Famous British Lyricists & Songwriters

What is it that links John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Van Morrison David Bowie, Kate Bush and Noel Coward? Except for the fact that they all are songwriters and lyricists, each of them have their roots well laid in Britain. Avant-garde style, warm tenor, sophisticated wordplay and fiery idealism define British lyricists and songwriters. They have streamed through the time and tides and came up with some of the most complex to the most simple but elegant musical confections. Revolutionary artists, British lyricists have travelled far and beyond and came up with some of the most scintillating lyrics that have reverberated through the waves of sound. Their wordplay is distinctive yet witty, emotional yet politically invective and bristling with human passion and emotions. It is through their lyrics that they create true imagery within the words that they write. There is a sense of poetry, innovation, allusion and beauty in what they write. It is due to these that songs by British lyricists do not just rank among top in the world charts but are legendary in their true sense of worth. Go through this write-up and check out the life and works of British lyricists and songwriters – their lyrics are heart-breaking, vulnerable and powerful.

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

Vote for Your Favourite British Lyricists & Songwriters

 1 Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury.
13
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: September 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stone Town, Tanzania
Died: November 24, 1991

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.  

 2 David Bowie

David Bowie.
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 10, 2016

English singer-songwriter and actor David Bowie is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Dubbed "The Greatest Rock Star Ever" by Rolling Stone magazine, he rose to international prominence in the 1970s with his innovative style of music. Deeply dedicated to his profession, he remained musically active until his death in 2016.

 3 Elton John

Elton John.
0
Famous As: Singer, Composer
Birthdate: March 25, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pinner, England
The supremely gifted English singer, songwriter, pianist and composer, Elton John has entertained music lovers globally since the 1970s. His phenomenal talent make him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Not to forget his tribute to Princess Diana, Candle in the Wind 1997, which till date is one of the best-selling singles in the UK and the US.

 4 John Lennon

John Lennon.
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Musician
Birthdate: October 9, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: December 8, 1980

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.

 5 Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney.
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Musician
Birthdate: June 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Liverpool, England

English singer-songwriter and musician, Paul McCartney, is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. He gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist and bassist for the rock band, the Beatles. He also enjoyed a successful solo career. Besides music, he has been actively involved in humanitarian causes and animal rights issues.

 6 Amy Jade Winehouse

Amy Jade Winehouse.
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 23, 2011
Soul and jazz singer Amy Winehouse is best remembered for her tracks Stronger Than Me and Rehab. She was the first British female to win five Grammys. Following her death due to alcohol poisoning at age 27, her album Back to Black became U.K.’s best-selling album of the 21st century.

 7 George Harrison

George Harrison.
0
Famous As: Musician & Singer
Birthdate: February 25, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: November 29, 2001

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

You May Like

 8 Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger.
0
Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: July 26, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dartford, England

Mick Jagger is widely regarded as one of the most influential frontmen in rock & roll history. Known for his energetic performances on-stage and multiple relationships off-stage, Mick is frequently portrayed as a countercultural figure. He is an inductee to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and UK Music Hall of Fame.

 9 Mel B

Mel B.
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 29, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Harehills, West Yorkshire, England

Mel B is an English television personality and singer-songwriter. She gained international recognition as part of the popular pop girl group Spice Girls, which has sold more than 85 million records. Over the years, Mel B has been an important TV personality, appearing in several reality series as a participant as well as a judge.

 10 Lewis Capaldi

Lewis Capaldi.
6
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 7, 1996
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland

Lewis Capaldi's success story is one of the greatest testimonies to the fact that magical things can happen when talent meets opportunity. From being just another aspiring singer, he quickly became a popular singer-songwriter in the UK and the US after Ryan Walter stumbled upon his iPhone recording on his SoundCloud account. Subsequently, he was signed to Universal Music Group.

 11 Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart.
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 10, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Highgate

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.

