Famous Black 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 
Chuck Berry
(One of the Most Influential “Rock 'n' Roll” Performers in Music History)

Chuck Berry
13
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.

 2 

Robert Johnson
6
Birthdate: May 8, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hazlehurst, Mississippi, United States
Died: August 16, 1938

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. 

 3 
B.B. King
(Singer-songwriter)

B.B. King
10
Birthdate: September 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berclair, Mississippi
Died: May 14, 2015
Known as “The King of the Blues,” legendary musician B. B. King introduced a signature style of soloing using string bending and vibrato. His song The Thrill is Gone won him a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. He was featured on Rolling Stone’s “100 greatest guitarists of all time” list.

 4 
Muddy Waters
(Musician)

Muddy Waters
4
Birthdate: April 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Issaquena County, Mississippi
Died: April 30, 1983
Grammy-winning blues singer McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, is considered the father of modern Chicago blues. He is remembered for his tracks Hoochie Coochie Man and Rollin' Stone, with the latter inspiring the name of the band The Rolling Stones. He shaped the rock and roll genre.

 5 
Tom Morello
(Musician)

Tom Morello
9
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.

 6 
Curtis Mayfield
(Singer, Guitarist)

Curtis Mayfield
3
Birthdate: June 3, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 26, 1999
Soul singer and guitarist Curtis Mayfield gained fame with The Impressions. His songs such as People Get Ready carried prominent social themes. The Grammy Hall of Fame inductee was paralyzed from the neck down after an accident during a live performance in 1990 but continued to record even after that.

 7 
Bo Diddley
(Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Composer)

Bo Diddley
7
Birthdate: December 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: McComb
Died: June 2, 2008
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 8 
Darius Rucker
(Singer, Guitarist)

Darius Rucker
8
Birthdate: May 13, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina
Darius Rucker gained fame as the lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish. He then launched a solo career, releasing Billboard-charting hits such as Wagon Wheel and True Believers. He became the first Black American singer to win the Country Music Association New Artist Award.

 9 
Charley Pride
(Country Singer and One of Three African-American Members of the 'Grand Ole Opr')

Charley Pride
7
Birthdate: March 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sledge, Mississippi, United States
Died: December 12, 2020
Charley Pride was an American professional baseball player, guitarist, and singer. During the 1970s, Pride became the best-selling singer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley. In his illustrious career, Pride won many awards including three American Music Awards and four Grammy Awards. In 2000, Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

 10 
Jermaine Jackson
(Singer-songwriter)

Jermaine Jackson
5
Birthdate: December 11, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States

 11 

Teddy Pendergrass
6
Birthdate: March 26, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingstree, South Carolina, USA
Died: January 13, 2010

 12 
Questlove
(Musician)

Questlove
7
Birthdate: January 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 13 
Albert King
(Singer-songwriter, Basketball player, Musician, Guitarist)

Albert King
5
Birthdate: April 25, 1923
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Indianola
Died: December 21, 1992

 14 
Israel Houghton
(Singer-songwriter)

Israel Houghton
7
Birthdate: May 19, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oceanside, California
Christian music singer Israel Houghton has won four Grammys for his traditional and contemporary gospel albums. He works with his backing band New Breed, and his albums are credited to Israel & New Breed. He has also been a worship leader for Champions for Christ and Promise Keepers.

 15 

Marques Houston
5
Birthdate: August 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 16 
Bobby Womack
(Singer, Songwriter, Musician, and Record Producer)

Bobby Womack
6
Birthdate: March 4, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: June 27, 2014

Bobby Womack began his career with his family band The Valentinos, after gaining a record deal with The Soul Stirrers singer Sam Cooke. He later began a solo career and became famous for tracks such as Lookin’ for a Love. He also contributed to the soundtrack of Across 110th Street.

 17 
Ike Turner
(Soul-Music Star and Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer)

Ike Turner
6
Birthdate: November 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Clarksdale, Mississippi, United States
Died: December 12, 2007

 18 
Howlin' Wolf
(Singer)

Howlin' Wolf
5
Birthdate: June 10, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Whites, Mississippi, United States
Died: January 10, 1976

 19 
Eric Benét
(Singer-songwriter)

Eric Benét
5
Birthdate: October 15, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

 20 
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
(Gospel Singer-Songwriter and Guitarist Known for Using Heavy Distortion on Her Electric Guitar)

Sister Rosetta Tharpe
3
Birthdate: March 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cotton Plant, Arkansas, United States
Died: October 9, 1973

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was an American recording artist, guitarist, and singer-songwriter. Characterized by a mixture of electric guitar and spiritual lyrics, Tharpe's music played an influential role in the development of rock and roll. Her music influenced several rock-and-roll musicians like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Chuck Berry. She is often referred to as the Godmother of rock and roll.

