Famous 21st Century Guitarists

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 1 
Brian May
(Lead Guitarist of the Rock Band 'Queen')
Brian May
9
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.

 2 
Eddie Van Halen
(Guitarist and Keyboardist of the Rock Band Van Halen)
Eddie Van Halen
11
Birthdate: January 26, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
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.

 3 
Eric Clapton
(One of the Greatest Guitarists of All Time)
Eric Clapton
14
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.

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 4 
Jimmy Page
(Guitarist and Founder of the Rock Band 'Led Zeppelin')
Jimmy Page
6
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.

 5 
Slash
(Musician)
Slash
12
Birthdate: July 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hampstead

Slash is an English-American songwriter, musician, and record producer. After achieving popularity as the lead guitarist of Guns N' Roses, Slash left the band to form Velvet Revolver, a hard rock supergroup. Widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar players in the history of rock, Slash is often named in lists, such as the Top Guitarists of All Time.

 6 
Chuck Berry
(One of the Most Influential “Rock 'n' Roll” Performers in Music History)
Chuck Berry
14
Birthdate: October 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: March 18, 2017

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.

 7 
Joni Mitchell
(Famous for Her Studio Album 'Blue')
Joni Mitchell
12
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.  

 8 
James Hetfield
(Guitarist, Co-Founder and Main Songwriter of Heavy Metal Band 'Metallica')
James Hetfield
9
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.

 9 
Joe Walsh
(Singer and Guitarist Who Was Member of Three Successful Rock Bands: 'The Eagles', 'James Gang' & 'Ringo Starr’)
Joe Walsh
8
Birthdate: November 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States

Joe Walsh is an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer. Over the years Walsh has contributed to the success of popular rock bands such as Eagles and James Gang. In 1998, he was made an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was ranked 54th on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list.

 10 
Angus Young
(Co-Founder and Lead Guitarist for the Hard Rock Band 'AC/DC')
Angus Young
8
Birthdate: March 31, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Angus Young, AC/DC co-founder, lead guitarist, and songwriter, migrated to Australia at 13. After dropping out of school at 15, he started playing instruments. Named the Best Australian Guitarist of All Time by Australian Guitar magazine, he is known for his uniform outfits and for reviving Chuck Berry's "duck walk."
 11 
Paul Simon
(American Singer-Songwriter)
Paul Simon
10
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.

 12 
Lindsey Buckingham
(Singer, Musician)
Lindsey Buckingham
6
Birthdate: October 3, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Palo Alto

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.

 13 
Mark Knopfler
(Former lead guitarist, singer and songwriter of the rock band Dire Straits)
Mark Knopfler
8
Birthdate: August 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

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.

 14 
Carlos Santana
(Mexican-American Guitarist Who was Member of the Rock Band 'Santana')
Carlos Santana
10
Birthdate: July 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Autlán, Jalisco, Mexico

Guitarist Carlos Santana rose to fame in the late 1960s and 1970s with his rock band Santana. He introduced elements of Latin American jazz in his rock music to create unique songs. He is the recipient of ten Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards. Rolling Stone magazine listed him on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists in 2015.

 15 
Lou Reed
(Lead Guitarist, Vocalist & Principal Songwriter of the Rock Band “The Velvet Underground”)
Lou Reed
9
Birthdate: March 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 27, 2013
Lou Reed redefined the glam rock genre with his album Transformer. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee initially wrote sings for Pickwick Records and performed with the Velvet Underground. He then released 20 solo albums. His parents had made him go through electro-shock therapy to “cure” his bisexuality.
 16 
David Gilmour
(Guitarist, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist, Record producer)
David Gilmour
4
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.

 17 
Pete Townshend
(Co-Founder and Lead Vocalist of the Rock Band 'The Who')
Pete Townshend
6
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.

 18 
Neil Young
(Rock Singer-Songwriter Famous As The 'Godfather of Grunge')
Neil Young
11
Birthdate: November 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto, 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.

