100 Greatest Music Men

by jordanhores | created - 03 Apr 2018 | updated - 10 months ago | Public

Men have thrived the music industry for centuries which has resulted in making iconic pieces in music. This list has men that play a MAJOR impact in music based on versatility, numerous awards, iconic pieces and the ability to sing. Includes 5 signature songs. *=Death &=Vevo

Bio.com BlindWilleJohnson CharleyPatton LeadBelly ArthurCrudup CharlesBrown ClydeMcPhatter JimmyReed IbrahimFerrer -CompaySegundo -TennesseeErnieFord LouRawls LeeHazlewood JimmyDean EnricoCaruso -SamCooke -BoDiddley -WoodyGuthrie -HowlinWolf -ChetBaker RobertMerrill -JohnLeeHooker WoodyHerman -BobWills LonnieJohnson -LouisJordan LittleWalter JohnMcCormack BobbyShort ErnestTubb T-BoneWalker -FatsWaller JoeWilliams SonnyBoyWilliamson -JackieWilson -RoyAcuff LeftyFrizzell -JimmieRodgers J.P.Richardson DocWatson -LouisPrima -BillHaley -ChuckBerry -JohhnyCash DizzyGillespie -CabCalloway -BuckOwens ConwayTwitty NobleSissle -BlindLemonJefferson-TonyBennett -OtisRedding-BuddyHolly-B.B.King ScreaminJayHawkins-RayCharles -RobertJohnson -FatsDomino -JohnnyMathis BillyEckstine -RobertGoulet -RoyRogers -BobbyDarin -LittleRichard -HankWilliams -BobbyBlueBland -MuddyWaters -NatKingCole -LouisArmstrong

1. Elvis Presley

Soundtrack | Tickle Me

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Presley (née Gladys Love Smith) and Vernon Presley (Vernon Elvis Presley). He had a twin brother who was stillborn. In 1948, Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he attended Humes High School. ...

* King of Rock n Roll -Can't Help Falling in Love with You -Burning Love -Jailhouse Rock -Suspicious Minds -Always on My Mind

2. Roy Orbison

Soundtrack | Star Trek: First Contact

Roy Orbison was born on April 23, 1936 in Vernon, Texas, USA as Roy Kelton Orbison. He was married to Barbara Orbison and Claudette Frady. He died on December 6, 1988 in Madison, Tennessee, USA.

* -You Got It -Oh Pretty Woman -Crying -In Dreams -Only the Lonely

3. Frank Sinatra

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants Natalina Della (Garaventa), from Northern Italy, and Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, a Sicilian boxer, fireman, and bar owner. Growing up on the gritty streets of Hoboken made Sinatra determined to work hard to get ahead. ...

The Chairman of the Board * -My Way -New York, New York -Fly Me to the Moon -The Way You Look Tonight -Summer Wind

4. Nat 'King' Cole

Soundtrack | The Nat King Cole Show

Nat King Cole was born Nathaniel Adams Coles at Montgomery, Alabama. He received music lessons from his mother and his family moved to Chicago when he was only five, where his father Edward James Coles was a minister at the True Light Baptist Church and later Pastor of the First Baptist Church. At ...

* -Unforgettable -L-O-V-E -Smile -When I Fall in Love -Mona Lisa

5. Louis Armstrong

Actor | High Society

Louis Armstrong grew up poor in a single-parent household. He was 13 when he celebrated the New Year by running out on the street and firing a pistol that belonged to the current man in his mother's life. At the Colored Waifs Home for Boys, he learned to play the bugle and the clarinet and joined ...

* King of Jazz -What a Wonderful World -La Vie En Rose -Hello Dolly -A Kiss to Build a Dream -Cool Yule

6. B.B. King

Actor | Blues Brothers 2000

B.B. King was born on September 16, 1925 as Riley B. King. He was married to Sue Carol Hall and Martha Lee Denton. He died on May 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Father of the Blues * -The Thrill is Gone -Riding With the King -Need Your Love so Bad -Hold on, I'm Comin' -Merry Christmas Baby

7. Bing Crosby

Actor | White Christmas

Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington, the fourth of seven children of Catherine Helen "Kate" (Harrigan) and Harry Lowe Crosby, a brewery bookkeeper. He was of English and Irish descent. Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but was more interested in ...

* -Do You Hear What I Hear? -White Christmas -Swinging on a Star -Winter Wonderland -Danny Boy

8. Tony Bennett

Soundtrack | Jurassic World

Tony Bennett, one of the legends of jazz and popular music who served during the Second World War and then developed a career spanning over half a century, is now giving another concert tour across the United States and Europe.

He was born Anthony (Antonio) Dominick Benedetto on August 3, 1926, in ...

-The Way You Look Tonight -I Left my Heart in San Francisco -Fly Me to the Moon -Steppin' Out With my Baby -I'll be Seeing You

9. Duke Ellington

Composer | Anatomy of a Murder

Composer ("It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing", "Sophisticated Lady", "Mood Indigo", "Solitude", "In a Mellotone", "Satin Doll"), pianist and conductor, holder of an honorary music degree from Wilberforce University and an LHD from Milton College, Duke Ellington led his own orchestra ...

* -In a Sentimental Mood -The Feeling of Jazz -My Little Brown Book -Rhapsody in Blue -Take the Coltrane

10. Tennessee Ernie Ford

Soundtrack | The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show

Tennessee Ernie Fords lifetime: Thursday, February 13th, 1919 to Thursday, October 17th, 1991, was 26,544 days, equaling 3,792 weeks exactly. Composer, singer and author, educated at the Cincinnati Conservatory. He appeared at the London Palladium, and made many records. He also owned a cattle ...

