19 Greatest Musicians of All Time
To compose a list of musicians, our writers spent many hours listening to an enormous number of tracks. As the result, here are the best musicians of different genres from all over the world. You might have your own rating, but you will surely find some of your favorites here.
19. Johannes Sebastian Bach Active in life, he became “the face” of Baroque music for all centuries ever after. Having created more than 200 works, he conquered the hearts of many classical music lovers.
18. The Rolling Stones For Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and their band, the music they performed was “only rock n’ roll,” but it defines their generation. Most of the current pop-rock music styles that we have today stem from the hits the Rolling Stones created.
17. Xian Xinghai Today, this Chinese composer is known for Yellow River Cantata, the piece to show the protest against the Japanese invasion to Manchuria. Still, he has created more than 300 works that gave Eastern musicians strength to go beyond simple imitation of European tradition in art.
16. Notorious B.I.G. Christopher Wallace became the most-known MC of all times as he brought a swagger to the style. Even though he was shot at the peak of his career, his hits inspire many fans today.
15. Bob Marley Bob Marley, a songwriter and reggae singer, was not just a one of the best musicians. His songs are both social and political calls to action. They keep encouraging African Americans, thus, make Bob Marley the cultural icon for African diaspora.
14. Madonna Being young, Madonna dreamt of ruling the world. Constantly changing, she remains top-selling female singer ever. Without exaggeration, her music shapes modern culture.
13. Caetano Veloso Caetano Veloso is known as the co-founder of Tropicalia, the movement that defines Latin America’s ‘60s. Political motifs of his music led to his being incarcerated and exiled, as dictatorial regime did not accept the rebels.
12. Fela Kuti Fela Kuti is known for pioneering Afro-Beat – a mixture of ideals different cultures possess. His jazzy-funk sagas continue astonishing admirers with fearlessness and rebellion.
11. Miles Davis This master of improvisation proved that every music style could be joined and altered. Miles Davis, known as the King of Cool, will never be forgotten.
10. Billie Holiday Billie Holiday is remembered for her incredible voice and ability to interpret the songs she performed. Her style touched listeners even more than the lyrics.
9. Guido D’Arezzo Even though this guy lived in the 11th century, his contribution to music cannot be exaggerated as he invented the notation. The mnemonic “do-re-mi-fa-so-la-si-do” we use is his invention too.
8. Robert Johnson They say Johnson had a deal with the Devil to master guitar performance. Even though he died at the age of 27, his blues made him one of the best guitarists that ever lived.
7. Bob Dylan This legendary musician grew up in Minnesota. We doubt there are even people who haven’t heard at least one of his songs.
6. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Mozart started writing music at four. Being a true child prodigy, he managed to play the violin without any lessons. His extraordinary talent enabled him to create the pieces that will be adored for ages.
5. Elvis Presley Known as the King of Rock‘n’Roll, Elvis Presley became the best-selling solo artist the history of popular music has ever encountered. Unfortunately, fame became a fatal curse for him.
4. Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong was such a bright trumpet player and charismatic showman that he deserves being regarded as jazz’s first superstar. He was an innovator of scat and popularizer of jazz.
3. Michael Jackson The king of pop was extravagant in everything he did, from his manner of moving to provoking deeds. He was unique and his contribution to music industry is invaluable.
2. Ludwig Van Beethoven The greatest composer of all times made a shift from a Classical Era, characterized by technical mastery, to the Romantic Era that valued the emotions in the music pieces. This unreal person deserves praising – he continued composing even being profoundly deaf!
1. The Beatles Known not only for their music but also for matching haircuts, the Beatles changed the music history.
Here is the list we created for you. You may alter it by adding other musicians to it, but you cannot eliminate anyone we mentioned as you will make it incomplete for sure.