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Tags: singers - rolling - great - rock - list



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Top 100 Singers in Rock and Roll History

Views: 17,895
Added: Tue. Nov 18, 2008 11:26am
Posted in: Music

Can you name the top 100 singers in rock and roll history? It's a tough job, because not all of the best singers are necessarily the most financially successful, and each person you ask might come up with a completely different list!

But Rolling Stone magazine took on the challenge, with a little help from some of the biggest names in the business. Here's the premise behind its newest list:

"This summer, Rolling Stone asked artists -- including Bruce Springsteen, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Alicia Keys and many others -- along with journalists and industry insiders to name their favorite singers of the rock era. Those ballots were recorded and weighted according to methodology developed by the accounting firm of Ernst & Young, which then tabulated and verified the results for Rolling Stone."

Serious stuff, huh? What's great about the list is that it includes some great writers (Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney), some great voices (Aretha Franklin, Brian Wilson), some world-changers (Bono, Annie Lennox) and some who just defy a one-word description (Bjork, Freddie Mercury, Willie Nelson). They're all part of rock and roll, but the list includes some who got their start in gospel as well as people who are more metal than melodic.


Check out the list below (you can find the complete story here, and a great slideshow of the musicians' hand-written ballots here!) and leave a comment. Who do you think should be here that isn't? Would you move any singers up or down?

**Look for links to some of the artists who have been profiled or interviewed here on Growing Bolder!
1.    Aretha Franklin
2.    Ray Charles
3.    Elvis Presley
4.    Sam Cooke
5.    John Lennon
6.    Marvin Gaye
7.    Bob Dylan
8.    Otis Redding
9.    Stevie Wonder
10.    James Brown
11.    Paul McCartney
12.    Little Richard
13.    Roy Orbison
14.    Al Green
15.    Robert Plant
16.    Mick Jagger
17.    Tina Turner
18.    Freddie Mercury
19.    Bob Marley
20.    Smokey Robinson
21.    Johnny Cash
22.    Etta James
23.    David Bowie
24.    Van Morrison
25.    Michael Jackson
26.    Jackie Wilson
27.    Hank Williams
28.    Janis Joplin
29.    Nina Simone
30.    Prince
31.    Howlin' Wolf
32.    Bono
33.    Steve Winwood
34.    Whitney Houston
35.    Dusty Springfield
36.    Bruce Springsteen
37.    Neil Young
38.    Elton John
39.    Jeff Buckley
40.    Curtis Mayfield
41.    Chuck Berry
42.    Joni Mitchell
43.    George Jones
44.    Bobby "Blue" Bland
45.    Kurt Cobain
46.    Patsy Cline
47.    Jim Morrison
48.    Buddy Holly
49.    Donny Hathaway
50.    Bonnie Raitt
51.    Gladys Knight
52.    Brian Wilson
53.    Muddy Waters
54.    Luther Vandross
55.    Paul Rodgers
56.    Mavis Staples
57.    Eric Burdon
58.    Christina Aguilera
59.    Rod Stewart
60.    Bjork
61.    Roger Daltrey
62.    Lou Reed
63.    Dion
64.    Axl Rose
65.    David Ruffin
66.    Thom Yorke
67.    Jerry Lee Lewis
68.    Wilson Pickett
69.    Ronnie Spector
70.    Gregg Allman
71.    Toots Hibbert
72.    John Fogerty
73.    Dolly Parton
74.    James Taylor
75.    Iggy Pop
76.    Steve Perry
77.    Merle Haggard
78.    Sly Stone
79.    Mariah Carey
80.    Frankie Valli
81.    John Lee Hooker
82.    Tom Waits
83.    Patti Smith
84.    Darlene Love
85.    Sam Moore
86.    Art Garfunkel
87.    Don Henley
88.    Willie Nelson
89.    Solomon Burke
90.    The Everly Brothers
91.    Levon Helm
92.    Morrissey
93.    Annie Lennox
94.    Karen Carpenter
95.    Patti LaBelle
96.    B.B. King
97.    Joe Cocker
98.    Stevie Nicks
99.    Steven Tyler
100.  Mary J. Blige

  • Posted 7:50pm September 6th, 2013

    Where is Frank Sinatra!!!?? Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Barry White, Neil Diamond, Cat Stevens, Bryan Ferry, Peter Gabriel, Nick Cave, Billy Joel, Michael Hutchence, Ian Gillan... 

  • Posted 7:37pm April 28th, 2010
    I agree with Nick on Steven Tyler, shame on RS. My top complaint though is why did Ann Wilson of Heart not make the list??? One of Rock's finest female vocalist.  Question? Why is Bob Dylan so close to t he top. OK, he's a fantastic writer, but his voice makes the hair on my neck stand up and irritates the h*** out of me. If he held his nose no sound would be heard at all. Did anyone listen to his Christmas CD????

  • Posted 11:54am November 21st, 2008
    Steven Tyler is number 99?  For shame, Rolling Stone.  For shame.

  • Posted 2:28pm November 20th, 2008
    Deb's Blog on Cadillac Records (the movie)

  • Turn turn turn.JPG
    Posted 12:56pm November 20th, 2008

    I'd like to see both Roger McGuinn & Gene Clark, of the Byrds, on the list. Excellent singers.


    "The Byrds never dies-they just fly higher"

  • Posted 11:43am November 20th, 2008
    Aretha could sing the phone book and make it sound good.  Surprised to not see the "ice man" Jerry Butler on the list.

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