* -Sixteen Tons -Dixie -Peace in the Valley -Shenandoah -Just a Closer Walk With Thee

11. Johnny Mathis

Soundtrack | Goodfellas

He was the fourth of seven children born to Clement and Mildred Mathis. His father performed briefly in vaudeville and exposed all of the Mathis siblings to music. Before he entered his teens, young John received vocal lessons from Connie Cox in exchange for performing chores around her home. When ...

-Misty -Chances Are -Wonderful! Wonderful! -Sleigh Ride -It's Not for Me to Say

12. Chet Baker

Soundtrack | The Sixth Sense

Chet Baker started his career in the late forties. He became famous with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in 1952. His solo in "My funny valentine" is a classic of the west coast jazz in the fifties. When Mulligan was arrested in 1953, Chet led the group until 1955, when he went to Europe. He also sang ...

* -My Funny Valentine -Isn't it Romantic? -Look for the Silver Lining -Time After Time -Let's Get Lost

13. Ray Charles

Soundtrack | Ray

A tragic fate may have given this visionary a heightened sensitivity, perception, awareness, even expansion to his obvious musical gifts that he may have never touched upon had he not suffered from his physical affliction. Whatever it was, Ray Charles revolutionized American music and was ...

* High Priest of Soul -What'd I Say -I Got a Woman -Mess Around -Night Time is the Right Time -Georgia on My Mind

14. Robert Goulet

Actor | The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear

Robert Gerard Goulet was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to a family of French-Canadian origin. He was the son of Jeanette (Gauthier) and Joseph Georges André Goulet. After hearing his son sing "Lead Kindly Light", in their church hall, his father told him, "I'm proud of you, son". A few weeks ...

* -The Impossible Dream -Camelot -You've Got a Friend in Me -If I Ever Leave You -On a Clear Day

15. Johnny Cash

Soundtrack | The Johnny Cash Show

Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas, to Carrie Cash (Rivers) and Raymond Cash. He made his first single, "Hey Porter", for Sun Records in 1955. In 1958 he moved to Columbia Records. He had long periods of drug abuse during the 1960s, but later that decade he successfully ...

* -Ring of Fire -I Walk the Line -Hurt -God's Gonna Cut You Down -Jackson

16. Chet Atkins

Soundtrack | Michael

Chet Atkins was an A&R (artist and repertoire) executive for RCA Victor Records from 1958 until 1974, producing recordings for such artists as Elvis Presley, Bobby Bare, Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, Skeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings, Duane Eddy, The Browns, Charley Pride, Hank Snow and The Everly Brothers...

* Mr. Guitar -I'll See You in My Dreams -I Still Can't Say Goodbye -So Soft, Your Goodbye -Mister Sandman -Jam Man

17. Harry Belafonte

Actor | Bobby

Harold George Belafonte was born on March 1, 1927 in New York City. He was educated at the New York Dramatic Workshop. He grew up in Jamaica, British West Indies, and did folk-singing in nightclubs and theaters, and on television and records. His debut was at the Village Vanguard in New York. Also,...

King of Calypso -Jump in the Line -The Banana Boat Song -Jamaica Farewell -The Twelve Days of Christmas -Coconut Woman

18. Woody Guthrie

Soundtrack | Drop Dead Gorgeous

Charley and Nora Guthrie named their son after the Democrat elected president that year. Woodrow Wilson Guthrie knew hard times as a youngster (his house burned down, his sister Clara burned to death, his father's small-town business and political careers never went anywhere, his mother suffered ...

* -This Land is Your Land -Rye Whiskey -Pastures of Plenty -Car Song -Talking Dust Bowl Blues

19. Benny Goodman

Soundtrack | Allied

The King of Swing! Famed clarinetist, composer ("Stompin' at the Savoy") and conductor, educated at the Lewis Institute in Chicago and a student of Schillinger and Schoepp. He was a clarinetist with the orchestras of Bix Beiderbecke, Jules Herbuveaux, Arnold Johnson and Ben Pollack, and also played...

* King of Swing -Sing, Sing, Sing -Moonglow -Don't be That Way -King Porter Stomp -Goody Goody

20. Glenn Miller

Soundtrack | The Shape of Water

Alton Glenn Miller was born on March 1, 1904, in Clarinda, Iowa; the son of Lewis Elmer and Mattie Lou Cavender Miller. He started his music studies when his father gave him a mandolin. He soon traded the mandolin for an old horn. In 1916 he switched to trombone. In 1923, he enrolled in the ...

* -In the Mood -Moonlight Serenade -Chattanooga Choo-Choo -Pennsylvania 6-5000 -A String of Pearls

21. Sam Cooke

Soundtrack | Innerspace

Sam Cooke was born January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was one of eight children of Charles Cook Sr., a Baptist minister. When Sam sang as a little boy in church, everyone made note that his voice had "something special". He sang in church and in local gospel choirs until a group called...

* King of Soul -A Change is Gonna Come -Bring It on Home to Me -What a Wonderful World -You Send Me -Twistin' the Night Away

22. Bo Diddley

Actor | Trading Places

Ever heard "I Want Candy" or "Not Fade Away" or "Willie & The Hand Jive", Shirley & Company's "Shame, Shame, Shame" or U2's "Desire" or George Michael's "Faith"? If you have, then you've heard the "Bo Diddley beat", the most famous beat in the world! One of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll, Bo ...

