50 Greatest Musicians of All Time

To me good music is not defined by genre and years, but its ability to wake emotions and thoughts. This list contains some of the world’s finest artist, all of whom have done exactly that. My very personal top 50 choose. Most likely you won’t know them all, but I bet you can´t help but love at least one of them!

Not in any particularly order.
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Dean Martin
If there had to be an image for cool, the man to fit it would be Dean Martin. Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, to Angela (Barra) and Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti, a barber. His father was an Italian immigrant, and his mother was of Italian descent. He spoke only Italian until age five...
Bob Marley
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, seeing his son only once...
Nat 'King' Cole
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 12 he was playing the church organ and at 14 he formed a 14 piece band called the Royal Dukes...
Soundtrack, School of Rock
Ludwig van Beethoven
Soundtrack, Dead Poets Society
Beethoven was the child of a Flamian musician family and became a member of the electoral orchestra of Bonn in 1783. In 1787 he studied at Mozart's in Vienna and in 1792 he moved all to Vienna becoming a student of Joseph Haydn. The Vienna High Society loved him as a piano player as well as as composer...
Elvis Presley
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 September 1948, Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he attended Humes High School...
Bobby Vee
Contrary to popular belief, Bobby Vee was not one of the flood of Italian-American rockers to come out of the New York-New Jersey-Philadelphia area in the '50s and '60s. He was born Robert Velline in Fargo, ND, and, although he started playing music when he was just a young teenager, it was country music...
Patsy Cline
Soundtrack, The Departed
Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932 in Winchester, Virginia. Her brush with show business came at age four when she won a prize in an amateur tap dancing contest. By the time she entered grade school, her family was fully aware of her musical talent. On her eighth birthday...
Ben E. King
Soundtrack, Stand by Me
Bobby Vinton
Soundtrack, Goodfellas
Elton John
Music Department, The Lion King
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 (unsuccessfully) as lead singer for the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Gentle Giant...
Andy Williams
The extraordinary, easy-listening crooning talents of Andy Williams were first unveiled when he was 8 years old and inducted into the Williams Brothers Quartet as its youngest member. Born in Wall Lake, Iowa on December 3, 1927, Andy started singing with his three older brothers (Bob Williams, Dick Williams and Don Williams) in his hometown's Presbyterian church choir...
Frank Sinatra
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. Starting out as a saloon singer in musty little dives (he carried his own P.A...
Actor, 8 Mile
Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III in St. Joseph, Missouri, to Deborah R. (Nelson) and Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr., who were in a band together, Daddy Warbucks. He is of English, as well as some German, Scottish, and Swiss-German, ancestry. Marshall spent his early childhood being shoved back and forth from Kansas City and Detroit...
Louis Armstrong
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 the home's brass band...
Chris Norman
Music Department, Mondo
The Beatles
Soundtrack, The Social Network
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 of love...
Nino Rota
Composer, The Godfather
Born in Milan in 1911 into a family of musicians, Nino Rota was first a student of Orefice and Pizzetti. Then, still a child, he moved to Rome where he completed his studies at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in 1929 with Alfredo Casella. In the meantime, he had become an 'enfant prodige', famous both as a composer and as an orchestra conductor...
The Darkness
Soundtrack, School of Rock
The Darkness are an English rock band from Lowestoft, Suffolk, formed in 2000. The band consists of Justin Hawkins (lead vocals, guitar), his brother Dan Hawkins (guitar, backing vocals), Frank Poullain (bass, backing vocals) and Rufus Taylor son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor on drums...
Johnny Cash
Soundtrack, Django Unchained
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 fought his addiction with the help of singer June Carter Cash...
Sam Cooke
Soundtrack, Hitch
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 the Highway Q.C.'s asked him to sing with them at various venues...
Ray Charles
Soundtrack, The Help
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 catapulted to legendary status by the time he died in Beverly Hills at age 73...
Soundtrack, The Martian
Tom Jones
Tom Jones was born Thomas Jones Woodward in Pontypridd, South Wales, to a traditional coal-mining family, the son of Freda (Jones) and Thomas Woodward. His father was of English descent and his mother was of Welsh and English ancestry. He began singing at an early age in church and in the school choir...
Dolly Parton
Dolly Rebecca Parton was born on January 19, 1946, one of 12 children of Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer, and Avie Lee Parton (née Owens). Dolly grew up on a run-down farm in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. At 12, she was appearing on Knoxville TV and, at 13, she was already recording on a small label and appearing at the Grand Ole Opry...
The remarkable, hyper-ambitious Material Girl who never stops reinventing herself, Madonna is a seven-time Grammy Award-winner who has sold over three hundred million records and CDs to adoring fans worldwide. Her film career, however, is another story. Her performances have consistently drawn scathing or laughable reviews from film critics...
Soundtrack, Zombieland
Soundtrack, xXx
Electronic metal band formed in Germany in 1993. Initiated by former 'Orgasm Death Gimmick' guitarist Richard Kruspe along with guitarist Paul Landers, keyboardist Christian Flake Lorenz [the two both ex-Feeling B], drummer Christoph Schneider, bassist Oliver Riedel and ex-champion swimmer Till Lindemann at vocals...
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 Freddie and his family flew to England. Freddie was very delighted to come to England. In 1966 he started his education at the Ealing College of Art...
Luciano Pavarotti
Soundtrack, Spectre
Luciano Pavarotti was the best-selling classical singer and humanitarian known for his most original and popular performances with the 'Three Tenors' and 'Pavarotti & Friends'. He was born on October 12, 1935, in Modena, Emilia-Romagna, in Northern Italy. He was the first child and only son of two children in the family of a baker...
Sammy Davis Jr.
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 Puerto Rican ancestry. Davis Jr. was known as someone who could do it all--sing...
Céline Dion
Soundtrack, Titanic
Hailing from the small town of Charlemagne, Québec, Céline Dion has become one of the all-time greatest singers. Céline was born in 1968, the youngest of 14 children. Early in childhood, she sang with her siblings in a small club owned by her parents. From these early experiences, Céline gained the know-how to performing live...
Bob Dylan
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
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 University of Minnesota and began performing as Bob Dylan at clubs in Minneapolis and St...
Frankie Laine
Music Department, Raging Bull
Singer, composer and author Frankie Laine was born March 30, 1913 in Chicago. His real name was Francesco Paulo LoVecchio and he lived in Chicago's Little Italy. Frankie was the oldest of eight children born to Sicilian immigrants John and Anna Lo Vecchio, who had come from Monreale, Sicily near Palermo...