Top 10 Greatest Musicians of All Time

The Top Ten
1 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 the initials MJ.

He is the creator of the best-selling album of all time, Thriller (1982), awarded 30 times platinum at the beginning of 2016. His other albums Bad, Dangerous and History are all among the best charting albums of all time and all reached the number one position in the US charts. ...read more.

This man was a real thriller, his creativity, talent, dance moves, voice and ability to woo huge crowds was surely ahead of time. to date no body has come close to the magic he pulled. I have a feeling that it will be centuries before a talent like this one comes back to earth. Those who watched him live were lucky. Thanks to YouTube that the world can enjoy his performances.

@Topcansuckit there is no "why" to it. Beatles' melodies get boring after a while. MJ's do not. "Hey Jude" or "Let It Be" cannot be replayed. "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" definitely can.
Sorry for being slightly racist, but only white people with a certain complex fight to keep artists like Elvis, the Beatles and that overrated bum Bob Dylan at the top saying stuff like "they are way more talented than that dancer". (and even Prince, just for the sake of dethroning MJ). None of them comes close to MJ. Sorry.

Best singer, best dancer and by far the best entertainer in my opinion. His musical career, influence, sales and sheer number of number 1 hits dwarfs those of almost all other musicians. Despite dying an untimely death, Michael's legacy will continue to live on. The man was a legend on his own league.

He was a great singer, dancer, and songwriter, but not musician. To have him ahead of anyone in the top ten is laughable. He's not on the best guitarist, bass, drum, or any brass instrument list. I do think to even be eligible for this list you have to play SOMETHING. What did he play?

2 Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) 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.One of the most successful composers and performers of all time, he is known for his melodic approach to bass-playing, his versatile and wide tenor vocal range and his musical eclecticism, exploring styles ranging from pre-rock 'n' roll pop to classical and electronica. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history

Who can't say he is the greatest musician of all time? He took the rock n roll of the 1960s and transformed it into an entirely new creation. No artist can match what he has done. His work with the Beatles is what kept them afloat as long as they did. Without him the albums of Sgt Peppers, White Album, Abbey Road and Let it Be would not be in existence. His work extends far beyond those albums too. His solo and wings work(although not as significant as the Beatles) helped forge several classics and continue the artistic output of the greatest musician ever. And what is worth noting is that he is still incredibly active in the music scene. He had just turned 80 and will be headlining Glastonbury next week. There is no comparison to him.

This man is the greatest musician in modern time.
I get pissed when I read that people believes that MJ is a greater artist than Beatles, Dylan, Stones and so on. These people often like MJ better and can't just separate the two different things.
But this may be the dummest thing I've ever seen. It's one thing to like someones music more, but MJ is hardly considered a musician. He is considered an artist, but as a musician myself I can say that no musician really considers him a great musician. Is he even a musician? Is there any proof that he has ever even played an instrument? He cab sing and write music, but he's not even close to being a good musician.

Paul McCartney is a wonderful musicain and singer from my favorite band the Beatles . I Really like Paul McCartney very much and I really love all of his awesome songs from the Beatles like Strawberry fields and Here comes the Sun and my all time favorite Let it be . I am big huge all time number one Paul McCartney fan and Paul McCartney is so cool , so handsome and so a wonderful singer.

Paul McCartney not only was part of the greatest band in the world, but has done more in music by setting standards and records that many others have to only dream about. Although his music is not as diverse as say David Bowie's, he still sets the bar very high that makes the music we listen to that much more enjoyable and remembered.

3 John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (9 October 1940 - 8 December 1980) 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.Lennon was characterised by the rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing and drawings, on film, and in interviews. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history.

