Guitarists

A musician playing any of the guitar family instruments like the acoustic guitars, bass guitars, electric guitars and the classical guitars is known as a guitarist. Guitar is an immensely popular musical instrument and time and again guitarists have enjoyed great fame and admiration from the masses. To impart an almost vocal quality, guitarists employ several techniques including bending and vibrato and showcase their virtuosity with this versatile instrument. The mellifluent tones of this instrument can hold its audience in trance, and many prominent guitarists through their sheer brilliance and elegance of their craft have left an indelible impression on the world of music. However, the styles of playing the instrument varies depending on the types of string used and may also include techniques used for playing other stringed instruments. Innumerable magazines have compiled the lists of the greatest guitarists of all time including the ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine and ‘Guitar World’ magazine featuring names such as Keith Richards and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Here we bring you the biographies of some of the most successful guitarists of all time with extensive details pertaining to their childhood, career, personal life and legacy.

 1 Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: January 26, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Dutch, American
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.

 2 Helen Reddy

Helen Reddy
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Australian, American
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 3 David Bowie

David Bowie
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
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.

 4 Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix
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Famous As: Singer & Musician
Birthdate: November 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: September 18, 1970

One of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. As his career progressed, he became the first musician to use stereophonic phasing effects in recordings. Rolling Stone ranked him as the greatest guitarist and the sixth greatest artist of all time. He died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 27.

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 5 Kurt Cobain

Kurt Donald Cobain
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: February 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: April 5, 1994

Gaining fame as a member of the rock band Nirvana, singer-songwriter and musician Kurt Cobain was often heralded as a spokesman of Generation X. He is considered to be one of the most influential musicians in the history of alternative rock. He enjoyed tremendous professional success, but his personal life was troubled. He died of suicide at just 27.

 6 Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 20, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
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 7 A. R. Rahman

A. R. Rahman
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: January 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Indian
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 8 Dolores O'Riordan

Dolores O'Riordan
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 6, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Irish
Died: January 15, 2018
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 9 Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes
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Famous As: Singer & Songwriter
Birthdate: August 8, 1998
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Canadian

Canadian pop singer Shawn Mendes is known for catchy and soulful folk-pop songs. Stitches, Treat You Better, There's Nothing Holding Me Back, In My Blood, If I Can't Have You and Senorita are some of his popular and chartbuster songs. He was named by the Time Magazine in 2018 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

 10 Michele Morrone

Michele Morrone
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 3, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian

Rising to international fame following the success of his 2020 erotic romantic drama 365 Days, Italian actor and model, Michele Morrone, is a man who oozes sex appeal and charisma. Also a professional guitarist and singer, he has a channel on YouTube that has accumulated over one million subscribers. He runs a clothing line as well.

 11 Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

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.

 12 Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan
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Famous As: Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: October 3, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: August 27, 1990

Stevie Ray Vaughan was an American musician. Stevie achieved so much in his mainstream career, that spanned only seven years, that he is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists ever and one of the most influential and iconic musicians in the blues music history. He is credited with reviving blues-rock and his work continues to influence several artists.

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 13 Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

British singer, Cat Stevens, has released more than 15 studio albums and has churned out many hit songs. He converted to Islam in 1977 and adopted the name Yusuf Islam. He was slammed for reportedly backing the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. He has also been accused of allegedly having ties with terrorist organisations, a charge he has vehemently denied.

 14 Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar
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Famous As: Singer, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Guitarist, Composer
Birthdate: October 13, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 15 Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter, Musician
Birthdate: July 15, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

One of the world's best-selling music artists ever, Linda Ronstadt has sold over 100 million records worldwide. She performed in diverse genres, including Latin, light opera, rock, and country. She is also one of the most decorated female music artists of all time, having won prestigious awards, such as the National Medal of Arts and Humanities.

 16 Benji Madden

Benji Madden
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: March 11, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

Along with his identical twin brother, Joel Madden, Benji Madden has been one of the greatest musical duos as far as twin siblings are concerned. A huge fan of tattoos, Benji Madden has several tattoos, including one of Benjamin Franklin, which is so big that it covers his entire back!

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 17 Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham
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Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: October 3, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

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.

 18 Jack White

Jack White
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Famous As: Singer, Guitarist
Birthdate: July 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

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.

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 19 Laurence Fox

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

 20 Keith Urban

Keith Urban
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Australian, New Zealander, American

Four-time Grammy-winner Keith Urban had already tasted success in Australia, before making his American debut with a platinum-certified solo album. He knows how to play a variety of instruments, including the sitar, guitar, piano, and mandolin. His track Somebody Like You was named Billboard’s greatest country hit of the 2000s.

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 21 B.B. King

B.B. King
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
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.

 22 Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

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.

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 23 John Mayer

John Mayer
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
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. 

 24 Angus Young

Angus Young
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Famous As: Co-founder & Lead Guitarist of the Hard Rock Band, AC/DC
Birthdate: March 31, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Australian, Scottish
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."

