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Greatest musicians (as artists) (all time)

A ranking of musicians who can be rated in multiple musical areas; singers, songwriters, performers, musical instrument players, rappers, etc. This ranking is about them as artists, in whole. The rating of a musician as an artist may be based on their passion, singing skills, songwriting skills, performing skills, achievements, etc. To see the ranking of all musicians (including composers, etc.), see the higher ranking (Ranking scheme, right menu).

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
from 5 votes
Discuss [1]
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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
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
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
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
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
from 31 votes
Discuss [1]
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
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
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
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
from 2 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
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
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
from 3 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
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Paul McCartney
13

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
from 8 votes
Discuss [-]
Jimi Hendrix
14

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
from 7 votes
Discuss [1]
Freddie Mercury
15

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
from 20 votes
Discuss [-]
Frank Sinatra
16

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
from 5 votes
Discuss [-]
Richard Wright
17

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
from 4 votes
Discuss [-]
Ray Charles
18

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
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Prince
18

Prince

Prince Roger Nelson (born June 7, 1958), known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor.
9
9
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Neil Peart
20

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
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
James Brown
20

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
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Alex Lifeson
20

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
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Johnny Cash
20

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
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Trent Reznor
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Tom Waits
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [1]
Neil Young
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Sixto Rodriguez
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Jimmy Page
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Eddie Van Halen
24

Eddie Van Halen

Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen (born January 26, 1955 in Nijmegen) is a Dutch-American musician, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, occasional keyboardist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van H...
9
9
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Tupac Shakur
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Cliff Burton
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Carlos Santana
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Leonard Cohen
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Dave Mustaine
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Steve Vai
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Garth Brooks
24

Garth Brooks

Troyal Garth Brooks (born February 7, 1962), best known as Garth Brooks, is an American country pop singer-songwriter. His eponymous first album was released in 1989 and peaked at number 2 in the US country album chart while climb...
9
9
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Freddie King
24

Freddie King

Freddie King (September 3, 1934 – December 28, 1976) was an American blues guitarist and singer. He is often mentioned as one of "the Three Kings" of electric blues guitar along with Albert King and B.B. King. Freddie King based h...
9
9
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Maynard James Keenan
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Albert King
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Michael Stipe
24

Michael Stipe

John Michael Stipe (born January 4, 1960) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, film producer, music video director, and visual artist. He was the lead singer of the alternative rock band R.E.M. from their formation in 1980...
9
9
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Elton John
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Mos Def
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
David Gilmour
24

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
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Danny Carey
24

Danny Carey

Daniel Edwin "Danny" Carey (born May 10, 1961) is an American drummer best known for his work in American Grammy Award-winning progressive rock band Tool. He has also contributed to albums by artists such as Zaum, Green Jellÿ, Pig...
9
9
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Björk
45

Björk

Björk Guðmundsdóttir (born 21 November 1965), known mononymously as Björk, is an Icelandic experimental singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and occasional actress. She initially became known as the lead singer of the alterna...
8.8
8.8
from 4 votes
Discuss [-]
Sting
45

Sting

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner (born 2 October 1951), known professionally by his stage name Sting, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor, and philanthropist. He was the principal songwrit...
8.8
8.8
from 4 votes
Discuss [-]
Elvis Presley
45

Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. He is often referred to as "the King of Rock and Roll", or simply, "the King".
8.8
8.8
from 4 votes
Discuss [-]
John Lennon
48

John Lennon

John Ono Lennon, born John Winston Lennon; (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980), was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the rock band the Beatles, the most commercially succe...
8.7
8.7
from 14 votes
Discuss [1]
George Harrison
49

George Harrison

George Harrison (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) was an English musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Although...
8.7
8.7
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Joe Satriani
49

Joe Satriani

Joseph "Joe" Satriani (born July 15, 1956) is an American instrumental rock guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. Early in his career, Satriani worked as a guitar instructor, with many of his former students achieving fame, such as...
8.7
8.7
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
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