Legendary singer, songwriter and lead vocalist of the British rock band, Queen, Frederick Bulsara adopted the name Freddie Mercury which aptly suits his on-stage vibrant and exuberant persona. A four-octave vocal range musician, Mercury owned every stage he set foot on as much with his vivid performance as with his superhuman voice modulation.
Singer-songwriter, dancer, and musician, Prince is is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He was considered a guitar virtuoso and could also play several other instruments. With worldwide sales of over 150 million records, he is ranked among the best-selling music artists of all time. He was also well known for his flamboyant persona.
John Lennon was part of the hugely successful and popular music band, Beatles. It became the first British band to break out big in the US. However, they eventually broke up. Subsequently, Lennon went solo, with 1971 album, Imagine, being his most successful and acclaimed post-Beatles efforts. Sadly he was shot dead by a deranged fan in New York.
Johnny Cash, the American singer, songwriter and actor, was known for sorrow, moral suffering and redemption themes in his music. His genre was country, rock and roll, blues, folk and gospel sounds and he is one of the best-selling artists of all time. Cash had issues with drinking and drug abuse. Later he was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease.
Gaining fame as a member of the rock band Nirvana, singer-songwriter and musician Kurt Cobain was often heralded as a spokesman of Generation X. He is considered to be one of the most influential musicians in the history of alternative rock. He enjoyed tremendous professional success, but his personal life was troubled. He died of suicide at just 27.
One of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. As his career progressed, he became the first musician to use stereophonic phasing effects in recordings. Rolling Stone ranked him as the greatest guitarist and the sixth greatest artist of all time. He died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 27.
Considered the prototypical rock star, Jim Morrison remains one of the most influential singer-songwriters, almost five decades after his death. Jim influenced the counterculture of the 1960s as he embodied the hippie counterculture rebellion. Due to his erratic performances and wild personality, he is regarded as one of the most iconic frontmen in rock history.
Alice Cooper is a singer-songwriter. In his career, spanning more than five decades, Alice Cooper has earned the nickname The Godfather of Shock Rock for his ability to produce a theatrical brand of rock aimed at shocking audiences. He is also credited with helping to shape the look and sound of heavy metal. Cooper has influenced musicians like Rob Zombie.
British rock and pop singer and songwriter, Rod Stewart has sold over 250 million records worldwide and is counted among the best-selling music artists of all time. During his extensive career that spans almost six decades, he has won numerous awards and accolades. He was mentioned on the "Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists" list in 2008.
10 Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry was an American singer-songwriter. Referred to as the Father of Rock and Roll, Berry is credited with pioneering rock and roll music. He is also credited with influencing the attitude with which the rock music lifestyle is usually associated. Also revered for his guitaring skills, Berry is often included in lists like the Greatest Artists of All Time.
11 Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop is an American singer-songwriter, actor, musician, and record producer. Nicknamed the Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop was an important member of the proto-punk band Iggy and the Stooges. One of the first singers to perform stage-dive, Pop is credited with popularizing the activity. A culture icon, Iggy Pop has had a major influence on musicians of various genres.
12 Joan Jett
Joan Jett, also known as The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, is the frontwoman of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, best known for their rendition of the Arrows song I Love Rock 'n Roll, which topped the Billboard Hot 100. Jett also released the hit Cherry Bomb with the Runaways.
Gaining fame as the lead guitarist of the rock band, the Beatles, English musician, George Harrison, helped broaden the scope of popular music in the Western world. He was also successful as a solo performer and released many best-selling albums. He was named in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
14 Bon Scott
15 Lou Reed
16 Gregg Allman
Gregg Allman was an American musician and singer-songwriter. He is credited with co-founding the rock band The Allman Brothers Band along with his brother Duane Allman. Dubbed the Southern rock pioneer, Allman was recognized for his distinctive, soulful voice; Rolling Stone magazine named him in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list.
David Lee Roth is an American rock singer, songwriter, musician, and former radio personality. Renowned for his energetic stage persona, Roth was a long-time member of the popular hard rock band Van Halen where he served as the lead singer. In 2007, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Brian Johnson is an English singer and songwriter. Johnson is credited with founding the popular rock band Geordie. Famous for his strong North East England accent and distinctive singing voice, he also played a major role in the success of the band AC/DC over the course of his career. Apart from music, Johnson supports the Yorkshire Dementia Charity.
