Lyricists & Songwriters

Lyricists and songwriters write the words to an original piece of music and collaborate with composers and music artists to produce the final songs. They have to be highly creative and have a way with words. When a song becomes a hit, a lot of credit is due to the lyricists and songwriters for writing the words that touch the listeners’ hearts and kindle their imagination. A lyricist should be able to use words that complement the music and capture the essence of what the song seeks to convey. Catchy lyrics help to attract the listeners’ attention while meaningful ones help to establish a rapport with the listener. A lyricist who also composes the music for the songs he writes is called a songwriter. Many famous musicians of our times like Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and David Crosby are songwriters who rose to mainstream fame. Lyricists who don’t write their own music work with composers who write the melodies for the songs. Irrespective of whether they write their own music or not, lyricists need to possess an in-depth knowledge of different music styles and genres. Read on to gain more knowledge about the life and works of famous lyricists and songwriters from around the world.

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 Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish
13
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 18, 2001
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

A young singer and songwriter who rose to international fame while still in her teens, Billie Eilish is blessed with a soprano vocal range and an ethereal voice. Already the recipient of numerous accolades, including five Grammy awards, she was named in Time magazine’s  inaugural "Time 100 Next" list in 2019.

 2 Kurt Cobain

Kurt Donald Cobain
4
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.

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 3 Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X
4
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: April 9, 1999
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 4 Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 8, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: July 3, 1971

Considered the prototypical rock star, Jim Morrison remains one of the most influential singer-songwriters, almost five decades after his death. Jim influenced the counterculture of the 1960s as he embodied the hippie counterculture rebellion. Due to his erratic performances and wild personality, he is regarded as one of the most iconic frontmen in rock history.

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 5 Mel B

Mel B
0
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.

 6 J. Cole

J. Cole
2
Famous As: Rapper, Record Producer, Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: January 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German, American

German born American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer J. Cole is considered one of the most respected and influential rappers of his generation. Interested in music from a young age, he decided to become a singer when he was just 12. His debut mixtape was a hit, and he went on to release many other successful mixtapes and albums.

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 7 Billy Joel

Billy Joel
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

Popularly known as the Piano Man, Billy Joel is a singer-songwriter and musician. Having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, Billy is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He is also America's third best-selling solo artist and the sixth best-selling recording artist. He is also known for his multiple relationships with popular women.

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 8 Lewis Capaldi

Lewis Capaldi
2
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.

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 9 The Weeknd

The Weeknd
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 16, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Canadian

One of the most successful Canadian recording artists, singer-songwriter, the Weeknd, holds several chart records and has won numerous awards, including three Grammy Awards. Despite a difficult childhood marred by drug abuse and violence, he persevered and worked hard to emerge as a beloved music star. He is actively involved in philanthropy.

 10 Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 21, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian
Died: November 7, 2016

Leonard Cohen was one of the most popular Canadian celebrities of all time. After starting his career as a poet and novelist, Leonard went on to become a famous singer-songwriter, exploring themes like sexuality, religion, depression, and romantic relationships in his work. Leonard Cohen was one of the inspirations for Steven Clark and Matthew Bissonnette's 2002 film Looking for Leonard.

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 11 Meek Mill

Meek Mill
0
Famous As: Hip-hop Artist
Birthdate: May 6, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Rapper Meek Mill initially performed with the group The Bloodhoundz. His debut album was featured at number 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. He has released Billboard-charting tracks such as Amen and Going Bad, both featuring Drake. His brushes with the law inspired the documentary Free Meek.

 12 Ice-T

Ice-T
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: February 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Rapper, singer, songwriter, musician, and actor, Ice-T is known for his fusion music that combines elements of rock and hip hop. Beginning his career as an underground rapper in the 1980s, he went on to release many albums that were commercially and critically successful. He is also an actor and voice actor.

 13 Seal

Seal
0
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.

 14 Liam Payne

Liam Payne
0
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.

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 15 Lali Espósito

Lali Espósito
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Argentinian

Argentine actor-singer Lali Espósito initially soared to fame as a child actor with the telenovela Rincón de Luz and then played a lead role in the teen series Casi Angeles. She is best known for her gold-certified album Brava. She supports abortion rights and is also associated with children’s charities.