 19 
Billy Gibbons
(Guitarist, Singer)
Billy Gibbons
5
Birthdate: December 16, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Houston
 20 
John Mayer
(Pop-Rock Singer Known for His Albums 'Room for Squares' and 'Heavier Things')
John Mayer
12
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. 
 21 
Steve Vai
(Guitarist, Composer and Songwriter Best Known for His Albums 'Flex-Able' and 'Passion and Warfare')
Steve Vai
5
Birthdate: June 6, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Carle Place, New York, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning guitarist and singer Steve Vai began his career as a transcriptionist for Frank Zappa and played for his band till he launched his solo career. Guitar World named him the “10th Greatest Guitarist. His music was featured in music videos such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
 22 
Barry Gibb
(Member of the Music Group "Bee Gees," One of the Best-Selling Groups of All Time)
Barry Gibb
5
Birthdate: September 1, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Douglas, Isle of Man

A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees is known for his versatility. Barry ranks second on the Guinness World Records list of successful songwriters and has gifted his fans cult classics of pop/disco music of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Stayin’ Alive.

 23 
Kirk Hammett
(Lead Guitarist for Heavy Metal Band 'Metallica')
Kirk Hammett
8
Birthdate: November 18, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Kirk Hammett, lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Metallica, was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list. He was previously part of the group Exodus. His collection of horror memorabilia was released as a book, and he also started an annual horror convention.
 24 
Peter Green
(Musician & Songwriter)
Peter Green
5
Birthdate: October 29, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bethnal Green, London, England
Died: July 25, 2020

Peter Green was an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Green is credited with founding the popular British-American rock band, Fleetwood Mac. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Named in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, Green has influenced many other guitarists like Joe Perry and Gary Moore.

 25 
Bonnie Raitt
(Singer)
Bonnie Raitt
5
Birthdate: November 8, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States

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.

 26 
Christopher Stapleton
(Named ‘Artist-Songwriter Of the Decade’ by ACM)
Christopher Stapleton
6
Birthdate: April 15, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky, United States

Five-time Grammy-winning country artist Chris Stapleton is best known for hits such as Parachute. He has also co-written tracks such as Kenny Chesney's Never Wanted Nothing More. Before going solo, he was part of the bands The SteelDrivers and The Jompson Brothers. His music blends country with bluegrass and soul.

 27 
Glen Campbell
(Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter, Actor and TV Host)
Glen Campbell
6
Birthdate: April 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Billstown, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell was an American TV host, actor, singer-songwriter, and guitarist. Regarded as one of the most successful musicians ever, Campbell sold more than 45 million records, which included a double-platinum album, four platinum albums, and 12 gold albums, in a career spanning 50 years. In 2014, he became the subject of a documentary titled Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me.

 28 
James Taylor
(Singer-Songwriter & Musician - One of the Best-Selling Artists of All Time)
James Taylor
5
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.

 29 
Jeff Beck
(Guitarist, Composer, Musician, Jazz guitarist, Songwriter)
Jeff Beck
7
Birthdate: June 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: England

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.

 30 
Ritchie Blackmore
(Guitarist, Songwriter)
Ritchie Blackmore
5
Birthdate: April 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weston-super-Mare
 31 
Syd Barrett
(Singer-songwriter)
Syd Barrett
7
Birthdate: January 6, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cambridge
Died: July 7, 2006
Pink Floyd co-founder and frontman Syd Barrett was known for his contribution to psychedelic rock and experiments with studio effects such as echo and distortion. He was removed from the band due to his drug addiction, following which he began a solo career. His final years were spent in privacy.
 32 
Bryan Adams
(Best Selling Pop, Pop-Rock Singer-Songwriter Of All Time)
Bryan Adams
5
Birthdate: November 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kingston, Canada
Canadian rock guitarist and singer Bryan Adams, known for his cult classics Everything I Do and Summer of '69, has won 20 Juno Awards and a Grammy. The Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee is also an avid animal rights activist and a professional photographer who has held several exhibitions.
 33 
Jack White
(Lead Singer and Guitarist of the Duo 'The White Stripes')
Jack White
15
Birthdate: July 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

The White Stripes guitarist and vocalist Jack White had begun playing drums at 6. He made it to Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list. With 12 Grammys, he is now considered one of the main forces in the revival of the garage rock genre in the 2000s.

 34 
Tom Morello
(Musician)
Tom Morello
10
Birthdate: May 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, United States

Tom Morello is an American musician, rapper, singer, actor, songwriter, and political activist. Morello is best known for his association with Rage Against the Machine, which he co-founded with Zack de la Rocha. Renowned for his creative and unique guitar playing style, Tom Morello was ranked among the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine.

