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.

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 1 Mel B

Mel B
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 29, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

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.

 2 Lewis Capaldi

Lewis Capaldi
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 7, 1996
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British, Scottish

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.

 3 Seal

Seal
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

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.

 4 Liam Payne

Liam Payne
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 29, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

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.

 5 Boy George

Boy George
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 14, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

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.

 6 Sam Smith

Sam Smith
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 19, 1992
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Sam Smith first gained fame after being featured on the Disclosure track Latch in 2012. Smith is genderqueer and prefers using the pronoun “they/them.” Smith’s debut album won four Grammys. Smith also won a Golden Globe and an Academy award for the Spectre theme song, Writing's on the Wall.

 7 Roger Taylor

Roger Taylor
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
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.
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 8 Jessie J

Jessie J
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 27, 1988
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
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.

 9 Bernie Taupin

Bernie Taupin
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Famous As: Lyricist & Singer
Birthdate: May 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

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.

 10 Van Morrison

Van Morrison
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British, Northern Irish

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.

 11 Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson
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Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: October 5, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

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.

 12 Anne-Marie

Anne-Marie
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Famous As: Singer, songwriter
Birthdate: April 7, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 13 Amelia Warner

Amelia Warner
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

 14 Chris Martin

Chris Martin
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

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.

 15 Laurence Fox

Laurence Fox
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 26, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

 16 Rag’n’Bone Man

Rag’n’Bone Man
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 29, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

 17 Jeff Lynne

Jeff Lynne
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: December 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

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.

 18 Melanie C

Melanie C
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 12, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 19 Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke
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Famous As: Singer, Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: October 7, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

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.

 20 Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello
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Birthdate: August 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

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.

 21 Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood
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Famous As: Musician & Songwriter
Birthdate: June 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

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.

 22 Dido

Dido
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 23 Ian Curtis

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

 24 Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 30, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
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.

 25 Keith Richards

Keith Richards
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 18, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

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.

 26 Lemmy

Lemmy
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 24, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: December 28, 2015

 27 Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer
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Famous As: Snger
Birthdate: January 19, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: September 26, 2003

 28 Christine McVie

Christine McVie
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 29 Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 11, 1997
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

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.

 30 Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend
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Famous As: Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: May 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

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.

 31 Mika

Mika
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Famous As: Recording artist
Birthdate: August 18, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Lebanese, British, American

 32 Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 33 Marcus Mumford

Marcus Mumford
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 31, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British, American

 34 Victoria Wood

Victoria Wood
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: April 20, 2016

 35 Florence Welch

Florence Welch
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: August 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
English singer, Florence Welch, is the lead vocalist and primary songwriter of the indie rock band Florence and the Machine. The band’s debut album was a massive hit and reached the top position on the UK Albums Chart. She is also a solo performer known for her Bohemian way of dressing. She is a vocal advocate for LGBTQA+ rights.

 36 Joss Stone

Joss Stone
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Famous As: Soul Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 11, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

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.

 37 Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 38 James Arthur

James Arthur
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 2, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

James Arthur is an English singer-songwriter who achieved popularity after winning the popular British reality TV music competition The X Factor in 2012. Apart from debuting at the top position on the UK Singles Chart, his debut single also went on to sell more than 2.5 million copies, making it the most successful single in the history of the show.

 39 Phil Lynott

Phil Lynott
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 20, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Irish, British
Died: January 4, 1986
Phil Lynott was the frontman of the rock band Thin Lizzy, which delivered hits such as Whiskey in the Jar and Jailbreak. After the group disbanded, Phil had a successful solo career, published two poetry books, and led the band Grand Slam. He struggled with heroin addiction throughout his life.

 40 Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 29, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

Marianne Faithfull is an English singer, actress, and songwriter. Faithfull emerged as one of the most prominent female music artists during the 1960s when the United States was happily embracing the British Invasion. However, her professional achievements were overshadowed by heroin addiction, homelessness, and an eating disorder in the 1970s. Nevertheless, Marianne Faithfull staged a comeback and became successful.

 41 Eric Idle

Eric Idle
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Eric Idle is best known as a former member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. He was also part of the band The Rutles, a parody of The Beatles. Idle wrote the Tony-winning musical Spamalot and also performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

 42 Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
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Famous As: singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 10, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

English singer-songwriter, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, first gained prominence in the 1990s, as the lead singer of the indie rock band, Theaudience. Following the group’s disbandment, she went on to build a successful solo career, and her debut solo album was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). She has appeared in a few TV shows as well.

 43 Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Ghanaian, British

 44 Richard Wright

Richard Wright
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 28, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: September 15, 2008

 45 Robert Smith

Robert Smith
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Famous As: Singer, Guitarist, Lyricist
Birthdate: April 21, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

English singer-songwriter and musician Robert Smith gained fame as a co-founder and member of the rock band, The Cure. He was also the lead guitarist for the band, Siouxsie and the Banshees, for a few years. He became an influential figure in the goth subculture in the 1980s and was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 46 James Bay

James Bay
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 4, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

 47 Keren Woodward

Keren Woodward
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 2, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Keren Woodward soared to fame as part of the pop group Bananarama, along with Sara Dallin and Siobhan Fahey. They delivered Billboard Hot 100-charting tracks such as Venus. Keren later performed with Sara as a duo and also briefly reunited with Siobhan. Keren is also a trained pianist.

 48 Rob Halford

Rob Halford
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 25, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

 49 Billy Ocean

Billy Ocean
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Famous As: Recording Artist
Birthdate: January 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Trinidadian, British

Billy Ocean is a recording artist who achieved popularity in the 1980s when he became the most famous Trinidad–British R&B singer. Over the years, he has also been one of the most prominent supporters of the Rastafari movement. In the 2020 New Year Honours, Billy Ocean was appointed MBE for services to music.

 50 Olivia d'Abo

Olivia d'Abo
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British