 16 Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 26, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

Popularly known as the Demon of Screamin, Steven Tyler is the lead singer of the famous rock band Aerosmith. Known for his high-energy performances, Tyler is named in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Singers. Also a well-known philanthropist, Tyler launched a non-profit organization called Janie's Fund and has helped raise more than $2.4 million for the organization.

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 17 Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg
0
Famous As: Rapper, Songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: October 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Snoop Dogg is a famous American rapper whose life is a perfect example of rags-to-riches story. As a child, he did various odd jobs to help his family make ends meet. He started rapping as a young boy to distract himself from his unstable family life. He ran into trouble with the law as a teenager. However, once he released his debut album, there was no looking back.

 

 18 Paul Simon

Paul Simon
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 13, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

One half of the popular musical duo Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon is a singer-songwriter, musician, and actor. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists and songwriters of all time. His career, which has spanned more than 60 years, has been so influential that Time named him among the 100 People Who Shaped the World in 2006.

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 19 Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen
0
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.

 20 Neil Young

Neil Young
0
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian

One of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers of all time, Neil Young has worked both solo as well with bands like Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Grammy award winning musician’s notable albums include After the Gold Rush, Harvest, Harvest Moon and Ragged Glory. He strongly backs environmental and disability issues too.

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 21 Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers
2
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: August 21, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: March 20, 2020

Kenny Rogers was an American singer-songwriter. He is among the best-selling musicians of all-time list, having sold over 100 million records. His songs and albums remain influential among country music lovers. A multi-talented personality, Rogers was also successful as an actor and entrepreneur; he was the co-founder of the Kenny Rogers Roasters chain of restaurants.

 22 Eazy-E

Eazy-E
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: March 26, 1995

Widely regarded as the godfather of gangsta rap, Eazy-E was a rapper and record producer. He played a major role in popularizing gangsta rap and West Coast rap by forming N.W.A, which is considered one of the most influential and greatest hip hop groups of all time. Eazy-E died at the age of 30 after being diagnosed with AIDS.

 23 Kesha

Kesha
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

Kesha is an American singer-songwriter. Having sold more than 134 million records, Kesha is one of the best-selling singers of her generation. As a songwriter, she has contributed to the success of songs recorded by artists like Britney Spears, Miranda Cosgrove, Miley Cyrus, and Ariana Grande. As an openly bisexual musician, she serves as an inspiration to the LGBT community.

 24 Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: October 28, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Regarded as one of the most acclaimed musical artists of his generation, Frank Ocean is recognized for his unconventional production techniques and wide vocal range. He is credited with revitalizing and popularizing jazz and funk-influenced R&B. He is also regarded as a representative of alternative R&B. He was named in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world list.

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 25 Bob Marley

Bob Marley
0
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: February 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Jamaican
Died: May 11, 1981

Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer and songwriter who sold 20 million records in his career. He was the first international star to come from the ‘Third World’ and is considered one of the forerunners of reggae. A fusion of reggae, ska and rocksteady was his music’s hallmark. Marley died due to cancer at the age of 36.

 26 ASAP Rocky

ASAP Rocky
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: October 3, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Rapper ASAP Rocky gained fame with his debut mixtape, LiveLoveA$AP. He released two consecutive Billboard 200-topping albums, Long. Live. ASAP and At. Long. Last. A$AP. Fans loved his Grammy-nominated single Fuckin' Problems. He also produces using the pseudonym Lord Flacko and is part of the hip-hop collective A$AP Mob.

 27 Lorde

Lorde
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 7, 1996
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Croatian

Lorde is a New Zealand singer-songwriter best known for contributing to the soundtrack of the popular American sci-fi adventure film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Her song Yellow Flicker Beat was released as the lead single from the film's successful soundtrack. In 2013 and 2014, she was featured in Time magazine's most influential teenagers list.

 28 Troyal Garth Brooks

Troyal Garth Brooks
0
Famous As: American singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Troyal Garth Brooks is an American singer-songwriter. Having sold over 170 million records worldwide, Brooks is one of the best-selling musicians in the world. He is also the best-selling solo albums musician in the US. Also known for his charitable activities, Garth Brooks established the Teammates for Kids Foundation in 1999, which provides financial support to charities for kids.

 29 Khalid (Singer)

Khalid (Singer)
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 11, 1998
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Khalid is an American singer-songwriter whose work in Logic’s hit single 1-800-273-8255 earned him a nomination at the Grammy Awards. He has also received prestigious awards, such as Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Award, and American Music Awards. In 2019, he was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.