19 Sam Cooke
20 Roy Orbison
Widely regarded as the pioneer of Latin rock and Chicano rock, Ritchie Valens was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. Since his untimely death at the age of 17, Ritchie Valens has inspired several musicians and bands like Carlos Santana, Los Lonely Boys, and Los Lobos. Valens also inspired Robert Quine, Jimi Hendrix, Keith O'Conner Murphy, and Chris Montez among others.
22 Janis Joplin
Best known for her powerful mezzo-soprano voice, Janis Joplin was one of the most successful rock stars of her era. Before dying at the age of 27, she achieved so much that Rolling Stone magazine included her in its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list in 2004 and 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list in 2008.
23 Roger Taylor
Red Hot Chili Peppers co-founder and vocalist Anthony Kiedis released 11 rock albums with his band, focusing on issues such as sex, drugs, and loss. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has struggled with drug issues but has been drug-free since 2000. His memoir, Scar Tissue, became a bestseller.
25 Jeff Buckley
Jeff Buckley was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. His only studio album, Grace, was included in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. Since his untimely death at the age of 30, Jeff Buckley has been the subject of several documentaries. His death also inspired several artists to record songs in tribute to his life and career.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Lindsey Buckingham ruled the American rock scene with the band Fleetwood Mac, performing with his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks. Rolling Stone named him one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. After a brief hiatus, he rejoined the band but was fired eventually.
John Mellencamp, also known as Johnny Cougar and John Cougar, has earned 13 Grammy nominations, winning one. He co-founded Farm Aid and helped raise funds for farmers through concerts. With 22 Top 40 hits in his kitty, he has also held painting exhibitions and acted in and directed movies.
28 Maurice Gibb
Maurice Gibb was one of the three members of the Bee Gees, the iconic pop-rock band of the 1960s and the 1970s, which redefined disco music of that era and released hits such as Stayin’ Alive. He also went solo with the single Railroad, but his solo album remained unreleased.
29 Amy Lee
30 Paul Anka
Paul Anka is a Canadian-American actor and singer-songwriter. As a songwriter, he has contributed to the success of popular musicians, such as Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson. He has also contributed to the theme of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Also known for his business ventures, Anka is credited with opening the popular restaurant and club, Jubilation.
Michael Hutchence, co-founder of the Australian rock band INXS, was known for his wild lifestyle, his affairs with celebrities, and his history of drug abuse. He was named to News.com’s list of the 15 greatest Australian singers of all time but unfortunately died by suicide in a Sydney hotel room.
32 Robin Gibb
33 Jim Croce
Jim Croce was an American rock and folk singer-songwriter. At the peak of his popularity, Jim Croce died in a plane crash at age 30. Many of his works were released posthumously and achieved popularity. Jim Croce's music has been used in many popular films, such as The Hangover Part II, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Hobbs & Shaw.
34 Sonny Bono
35 Jeff Lynne
Jeff Lynne is an English multi-instrumentalist, record producer, singer, and songwriter. He is credited with co-founding the popular rock band Electric Light Orchestra. He is also credited with popularizing the band with his leadership skills following the exit of co-founder Roy Wood in 1972. In the 2020 Birthday Honours, Lynne was appointed OBE for services to music.
Michael Bolton is an American singer-songwriter who has sold over 75 million records so far. Apart from recording several top 10 albums on the Billboard charts, Bolton also has several prestigious awards under his belt, such as Grammy Awards. Also known for his charity work, Bolton set up the Michael Bolton Foundation in order to aid children and women.
40 Richard Marx
Richard Marx is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In 1987, his self-titled debut album was certified triple-platinum, following which he went on to work on several chart-busting hits. As a songwriter, Marx worked on Luther Vandross' Dance with My Father, which earned him the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 2004.
42 Thom Yorke
English musician, Thom Yorke, is the main vocalist and songwriter of the rock band Radiohead. He is a multi-instrumentalist as well. Active in the music industry for over 35 years, he performs both as part of his band and as a solo artist. He is a human rights activist and also supports animal rights, environmental and anti-war causes.
43 Melanie C
Michael Stipe is best known as the lead vocalist of the alternative rock band R.E.M., which has released hits such as Losing my Religion. He has a signature “mumbling” and “wailing” style of singing. He has also directed several videos for the band and owns two movie production studios.
46 Syd Barrett
47 Jakob Dylan
48 Tori Amos
49 Warren Zevon
Warren Zevon was an American musician, rock singer, and songwriter. As a songwriter, Zevon contributed immensely to the success of songs recorded by other artists, such as Murray McLauchlan. Also known for his acerbic lyrics and dry wit, Warren Zevon made several appearances on shows like the Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with David Letterman.