His music is so powerful that words can't desribe how it has impacted the world and the millions who still listen to it. Countless masterpieces have been crafted by this man, from the beginning of his career to his heartbreaking death (which still brings tears to my eyes today). Nobody has ever revolutionized music in the way that Lennon did, and his remarkable quality and consistincy in musical prowess is astounding. Not only was he a musician, but he was an icon, charming teens during the early 60s with his wit and charm, spearheading the counterculture movement in the late 60s, and becoming an icon of peace movements during the 70s, inspiring millions to this day. Nobody has and ever will come close to how he has revolutionized culture, society, music, and the world as a whole, as he is a remarkable phenomenon that will never be topped or matched again.

Should be the best for he is the masterpiece of singing - songwriting. John Lennon also the most inspiring and most influential, not only in musical talents but in peaceful activities too. John Lennon should be a gift from heaven, should be a son of God for he is a peace - minded person. Go John Lennon for the win!

John Lennon is the greatest musician of all time! Nobody will ever math to his greatness! in my opinion. I think he has the best vocals, the best musical personality. And is just all around the greatest. He is the #1 or at lest should be. There are some who can do great. But others who can do much greater.

John Lennon was a musical genius, and belongs in the top 3. He wrote many classic songs and pushed music to new heights. He had the greatest impact on music and without him, music today would never be the same.

4 Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 1 violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. ...read more.

Beethoven's music challenges the listener to experience deep swings of emotion from agony to elation, from peaceful to triumphant. His music is complex and ever-changing, it can be intentionally atonal in one moment, then rhythmic or melodic the next. It is that constant dynamism which makes his music brilliant, it guides the deep-thinking listener through an experience synonymous to life itself. And, at the risk of sounding shallow, his music is often so ridiculously exuberant, inspirational, and life-affirming that no one--Mozart, Bach, or the greats of our current era--comes even remotely close to matching his otherworldly genius.

Beethoven the greatest, purest, deepest, most original musical mind ever. His music is quality in a very beautiful and elegant form. He composed many pieces that is humanly impossible. But he did it! He wrote great music notwithstanding his health problems. What more if he had lived longer and healthy?

Beethoven makes every other musician on this list seem utterly amateur and insignificant. His accomplishments are fantasies to mere mortals.

It shows what pathetic knowledge people have to even THINK that Michael Jackson or John Lennon are even worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Ludwig van Beethoven!

And then Mozart is at 11, and JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH isn't even on this list. EMBARRASSING, this list is...

What a pathetic disgrace!

I absolutely love and adore Beethoven so much , I really love all of his musical talents and his music and my favorite piece is ode to Joy .Beethoven is amazing and I have some of his music .

5 Andy Gibb Andrew Roy Gibb was an English singer, songwriter, performer, and teen idol. He was the youngest brother of the Bee Gees.

Andy Gibb was a brilliant talented singer, songwriter, and musician. His looks and voice made girls everywhere just love him. He'll always be loved, missed, and remembered by his family, friends, and fans all around the world.

Andy was a talented singer and performer who would still be making hits songs if he did not leave us at a young age. He would have been singing with his brothers the Bee Gees. And Andy loved his fans he is truly missed..

Andy gave everything to the fans and the public. He was able to do broadway, plays, etc. Michael and the rest only sang and Michael didn't go out and do volunteer work and charity functions.

Andy is very special for us, his fans. He is amazing! Wonderful voice, a perfect performance! A young singer that wii never be forgotten! He is always in my heart! Love him.

6 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 vocal range. Before he became a singer he has been in 3 other bands (Ibex, Sour Milk Sea, and The Hectics). He died on November 24, 1991 from bronchopneumonia as a result from HIV/AIDS

Freddie Mercury was not just a rockstar, he was a legend. His whole life he was discriminated from his teeth to his race and his talent. He came from nothing but a worker at heathrow airport for removing baggage to a rock legend. He didn't achieve fame at a young age like most in the time. But he genuinely worked at it. He trained his voice and took advantage of his four octave vocal range. Simply listen to his voice while singing with his prior band "Ibex" then listen to the Show Must Go On. Not many people grow up to have such a powerful voice till they die.

