Stevie Ray Vaughan was an American musician. Stevie achieved so much in his mainstream career, that spanned only seven years, that he is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists ever and one of the most influential and iconic musicians in the blues music history. He is credited with reviving blues-rock and his work continues to influence several artists.
Singer and guitarist Robert Johnson is remembered as a Delta blues legend. Lack of proper documentation of his early life led to various legends surrounding him, such as one that claimed he had made a deal with the Devil to excel in music. He also inspired an award-winning biography.
Best known as the lead guitarist and singer of the popular rock band Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler is one of Britain’s most celebrated guitar icons. Known for hits such as Sultans of Swing, he and his band also released Brothers in Arms, one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Bonnie Raitt is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Despite little commercial success at the beginning of her career, Raitt remained persistent until she had her first major hit in 1989. She has been named in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time lists. She also supports organizations like Little Kids Rock.
Billy Preston was an American musician and top session keyboardist who worked with popular artists like Ray Charles, Reverend James Cleveland, Sam Cooke, and the Beatles. A two-time Grammy Award winner, Preston struggled throughout his life with his sexual orientation. He chose not to come out as gay until before his death, due to his religious beliefs.
Bessie Smith was an American singer who gained popularity during the Jazz Age. Dubbed the Empress of the Blues, Smith was one of the most famous blues singers of the 1920s and 1930s. Counted among the greatest singers of her generation, Bessie Smith was a major influence on several other singers. Her life and work inspired the TV film Bessie.
10 Leon Russell
11 Duane Allman
12 Boz Scaggs
13 Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck is a British rock guitarist renowned for his association with popular rock bands like The Yardbirds, Beck, Bogert & Appice, and The Jeff Beck Group. Regarded as one of the greatest and most influential players in history, Beck has won several awards like the Grammy Awards. He has also appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine thrice.
14 Wynonna Judd
Wynonna Judd is an American country music singer. One of the most decorated female country singers of her generation, Judd was honored with a star on the Music City Walk of Fame for her contribution to music. Also a philanthropist, Judd joined hands with Habitat for Humanity and helped raise more than $90 million to aid victims of natural disasters.
English drummer, Charlie Watts, was best known as a member of the band Rolling Stones. He was associated with the group for almost 60 years. He began his career as a graphic designer for an advertising company and played with bands in his leisure time. He eventually started drumming full time with Rolling Stones.
18 Eva Cassidy
19 John Fogerty
Known for his powerful blues rock performances, Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher was part of the band Taste. Though The Rolling Stones offered him an opportunity to replace guitarist Mick Taylor, he rejected it. A heavy drinker, he died of complications after a liver transplant surgery at age 47.
21 John McVie
22 John Oates
John Oates is an American guitarist, record producer, singer, and songwriter. One half of the popular pop rock duo Hall & Oates, John Oates was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the musical duo. In 2017, Oates published his memoir, Change of Seasons.
23 Snoh Aalegra
Born Shahrzad Fooladi, to Iranian parents in Sweden, Snoh Aalegra had started writing songs by age 9 and signed with Sony at age 13. She changed her name after moving to the US and soared to fame with her chartbusting tracks such as I Want You Around and Find Someone Like You.
25 Jack Bruce
27 Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton, the rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, is considered one of the most influential guitarists of all time. In the 1970s, he recorded a number of successful solo albums and continued to do so over the next several decades and is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has had issues with alcohol and drugs.
29 Buddy Guy
31 Chris Rea
32 Bo Diddley
35 Bill Medley
36 Alison Moyet
37 Derek Trucks
39 Mark Lanegan
40 Edgar Winter
42 Beth Hart
45 Mia Zapata
47 Taj Mahal
48 Robin Trower
Richard Manuel was a Canadian singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. He is best remembered as a pianist and singer in the musical group The Band. He was a versatile singer famous for his soul-influenced baritone and delicate falsetto. Unfortunately, he fell victim to alcoholism and drug abuse that threatened his career and life. He died by suicide in 1986.