* Originator of Rock n Roll -Gun Slinger -Bo Diddley -I'm a Man -Who do You Love -Cadillac

23. Howlin' Wolf

Soundtrack | The Sopranos

Howlin' Wolf was born on June 10, 1910 in White Station, Mississippi, USA as Chester Arthur Burnett. He was married to Lillie Handley. He died on January 10, 1976 in Hines, Illinois, USA.

* -Smokestack Lightnin' -Spoonful -Three Hundred Pounds of Joy -Moanin' at Midnight -How Many More Years

24. Louis Prima

Actor | The Jungle Book

Born in New Orleans' French Quarter, Louis Prima longed to play jazz. When he was a child, he studied the violin. His older brother Leon took up trumpet while Louis was still quite young, and he soon followed in his brother's footsteps. He played in clubs like "The Famous Door" in the 1930s, and by...

* -I Wanna be Like You -Pennies From Heaven -Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody -Angelina/Zooma Zooma -Buona Sera

25. Chuck Berry

Soundtrack | Men in Black

Chuck Berry was born on October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Charles Edward Anderson Berry. He was married to Themetta "Toddy" Suggs. He died on March 18, 2017 in Wentzville, St. Charles County, Missouri.

* Father of Rock n Roll -You Can Never Tell -Johnny B Goode -Route 66 -Run Rudolph Run -My Ding a Ling

26. Bill Haley

Soundtrack | Turtle Beach

William John Clifton Haley - better known as Bill Haley, leader of the first-ever rock & roll band The Comets - is probably the greatest musical pioneer of the 20th century. He was the first white artist to record a rhythm & blues hit - the 1951 "Rocket 88" for Dave Miller's subsidiary label ...

* Prince of Rock n Roll -Rock Around the Clock -Shake, Rattle and Roll -See You Later, Alligator -Dim, Dim the Lights -Rock a Beatin' Boogie

27. Cab Calloway

Soundtrack | The Blues Brothers

Bandleader, songwriter ("Minnie the Moocher", "Are You Hep to That Jive?"), composer, singer, actor and author, educated at Crane College. While studying law, he sang with the band The Alabamians, and took over the group in 1928. He led The Missourians orchestra, then organized and led his own ...

* -Minnie the Moocher -St. James Infirmary -Reefer Man -Everybody Eats When They Come to My House -Jitter Bug

28. Otis Redding

Soundtrack | Top Gun

Otis Redding was born on September 9, 1941 in Dawson, Georgia, USA as Otis Ray Redding Jr. He was married to Zelma Atwood. He died on December 10, 1967 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

* Father of Soul -Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay -Try a Little Tenderness -I've Been Loving You too Long -These Arms of Mine -Merry Christmas Baby

29. Buddy Holly

Soundtrack | Mr. Nobody

Buddy Holly was born on September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas, USA as Charles Hardin Holley. He was married to Maria Elena Santiago. He died on February 3, 1959 in Clear Lake, Iowa, USA.

* -Everyday -Peggy Sue -True Love Rays -Rave On -It Doesn't Matter Anymore

30. Fats Domino

Soundtrack | Twelve Monkeys

Fats Domino was born on February 26, 1928 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA as Antoine Domino Jr. He was married to Rosemary Hall. He died on October 24, 2017 in New Orleans.

* Emperor of Rock n Roll -Blueberry Hill -Ain't That a Shame -Walking to New Orleans -I'm Walkin' -Blue Monday

31. Little Richard

Soundtrack | Predator

Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as Little Richard, the self-proclaimed "Architect of Rock 'n' Roll", traveled in his early days with the legendary vaudeville star Spencer "Snake" Anthony. One of Richard's early bands had the young, then unknown singer James Brown (the Godfather of Soul), a ...

Architect of Rock n Roll -Tutti-Frutti -Good Golly Miss Molly -Long Tall Sally -Lucille -Rip it Up

32. Muddy Waters

Soundtrack | Adventures in Babysitting

Muddy Waters (born McKinley Morganfield) was one of the major forces in contemporary blues. He was instrumental in bringing the sound of the Mississippi Delta to Chicago in the 1940s, where his recordings for the Chess label exerted an enormous influence on both blues and rock musicians from the ...

* -Mannish Boy -Champagne & Reefer -I Just Want to Make Love to You -Black Cat Bone/Dust My Broom -I'm Ready

33. Hank Williams

Soundtrack | The Last Picture Show

Hank Williams was born in September 1923 in a small Alabama farming community about 70 miles south of Montgomery. His father was a railroad engineer who was also a victim of shell shock after a year of fighting in France in 1918 during World War I and spent many years in veterans hospitals. Hank's ...

* -I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry -Hey Good Lookin' -Jambalaya -Your Cheatin' Heart -I Saw the Light

34. Miles Davis

Soundtrack | In the Line of Fire

Miles Davis, famous jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader, was born 26 May 1926 in Alton, Illinois. He moved to New York in 1944 and studied at Juilliard. He left school and entered the jazz society of New York, meeting such famous musicians as Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Charles Mingus. ...