You deserve more than number four on this list, Freddie mercury always was and will remain the best singer that ever lived, and one of the best songwriters to grace us with his presence on this earth, He sung to the best of his ability to the very end, loving and cherishing every minute of it. While this man was sick and dying and was filled with so much pain he could not even stand he propped himself up against a table downed a vodka and vowed "I'l sing till I bleed" if you can't call that legendary then I sincerely doubt you will ever find who your looking for.

Greatest LEGEND THERE IS. It's right that he's number one here. He made songs out of great fun and out of pure genius. No one can compare to how genius Freddie was. His music will be forever cherished till the end of time... RIP Freddie Mercury, you were truly the greatest.

One of the greatest voices of all time. Helped create one of the greatest bands of all time and several classics with that.

7 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era, born in Salzburg.

This is completely and insanely baffling that he is not 1. He was by far the greatest musical mind to have ever lived. This absolutely outrages me to the point of complete loss of sanity.

Mozart wasn't only a prodigy but a revolutionary. His work was more ground breaking and original than Beethoven's in his particular time period. Imagine if had lived to old age.

I don't even listen to classical music much. I like it though, since I like pretty much all music.
I'm a musician, and for us educated its obvious that the greatest musicians of all time isn't Macca, Dylan or Lennon. they're the greatest modern world musicians, but the graeatest of all times is the classical ones. Mozart is the number one.
MJ shouldn't be on this list since he isn't a musician

Beethoven above Mozart is fine and Elvis, Beatles and Queen being above him is not exactly right, but they're pretty awesome... Screw Michael Jackson being at number 1 though

8 George Harrison George Harrison (1943 - 2001) was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

A fantastic artist and a great guy. He has the non-stop ability to create new catchy riffs and imaginative guitar styles.

George was a great musician, but among the ten best of all time? That's a bit of a stretch, but I did love the guy.

Why george is no. 5? I think its no. 4?

It was very hard to choose a beatle to choose, but I eventually chose john. George is amazing though

9 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.

Should be ranked 2nd. Changed popular singing. Greatest lyricist of all time. His influence in music is unmatched. Going electric at the Newport folk festival and his doings in the civil rights movements changed pop culture and the world. There would be no Hendrix Springsteen nirvana and the genre of rap in general if it weren't for Dylan give credit where credit is due!

Undoubtably the number one spot. He has impacted not only the world of music, but the world a whole more than any other musician ever. He is not only the greatest living poet, but perhaps the greatest musician ever to walk this earth.

Bob Dylan is number 1! No songwriter will ever surpass the one and only Dylan. He is THE LEGEND of Music. Without Dylan, music would not be. First Dylan, then followed by Jackson, McCartney, and so on.

Bob Dylan practically invented, if not literally invented the song writing process. his music and lyrics are LEGENDARY!, the use of metaphors and his voice are quite entertaining.Not only did he bridge together the cultures of the beatniks and hippies of the time with his catchy and simple melodies combined with his metaphorical lyrics that you can just listen to again and again.

10 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 musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music". Hendrix is consistently ranked on lists of musicians who died too soon .

Jimi Hendrix wasn't a guitar player, the guitar was an extension of his mind and soul. It was through his guitar that Jimi expressed himself. It represented the way he talked, walked and even breathed. Due to this extreme relationship between a man and his instrument, Jimi became a master songwriter, a soulful vocalist and a studio genius who crafted, with ease, lots and lots of songs which had a life for themselves. This organic characteristic is unparalleled among rock musicians. Since his death, there has not been a single guitar player as important or as revolutionary, but his work has remained so vital and inspirational that his influence over the music world has defeated his death, and therefore he gained his immortality.

Here is why Hendrix is ranked too low: He is ubiquitously recognized as the best guitarist of all time. In concerts he would play behind his back and with his tongue. He is a prodigy, and he can also write songs. He belongs in the top 5 best musicians without doubt.

Best guitar player of all time a genius he could play guitar left handed right handed wonky handed and with his very easily he has great stage presence and emotion.

