bleeding Out - the list goes on. However, I would consider them nowhere near the top 200. In their defense, Maroon 5 isn't even in the top 1000, and they're ranked 25 as of now. Still, they're one of the best alternative bands, top 20 in my opinion.

Imagine Dragons is the best artist of all time. I can't love them less. They will forever be my favorite band. My best song from them is Believer, which seems like it was made for me. It's my personal anthem. Radioactive is great, my second favorite. I also love Bad Liar, On Top of the World, Thunder, It's Time, Born to Be Yours, Natural, Next to Me, and so on.

18 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... read more

Guns N' Roses are great artists. Their album, Appetite for Destruction, is fantastic. I remember listening to it when I was younger. It sounded so cool. The songs on the album are great, and the album itself is hard-hitting. Tracks like Sweet Child o' Mine and Rocket Queen have a nice beat to them.

I'm shocked that Guns N' Roses is not in the top ten. I think it's the best band ever. They were so professional and artistic, and really very different. They brought out a different type of rock/metal and even rock 'n' roll.

I'm sure the lineup with Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy, and Steven is the best. Their song Sweet Child o' Mine is given the most importance, but I think that there's no other song like November Rain. It's really different and obviously made by Guns N' Roses. Thank you for reading this. I hope you all will agree with it.

19 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.

Bob Dylan cannot be overrated by any measure. He's not a great musician because of his voice. Dear Lord, it's not his voice. But his talent for multiple instruments, sometimes simultaneously, and his lyrical genius put him above the rest.

He's a greater writer than even The Beatles or The Faces. He is a masterful lyricist and poet. His writing won him a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and he will live on in history for decades due to his influence on such a wide spectrum of musical genres.

His lyrics were genius. He led movements, was a poet, and extremely talented. There was a reason why many during his time thought he was some kind of prophet.

Even though technically his vocals weren't the best, he knew how to take advantage of it and use his vocals to perfectly match his music. He sang about racism and many other important issues. He inspired The Beatles to write deeper music. He is one of the greatest lyricists of all time.

20 Panic! at the Disco Panic! at the Disco was an American pop rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada, formed in 2004 and featuring the current lineup of vocalist Brendon Urie, accompanied on tour by bassist Dallon Weekes, guitarist Kenneth Harris, and drummer Dan Pawlovich.

This is my favorite band of all time. Twenty One Pilots is my second favorite, and Fall Out Boy is my third. I feel bad for Brendon Urie because his former band members left him, but he is doing so much better on his own. No one can persuade me to love a different band right now. This is my favorite, and it will always be.

Hey Look Ma, I Made It is still my favorite song today.

Actually, the different albums are so diverse!

21 Alice in Chains Alice in Chains is an American grunge/alternative metal band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley.

Alice in Chains is, for me, the best artist. Their music just feels right. When you hear their music, it sounds incredible.

Alice in Chains is their best album, in my opinion. It's grunge, dark, hard, but fantastic. Songs like Heaven Beside You, Man in the Box, and Rooster, among others, are great. I can't fully explain why they're so great, but I prefer all their songs and albums over any other music from different artists.

Now, I ask people not to say mean things to me because of how I feel about Alice in Chains. Why? Because firstly, Alice in Chains is great and doesn't make bad music like Justin Bieber and some other contemporary artists. Secondly, they're my favorite artist. Thirdly, I'm under 18, and I'm not a fan of Justin Bieber or similar music. Lastly, it's not nice to be mean. I only respond in kind if someone is mean to me first. My school taught us never to be mean to others. Adults should not pick on kids or teenagers because they're older. An adult being mean to a kid isn't right. Kids aren't on the same level as adults, and adults being mean to kids is like being mean to someone smaller than you. I know this isn't directly related to the topic, but I wanted to make a point about not being mean to me, so maybe adults will then refrain from being mean to me too.

22 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

Black Sabbath, along with Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, are the founders of hard rock and heavy metal. These three bands should be in the top 50 at least.

Although Black Sabbath didn't originally invent the metal genre, they pioneered its way to popularity. This band is one of the all-time best in hard rock but also incorporated elements from stoner metal, rock, psychedelic rock, and blues rock. Their music, characterized by talented band members and some badass guitar solos, is great for listening to when stoned. They definitely deserve the number 3 spot on my list.

23 Elton John Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947) is an English singer, pianist and composer. Collaborating with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967 on more than 30 albums, John has sold over 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has... read more

Definitely the musician who has had the most impact on my life. His music has lifted me up from rock bottom twice throughout my life, due to how his melodies and voice absolutely pierce through my soul.

He is one of the few artists that I know of who have many unknown gems that are as good or even sometimes better than his hits. I highly recommend albums like Tumbleweed Connection, Made in England, and Songs from the West Coast as prime examples of that.

I am just so appreciative of his music and how much he has given to the world of music and even charity. He remains active in the music field to this day and goes out of his way to ensure that new great talent is discovered and provided with proper guidance to handle the pressure of being a celebrity. He remains, after many years in music, my all-time favorite artist, and I sincerely hope future generations discover his music and experience the same impact I got from him.

24 Coldplay Coldplay are a British pop 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... read more

Coldplay will forever be the best artist, period. All their material is hauntingly good. Their new stuff is still amazing compared to the first few albums and it still has that Coldplay vibe.

They can make anything sound their own. Coldplay has a song for every emotion that our bodies can physically and psychologically feel. The chemistry within the band is one of the main attributes that puts them head and shoulders above the likes of the Beatles, Queen, Michael Jackson, and the Rolling Stones. Coldplay will forever be the epitome of music.

25 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... read more

He was an incredibly gifted and talented musician during the '60s countercultural movement and brought a very bluesy element to psychedelic and acid rock that very few have successfully recreated. His guitar solos are the most legendary, especially in the ways in which he could play the guitar (even with his tongue or behind his back). He was an artist very ahead of his time, and people still listen to him today.

So many newcomer rock artists look up to him as the demigod of rock and roll. I'd say he's even better than Elvis Presley or the Beatles could ever be. He definitely deserves the number 2 spot on my list.

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