* -'Round Midnight -So What -On Green Dolphin Street -Some Day my Prince Will Come -Bitches Brew

35. Robert Johnson

Soundtrack | The Skeleton Key

Robert Johnson was born on May 8, 1911 in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, USA as Robert Leroy Johnson. He was married to Calleta "Callie" Craft and Virginia Travis. He died on August 13, 1938 in Greenwood, Mississippi.

* Grandfather of Rock n Roll -Cross Road Blues -Sweet Home Chicago -I Believe I'll Dust my Broom -Hellhound on my Trail -Me and the Devil Blues

36. John Lee Hooker

Soundtrack | Hancock

John Lee Hooker was born on August 22, 1917 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. He was married to Maude Mathis, Alma Hopes and Sarah Jones. He died on June 21, 2001 in Los Altos, California, USA.

* King of the Blues -Boom Boom -One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer -Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang -Solid Sender -I'm in the Mood

37. Jackie Wilson

Soundtrack | Ghostbusters II

Jackie "Sonny" Wilson was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Highland Park, the only son of Jack and Eliza Mae Wilson from Columbus, Mississippi. His father was an alcoholic and constantly unemployed, and his mother, who had lost two earlier children, doted on Jackie and became a powerful ...

* Mister Excitement -Your Love Keeps me Lifting Higher & Higher -Lonely Teardrops -Baby Workout -To be Loved -That's Why I Love You so

38. Oscar Levant

Actor | An American in Paris

Oscar Levant's own versatility may have helped to cloud his memory as a sort of Hollywood utility man, perhaps in the worst sense; people tended to see him as one among many personalities, but he was so much more. It is unfortunately forgotten that he was first and foremost, a brilliant musician ...

* -I Got Rhythm -Tra-La-La -I Love Louisa -That's Entertainment -Concerto in F

39. Harry James

Soundtrack | The Matrix

Harry James was born in a rundown hotel next to the city jail in Albany, Georgia. His mother and father were members of a circus - she as a trapeze artist and he a band leader - with the Mighty Haag Circus. At seven, they settled in Beaumont, Texas where Harry learned to play drums. By twelve, he ...

* -It's Been a Long, Long Time -Sleepy Lagoon -Two O'Clock Jump -All of Me -I've Heard That Song Before

40. Sammy Davis Jr.

Actor | The Cannonball Run

Sammy Davis Jr. was often billed as the "greatest living entertainer in the world".

He was born in Harlem, Manhattan, the son of dancer Elvera Davis (née Sanchez) and vaudeville star Sammy Davis Sr.. His father was African-American and his mother was of Cuban and African-American ancestry. Davis Jr....

* -The Candy Man -Mr. Bojangles -I've Gotta be Me -What Kind of Fool am I -That Old Black Magic

41. Elmore James

Soundtrack | '71

Mississippi-born Elmore Leonard was a blues musician known as "The King of the Slide Guitar". He played on various radio shows throughout the South and built up a following. In 1951, he recorded his first record, "Dust My Broom", for the small Trumpet Records label out of Jackson, MS. It became a "...

* King of the Slide Guitar -Shake Your Money Maker -Dust my Broom -The Sky is Crying -Standing at the Crossroads -Sunnyland

42. Roy Acuff

Soundtrack | Night Train to Memphis

Roy Acuff was born on September 15, 1903 in Maynardville, Tennessee, USA as Roy Claxton Acuff. He was married to Mildred Louise Douglas. He died on November 23, 1992 in Nashville, Tennessee.

* King of Country -Wabash Cannon Ball -Tennessee Waltz -Will the Circle be Unbroken -I'll Fly Away -Muhlenberg County

43. Blind Lemon Jefferson

Soundtrack | Lore

Blues legend Blind Lemon Jefferson has been called the most influential bluesman in the history of blues singers. While his recording career was prolific but short--almost 100 titles from 1926-29--he became arguably the most popular blues singer in black America.

Born in Couchman, TX, in 1897, he ...

* Father of Texas Blues -Match Box Blues -That Black Snake Moan -See That my Grave's Kept Clean -Penitentiary Blues -Easy Rider Blues

44. Compay Segundo

Soundtrack | Keeping the Faith

Compay Segundo was born on November 18, 1907 in Siboney, Cuba as Máximo Francisco Repilado Múñoz. He died on July 13, 2003 in Havana, Cuba.

* -Guajira Guantanamera -Chan Chan -Francisco Guayabal -La Negra Tomasa -Yo Vengo Aqui

45. Louis Jordan

Soundtrack | The Blues Brothers

Louis Jordan was born on July 8, 1908 in Brinkley, Arkansas, USA as Louis Thomas Jordan. He was married to Martha Weaver, Florence Vicky Hayes Johnson, Fleecie Moore and Ida Fields. He died on February 4, 1975 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

* King of the Jukebox -Is You is Or is You Ain't my Baby -Saturday Night Fish Fry -Knock me a Kiss -Ain't Nobody Here But us Chickens -Caldonia

46. Tommy Dorsey

Soundtrack | The Human Stain

Tommy Dorsey was born on November 19, 1905 in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, USA as Thomas Francis Dorsey. He was married to Jane Karl New, Patricia Dane and Mildred A Kraft. He died on November 26, 1956 in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA.

* Sentimental Gentleman of Swing -I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You -I'll be Seeing You -Boogie Woogie -Marie -Song of India

47. Jimmie Rodgers

Soundtrack | Cry-Baby

Jimmie Rodgers considered by many to be the father of Country Music began his career with the railroad at the age of fourteen following in his father, Aaron's footsteps. In 1911, he went to work as a brakeman but had to cut his railroading career short because of contracting consumption in 1924. ...