Great songwriter, most influential rock artist and easily the greatest guitarist of all time.

The Newcomers

? Adam Young Adam Randal Young is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known for creating the synthpop/electronica project Owl City. Other important projects he has taken part of are Sky Sailing, Port Blue, Swimming With Dolphins, Seagull Orchestra and Adam Young Scores.
? Rebecca Black Rebecca Black is a YouTube personality and singer who's infamous for her 2011 single "Friday," which was the most disliked video on YouTube until "Baby" by Justin Bieber became the most disliked video in 2012. She has also released other songs, including "My Moment" and "Saturday".
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.

Elvis Presley, one talented man of course, but after his death there aren't any more songs anymore. My favourite song is Hound Dog! Back then he was a rock for our grandparents and parents but I still watch, learn and get inspired to the videos.

The greatest most fabulous music artist of all time. No one can or ever will compare to elvis. God bless him, he gave so much pleasure to millions and still does. Artist of the century. Mozart of the 20th century.

Fantastic musician, no one will ever equal him. It doesn't get any better than Elvis! Number 1.

Like many in this top twenty, a great and legendary performer but not a great musician.

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. The man who the world knew as David Bowie was an actor, a painter, a philosopher, and many other things. But first and foremost, and what he was known for most, he was a rock star, covering every genre from psychedelic folk to industrial. His influence on fashion, music, and pop culture in general remains as his legacy--along, of course, with his unforgettable music.

The phrase "You can do whatever you set your mind to" isn't true... unless you are David Bowie. Bowie managed to stay relevant in the changing music world since the early 70's. He has written and performed countless genius songs. He belongs in the top 10.

All I'm saying is that he is the greatest musician of all time.

How is he and Kurt not tied for first?

I personally voted for john lennon, but if I could pick a second it would definitely be bowie

13 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.

Was looking at this list to see if slash was even on it at all, certainly didn't expect this high, but it makes sense!

Some say Slash doesn't exist. He's like Santa, too good to be true.

How does this no talent make this list?

14 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.

Whoa whoa, that makes him so overrated.

15 Frank Sinatra Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.

Frank Sinatra sang so good he sure has lots of good songs like the way you look And my way. There are lots of other songs he wrote he composed and produced and should be considered at least in the top five best jazz musicians. He had flow style amazing pitch and dancing skills.

By far the greatest musician I've ever heard in my life!

I don't see why this guy isn't No. 1 He is brilliant.

16 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 da 5'9") half of the hip-hop duo Bad Meets Evil. Rolling Stone ranked him 83rd on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, calling him the King of Hip Hop. Including his work with D12 and Bad Meets Evil, Eminem has had ten number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and 5 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, and 13 worldwide.

Eminem sure is an awesome musician. He definitely should be in the top 15 maybe top ten Eminem has so much skill and experience writing songs producing others and free styling rap battling and making beats. Eminem has lots of great songs like lucky you Godzilla rap god without me slim shady lose yourself I'm not afraid and Marshall mathers l p mocking bird lots of other songs

One of the greatest musician, no question. As a composer and producer, he mixed different genres of pop, rap and rock so well, he made one of the best symbiosis of these genres. He have the amazing voice control, so many type of rhythms, a lot lyrical work, artistically-well and etc.

So many of the top people on this list are lead singers who don't play an instrument. I think a lot of folks voting on this list don't realize they're not voting for a singer or writer, but someone who plays an instrument, or preferably, several instruments.

A musician doesn't have to play an instrument to be one. singing without instruments still counts as music singing has musical notes. Also Rapping is music ,music has to have beat rhythm or notes. Eminem is a musician

17 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.