 25 Trace Cyrus

Trace Cyrus
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: February 24, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

The son of Billy Ray Cyrus and the oldest of the famous Cyrus siblings, Trace Cyrus is an American musician. In 2010, he formed a band named Ashland HIGH, which has released a couple of albums. Trace Cyrus is known for his eccentric style and multiple tattoos that cover his entire upper body.

 26 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.

 27 Persia White

Persia White
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 28 Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 6, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
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.

 29 Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: November 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 30 Tom Morello

Tom Morello
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Famous As: Guitarist, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Actor, Composer, Trade unionist
Birthdate: May 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 31 Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: August 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: August 9, 1995

Jerry Garcia had an illustrious 30-year career as the lead guitarist and vocalist of the rock band the Grateful Dead. Rolling Stone ranked him 13th on their 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list. He was known for his improvisations, participated in many side projects, and released several solo albums.

 32 Nikki Sixx

Nikki Sixx
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Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: December 11, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Nikki Sixx, the co-founder, songwriter, and bassist of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, has also worked with side bands such as Sixx:A.M. Sixx owns a clothing line, has been part of radio shows such as Sixx Sense, and has written a bestselling memoir. He is also a talented photographer.

 33 Marques Houston

Marques Houston
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 34 Allie Sherlock

Allie Sherlock
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 7, 2005
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Irish

Irish singer, songwriter, and guitarist Allie Sherlock came into the limelight in 2017 after a YouTube cover of hers went viral. Even though she had been uploading her music on YouTube since 2014, it was only in 2017 that she gained widespread attention. Since then, she has appeared in a few TV shows as well.

 35 Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 26, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: January 13, 2010

 36 Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 23, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Pearl Jam lead singer and guitarist Eddie Vedder went from being a hotel security guard to being ranked 7 on Rolling Stone’s list of the Best Lead Singers of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has been a vocal supporter of environmental initiatives and abortion rights.

 37 Dave Navarro

Dave Navarro
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: June 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

Dave Navarro is an American singer-songwriter, actor, and guitarist. Over the years, Dave Navarro has contributed immensely to the success of the popular band Jane's Addiction. Best known for his guitaring skills, Dave Navarro is often cited as alternative rock's first guitar hero. In July 2010, Epiphone Guitars released its Dave Navarro Artist Acoustic.

 38 Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 13, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: February 3, 1959

Widely regarded as the pioneer of Latin rock and Chicano rock, Ritchie Valens was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. Since his untimely death at the age of 17, Ritchie Valens has inspired several musicians and bands like Carlos Santana, Los Lonely Boys, and Los Lobos. Valens also inspired Robert Quine, Jimi Hendrix, Keith O'Conner Murphy, and Chris Montez among others.

 39 Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 10, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Two-time Grammy-winning country singer Miranda Lambert is known for her hit album Platinum and the track Automatic. She was placed third in the singing contest Nashville Star. She has won more Academy of Country Music Awards than any artist. Her organization MuttNation Foundation works for rehabilitation of rescue animals.

 40 Jerry Jeff Walker

Jerry Jeff Walker
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 16, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 41 Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Record producer, Film score composer
Birthdate: August 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 42 Steven Van Zandt

Steven Van Zandt
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Famous As: Actor, Musician, Screenwriter, Record producer, Disc jockey, Singer, Television actor, Guitarist, Pianist, Composer
Birthdate: November 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 43 Brian Jones

Brian Jones
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Famous As: Founder of the Rolling Stones
Birthdate: February 28, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: July 3, 1969

Brian Jones was an English musician credited with founding the world-renowned rock band, The Rolling Stones. He was also considered the original leader of the band before his fellow band members, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, took over the musical direction of the band. Jones became the first member of the infamous 27 Club, when he died at age 27.

 44 Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter, Guitarist
Birthdate: November 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: May 29, 1997

Jeff Buckley was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. His only studio album, Grace, was included in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. Since his untimely death at the age of 30, Jeff Buckley has been the subject of several documentaries. His death also inspired several artists to record songs in tribute to his life and career.

 45 James Hetfield

James Hetfield
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Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

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.

 46 Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey
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Famous As: Songwriter
Birthdate: November 6, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: January 18, 2016

American singer, songwriter and vocalist, Glen Frey was the co-founder of the extremely famous rock band of the 1970s—Eagles. The band delivered hit albums like Hotel California before disbanding after a decade. The six time Grammy award winner then enjoyed a successful solo career with hit songs like Smuggler’s Blues and The Heat Is On before re-joining his band.

 47 Teddy Geiger

Teddy Geiger
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 48 Malcolm Young

Malcolm Young
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 6, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Australian

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.

 49 Roger Waters

Roger Waters
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Famous As: Composer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Screenwriter, Singer, Pianist, Record producer
Birthdate: September 6, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

 50 Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 12, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
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