* Father of Country Music -Honeycomb -Kisses Sweeter Than Wine -Oh-Oh I'm Falling in Love Again -Secretly -Waiting For a Train

48. Fats Waller

Soundtrack | Eraserhead

Thomas Waller was born in 1904. He was one of the most important pianist in the history of jazz. He studied piano with James P. Johnson, one of the masters of the stride piano in the 1920s. Fats began recording his first piano solos in 1923. He worked in the revue "Hot Chocolates" in the late 1920s...

* -Ain't Misbehavin' -Your Feet's too Big -The Joint is Jumpin' -I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter -T'aint Nobody's Business if I do

49. Roy Rogers

Soundtrack | Men in Black 3

Roy Rogers (born Leonard Slye) moved to California in 1930, aged 18. He played in such musical groups as The Hollywood Hillbillies, Rocky Mountaineers, Texas Outlaws, and his own group, the International Cowboys. In 1934 he formed a group with Bob Nolan called Sons of the Pioneers. While in that ...

* -Happy Trails -I'm an Old Cowhand -Home on the Range -Yellow Rose of Texas -Walkin' Blues

50. Bob Wills

Soundtrack | The Right Stuff

Bob Wills, fiddler and band leader of Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys, was an influential developer of the western swing music style in the late 1930s through the 1940s. Recorded extensively for Columbia, Decca, MGM and others. Hit recordings included "San Antonio Rose, " "Faded Love, " and "Steel ...

* -San Antonio Rose -Roly Poly -Stay a Little Longer -Take me Back to Tulsa -A Big Ball in Cowtown

51. Pink Floyd

Soundtrack | Doctor Strange

Syd Barrett: vocals, guitar (born: Roger Keith Barrett; 6 January, 1946; Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK). In 1968, Syd Barrett left the band. Syd died in July, 2006 at aged 60 from pancreatic cancer.

David Gilmour: vocals, guitar (born: David John Gilmour; 6 March, 1946; Cambridge, ...

& ^ Nick Mason/Roger Waters/Richard Wright/Syd Barrett/David Gilmour -Comfortably Numb -Hey You -Another Brick in the Wall -Wish You Were Here -Mother

52. The Beatles

Soundtrack | The Beatles Anthology

The Beatles were an English rock band that became arguably the most successful act of the 20th century. They contributed to music, film, literature, art, and fashion, made a continuous impact on popular culture and the lifestyle of several generations. Their songs and images carrying powerful ideas...

John Lennon/Paul McCartney/George Harrison/Ringo Starr -Here Comes the Sun -Let it Be -Hey Jude -Come Together -Blackbird

53. U2

Soundtrack | Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

U2 has been perhaps the biggest music act in the world since the late 1980s to the current day. They take prominent stands on human rights issues, expressed through their lyrics and other public statements and actions. The band's lead singer, Bono, has become quite prominent in charity movements ...

& Biggest Band in the World ^ Bono/The Edge/Adam Clayton/Larry Mullen Jr. -With or Without You -I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking for -Where the Streets Have no Name -Sunday Bloody Sunday -One

54. Led Zeppelin

Soundtrack | The Song Remains the Same

Led Zeppelin are a popular British band best known for their iconic "Stairway to Heaven" as well as for co-creating the music genre of heavy metal. Since their nine albums were recorded between 1968 and 1979, Led Zeppelin has been one of the most popular bands of all time, having sold more than 300...

& ^ Jimmy Page/Robert Plant/John Paul Jones/John Bonham -Stairway to Heaven -Going to California -Immigrant Song -The Ocean -Black Dog

55. Coldplay

Soundtrack | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Before performing under the name "Coldplay", the band's name was "Starfish".

& ^ Chris Martin/Jonny Buckland/Guy Berryman/ Will Champion -Paradise -Clocks -The Scientist -A Sky Full of Stars -Something Just Like This

56. Tom Petty

Actor | The Postman

Tom Petty was born on October 20, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida, USA as Thomas Earl Petty. He was married to Dana York and Jane Ann Benyo. He died on October 2, 2017 in Santa Monica, California, USA.

& ^ * -Mary Jane's Last Dance -Free Fallin' -I Won't Back Down -You Don't Know How it Feels -Runnin' Down a Dream

57. Brian Wilson

Soundtrack | Love & Mercy

Brian Douglas Wilson was born on June 20th 1942 and has gone on to become one of, if not the greatest, musical geniuses in the world. It was while growing up, while being physically and psychologically abused by his father, that he discovered music as a way of shutting out all hurt and pain that he...

The Beach Boys & America's Band ^ Dennis Wilson/Carl Wilson/Ricky Fataar/Blondie Chaplin -Kokomo -Wouldn't It be Nice -Good Vibrations -Surfin' USA -God Only Knows

58. The Rolling Stones

Soundtrack | The Boat That Rocked

The Rolling Stones are the legendary British rock band known for many popular hits, such as Paint it Black, Lady Jane, Ruby Tuesday, and (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. Almost everyone who attended their shows is quick to comment on their ability to start you up and shake your hips. Their song "...