 35 
Roger Waters
(Composer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Screenwriter, Singer, Pianist, Record producer)
Roger Waters
6
Birthdate: September 6, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Surrey

Co-founder of the rock band, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters is celebrated singer, songwriter and composer. Beginning his career with rhythm guitar, he initially served solely as a bassist in Pink Floyd before emerging as their lyricist, co-lead vocalist, and conceptual leader. Later he left the group due to creative difference and embarked on his solo career, releasing numerous albums and singles

 36 
Tony Iommi
(Guitarist, Composer, Musician, Songwriter)
Tony Iommi
5
Birthdate: February 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Birmingham

Black Sabbath lead guitarist Tony Iommi was named one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Known for his signature black leather jacket and silver cross neckpiece, he is fond of playing dark guitar tones. While he successfully beat lymphoma, the cancer was in remission later.

 37 
Robbie Robertson
(Guitarist, Producer)
Robbie Robertson
5
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.

 38 
Stephen Stills
(Singer-songwriter)
Stephen Stills
4
Birthdate: January 3, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
 39 
IU
(Singer)
IU
7
Birthdate: May 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea
 40 
Mick Mars
(Guitarist and Co-Founder of the Heavy Metal Band 'Mötley Crüe')
Mick Mars
8
Birthdate: May 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States
Mick Mars gained fame as the guitarist for the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe and came to be known for his aggressive style of playing the instrument. He has also written songs for bands such as Crashdïet. He has suffered from ankylosing spondylitis since his teenage years. 
 41 
Merle Haggard
(Country Singer & Leader of the Band ‘The Strangers’)
Merle Haggard
5
Birthdate: April 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oildale, California, United States
Died: April 6, 2016
Country singer Merle Haggard initially gained fame performing with The Strangers. He had several brushes with the law in his younger days, before he launched his music career. His songs reflected the angst of the working class. He won several accolades, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
 42 
Joe Perry
(Musician, Songwriter)
Joe Perry
5
Birthdate: September 10, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States
 43 
Mick Taylor
(Musician)
Mick Taylor
4
Birthdate: January 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Welwyn Garden City, England

Mick Taylor soared to fame as the guitarist of iconic rock band The Rolling Stones. He has also been part of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Named to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, he was also declared one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

 44 
Bob Seger
(Singer-songwriter, Musician)
Bob Seger
5
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.

 45 
Billie Joe Armstrong
(Lead Vocalist, Songwriter and Guitarist of the Rock Band 'Green Day')
Billie Joe Armstrong
11
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.

 46 
The Edge
(Lead Guitarist and Keyboardist of the Rock Band 'U2')
The Edge
6
Birthdate: August 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Barking, London, England

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. 

 47 
Joan Chandos Baez
(Best Known for Her Songs "Diamonds & Rust," "We Shall Overcome" and "Joe Hill")
Joan Chandos Baez
6
Birthdate: January 9, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Staten Island, New York, United States

Singer, songwriter, musician, and activist Joan Baez has been active in the music world for over six decades. She emerged as a major musical figure in the counterculture era of the 1960s. Her music encompasses various genres like pop, folk-rock, country, and gospel music. She is involved in civil rights, human rights, and environmental activism as well.

 48 
Steven Van Zandt
(Singer-Songwriter, Actor and a Member of 'Bruce Springsteen’s E Street' Band)
Steven Van Zandt
5
Birthdate: November 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Winthrop, Massachusetts, United States

Steven Van Zandt is an American singer, musician, songwriter, actor, producer, and activist. Steven is renowned for his association with E Street Band. As a member of the band, Steven was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Also known for his philanthropic efforts, Steven works with a nonprofit organization called Little Kids Rock.

 49 
Ted Nugent
(Lead Guitarist and Occasional Lead Vocalist of the Rock Band “The Amboy Dukes”)
Ted Nugent
5
Birthdate: December 13, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Redford Charter Township, Michigan, United States

Rock guitarist Ted Nugent initially gained fame with the band The Amboy Dukes. He has also had a successful solo career, with hits such as Cat Scratch Fever. He was also part of the supergroup Damn Yankees. A National Rifle Association board member, he supports hunting and gun ownership.

 50 
Malcolm Young
(Musician)
Malcolm Young
5
Birthdate: January 6, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: November 18, 2017

Malcolm Young was an Australian musician. He is credited with co-founding the popular rock band AC/DC. He is also credited with popularizing the band and was described by many as the leader and the driving force of the band. Widely regarded as one of the best rhythm guitarists ever, Young was a leading exponent of rhythm guitar in rock music.