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Greatest musicians (all time)

A ranking of musicians of any type.

Person:
Gender:
Loc:
Age:
David Bowie
1

David Bowie

David Bowie (born David Robert Jones, 8 January 1947) was an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter, and actor.
10
10
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 5 votes
Discuss [1]
Michael Hedges
2

Michael Hedges

Michael Alden Hedges (December 31, 1953 – December 2, 1997) was an American composer, acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter.
10
10
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Eric Clapton
2

Eric Clapton

Eric Patrick Clapton (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the...
10
10
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Jim Morrison
2

Jim Morrison

James Douglas "Jim" Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer songwriter, and poet best remembered as the lead singer of The Doors.
10
10
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Win Butler
2

Win Butler

Edwin Farnham "Win" Butler III (born April 14, 1980) is an American-Canadian lead vocalist and songwriter of the Montreal-based indie rock band Arcade Fire. His wife Régine Chassagne and younger brother Will Butler are both member...
10
10
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Enrique Iglesias
6

Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler (born May 8, 1975), simply known as Enrique Iglesias is a Spanish singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer. Iglesias started his career in 1995 on an American Spanish Language record label Fo...
9.7
9.7
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 31 votes
Discuss [1]
Mark Knopfler
7

Mark Knopfler

Mark Freuder Knopfler (born 12 August 1949) is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Dire Straits, wh...
9.5
9.5
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Stevie Ray Vaughan
7

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer.
9.5
9.5
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Eminem
7

Eminem

Marshall Bruce "Eminem" Mathers III (born October 17, 1972) is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and songwriter. Eminem is from Detroit, Michigan. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce da...
9.5
9.5
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Dave Matthews
10

Dave Matthews

David John "Dave" Matthews (born January 9, 1967) is a South African-born American singer-songwriter, musician and actor, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band. Matthews was born in...
9.3
9.3
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Michael Hoenig
10

Michael Hoenig

Michael Hoenig (born 4 January 1952) is a German composer who has composed music for several films and games
9.3
9.3
as composer
from 3 votes
Discuss [multi]
Thom Yorke
10

Thom Yorke

Thomas Edward "Thom" Yorke (born 7 October 1968) is an English musician best known as the singer and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band Radiohead. As a multi-instrumentalist, Yorke mainly plays guitar and piano, but...
9.3
9.3
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Miles Davis
10

Miles Davis

Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. In 2006, Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which recognized him as "one of the key...
9.3
9.3
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Paul McCartney
14

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 as a member of the Beatles, one of the...
9.3
9.3
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 8 votes
Discuss [-]
Jimi Hendrix
15

Jimi Hendrix

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter.
9.1
9.1
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 7 votes
Discuss [1]
John Williams
16

John Williams

John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career spanning over six decades, he has composed some of the most popular and recognizable film scores in cinematic history, inclu...
9.1
9.1
as composer
from 9 votes
Discuss [-]
Freddie Mercury
17

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant...
9.1
9.1
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 20 votes
Discuss [-]
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
18

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era.
9.1
9.1
as composer
from 11 votes
Discuss [-]
Hans Zimmer
19

Hans Zimmer

Hans Florian Zimmer born 12 September 1957) is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 150 films, including film scores for The Lion King, The Thin Red Line, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Pirates...
9
9
as composer
from 16 votes
Discuss [multi]
Frédéric Chopin
20

Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric François Chopin (22 February or 1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849), born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era, who wrote primarily for the solo piano. A child prodigy, he...
9
9
as composer
from 7 votes
Discuss [-]
Frank Sinatra
21

Frank Sinatra

Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, songwriter, actor, producer and director. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 5 votes
Discuss [-]
Richard Wright
22

Richard Wright

Richard William "Rick" Wright (28 July 1943 – 15 September 2008) was an English musician, composer, singer and songwriter. He was a founder member, keyboardist and vocalist of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, performing on th...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 4 votes
Discuss [-]
James Newton Howard
23

James Newton Howard

James Newton Howard (born June 9, 1951) is an American composer, conductor, music producer and musician. Throughout his career, he has scored over 100 films of all scales and genres, earning multiple award nominations for his work...
9
9
as composer
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Johann Sebastian Bach
23

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the ada...
9
9
as composer
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Prince
23

Prince

Prince Roger Nelson (born June 7, 1958), known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor.
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Ray Charles
23

Ray Charles

Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician and composer. He was sometimes referred to as "The Genius", and was also nicknamed "The H...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
James Brown
27

