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.
Patti Smith is an American singer-songwriter. Referred to as the punk poet laureate, Smith became an influential figure of the punk rock movement with the release of her album Horses. Many world-renowned musicians, such as Madonna and Michael Stipe, have cited Smith as their inspiration. Even actresses like Ellen Page and Maria Doyle Kennedy have called Smith a major influence.
4 R. Kelly
One of the best known R&B artists, R Kelly, who’s sung many chart-topping songs and has sold millions of records, has been accused of sexual abuse by many women. He and is facing several state and federal charges in the US. He was arrested in July 2019 on charges of sex trafficking and child pornography.
10 John Prine
Jonathan Cain is a singer-songwriter and musician. He is a keyboardist for the rock band Journey. Interested in music from a young age, he attended the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He began his professional music career in the mid-1970s and played with numerous bands before joining Journey. He is also a solo artist and owns a recording studio.
12 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.
13 Chaka Khan
14 Michael Peña
16 Peter Wentz
18 Lil Durk
Lil Durk is an American singer-songwriter and rapper. He is credited with founding a rap collective and record label called Only the Family (OTF). Over the years, Lil Durk has faced many legal issues, including his arrest for unlawfully carrying a weapon. He has also been involved in feuds with other rappers, such as Tyga, The Game, and Tay600.
Shel Silverstein was an American writer, playwright, songwriter, and cartoonist. Renowned for his children's books, songs, and cartoons, Silverstein's works have been translated into over 30 languages. The recipient of many prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards, Shel Silverstein was posthumously inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.
22 Polo G
Polo G is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and record executive. Polo G, who became famous for his Chicago drill sound, gradually adopted a more melodic style. Renowned for his vivid storytelling, Polo G's lyrics often reflect on subjects, such as mental health and racism. In 2020, he announced the launch of ODA Records, his own record label.
23 Peter Cetera
Retired singer, songwriter, and bassist, Peter Cetera, first gained fame as an original member of the rock band Chicago. He later launched a successful solo career as well. He often collaborated with David Foster and Amy Grant over the course of his long career. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
24 Warren Zevon
Warren Zevon was an American musician, rock singer, and songwriter. As a songwriter, Zevon contributed immensely to the success of songs recorded by other artists, such as Murray McLauchlan. Also known for his acerbic lyrics and dry wit, Warren Zevon made several appearances on shows like the Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with David Letterman.
25 Virgil Abloh
Virgil Abloh is not just a designer but also a qualified architect. He has been a DJ, too. Apart from heading Louis Vuitton's menswear collection as its artistic director, he also became the first Black designer to lead a major fashion brand. He has also launched the luxury streetwear label Off-White.
26 Gene Krupa
35 Lupe Fiasco
36 Marla Gibbs
44 Jodi Benson
47 James Iha
48 Mel Tormé
49 Juice WRLD
50 Billy Corgan
Billy Corgan is an American professional wrestling promoter, singer, and songwriter. He is credited with forming the popular alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. He is also credited with founding Resistance Pro Wrestling and currently owns the National Wrestling Alliance promotion, for which he also serves as the promoter. Having struggled with several mental disorders, Corgan promotes abuse support networks.