Multifaceted personality, Dolly Parton is a singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, author and businesswoman and is known mainly for her work in country music. She has received various accolades and awards in her very successful singing career spanning several decades and has composed over 3,000 songs. She has also worked in several movies and is a prolific songwriter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
10 Rob Zombie
The founding member of the popular heavy metal band White Zombie, Rob Zombie is an American singer-songwriter, voice actor, and filmmaker. Having incorporated horror and sci-fi themes into his music and lyrics from the beginning of his career, Zombie often entertains his audience visually in his live shows; he is credited with popularizing shock rock theatricality.
Mary J. Blige is a popular singer-songwriter and actress. Having sold 80 million records worldwide, she is one of the best-selling female artists of all time. Referred to as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary is credited with influencing the fusion of R&B and hip hop. She often gets featured in lists like The 100 Greatest Women in Music.
12 Sade Adu
Born into a musical dynasty, composer Giacomo Puccini lost his father at age 5. Some of his best opera pieces include Madama Butterfly and La Bohème. The suicide of his maid, who was wrongly accused by his wife of being in an affair with him, affected his later career adversely.
15 Donna Summer
Grace VanderWaal is a singer-songwriter who began her career as a YouTuber, uploading videos of her original songs and covers. She also started performing in local shows, gaining attention for her distinctive vocals. She won the TV competition show, America's Got Talent (AGT), in 2016 and received the 2017 Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award.
17 Ross Lynch
18 Zayn Malik
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.
American rapper and songwriter DaBaby gained critical acclaim and commercial success with his debut album Baby on Baby. Later, his two other albums Kirk and Blame It on Baby became huge successes and made him one of the biggest rappers in the US. Earlier his single Light Show and Baby Talk series of mixtape attracted quite a lot of attention.
21 Mac Miller
Before his death at the age of 26, Mac Miller had a major impact as a rapper and songwriter. Blue Slide Park, his studio album, became the first independently distributed maiden album since 1995 to top the US Billboard 200. His personal life was marred by depression, substance abuse, and legal issues. He died of drug overdose.
22 Eartha Kitt
Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.
Rapper Zack de la Rocha, the vocalist for the rock band Rage Against the Machine, also formed the duo One Day as a Lion with drummer Jon Theodore. He supports vegetarianism and the Zapatista (EZLN) movement of Mexico. He also testified against the U.S.’s treatment of Abu-Jamal, at the U.N.
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.
Best known as Mike Wheeler from Stranger Things, SAG Award-winner Finn Wolfhard has also appeared in It and its sequel. He was a vocalist and guitarist for the band Calpurnia and formed the indie-pop duo The Aubreys. Named to Forbes 30 under 30, he has also directed a short film.
27 Donald Fagen
Jimmy Buffett is an American musician, singer-songwriter, actor, author, and businessman. Buffett, who owns the Margaritaville Cafe chain of restaurants, is one of the richest musicians in the world. Also known for his charity work, Jimmy Buffett is credited with founding a non-profit group called Save the Manatee Club, which works towards the conservation of manatees.
29 John Denver
John Denver was one of the highest-selling and most popular singers during the 1970s. He was known for folk, pop and country music. Some of his greatest songs are Take Me Home Country Roads, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Rocky Mountain High, Sunshine on My Shoulders and Annie's Song. He died when a plane he was piloting crashed in California.
30 Lars Ulrich
Musician, songwriter, and record producer, Lars Ulrich, is best known as the drummer and co-founder of American heavy metal band Metallica. Born into a family of tennis players, he was initially expected to play the sport as well. However, he was more interested in music and proceeded to pursue a successful career in the field.
Dylan Minnette is an American actor best known for playing Clay Jensen in the TV series 13 Reasons Why. Apart from being an actor, Minnette is also a musician who sings and plays the guitar for the alternative rock band Wallows. As part of Wallows, Minnette performed at a concert called Summer Meltdown to create awareness about autism in 2010.
Joanna Newsom is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actress. Noted for her unique musical style, Newsom's early work was influenced by polyrhythms. She is one of the most important members of the modern freak folk and psychedelic folk movement. Newsom is also noted for her songwriting, which incorporates elements of avant-garde modernism and Appalachian music.
38 Melanie C
Shane MacGowan is an Irish-English recording artist and vocalist. He is credited with co-founding popular bands, such as The Pogues and Shane MacGowan and the Popes. He is also known for his collaboration with artists like Sinéad O'Connor, Kirsty MacColl, and Nick Cave. In 2018, he was honored with the Ivor Novello Inspiration Award for creating inspiring music.
41 Dave Grohl
Regarded as one of the most popular and influential rock musicians of the 1990s and 2000s, Dave Grohl is best known for his association with the famous rock band Nirvana, for which he was the drummer. Also a singer-songwriter, Dave Grohl was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
42 R. Kelly
One of the best known R&B artists, R Kelly, who’s sung many chart-topping songs and has sold millions of records, has been accused of sexual abuse by many women. He and is facing several state and federal charges in the US. He was arrested in July 2019 on charges of sex trafficking and child pornography.
44 Chet Baker
Chet Baker was an American vocalist and jazz trumpeter. He achieved recognition during the 1950s and his innovations within cool jazz, a style of modern jazz music, earned him the nickname prince of cool. However, his drug addiction overshadowed much of his professional achievements. His life and work inspired the 2015 drama film Born to Be Blue.
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.
South Korean singer, rapper, and songwriter, Psy, is known internationally for his hit single Gangnam Style. The music video for the song became the first video to exceed one billion views on YouTube and continues to be one of the most viewed videos on the platform. Psy is credited to have popularized K-Pop in the Western music industry.