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.
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.
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.
Regarded as one of the most popular and influential jazz musicians of the previous century, Quincy Jones is known for his work with other legendary artists like Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra. As the first African-American to find success at the Academy Awards ceremony, Quincy has influenced a host of black musicians and songwriters.
6 J. Cole
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.
American singer Marvin Gaye is one of the most successful black artists ever and his albums have sold in millions. His success reached great heights with the 1972 song What's Going On. The 1982 single Sexual Healing was the biggest hit of his career and was a chartbuster. He was tragically shot dead by his father after a family altercation.
10 Keith Urban
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.
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.
12 Phil Spector
13 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.
14 Arijit Singh
16 Mark Ronson
20 Joe Walsh
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.
22 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.
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.
25 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.
26 Bow Wow
Florence Foster Jenkins was an American socialite who was often ridiculed and mocked for her poor singing ability, which in turn made her popular. Known as the world's worst opera singer, Jenkins became a musical cult-figure in New York City due to her technical incompetence as an amateur soprano. Her life inspired several plays and films, including Florence Foster Jenkins.
28 Roger Waters
29 Aaron Carter
Aaron Carter is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer, actor, and record producer. Carter became popular among pre-teen and teenage audiences after having released his debut studio album at the age of nine. An openly bisexual musician, Aaron Carter serves as an inspiration to the LGBTQ community.
30 Alan Walker
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.
32 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.
33 Post Malone
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".
35 Sonny Bono
36 Roddy Ricch
Trap sensation Roddy Ricch is best known for his mixtape Feed Tha Streets II, which featured the Billboard Hot 100-charting track Die Young. Nipsey Hussle's track Racks in the Middle, featuring Ricch, got him a Grammy Award. Fans also loved Ricch's Hot 100-topping single The Box from his debut album.
37 Swizz Beatz
38 René Angélil
39 The Weeknd
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.
40 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.
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.
43 Snoop Dogg
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.
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.
47 FKA twigs
48 Mac Miller
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.