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.

Vote for Your Favourite Lyricists & Songwriters

 1 Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish
21
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 18, 2001
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

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 Eminem

Eminem
11
Famous As: Rapper, Songwriter
Birthdate: October 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Joseph, Missouri, United States

Amongst the biggest rappers of all time, Eminem gained worldwide popularity with the release of albums like The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP. His subsequent albums became huge successes further making him a bigger sensation and one of the bestselling music artists of all time. His fame greatly inspired other white rappers to succeed in popular music.

Recommended Lists:

 3 Kurt Cobain

Kurt Donald Cobain
6
Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Musician
Birthdate: February 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Washington, United States
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.

 4 Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X
8
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: April 9, 1999
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lithia Springs, Georgia, United States
Recommended Lists:

 5 Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison
6
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 8, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Melbourne, Florida, United States
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.

 6 Billy Joel

Billy Joel
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

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.

Recommended Lists:

 7 Lorde

Lorde
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 7, 1996
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Takapuna

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.

You May Like

 8 Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 21, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westmount
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.

Recommended Lists:

 9 Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers
2
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: August 21, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Houston
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.

 10 Seal

Seal
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England

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.

Recommended Lists:

 11 Neil Young

Neil Young
2
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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.

 12 Alanis Morisette

Alanis Morisette
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 1, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

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.

 13 Khalid (Singer)

Khalid (Singer)
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 11, 1998
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fort Stewart, Georgia

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.

 14 Keith Urban

Keith Urban
2
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Whangarei, New Zealand

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.

Recommended Lists:

 15 Bob Marley

Bob Marley
0
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: February 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nine Mile, Jamaica
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.

 16 Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg
4
Famous As: Rapper, Songwriter
Birthdate: October 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

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.

 

Recommended Lists:

 17 XXXTentacion

XXXTentacion
2
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: January 23, 1998
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Florida
Died: June 18, 2018

A rapper and singer, XXXTentacion, gained fame with the success of the song, Look at Me, and release of albums like 17 and ?. In his personal life, he faced multiple legal issues from the beginning. He was shot dead at the young age of 20. XXXTentacion had a cult following among the youth owing to his depression and alienation thematic driven music.

 18 The Weeknd

The Weeknd
8
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 16, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Scarborough

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.

Recommended Lists:

 19 Selena

Selena
7
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lake Jackson, Texas, United States
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.

 20 Vanessa Paradis

Vanessa Paradis
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 22, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France

French singer and actress, Vanessa Paradis, became a celebrity at the age of 14 with the French song Joe le taxi in 1987. She tasted further success with English songs like Be My Baby and many other French songs. She has also acted in several French films and has modelled regularly for high-end fashion products by Chanel like perfume and handbags.

Recommended Lists:

 21 Kevin Jonas

Kevin Jonas
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 5, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States

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.

 22 Ava Max

Ava Max
0
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: February 16, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

 23 Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 12, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bradford, England, UK
Popular singer Zayn Malik shot to fame with the television reality show The X Factor and later became a part of a hugely successful band One Direction. Afterwards, Zayn Malik set out to establish his solo career and released his debut album, Mind of Mine, which made him a star. The singer has also made an entry into fashion world.

 24 Diplo

Diplo
0
Famous As: Rapper, Songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: November 10, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tupelo, Mississippi, United States
Rapper, producer, and DJ Diplo is part of the duo Jack U, with Skrillex, and of the supergroup LSD, with Labrinth and Sia. He is also a co-creator of the electronic dance-music trio Major Lazer, with DJs Ape Drums and Walshy Fire. He owns a record company and a non-profit.
Recommended Lists:

 25 Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix
2
Famous As: Singer & Musician
Birthdate: November 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
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.

 26 IU

IU
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea

 27 DaBaby

DaBaby
2
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 22, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio

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.

 28 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Terrell, Texas, United States

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.

 29 Adam Levine

Adam Levine
2
Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: March 18, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Three-time Grammy-winning Maroon 5 singer and guitarist Adam Levine had started his career with the band Kara's Flowers, which went defunct later. He has also judged the reality show The Voice. Adam owns a production company and a music label. He also has his own fragrance line and clothing collection.

 30 Flea (Musician)

Flea (Musician)
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 16, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Michael Balzary, or Flea, is best known as the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He has also been part of the supergroup Atoms for Peace, appeared in films such as The Big Lebowski, and voiced Donnie Thornberry in The Wild Thornberrys franchise. He also co-owns a music-oriented non-profit.

 31 Kim Jong-hyun

Kim Jong-hyun
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 8, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: yehwa-dong, Seoul
Died: December 18, 2017

Kim Jong-hyun was a South Korean record producer, singer-songwriter, author, and radio host. Kim was the principal vocalist of the popular boy band Shinee before he committed suicide at the age of 27. In 2018, his family members established the Shiny Foundation in an attempt to help struggling young artists.

 32 Saweetie

Saweetie
0
Famous As: Rapper, Songwriter
Birthdate: July 2, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santa Clara, Hayward, California

Saweetie is an American rapper gained recognition when she posted her debut single Icy Grl on SoundCloud. Subsequently, the video of the song broke the internet as it went on to gather 100 million views on YouTube. She was then signed by Warner Records, which increased her popularity. She is also signed to Artistry Worldwide, her manager Max Gousse's record label.