 21 
Corinne Bailey Rae
(Singer-Songwriter Best Known for Her 2006 Single ‘Put Your Records On')

Corinne Bailey Rae
3
Birthdate: February 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leeds, England

 22 
Michael Kiwanuka
(Singer-songwriter)

Michael Kiwanuka
5
Birthdate: May 3, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Muswell Hill, London, England

 23 
Taj Mahal
(Self-taught Grammy Award-winning blues musician)

Taj Mahal
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

 24 
Albert Collins
(Musician)

Albert Collins
2
Birthdate: October 1, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Leona, Texas, United States
Died: November 24, 1993

 25 
Elmore James
(Guitarist)

Elmore James
2
Birthdate: January 27, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: May 24, 1963

 26 
Joan Armatrading
(British singer-songwriter and Grammy and BRIT Award winner who has released popular singles like "Drop the Pilot.")

Joan Armatrading
7
Birthdate: December 9, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

 27 
DJ Quik
(Rapper)

DJ Quik
5
Birthdate: January 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Compton, California, USA

 28 
Wes Montgomery
(Musician)

Wes Montgomery
4
Birthdate: March 6, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: June 15, 1968

 29 
William DuVall
(Musician)

William DuVall
4
Birthdate: September 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA

 30 
Solomon Burke
(Singer, Priest, Guitarist, Songwriter, Composer)

Solomon Burke
2
Birthdate: March 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: October 10, 2010
American preacher and singer Solomon Burke shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s. Known for his 'prodigious output', Burke has been called 'a key transitional figure bridging R&B and soul'. During his professional career that lasted 55 years, Burke released 38 studio albums and had 35 singles.

 31 

Sylvia Robinson
2
Birthdate: March 6, 1935
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: September 29, 2011

 32 
Kele Okereke
(Musician)

Kele Okereke
2
Birthdate: October 13, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England

 33 
Blind Willie Johnson
(Former gospel blues singer, guitarist and evangelist)

Blind Willie Johnson
2
Birthdate: January 25, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pendleton, Texas, United States
Died: September 18, 1945

 34 

Mississippi John Hurt
2
Birthdate: March 8, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Teoc, Mississippi, United States
Died: November 2, 1966

 35 
Nathan East
(Bassist, Jazz musician)

Nathan East
2
Birthdate: December 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia

 36 
Eddie Hazel
(Guitarist, Songwriter)

Eddie Hazel
0
Birthdate: April 10, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: December 23, 1992

 37 
Billy Eckstine
(Musician)

Billy Eckstine
2
Birthdate: July 8, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: East Liberty, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 8, 1993

 38 

Charlie Christian
2
Birthdate: July 29, 1916
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bonham, Texas, United States
Died: March 2, 1942

 39 

Big Bill Broonzy
1
Birthdate: June 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lake Dick, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 15, 1958

 40 
Charley Patton
(Musician)

Charley Patton
2
Birthdate: June 26, 1893, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hinds County, Mississippi, United States
Died: April 28, 1934

 41 
Koffi Olomide
(Singer, Musician)

Koffi Olomide
0
Birthdate: July 13, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo

 42 
Fally Ipupa
(Singer-songwriter)

Fally Ipupa
0
Birthdate: December 14, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

 43 
Tommy Johnson
(American musician)

Tommy Johnson
1
Birthdate: December 14, 1977, 1896
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Terry, Mississippi, United States
Died: November 1, 1956

 44 
Pops Staples
(Musician)

Pops Staples
1
Birthdate: December 28, 1914
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Winona, Mississippi, United States
Died: December 19, 2000

 45 

Ali Farka Touré
2
Birthdate: October 31, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Timbuktu, Mali
Died: March 6, 2006

 46 
Jimmy Rogers
(Singer)

Jimmy Rogers
1
Birthdate: June 3, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ruleville, Mississippi, U.S.
Died: December 19, 1997

 47 
Koffee
(Rapper)

Koffee
1
Birthdate: February 16, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Spanish Town, Jamaica

Koffee is a Jamaican singer, songwriter, deejay, rapper, and guitarist. She is best known for her 2019 extended play Rapture, which earned her the prestigious Grammy Award, making her the only woman and youngest person to receive the award under the Best Reggae Album category.

 48 
Milton Nascimento
(Singer, Composer, Guitarist)

Milton Nascimento
1
Birthdate: October 26, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro

Milton Nascimento is a Brazilian singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Over the course of his illustrious career, Nascimento has received five Grammy Awards. In 1997, he won the award under the Best World Music Album category.

 49 
Jonathan Butler
(Singer-songwriter, Jazz musician, Guitarist, Jazz guitarist)

Jonathan Butler
2
Birthdate: October 10, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Athlone, Cape Town

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler is known for his blend of R&B, jazz fusion, and worship music. He first soared to international fame with his Billboard-charting and Grammy-nominated hit Lies. Apartheid has been a main theme of many of his tracks. He won a Sarie Award as a teenager.

 50 
Hound Dog Taylor
(Guitarist, Singer)

Hound Dog Taylor
0
Birthdate: April 12, 1915
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Natchez, Mississippi, United States
Died: December 17, 1975