You always notice that stage where celebrities often do drugs and die from them. Especially what happened to kurt cobain. My theory is that some of them are just scarred. Like, they're scarred of being famous and they just want to be left alone. Now I don't know if this was true with kurt but he did say that the fame was too much for him. Think about it people, when you're on top of the world it gets really overwhelming. There are some people out there who are planning for a future but are scarred to be famous because they are just normal people who want to be left alone. And whether if they're artists some of them didn't plan for their work to stand out from all the others, they've probably done their work just for themselves and for others to enjoy. If you are so famous that you'll be remembered throughout all of history wouldn't that be way too much pressure? Do you really want to waste your life for the hell of stardom? In my opinion, we should only chose art that really stands ...more

I honestly want to be famous because I want to make a difference. I want to do people a favor by doing something totally new and extraordinary whether it be science, art, sports, politics, or any kind of subject. I don't care if I get famous because I don't care about myself (I'm an atheist, but I'm a really nice guy). So I'm willing to sacrifice my life for the new things I want to bring to humanity. So don't worry about me. I'm doing just fine. As long as I make a difference then humanity will be having new ideas, whether we can use them to help us uncover the secrets of life and the universe as we know it.

It must also not be easy dealing with people when you're famous. Whether someone talks about your work in a bad way, someone hates you, or someone makes fun of you in a depressing or offensive way. you have to be strong about that. It really takes a lot of guts if you have enough.

Kurt Cobain is the best musicians of the world. I am enjoying his songs always. It's my favourite songs.

18 Synyster Gates Brian Elwin Haner, Jr., better known by his stage name Synyster Gates or simply Syn, is an American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band Avenged Sevenfold.

One of the best lead guitarist of all time!

What improvisation skills!

19 Brian Wilson Brian Douglas Wilson is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer best known for being the multi-tasking leader and co-founder of the Beach Boys.

This is the man who played and performed music through his Mind and Halucinations. He translated this music into an Album that is not only influential, but one of the best albums ever created. The Beach Boys are underrated in the Public Eye, but Brian Wilson in particular deserves more recognition, he is a Musical Mastermind.

20 Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer and singer who was one of the most influential figures in jazz.

The trumpet was made for him! No one can manipulate an instrument like he did.

21 Prince Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21st, 2016) was an American musician, best known for being one of the most popular and influential artists from the 80s, with songs such as "Purple Rain", "Little Red Corvette", "1999", and "When Doves Cry" .

One of the greatest artists of all time. He could play more than 26 instruments, wrote all his lyrics, has over 40 albums and 8 movies, composed, produced and arranged all aspects of his music career.
Who else could sing such lyrics in 1970s
" I can't believe what people say
Am I black or white, straight or gay?
Do I believe in God? Do I believe in me?
Some people wanna die so they can feel free"

Controversy
Purple Rain
When Doves Cry
Darling Nikki
My Name is Prince
... and so on...

Prince was way ahead of time.

The greatest musician that ever lived on this planet. Best song writer, best guitar player, best producer, best performer, best dresser, best looker.

Listen to his discography and watch him perform; if you do, then you'll understand why he is the most talented musician of all time.

Though michael jackson is the greatest entertainer Prince bar and none takes the 1 2 and 3 slot as the greatest muscian of all time.. It's a debate with rest of the numbers from 4 on down on whose the best muscian. But this poll here is probably controlled by the Democratic party or some other screwup nut job

22 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.
23 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.

Ozzy should be at least in the top ten. He ROCKS! He isn't called the "Prince of Darkness" or the "Godfather of Heavy Metal" for nothing. I LOVE Ozzy! He deserves so much more credit than this. Ozzy forever!

One of the founders of heavy metal. He is a genius of that music, I was going to choose Michael Jackson, but he only has written a few of his songs... and hardly played anything.

I'm hungry for bats

24 Whitney Houston Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 ...read more.

No mere human has ever had a more refined voice than sh had. I think she literally introduced a new high note in music.

Whitney Houston is an amazing singer she has such great songs

25 Luciano Pavarotti Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time.

No one in this world will ever strike the notes this guy ascended to!

Pavarotti has no peer. He is the best of the best.

The biggest & best voice of all time.

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