& World Greatest Rock n Roll Band ^ Mick Jagger/Keith Richards/Charlie Watts/Ronnie Wood -Paint it Black -Gimme Shelter -Sympathy for the Devil -I Can't Get no Satisfaction -You Can't Get Always What You Want

59. Earth Wind & Fire

Soundtrack | Ready Player One

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

& ^ Philip Bailey/Verdine White/Ralph Johnson -September -Let's Groove -Boogie Wonderland -Shining Star -Fantasy

60. Roger Daltrey

Actor | Tommy

Roger Daltrey is noted as a founder of the legendary rock band The Who. After leaving London's Acton County Grammar School in 1963, he formed a skiffle band called The Detours, then displayed an early genius by putting together unusual elements into a world-class performance. The unusual elements ...

The Who & ^ Pete Townshend/John Entwistle/Doug Sandom/Kenney Jones -Pinball Wizard -Love, Reign O'er Me -My Generation -You Better You Bet -Who You Are

61. Foo Fighters

Soundtrack | Godzilla

Foo Fighters is an American rock band, formed in Seattle, Washington in 1994. It was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the dissolution of Nirvana after the death of Kurt Cobain. The group got its name from the UFOs and various aerial phenomena that were reported ...

& ^Dave Grohl/Nate Mendel/Taylor Hawkins/Chris Shiflett -Best of You -Learn to Fly -DOA -The Pretender -Big Me

62. Freddie Mercury

Soundtrack | Metropolis

Freddie Mercury was born on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, sent him off to a private school in India, from 1955 til 1963. In 1964, he and his family flew to England. In 1966 he started his education at the Ealing College of Art, where he graduated in 1969. He ...

Queen & ^ * Brian May/Roger Taylor -Bohemian Rhapsody -We Will Rock You -Under Pressure -Another One Bites the Dust -Somebody to Love

63. Metallica

Soundtrack | Mission: Impossible II

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship ...

& Band of Thrash ^James Hetfield/Lars Ulrich/Kirk Hammett/Robert Trujillo -Enter Sandman -Nothing Else Matters -The Unforgiven -Wherever May I Roam -Sad But True

64. Aerosmith

Soundtrack | Armageddon

Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" since they were formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, including over 70 million records ...

& Greatest Rock n Roll Band ^ Steven Tyler/Joe Perry/Brad Whitford/Tom Hamilton/Joey Kramer -I Don't Want to Miss a Thing -Dream On -Sweet Emotion -Cryin' -Walk This Way

& ^ André 3000/Big Boi -Ms. Jackson -Roses -The Way You Move -B.O.B -So Fresh, So Clean

66. The Doors

Soundtrack | The Doors

The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and John Densmore on drums. The band got its name, at Morrison's suggestion from the title of Aldous Huxley's book The Doors of Perception. They were ...

& ^ Jim Morrison/Ray Manzarek/John Densmore/Robby Krieger -Light my Fire -Riders on the Storm -Peace Frog -Break on Through -Roadhouse Blues

67. The Four Seasons

Soundtrack | Sleepers

Members have included Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, Joe Long, Gerry Polci, Lee Shapiro.

Frankie Valli/Tommy DeVito/Bob Gaudio/Nick Massi -Can't Take my Eyes Off You -December 1963 -Sherry -Walk Like a Man -Big Girls Don't Cry

68. The Chieftains

Music_department | Far and Away

The Chieftains is known for his work on Far and Away (1992), Barry Lyndon (1975) and Rob Roy (1995).

& ^ Paddy Moloney/Seán Keane/Kevin Conneff/Matt Molloy -The Foggy Dew -The Long Black Veil -The Wind That Shakes the Barley -Mo Ghile Mear -Cotton Eyed Joe

69. Take 6

Soundtrack | Do the Right Thing

Take 6 is known for his work on Do the Right Thing (1989), Boyz n the Hood (1991) and Dick Tracy (1990).

Alvin Chea/Khristian Dentley/Joey Kibble/Mark Kibble/Claude V. McKnight III/David Thomas -Moody's Mood for Love -I L-O-V-E U -Hark! the Herald Angels Sings -Biggest Part of Me -O Come All ye Faithful

70. Paul Simon

Music_department | The Graduate

Born on October 13, 1941 in Newark New Jersey, Paul Simon is one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever. In 1957, he and high school pal, Art Garfunkel, wrote and recorded the single, "Hey Schoolgirl", under the name "Tom and Jerry". After some failures, they broke up. Simon still wrote and ...

& ^ -You Can Call me Al -Kodachrome -50 Ways to Leave Your Lover -Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard -Loves Me Like a Rock

71. Curtis Mayfield

Soundtrack | Armageddon

Rhythm and blues performer/songwriter credited with defining 1960's Chicago sound in hits like "It's All Right" and "Gypsy Woman." His style influenced other artists from pop to hip hop. Has been a quadriplegic ever since he was struck by lighting rig during outdoor concert in New York, 1990. ...

^ * -The Makings of You -Move on Up -Pusherman -Don't Worry -Superfly

72. Neil Young

Composer | Dead Man

Neil Young is one of the most respected and prolific rock/folk guitarists of the late 20th century. Raised in Canada, he first became well-known as a guitarist and occasional vocalist for the band Buffalo Springfield. After the band's breakup, Young became a solo performer. However, he also has ...

Godfather of Grunge ^ -Old Man -Heart of Gold -Harvest Moon -Rockin' in the Free World -Cinnamon Girl

73. Herbie Hancock

Soundtrack | Death Wish

Herbie Hancock is an American actor that was born. Herbert Jeffery Hancock, on April 12, 1940, Chicago, IL. He is best known as a piano player, jazz star, and a composer. He has won many Grammy Awards and has performed with many famous musicians beginning with Miles Davis in the 1960s. He achieved ...

