Famous 21st Century Guitarists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen.
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 23, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Long Branch, New Jersey, United States

Considered one of the greatest rock stars, Bruce Springsteen’s catalogue of songs over many decades is unparalleled. His fame skyrocketed in 1975 after the release of his third album, Born to Run, and it reached dizzying heights with his seventh album, Born in the USA, in 1984. He was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

 2 Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson.
4
Famous As: Musician, Activist
Birthdate: April 29, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Abbott, Texas, United States

An accomplished musician and one of the most popular names of the late 20th century American country music, Willie Nelson garnered fame with his albums Shotgun Willie, Red Headed Stranger, Stardust and Always on My Mind. The multiple Grammy award winning musician, who continues to record even today, has also appeared in numerous films and authored a number of books.

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 3 Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen.
4
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: January 26, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nijmegen
Died: October 6, 2020

Eddie Van Halen was an American songwriter and guitarist. The co-founder of the popular rock band Van Halen, Eddie is widely considered one of the greatest guitar players in the history of rock music. He is credited with popularizing the tapping technique, which is now used extensively by guitarists all over the world.

 4 Brian May

Brian May.
5
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hampton, London, England

Queen guitarist and singer-songwriter Brian May is also a PhD in astrophysics. One of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and Guitar World’s second-greatest guitarist, he received a CBE. He was a Chancellor of Liverpool at John Moores University, has worked with NASA, and fights for animal rights.

 5 Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton.
8
Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: March 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ripley, England

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.

 6 Paul Simon

Paul Simon.
5
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 13, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

One half of the popular musical duo Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon is a singer-songwriter, musician, and actor. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists and songwriters of all time. His career, which has spanned more than 60 years, has been so influential that Time named him among the 100 People Who Shaped the World in 2006.

 7 Neil Young

Neil Young.
4
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

One of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers of all time, Neil Young has worked both solo as well with bands like Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Grammy award winning musician’s notable albums include After the Gold Rush, Harvest, Harvest Moon and Ragged Glory. He strongly backs environmental and disability issues too.

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 8 Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell.
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: November 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort MacLeod, Canada

Joni Mitchell is one of the most popular Canadian singer-songwriters. Widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, her songs reflect her feelings about joy, romance, disillusionment, and confusion. Apart from being a musician, Joni is also a visual artist who designs most of her album covers. In fact, she calls herself a painter derailed by circumstance.  

 9 Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page.
4
Famous As: Musician, Record Producer
Birthdate: January 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Heston, Middlesex, England

An English musician, songwriter, and record producer, Jimmy Page gained international recognition as the founder of the popular rock band Led Zeppelin. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and greatest guitarists of all time, Jimmy Page was ranked third in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Jimmy Page has influenced several popular guitarists.

 10 James Hetfield

James Hetfield.
4
Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Downey, California, United States

James Hetfield is an American songwriter and musician. He is credited with co-founding one of the most popular heavy metal bands of all time, Metallica. James Hetfield is often regarded as one of the greatest guitarists and vocalists ever. Since the 1980s, Hetfield has played a key role in the success of ESP Guitars, as one of its major endorsers.

 11 David Gilmour

David Gilmour
4
Famous As: Guitarist, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist, Record producer
Birthdate: March 6, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cambridge ,England

Pink Floyd guitarist/singer David Gilmour helped the band become one of the best-selling acts ever. One of Rolling Stone magazine’s greatest guitarists of all time, he has also been an advocate of animal rights and other causes. He once auctioned off 120 guitars, including his iconic Black Strat, for charity.

 12 Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend.
4
Famous As: Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: May 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England

Pete Townshend is an English guitarist, composer, and singer. He is credited with co-founding and leading one of the most influential and important rock bands of the 20th century, The Who. Also an influential guitarist, Pete Townshend was ranked 10th in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 greatest guitarists of all time list published in 2011.

 13 John Mayer

John Mayer.
8
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
John Mayer went from working at a gas station to producing the multi-platinum albums Room for Squares and Heavier Things and winning multiple Grammys. He has worked with bands such as the John Mayer Trio and Dead & Company. He has written for Esquire, donates to charities, and collects watches. 

 14 John Frusciante

John Frusciante
4
Famous As: Prostitution, Singer-songwriter, Singer
Birthdate: March 5, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States

 15 Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi.
4
Birthdate: March 2, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Perth Amboy, New Jersey, United States

Known as the iconic founder of the popular rock band Bon Jovi, Jon Bon Jovi is a record producer and singer-songwriter. In 2012, he was named in Billboard magazine's The Most Powerful and Influential People In The Music Business list. Also a well-known philanthropist, he founded the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in an attempt to eradicate poverty and homelessness.

 16 Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson.
4
Famous As: Guitarist, Producer
Birthdate: July 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Canadian musician, songwriter, and film composer Robbie Robertson became popular following his association as lead guitarist and songwriter with the rock group, The Band. He is credited for playing a key role in popularizing the Americana music genre. He also had a successful career as a solo artist. As a film composer, he has often collaborated with director Martin Scorsese.