 12 Seal

Seal.
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England

Seal is a British singer and songwriter. He has received several prestigious awards over the course of his career. Also known for his charity work, Seal has performed at several charity events in an attempt to help non-profit organizations, such as the Make It Right Foundation.

 13 Liam Payne

Liam Payne.
4
Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 29, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wolverhampton

Liam Payne is a popular English singer-songwriter who is part of the world-renowned boy band One Direction. Also a well-known philanthropist, Liam Payne has supported Comic Relief and Unicef. In 2020, he helped raise over $10 million for charitable organizations fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to his charity work, he serves as an inspiration to many youngsters across the world.

 14 Boy George

Boy George.
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 14, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barnehurst, Kent, England

Queer icon Boy George gained fame as the lead singer of the pop group Culture Club. He is known for his androgynous dressing style and for pioneering the New Romantic Movement of the 1970s and the 1980s. He has struggled with drug addiction and has written two bestselling memoirs.

 15 Roger Taylor

Roger Taylor.
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Roger Taylor soared to fame as the drummer of the iconic rock band Queen. A Planet Rock poll named him the eighth-greatest classic rock drummer. Taylor also became known for his falsetto vocal range and co-wrote hits such as Innuendo and Under Pressure. He also appeared on Pop Quiz.

 16 Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik.
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 12, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bradford, England, UK
Popular singer Zayn Malik shot to fame with the television reality show The X Factor and later became a part of a hugely successful band One Direction. Afterwards, Zayn Malik set out to establish his solo career and released his debut album, Mind of Mine, which made him a star. The singer has also made an entry into fashion world.

 17 Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page.
0
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.

 18 Yungblud

Yungblud
7
Famous As: Singer Songwriter
Birthdate: August 5, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Doncaster, Yorkshire, England

 19 Jessie J

Jessie J.
0
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 27, 1988
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Redbridge, London, England
Jessie J, the first U.K. female artist to score six Top-10 singles from the same album, is best known for her Billboard Hot 100-charting single Domino. She has been a coach on The Voice in the U.K. and Australia, and has also appeared in the Chinese singing contest Singer.

 20 Morrissey

Morrissey.
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 22, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Davyhulme, Urmston, England
Morrissey, frontman of the 1980s’ rock band The Smiths, is known for his anti-establishment lyrics and themes such as isolation. He has dabbled in music journalism and has had a successful solo career, too. A cultural icon, he is an animal rights activist and has a huge gay fan base.

 21 Phil Collins

Phil Collins.
5
Famous As: Drummer, Singer
Birthdate: January 30, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chiswick, Middlesex, London, United Kingdom

Phil Collins is best known for his work with the popular rock band Genesis. Having sold more than 150 million copies worldwide, he is one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Phil is one of three recording artists who have sold more than 100 million records both as principal members of a band and as solo artists.

 22 Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Actor
Birthdate: March 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: March 10, 1988

 23 Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr.
5
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dingle, Liverpool, United Kingdom

English musician, singer, and songwriter, Ringo Starr, gained international fame as the drummer for the rock band, the Beatles. Raised by a single mother, he had a difficult childhood. He sought solace in music and it became his vocation. After finding success with the Beatles, he embarked on a solo career as well.

 24 Bernie Taupin

Bernie Taupin.
0
Famous As: Lyricist & Singer
Birthdate: May 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sleaford

Lyricist Bernie Taupin is best known for his collaboration with Elton John for over 30 albums. Their works include the iconic hit Candle in the Wind. Taupin has also had a successful solo career and has performed with the band Farm Dogs. He has also exhibited his original artwork.

 25 Chris Martin

Chris Martin.
0
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Whitestone, England, United Kingdom

Chris Martin is the lead singer of the rock band, Coldplay, which he has co-founded. The band gained fame after they released the song Yellow in 2000. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling music artists. Martin has also worked in solo collaborations with other artists and written songs for various projects.