& ^ -Rockit -Watermelon Man -Chameleon -River -Cantaloupe Island

74. Van Morrison

Soundtrack | The Five-Year Engagement

Van Morrison was born on August 31, 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland as George Ivan Morrison. He has been married to Michelle Rocca since 2006. They have two children. He was previously married to Janet (Planet) Minto.

& -Crazy Love -Into the Mystic -Brown Eyed Girl -Moondance -Tupelo Honey

75. Elton John

Soundtrack | Rocketman

Sir Elton John is one of pop music's great survivors. Born 25 March, 1947, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, he started to play the piano at the early age of four. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. His first band was called Bluesology. He later auditioned (...

& ^ -Your Song -Can You Feel the Love Tonight -Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters -Tiny Dancer -Circle of Life

76. Merle Haggard

Soundtrack | Wag the Dog

Merle Ronald Haggard was an American country singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler. Haggard was born in Oildale, California, during the Great Depression. His childhood was troubled after the death of his father. After being released from San Quentin State Prison in 1960, he managed to turn his...

& * -I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink -Mama Tried -Okie from Muskogee -Are the Good Times Really Over -That's the Way Love Goes

77. Carlos Santana

Soundtrack | La Bamba

Carlos Santana is a guitarist, composer, singer and band-leader who helped to shape the concept of "world music" by his experiments with blending many styles of music from a multitude of ethnic sources.

He was born Carlos Augusto Alves Santana on July 20, 1947, in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico....

& ^ -Into the Night -Smooth -The Game of Love -Black Magic Woman -Evil Ways

78. James Taylor

Actor | Two-Lane Blacktop

James Taylor was born on March 12, 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA as James Vernon Taylor. He has been married to Caroline "Kim" Smedvig since February 18, 2001. They have two children. He was previously married to Kathryn Walker and Carly Simon.

& ^ -Fire and Rain -You've Got a Friend -Carolina in My Mind -How Sweet It is -Sweet Baby James

79. Stevie Wonder

Soundtrack | The Woman in Red

Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, United States, to Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway. Due to being born six weeks premature, Stevie Wonder was born with a condition called retinopathy of prematurity, which made him blind. Stevie Wonder, even with this disability, made his ...

& ^ -Isn't She Lovely -Superstition -As -Happy Birthday -Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing

80. Bruce Springsteen

Soundtrack | The Wrestler

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born September 23, 1949 in Long Branch, New Jersey, USA. His father, Douglas Frederick Springsteen, worked as a bus driver, and was of Irish and Dutch ancestry. His mother, Adele Ann (Zerilli), worked as a legal secretary, and was of Italian descent. He has an...

& The Boss ^ -I'm on Fire -Born in the USA -Glory Days -Dancing in the Dark -Born to Run

81. David Ruffin

Soundtrack | The Addiction

The man most of us know by his unmistakable, calming yet disturbed raspy voice was born Davis Eli Ruffin on January 18, 1941, in Whynot, Mississippi. His father, Eli Ruffin, was a Baptist minister. Only months after his birth his mother Ophelia Ruffin died, and his father later remarried, to a ...

* -Walk Away From Love -My Whole World Ended -I Miss You -Statue of a Fool -Rainy Night in Georgia

82. Chick Corea

Soundtrack | Cat Chaser

Chick Corea was born Armando Anthony Cores on June 12, 1941, in Chelsea, Massachussetts, USA. He began studying piano at the age of four. He started professional career with Cab Calloway, then continued with the bands of Mongo Santamaria, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, flutist Herbie Mann and saxophonist ...

& ^ -Spain -Day Danse -Armando's Rhumba -Crystal Silence -Matrix

83. Pat Metheny

Soundtrack | Toys

Pat Metheny was born on August 12, 1954 in Lee's Summit, Missouri, USA.

& ^ -Last Train Home -Minuano -Bright Size Life -Cinema Paradiso -A Night Away

84. Prince

Soundtrack | Under the Cherry Moon

Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer and social worker, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist and pianist. His father's stage name was "Prince Rogers". His parents were both from African-American families from Louisiana. They separated during his youth, ...

* -Purple Rain -When Doves Cry -1999 -Kiss -I Would Die 4 U

85. David Bowie

Soundtrack | Labyrinth

David Bowie was one of the most influential and prolific writers and performers of popular music, but he was much more than that; he was also an accomplished actor, a mime and an intellectual, as well as an art lover whose appreciation and knowledge of it had led to him amassing one of the biggest ...

* & King of Glam Rock -Space Oddity -Let's Dance -Changes -Heroes -Rebel Rebel

86. Michael Jackson

Soundtrack | Michael Jackson: Thriller

Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson (no relation to Joe Jackson, also a musician), had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Michael's ...

* & King of Pop -Man in the Mirror -Thriller -Billie Jean -Don't Stop Til You Get Enough -Smooth Criminal

87. Sting

Soundtrack | The Emperor's New Groove

Sting was born Gordon Matthew Sumner on 2 October, 1951 in Wallsend, North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, England, the eldest of four children of Audrey (Cowell), a hairdresser, and Ernest Matthew Sumner, an engineer and milkman. He received his name from a striped sweater he wore which looked like a bee...