 17 Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder.
4
Famous As: Musician & Singer
Birthdate: December 23, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States
Pearl Jam lead singer and guitarist Eddie Vedder went from being a hotel security guard to being ranked 7 on Rolling Stone’s list of the Best Lead Singers of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has been a vocal supporter of environmental initiatives and abortion rights.

 18 Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens.
13
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England

British singer, Cat Stevens, has released more than 15 studio albums and has churned out many hit songs. He converted to Islam in 1977 and adopted the name Yusuf Islam. He was slammed for reportedly backing the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. He has also been accused of allegedly having ties with terrorist organisations, a charge he has vehemently denied.

 19 James Taylor

James Taylor.
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 12, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Five-time Grammy Award-winning folk singer James Taylor is best known for his hits You've Got a Friend and Fire and Rain. One of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, he has sold over 100 million records worldwide and has also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 20 Billie Joe Armstrong

Billie Joe Armstrong.
7
Famous As: Singer, Musician, Guitarist
Birthdate: February 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States

Billie Joe Armstrong is an American musician and record producer. He is credited with co-founding and popularizing the rock band, Green Day. As a guitarist and vocalist, he has also contributed immensely to the success of the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder. In 1997, Armstrong founded Adeline Records to help support contemporary bands; the record company was closed in 2017.

 21 The Edge

The Edge.
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: August 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Barking, London

David Howell Evans, better known as The Edge, is a musician and songwriter. He first gained fame as the keyboardist, lead guitarist, and backing vocalist of the rock band U2. He is known for his signature style of guitar playing. Besides music, he is an advocate for human rights and is involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors. 

 22 IU

IU
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea

 23 Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert.
6
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 10, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Longview, Texas, United States

Two-time Grammy-winning country singer Miranda Lambert is known for her hit album Platinum and the track Automatic. She was placed third in the singing contest Nashville Star. She has won more Academy of Country Music Awards than any artist. Her organization MuttNation Foundation works for rehabilitation of rescue animals.

 24 Kevin Jonas

Kevin Jonas.
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 5, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States

Musician, singer, and songwriter Kevin Jonas rose to fame as a member of the pop-rock band, the Jonas Brothers, with his younger brothers, Joe and Nick. Also an actor, he has appeared in many Disney Channel productions. He is involved in business ventures as well and is the founder of a construction company, JonasWerner.

 25 Bob Seger

Bob Seger.
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Musician
Birthdate: May 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Singer, songwriter, and musician, Bob Seger, first gained fame in the 1960s as a heartland rock artist. Known for his classic raspy and powerful voice, he recorded many songs that dealt with themes like love and women. With worldwide sales of more than 75 million records, he is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.

 26 Chris Pérez

Chris Pérez.
6
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: August 14, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Guitarist Chris Pérez was married to Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla and performed as part of her band, Selena y Los Dinos. Following Selena’s murder by her own manager, Chris sank into depression. He later won a Grammy with the Chris Pérez Band and also wrote a book about Selena. 

 27 Patti Smith

Patti Smith.
4
Famous As: Singer & Musician
Birthdate: December 30, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Patti Smith is an American singer-songwriter. Referred to as the punk poet laureate, Smith became an influential figure of the punk rock movement with the release of her album Horses. Many world-renowned musicians, such as Madonna and Michael Stipe, have cited Smith as their inspiration. Even actresses like Ellen Page and Maria Doyle Kennedy have called Smith a major influence.

 28 Skrillex

Skrillex.
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Famous As: American music producer
Birthdate: January 15, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Highland Park, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
The side-mulleted American DJ Skrillex is best-known for bringing dubstep music to the mainstream. The illustrious musician, songwriter, and singer began his journey as a solo artist and has bagged in eight Grammy Awards. Distingusihed for giving electronic dance music a face, DJ Skrillex owns astonishing YouTube views and earns enviable touring revenue.

 29 Dave Navarro

Dave Navarro.
6
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: June 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

Dave Navarro is an American singer-songwriter, actor, and guitarist. Over the years, Dave Navarro has contributed immensely to the success of the popular band Jane's Addiction. Best known for his guitaring skills, Dave Navarro is often cited as alternative rock's first guitar hero. In July 2010, Epiphone Guitars released its Dave Navarro Artist Acoustic.

 30 Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney.
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 26, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Country singer Kenneth Chesney has over 40 Top 10 Billboard tracks to his credit. He has won six Academy of Country Music awards and nine Country Music Association awards. He also co-directed the ESPN film The Boys of Fall. His Flip-Flop Summer Tour was the highest-grossing country tour of 2007. 

 31 Trace Cyrus

Trace Cyrus.
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: February 24, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ashland, Kentucky, United States

The son of Billy Ray Cyrus and the oldest of the famous Cyrus siblings, Trace Cyrus is an American musician. In 2010, he formed a band named Ashland HIGH, which has released a couple of albums. Trace Cyrus is known for his eccentric style and multiple tattoos that cover his entire upper body.