 26 Van Morrison

Van Morrison.
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bloomfield, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Northern Irish singer, Van Morrison, garnered recognition in the 1960s while playing with the band, Them, and then later as a solo singer with the 1967 song Brown Eyed Girl. Over the years, he has released more than 40 albums. Astral Weeks, Moondance, Wavelength, Down the Road and Keep It Simple are some of his acclaimed and commercially successful albums.

 27 Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson.
0
Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: October 5, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dunston

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.

 28 Laurence Fox

Laurence Fox
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 26, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Yorkshire, England, UK

 29 FKA twigs

FKA twigs
7
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

 30 Amelia Warner

Amelia Warner
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK

 31 Rag’n’Bone Man

Rag’n’Bone Man.
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 29, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Uckfield, East Sussex

 32 Jeff Lynne

Jeff Lynne.
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: December 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shard End

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.

 33 Keith Richards

Keith Richards.
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 18, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dartford, Kent, England, United Kingdom

Keith Richards is a musician and songwriter. He is credited with co-founding one of the most popular rock bands ever, The Rolling Stones. Also a guitarist, he was ranked fourth on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 best guitarists list in 2011. Richards' look and characterization inspired the character of Captain Teague who appears in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.

 34 Melanie C

Melanie C
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 12, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Whiston, England

 35 Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding.
0
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 30, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hereford, England
Ellie Goulding has created chart-topping tracks such as Your Song and Lights. In 2010, she earned the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and the Brit Awards Critics' Choice Award, becoming the second artist to win both honors in the same year. She works with charities such as Children in Need.

 36 Lemmy

Lemmy
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 24, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Died: December 28, 2015

 37 Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke.
0
Famous As: Singer, Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: October 7, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wellingborough

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.

 38 Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello.
0
Birthdate: August 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England

Regarded as one of the greatest artists of all time, Elvis Costello is a British singer-songwriter. Often counted among British cultural icons, Costello is also known for his humanitarian efforts; a prominent member of the Jazz Foundation of America, Costello has played a crucial role in saving the lives of many elderly blues and jazz musicians in America.

 39 Brian Eno

Brian Eno.
0
Famous As: Musician, Record producer
Birthdate: May 15, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
Brian Eno created "The Microsoft Sound" for Windows 95 and co-developed the card-based creativity-improving technique Oblique Strategies. His ambient music album Reflection was nominated for a Grammy, and his visual installations have been projected on structures such as the Sydney Opera House. He also co-founded the Long Now Foundation.

 40 Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood.
0
Famous As: Musician & Songwriter
Birthdate: June 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hillingdon, Middlesex, England

Ronnie Wood is a musician and songwriter. Over the years, Wood has been an important member of popular rock bands like the Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck Group, and Faces. He is one of the few musicians to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A cancer survivor, Wood serves as an inspiration to those fighting cancer.

 41 Dido

Dido
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England

 42 Ian Curtis

Ian Curtis
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 15, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stretford
Died: May 18, 1980

 43 Marcus Mumford

Marcus Mumford
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 31, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Yorba Linda, California, United States

 44 Christine McVie

Christine McVie
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bouth, England

 45 Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer
0
Famous As: Snger
Birthdate: January 19, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Batley, England
Died: September 26, 2003

 46 Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend.
0
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.

 47 Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith.
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 11, 1997
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Walsall, West Midlands

Jorja Smith is an English singer-songwriter whose first studio album Lost & Found featured on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at third position. One of the youngest and most exciting talents in the music world, Smith is the recipient of the 2018 Brit Critics' Choice Award. In 2019, she won the Best British Female Artist award at the Brit Awards.

 48 Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England

 49 Mika

Mika
0
Famous As: Recording artist
Birthdate: August 18, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

 50 Joss Stone

Joss Stone.
0
Famous As: Soul Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 11, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dover, Kent, England, UK

Joss Stone is an English singer, actress, and songwriter. One of the most successful British female singers of her generation, Stone has sold more than 15 million records worldwide. She has also received several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Award and Brit Awards. In 2006, Joss Stone became the youngest woman to be featured in the Sunday Times Rich List.