& The Police ^ Stewart Copeland/Henry Padovani/Andy Summers -Every Breath You Take -Fields of Gold -Desert Rose -If I Ever Lose my Faith in You -Brand New Day

88. Luther Vandross

Soundtrack | The Goonies

He was the heartbeat of R&B during the 1980s and 1990s, yet led a productive singing and songwriting life prior to this preeminence. The soul balladeer's strong commitment to the art of music continued on its Grammy-winning course, even after an acute stroke in 2003 left him severely incapacitated ...

& ^ -Dance With my Father -Here and Now -Never too Much -A House is Not a Home -If Only for One Night

89. Bela Fleck

Striptease

Brother is documentary filmmaker Sascha Paladino, who directed him in both the feature documentary, Throw Down Your Heart (2008) and the short documentary, Obstinato: Making Music for Two (2004). Attended New York City's High School for Music and Art. His first band was named "Wicker's Creek". His ...

^ -Big Country -Whitewater -Sliding Down -Railroad -By the River

90. Terence Blanchard

Composer | BlacKkKlansman

A world renowned trumpeter/composer/band leader and Blue Note recording artist, Terence Blanchard is the most prolific jazz musician to ever compose for motion pictures. Blanchard was born and raised in New Orleans where he studied with the Marsalis brothers at the famed New Orleans Center for the ...

^ -Mo' Better Blues -Harlem Blues -Ghost of Congo Square -Knocked Out of Box -Wading Through

91. Vince Gill

Actor | Maverick

Vince Gill was born on April 12, 1957 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA as Vincent Grant Gill. He has been married to Amy Grant since March 10, 2000. They have one child. He was previously married to Janis Oliver.

& ^ -Go Rest High on That Mountain -Whenever You Come Around -I Still Believe in You -When I Call Your Name -Don't Let Our Love Start Slippin' Away

92. Usher Raymond

Actor | The Faculty

Usher Raymond IV was born in Dallas, Texas, to Jonetta Patton (née O'Neal) and Usher Raymond III. He began singing when he was six years old, joining the local church choir at the behest of his mother who acted as choir director. Jonetta, a single mom, raised Usher and his younger brother, James, ...

& King of R&B -Yeah! -DJ Got us Fallin' -Love in This Club -Burn -My Boo

93. James Brown

Soundtrack | Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown

James Brown was born on May 3, 1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina, USA as James Joseph Brown. He was married to Tomirae Brown, Adrienne Rodriguez, Deidra Jenkins and Velma Warren. He died on December 25, 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

* Godfather of Funk -Living in America -The Payback -Get Up -I Got You -Get Up Offa That Thing

94. Bob Dylan

Soundtrack | Renaldo and Clara

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born 24 May 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota; his father Abe worked for the Standard Oil Co. Six years later the family moved to Hibbing, often the coldest place in the US, where he taught himself piano and guitar and formed several high school rock bands. In 1959 he entered the...

King of Folk ^ -Like a Rolling Stone -Blowin' in the Wind -Knockin' on Heaven's Door -Shelter From the Storm -Forever Young

95. Bob Marley

Soundtrack | Strange Days

Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in Nine Miles, Saint Ann, Jamaica, to Norval Marley and Cedella Booker. His father was a Jamaican of English descent. His mother was a black teenager. The couple planned to get married but Norval left Kingston before this could happen. Norval died in 1955, ...

* King of Reggae -Three Little Birds -Is This Love -Buffalo Soldier -No Woman, No Cry -One Love

96. Marvin Gaye

Soundtrack | R.I.P.D.

Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. He was married to Jan Gaye and Anna Gordy Gaye. He died on April 1, 1984 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

* Prince of Motown -Sexual Healing -Ain't No Mountain High Enough -Got to Give it Up -Let's Get it On -I Heard it Through the Grapevine

97. Jimi Hendrix

Soundtrack | Woodstock

Widely regarded as the greatest and most influential guitarist in rock history, Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington, to African-American parents Lucille (Jeter) and James Allen Hendrix. His mother named him John Allen Hendrix and raised him alone while his father, Al ...

* -Purple Haze -Hey Joe -Voodoo Child -All Along the Watchtower -Foxy Lady

98. Wayne Shorter

Music_department | The Fugitive

Wayne Shorter was born on August 25, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey, USA. He is known for his work on Wayne Shorter: Zero Gravity (2020), Miles Ahead (2015), Finding Forrester (2000), and The Fugitive (1993). He has also appeared in the recent documentaries Jaco (2015) and Marcus (2015).

Considered the ...

-Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum -Infant Eyes -Seranata -Ponta de Areia -Witch Hunt

99. Art Garfunkel

Actor | Carnal Knowledge

Art Garfunkel was born on November 5, 1941 in Forest Hills, New York, USA as Arthur Ira Garfunkel. He is known for his work on Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Rebound (2009) and Catch-22 (1970). He has been married to Kim Garfunkel since September 18, 1988. They have two children. He was previously ...

-All I Know -I Only Have Eyes for You -What a Wonderful World -My Little Town -I Believe

100. Lynyrd Skynyrd

Soundtrack | Kingsman: The Secret Service

In the mid 1990s, the band featured two guitarists from other Southern rock bands: Hughie Thomasson was the lead guitarist with Outlaws, and Rickey Medlocke was the lead guitarist and vocalist of Blackfoot.

Gary Rossington/Rickey Medlocke/Johnny Van Zant -Sweet Home Alabama -Simple Man -Gimme Three Steps -Tuesday's Gone -Saturday Night Special



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