 33 RM (Rap Monster)

RM (Rap Monster)
2
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 12, 1994
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ilsan-gu, Goyang, South Korea

 34 Paul Anka

Paul Albert Anka
0
Famous As: Singer, Songwriter
Birthdate: July 30, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Paul Anka is a Canadian-American actor and singer-songwriter. As a songwriter, he has contributed to the success of popular musicians, such as Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson. He has also contributed to the theme of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Also known for his business ventures, Anka is credited with opening the popular restaurant and club, Jubilation.

 35 NF (Nathan John Feuerstein)

NF (Nathan John Feuerstein)
2
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 30, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gladwin, Michigan
Rapper Nathan John Feuerstein, or NF (stylized as ИF), gained fame in the niche genre of Christian hip-hop. His albums Perception and The Search both charted on the Billboard 200. His single Let You Down was certified triple-platinum. His style has been influenced by the music of Eminem.

 36 Chris Pérez

Chris Pérez
0
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: August 14, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Guitarist Chris Pérez was married to Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla and performed as part of her band, Selena y Los Dinos. Following Selena’s murder by her own manager, Chris sank into depression. He later won a Grammy with the Chris Pérez Band and also wrote a book about Selena. 

 37 Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper
0
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: June 22, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City

Cyndi Lauper is an American singer-songwriter, activist, and actress. Apart from her distinctive appearance, Lauper is also known for her achievements; having won three of the four major entertainment awards (Grammy, Emmy, Tony), she is consistently named in lists like 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll. Cyndi Lauper is also celebrated for her humanitarian work and charitable efforts.

 38 Bob Seger

Bob Seger
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Musician
Birthdate: May 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lincoln Park, Michigan, United States

Singer, songwriter, and musician, Bob Seger, first gained fame in the 1960s as a heartland rock artist. Known for his classic raspy and powerful voice, he recorded many songs that dealt with themes like love and women. With worldwide sales of more than 75 million records, he is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.

 39 Luke Combs

Luke Combs
0
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 2, 1990
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Luke Combs is an American singer-songwriter. The two studio albums, which he has released so far, have produced nine number-one songs on Billboard's Country Airplay chart. In his relatively short country music career so far, Luke Combs has had a major impact by winning prestigious awards, such as Country Music Association Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards.

 40 Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 29, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hampstead

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 T.O.P

T.O.P
0
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 4, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea

 42 Tablo

Tablo
0
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: July 22, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea

Tablo is a Korean-Canadian composer, record producer, lyricist, and hip hop recording artist. He is best known for being the producer and leader of the popular alternative hip hop group, Epik High. He is also credited with founding High Ground, an independent music label, which housed bands like The Black Skirts and Hyukoh.

 43 A.B. Quintanilla

A.B. Quintanilla
0
Famous As: Record Producer
Birthdate: December 13, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wapato, Washington, United States
A. B. Quintanilla is the brother of the late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla, who was murdered by her manager. He was part of the band Los Dinos, which included Selena, their other sister, and their father, and later Selena’s husband, too. He later went solo and released a few albums.

 44 Amy Jade Winehouse

Amy Jade Winehouse
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Southgate, London,, England
Died: July 23, 2011
Soul and jazz singer Amy Winehouse is best remembered for her tracks Stronger Than Me and Rehab. She was the first British female to win five Grammys. Following her death due to alcohol poisoning at age 27, her album Back to Black became U.K.’s best-selling album of the 21st century.

 45 DMX

DMX
2
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States

 46 John Legend

John Legend
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 28, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Springfield, Ohio, United States

John Legend is a singer, songwriter, actor, film producer and theatre director and his song All of Me from his fourth studio album was a Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit. He has released a host of successful albums. He has also won many awards, including an Oscar and a handful of Grammys. He is also an actor and a TV personality.

 47 Lisa Marie Presley

Lisa Marie Presley
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 1, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee

The only child of the legendary singer and musician, Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley fought her addiction with drugs during her teens and later launched herself as singer-songwriter with her debut album To Whom It May Concern. It was followed by two more commercially and critically successful albums. Lisa Marie Presley has also earned appreciation for her numerous philanthropic work.

 48 Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks
2
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 26, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Stevie Nicks is a songwriter and vocalist with the British-American rock band, Fleetwood Mac. She also performs solo and is known for her unique voice. She has numerous hits to her credit and her records have sold in millions. She has won many awards, including the Grammy and was named one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time by the Rolling Stone magazine.

 49 Sean Combs

Sean Combs
2
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: November 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning hip-hop legend Sean Combs, known to fans as Puffy, Puff Daddy, or Diddy, started off as a talent director with Uptown and then launched his own record label. His debut album, No Way Out, was certified 7Xplatinum, and his song I'll Be Missing You topped the Billboard charts. 

 50 Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury
11
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: September 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stone Town, Tanzania
Died: November 24, 1991

Legendary singer, songwriter and lead vocalist of the British rock band, Queen, Frederick Bulsara adopted the name Freddie Mercury which aptly suits his on-stage vibrant and exuberant persona. A four-octave vocal range musician, Mercury owned every stage he set foot on as much with his vivid performance as with his superhuman voice modulation.  

See Also