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.
George Michael is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham and later went solo. His first solo single Careless Whisper reached number one in over 20 countries. He came out as gay in 1998. He was often in news for his personal life and legal troubles.
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.
Claire Elise Boucher is a musician whose music incorporates elements of various genres like electronic, hip-hop, and R&B, which reflects her hard-partying and volatile lifestyle; she once tried sailing down the Mississippi River in a houseboat built by her and a friend before the boat was impounded. Open about her drug use in the past, Boucher now advocates against hard drugs.
Much appreciated for his introspective songwriting, singer-songwriter, Post Malone ,is the first-ever solo artist to top both the Billboard Rap Airplay and Adult Contemporary charts as a lead artist. His music covers a range of genres including country, grunge, rap, and R&B. He has been accused of "appropriating" African-American culture and has been called a “culture vulture".
Before his death at the age of 26, Mac Miller had a major impact as a rapper and songwriter. Blue Slide Park, his studio album, became the first independently distributed maiden album since 1995 to top the US Billboard 200. His personal life was marred by depression, substance abuse, and legal issues. He died of drug overdose.
10 David Foster
Canadian musician, composer, and arranger David Foster is a prominent figure in the international music scene and has worked with the likes of Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, and Madonna. The winner of 16 Grammy Awards, he has also been nominated for the Academy Awards thrice. He launched the David Foster Foundation to help sick children.
11 50 Cent
From selling drugs and getting arrested in his teens to becoming one of the world’s best-selling rappers, Curtis James Jackson III’s journey has been an interesting one. Better known by his stage name 50 Cent, his albums have sold in millions. However, despite being one of the richest celebrities, he filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015 due to financial troubles.
Avicii was a Swedish international DJ, remixer, musician and songwriter. He attained fame with his single, Levels, in 2011. His debut studio album, True, released in 2013 received positive reviews. His second studio album, Stories, was released in 2015. He suffered from mental health issues and died by suicide at age 28. His third album, Tim, was released posthumously in 2019.
13 FKA twigs
14 Suge Knight
American businessman and co-founder of a successful music label. Death Row Records, Suge Knight has been a controversial figure. He had been in and out of prison for a number of years for charges like theft, racketeering, attempt to murder and parole violation, before he was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the a hit-and-run incident in October 2018.
Finneas O'Connell is an American singer-songwriter, actor, and record producer. He has played an important role in the success of his younger sister Billie Eilish's career as he has written and produced many of her popular songs. He has written and produced songs for other famous music artists as well.
17 Lil Nas X
18 Busta Rhymes
21 Hans Zimmer
German film score composer and record producer Hans Zimmer has composed music for over 150 films so far. He developed a love for music as a child and started playing professionally when he was in his teens. He eventually ventured into films. He is the recipient of four Grammy Awards and three Classical BRIT Awards.
22 Phil Spector
23 ASAP Rocky
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.
26 Trent Reznor
The singer of chartbuster songs like The Boy Is Mine, I Wanna be Down and Sittin' Up in My Room, Brandy Norwood is known for her raspy and husky voice. Most of her songs are about love, relationships and heartache. She was involved in a car accident in 2006, leading to multiple lawsuits, which were eventually settled out of court.
28 Bebe Rexha
Bebe Rexha is an American singer-songwriter. As a songwriter, Rexha has contributed to the success of songs recorded by artists like Eminem, Nick Jonas, and Selena Gomez. Her debut album Expectations did well in the US. Having described her sexual orientation as fluid, Rexha serves as an inspiration to the LGBTQ+ community; she is also a supporter of the community.
30 Joe Walsh
31 Teddy Geiger
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.
36 DJ Khaled
Founder of We the Best Music Group record label, DJ Khaled is an internationally acclaimed DJ and record producer. He has won prestigious awards, such as the Grammy and American Music Award. Apart from music, Khaled is also known for his acting and writing skills; his book, The Keys, was named in New York Times Best Seller list.
38 Gene Simmons
Co-founder of the rock band Kiss, Gene Simmons is also known by his stage persona, The Demon. With his band, he has over 25 gold-certified albums. A devoted philanthropist, he has donated to charities related to underprivileged children. He created an animated series and owns a magazine and a label.
39 Clint Black
40 Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson is a singer-songwriter and record producer. He is credited with co-founding the popular rock band, The Beach Boys. Referred to as a genius, Wilson serves as an inspiration to several indie musicians. Regarded as one of the most significant songwriters of his generation, Wilson is often featured in lists, such as the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
41 Chief Keef
Chief Keef is a hip-hop sensation who has revolutionized the drill and trap sub-genres. His track I Don’t Like was remixed by Kanye West and was featured on the Billboard Rap Top 20. He was dropped by the label Interscope for several legal issues and then formed his own label.
42 Sonny Bono
43 Van Morrison
Northern Irish singer, Van Morrison, garnered recognition in the 1960s while playing with the band, Them, and then later as a solo singer with the 1967 song Brown Eyed Girl. Over the years, he has released more than 40 albums. Astral Weeks, Moondance, Wavelength, Down the Road and Keep It Simple are some of his acclaimed and commercially successful albums.
44 Mark Ronson
45 Erykah Badu
Widely regarded as the queen of neo-soul, Erykah Badu is an American singer-songwriter whose debut studio album Baduizm helped popularize neo-soul in the late-1990s. Thanks to her popularity, Erykah Badu serves as a subject for street art in several places, including Greater London, England. Also an actress, Badu has appeared in popular films, such as The Cider House Rules.
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.
47 Maren Morris
Maren Morris is an American record producer, singer, and songwriter. Many of her songs and albums have performed well on Billboard charts; her album Hero peaked at the fifth position on Billboard 200. As a songwriter, Maren Morris has contributed to the success of several songs recorded by artists like Kelly Clarkson, Tim McGraw, Jessie James Decker, and Aubrey Peeples.
Scott Weiland was an American singer and songwriter. He is credited with co-creating the popular rock band Stone Temple Pilots where he served as the lead singer. He was also part of two supergroups, namely Velvet Revolver and Art of Anarchy. Known for his chaotic and flamboyant onstage persona, Weiland is widely viewed as a versatile vocalist.