James Brown

James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer and dancer. The founding father of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as "The Godfather of Sou...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Neil Peart
27

Neil Peart

Neil Ellwood Peart (born September 12, 1952) 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, inclu...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Johnny Cash
27

Johnny Cash

Johnny "J.R." Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Alex Lifeson
27

Alex Lifeson

Aleksandar Živojinović, (born August 27, 1953), better known by his stage name Alex Lifeson, is a Canadian musician, best known as the guitarist of the Canadian rock band Rush. In 1968, Lifeson co-founded the band that would becom...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Georg Philipp Telemann
27

Georg Philipp Telemann

Georg Philipp Telemann (14 March 1681 – 25 June 1767) was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg,...
9
9
as composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Carlos Santana
32

Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana (born July 20, 1947) is a Mexican and American musician who first became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music. He has won 10 Gram...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Cliff Burton
32

Cliff Burton

Clifford Lee "Cliff" Burton (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) was an American musician, best known as the bass guitarist for the American thrash metal band Metallica. Burton joined Metallica in 1982 and performed on the ban...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Alexandre Desplat
32

Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Michel Gérard Desplat (born 23 August 1961) is a French and Greek film composer. He has won one Academy Award for his soundtrack to the film The Grand Budapest Hotel, and received seven additional Academy Award nominatio...
9
9
as composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
David Gilmour
32

David Gilmour

David Jon Gilmour (born 6 March 1946) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. In a career spanning more than 50 years, he is best known for his work as the guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the progre...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Neil Young
32

Neil Young

Neil Percival Young (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician. He began performing in a group covering Shadows instrumentals in Canada in 1960, before moving to California in 1966, where he co-founded t...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Koji Kondo
32

Koji Kondo

Koji Kondo ( born August 13, 1961) is a Japanese video game composer and sound director who has been employed at Nintendo since 1984. He is best known for his involvement in numerous titles in the Mario and The Legend of Zelda ser...
9
9
as composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Trent Reznor
32

Trent Reznor

Michael Trent Reznor (born May 17, 1965), known professionally as Trent Reznor, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and film score composer. As a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, he has led the industrial rock pr...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [multi]
Jimmy Page
32

Jimmy Page

James Patrick "Jimmy" Page, Jr., OBE (born 9 January 1944) is an English musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer mostly known as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Page began his care...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Elton John
32

Elton John

Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, 25 March 1947) is an English singer-songwriter, composer and pianist. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated o...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Tupac Shakur
32

Tupac Shakur

Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and (briefly) Makaveli, was an American rapper, author, actor, and poet. As of 2007, Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide, ma...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Leonard Cohen
32

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Norman Cohen (born 21 September 1934) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, painter, poet, and novelist. His work has explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen has been indu...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Albert King
32

Albert King

Albert King Nelson (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992), known professionally as Albert King, was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing. One of the "Three Kings of the B...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Dave Mustaine
32

Dave Mustaine

David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician. He is best known as the co-founder, guitarist, and lead singer of the American thrash metal band Megadeth, and well known as the original lead guitaris...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Danny Elfman
32

Danny Elfman

Daniel Robert "Danny" Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is an American composer, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Oingo Boingo from 1976 to 1995, and later for scori...
9
9
as composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [multi]
Mos Def
32

Mos Def

Yasiin Bey ( born Dante Terrell Smith; December 11, 1973), better known by his former stage name Mos Def ), is an American hip hop recording artist, actor, comedian, and activist from Brooklyn, New York City, New York...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Maynard James Keenan
32

Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan (born James Herbert Keenan; April 17, 1964), often referred to by his initials MJK, is an American progressive metal singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, winemaker, and actor, best known as the vocal...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Steve Vai
32

Steve Vai

Steven Siro Vai (born June 6, 1960) is an American guitarist, songwriter, singer, and producer who has sold over 15 million albums. After starting his career as a music transcriptionist for Frank Zappa, he recorded and toured in Z...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Sixto Rodriguez
32

Sixto Rodriguez

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, also known as Rodríguez or Jesús Rodríguez (born July 10, 1942), is an American folk musician from Detroit, Michigan. His career initially proved short lived, with two little-sold albums in the early 1970s an...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Tom Waits
32

Tom Waits

Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. He has worked as a composer for movies and musicals and has acted in supporting roles in films, including Paradise Alley and Br...
9
9
as musician (as an artist, in whole)
from 1 vote
Discuss [1]
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