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.

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 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 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. 
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 3 Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton
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Birthdate: March 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Eric Clapton, the rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, is considered one of the most influential guitarists of all time. In the 1970s, he recorded a number of successful solo albums and continued to do so over the next several decades and is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has had issues with alcohol and drugs.

 4 Slash

Slash
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British, American

Slash is an English-American songwriter, musician, and record producer. After achieving popularity as the lead guitarist of Guns N' Roses, Slash left the band to form Velvet Revolver, a hard rock supergroup. Widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar players in the history of rock, Slash is often named in lists, such as the Top Guitarists of All Time.

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 5 David Cassidy

David Cassidy
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Famous As: Actor, Singer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Television actor
Birthdate: April 12, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 6 Frank Vincent Zappa

Frank Vincent Zappa
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Famous As: American musician
Birthdate: December 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: December 4, 1993

Frank Zappa was an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and bandleader. Widely regarded as one of the most stylistically diverse and innovative rock musicians of his generation, Zappa was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list in 2004. Zappa's works have influenced other musicians like Alice Cooper, Jimi Hendrix, Simon Phillips, Steve Vai, and Warren DeMartini.

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 7 Kevin Jonas

Kevin Jonas
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 5, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Musician, singer, and songwriter Kevin Jonas rose to fame as a member of the pop-rock band, the Jonas Brothers, with his younger brothers, Joe and Nick. Also an actor, he has appeared in many Disney Channel productions. He is involved in business ventures as well and is the founder of a construction company, JonasWerner.

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 8 Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 15, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
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 9 Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris
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Famous As: Disc Jockey, Record Producer, Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: January 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Scottish
Grammy-winning DJ Calvin Harris soared to fame with his album I Created Disco. His track We Found Love, a collaboration with Rihanna, charted on the US Billboard Hot 100. He owns a record label and topped Forbes's list of the highest-paid DJs of the world for 6 years.

 10 Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: October 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
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.

 11 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.

 12 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.

 13 Niall Horan

Niall Horan
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 13, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Irish
Niall Horan performed as part of the boyband One Direction, formed on The X Factor, till it went on a hiatus. He then launched his solo career with the album Flicker and hits such as This Town. He has marched for the BLM movement and has supported UNICEF's Soccer Aid.

 14 Sinead O’Connor

Sinead O’Connor
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 8, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Irish

Sinead O’Connor is an Irish singer and songwriter known for her controversial statements as much as for her work as a musician. Apart from releasing solo albums and singles, she has also collaborated with other artists and recorded songs for films. She often makes headlines for expressing views on subjects, such as women's rights, child abuse, sexuality, and organized religion.

 15 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!

 16 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.
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 17 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.

 18 Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell was an American TV host, actor, singer-songwriter, and guitarist. Regarded as one of the most successful musicians ever, Campbell sold more than 45 million records, which included a double-platinum album, four platinum albums, and 12 gold albums, in a career spanning 50 years. In 2014, he became the subject of a documentary titled Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me.

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 19 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.

 20 Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: November 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
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 21 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.

 22 IU

IU
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: South Korean

 23 Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

Iggy Pop is an American singer-songwriter, actor, musician, and record producer. Nicknamed the Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop was an important member of the proto-punk band Iggy and the Stooges. One of the first singers to perform stage-dive, Pop is credited with popularizing the activity. A culture icon, Iggy Pop has had a major influence on musicians of various genres.

 24 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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 25 Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams
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Famous As: Singer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 5, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 26 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.

 27 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.

 28 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.

 29 Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings
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Famous As: Singers
Birthdate: June 15, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: February 13, 2002
Waylon Jennings was one of the pioneers of outlaw country music. He began performing on KVOW radio, at age 12, and then performed with several bands, such as The Texas Longhorns, The Waylors, and The Highwaymen. He also contributed to Wanted! The Outlaws, the first platinum country album. 

 30 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.

 31 Billie Joe Armstrong

Billy Joe Armstrong
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Famous As: Singer, Musician, Guitarist
Birthdate: February 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Billie Joe Armstrong is an American musician and record producer. He is credited with co-founding and popularizing the rock band, Green Day. As a guitarist and vocalist, he has also contributed immensely to the success of the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder. In 1997, Armstrong founded Adeline Records to help support contemporary bands; the record company was closed in 2017.

 32 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

 33 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.

 34 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.

 35 Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow
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Famous As: Musician, Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 11, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Sheryl Crow is an American musician, actress, and singer-songwriter. Over the years, Crow has contributed to several film soundtracks, including the iconic theme song for the popular James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. After being diagnosed with intraductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer, Sheryl Crow opened the Sheryl Crow Imaging Center by joining hands with her surgeon Kristi Funk.

 36 Mick Mars

Mick Mars
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Mick Mars gained fame as the guitarist for the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe and came to be known for his aggressive style of playing the instrument. He has also written songs for bands such as Crashdïet. He has suffered from ankylosing spondylitis since his teenage years. 

 37 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.

 38 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.

 39 Skrillex

Skrillex
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Famous As: American music producer
Birthdate: January 15, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
The side-mulleted American DJ Skrillex is best-known for bringing dubstep music to the mainstream. The illustrious musician, songwriter, and singer began his journey as a solo artist and has bagged in eight Grammy Awards. Distingusihed for giving electronic dance music a face, DJ Skrillex owns astonishing YouTube views and earns enviable touring revenue.

 40 Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard
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Birthdate: April 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: April 6, 2016
Country singer Merle Haggard initially gained fame performing with The Strangers. He had several brushes with the law in his younger days, before he launched his music career. His songs reflected the angst of the working class. He won several accolades, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

 41 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."

 42 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.

 43 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

 44 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

 45 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.

 46 Laurence Fox

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

 47 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.

 48 Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman
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Famous As: Singer, Guitarist
Birthdate: December 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman was an American musician and singer-songwriter. He is credited with co-founding the rock band The Allman Brothers Band along with his brother Duane Allman. Dubbed the Southern rock pioneer, Allman was recognized for his distinctive, soulful voice; Rolling Stone magazine named him in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list.

 49 Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn
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Famous As: Guitarist, Singer, Musician, Composer, Songwriter
Birthdate: March 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 50 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.

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