 30 Keith Urban

Keith Urban
0
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.

 31 Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

Queen Latifah is an American musician and actress whose song U.N.I.T.Y. played a major role in raising awareness about women's rights worldwide. Dubbed Queen of Jazz-Rap, Latifah has influenced several soul, R&B, and hip-hop artists like Remy Ma, Lil' Kim, Ivy Queen, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, and Eve among other artists. As an actress, Latifah has won several prestigious awards.

 32 NBA YoungBoy

NBA YoungBoy
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: October 20, 1999
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

NBA YoungBoy is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper. He garnered a cult following between 2015 and 2017, during which he released eight successful, independent mixtapes. Rated highly among America's most controversial rappers, NBA YoungBoy has been arrested on a couple of occasions for charges, including attempted first degree murder.

 33 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Actor, singer-songwriter, and comedian, Jamie Foxx became internationally famous for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray, a role that earned him an Academy Award. He is also known for hosting his own television sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show. Besides acting, he is also a Grammy Award-winning musician who has released four albums.

 34 Young Thug

Young Thug
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: August 16, 1991
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Rapper, singer, and songwriter, Young Thug, is considered to be one of the most influential rappers of his generation. Famous for his eccentric vocal style, he has inspired many others in the music industry. His debut studio album peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 and earned him international fame.

 35 DaBaby

DaBaby
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 22, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 36 Danielle Bregoli

Danielle Bregoli
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 26, 2003
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 37 Alanis Morisette

Alanis Morisette
0
Famous As: American-Canadian singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 1, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Canadian

Alanis Morisette is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter and actress. Renowned for her mezzo-soprano voice, Morisette has been named by Rolling Stone as the Queen of Alt-Rock Angst. A recipient of 13 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, Morisette has released several successful albums, including Jagged Little Pill, which was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

 38 Boy George

Boy George
0
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.

 39 Selena

Selena
7
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: March 31, 1995

Known as the queen of Tejano music, Selena became the most famous Mexican-American entertainers during the late 20th century, thanks to her contributions to fashion and music. She is one of the most influential Latin artists ever. Her rags-to-riches story, which includes struggle, fame, and finally death at the age of 23, was showcased in the 1997 film, Selena.

 40 Nikki Sixx

Nikki Sixx
0
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.

 41 Akon

Akon
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

Akon is one of the most successful R&B, hip hop and rap singers in the world. His albums Trouble, Konvicted, Freedom, El Negreeto and Akonda have many chartbusters songs. He has also founded record labels Akonik Label Group, KonLive Distribution and Konvict Mizik. He courted controversy in 2007 for an onstage act involving simulated sex with a 15-year-old girl.

 42 RM

RM
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 12, 1994
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: South Korean

 43 Sam Smith

Sam Smith
0
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.

 44 Kevin Jonas

Kevin Jonas
0
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.

 45 Lil Xan

Lil Xan
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 6, 1996
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Mexican-American rapper Nicholas Diego Leanos, better known by his pseudonym, "Lil Xan," soared to fame with his platinum-certified track Betrayed from his album Total Xanarchy. His stage name is the shortened form of Xanax, another name for the drug alprazolam, which is why he once considered using the nickname "Diego."

 46 Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix
2
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.

 47 Nina Simone

Nina Simone
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: February 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: April 21, 2003

Widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Nina Simone was a pioneering recording artist whose career was characterized by improvisational genius and fits of outrage. Nina continues to be an important musician and has influenced several artists like Elton John, Adele, David Bowie, Madonna, and Aretha Franklin. She was also a civil rights activist.

 48 Carole King

Carole King
0
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 9, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Carole King is an American singer-songwriter. As a songwriter, King has contributed immensely to the success of other singers and is widely regarded as one of the most successful female songwriters of the 20th century. In 2013, she became the first woman to be honored with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

 49 Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison
0
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: April 23, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: December 6, 1988
Six-time Grammy-winner Texan rocker Roy Orbison gained fame with songs such as Oh, Pretty Woman and Drove All Night. His shyness and stage fright made him dye his hair black and wear sunglasses. The "Caruso of Rock" was part of the Traveling Wilburys, along with legends such as Bob Dylan.

 50 Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris
0
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.
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