 32 Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne.
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany
Six-time Grammy-nominated rock singer Jackson Browne has sold more than 18 million albums in the U.S. Best known for his hits These Days, Running on Empty, and Doctor My Eyes, he was featured on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. The MUSE founder is an avid environmentalist, too.

 33 Johnny Ramone

Johnny Ramone
3
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: October 8, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Queens, New York City, New York, USA
Died: September 15, 2004

 34 David Cassidy

David Cassidy
8
Famous As: Actor, Singer
Birthdate: April 12, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Actor-singer and teen idol David Cassidy soared to fame with his iconic role of Keith Partridge in the long-running musical sitcom The Partridge Family. Known for hits such as Cherish and Daydreamer, he was often mobbed by girls in his youth. He spent his later life struggling with alcoholism and dementia.

 35 Ross Lynch

Ross Lynch.
6
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 29, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Littleton, Colorado, United States
Ross Lynch made his debut as Austin Moon in the Disney series Austin & Ally. He also appeared as Brady in the Teen Beach TV films and as Harvey Kinkle in the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. He has also delivered a Billboard-topping album with the band R5.

 36 Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves.
8
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: August 21, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Golden, Texas, United States
Country singer Kacey Musgraves has won six Grammys, including one for her debut album, Same Trailer Different Park. She had started as part of the children’s country duo Texas Two Bits and explored a solo career later. She has also appeared on the singing reality show Nashville Star.

 37 Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar
4
Famous As: Singer, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Guitarist, Composer
Birthdate: October 13, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Salinas, California, United States

 38 Chad Kroeger

Chad Kroeger.
5
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanna, Alberta, Canada
Chad Kroeger gained fame as the lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Nickelback, delivering hit singles such as How You Remind Me and topping the Canadian charts. He later co-founded the band The Suits XL and also collaborated with major artists such as Santana and Avril Lavigne.

 39 Varg Vikernes

Varg Vikernes.
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: February 11, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bergen, Norway
Death metal artist Varg Vikernes initially rose to fame with his solo project Burzum and then performed as part of the band Mayhem. He spent 15 years behind bars for killing his bandmate Euronymous. He also founded the neo-Nazi Norwegian Heathen Front and calls himself a believer of “Odalism.”

 40 Elijah Blue Allman

Elijah Blue Allman.
6
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 10, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beverly Hills, California, United States

Elijah Blue Allman is an American musician. The son of Gregg Allman and Cher, Allman followed in the footsteps of his parents to establish himself in the American music industry. Elijah Blue Allman is credited with founding the popular industrial rock/industrial metal band Deadsy for which he serves as the lead vocalist and guitarist.

 41 Peter Frampton

Peter Frampton.
4
Famous As: Musician & Singer
Birthdate: April 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bromley, England
Rock guitarist Peter Frampton made the talk-box guitar effect his signature style. Known for hits such as Breaking All the Rules and Baby, I Love Your Way, he performed with the bands Humble Pie and The Herd. His album Frampton Comes Alive! sold over 8 million copies in the U.S.

 42 Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean.
4
Famous As: Country Singer
Birthdate: February 28, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia, United States

Jason Aldean is an American singer and songwriter known for his work in the country music genre. One of the most decorated male country music singers of his generation, Aldean has many platinum-certified albums under his belt. Also a philanthropist, Aldean has raised nearly $4 million for cancer research and continues to work towards raising awareness about breast cancer research.

 43 Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood.
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 12, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Handsworth, Birmingham, England
Two-time Grammy-winning artist Steve Winwood experiments with a variety of genres, including rock, blues, and jazz. He has been part of groups such as Traffic and Blind Faith, and has delivered Billboard-topping hits such as Roll with It. He is one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

 44 John Fogerty

John Fogerty
4
Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: May 28, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States

 45 Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde.
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 7, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States
Chrissie Hynde, founding member, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter of the rock band The Pretenders, previously performed with The Frenchies. A follower of Vaishnavism and the hippie counterculture, Hynde is also a staunch vegetarian, fights for animal rights, and once owned a vegan restaurant. She has also authored an autobiography.

 46 Hank Williams Jr.

Hank Williams Jr.
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States

Hank Williams Jr. is a musician and singer-songwriter. Although he initially gained fame for imitating his father Hank Williams' style, he later established his own style, winning several awards like Grammy Awards. In 2017, he was included in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time list. In 2020, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  

 47 David Crosby

David Crosby
4
Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: August 14, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 48 Creed Bratton

Creed Bratton
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 8, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 49 Jack Antonoff

Jack Antonoff
6
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bergenfield, New Jersey, USA

 50 Jamie Campbell Bower

Jamie Campbell Bower.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 22, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London

Jamie Campbell Bower is an English actor, model, and singer. He is known for playing important roles in popular films like Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and The Twilight Saga. He is also credited with founding the popular punk rock band Counterfeit.