KICK-ASS composers, musicians and bands

by harleyDillon | created - 29 Aug 2011 | updated - 19 Feb 2013 | Public

no strict order

1. Ennio Morricone

Composer | The Hateful Eight

A classmate of director Sergio Leone with whom he would form one of the great director/composer partnerships (right up there with Eisenstein & Prokofiev, Hitchcock & Herrmann, Fellini & Rota), Ennio Morricone studied at Rome's Santa Cecilia Conservatory, where he specialized in trumpet. His first ...

2. Ludwig van Beethoven

Soundtrack | Total Recall

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 ...

3. Elvis Presley

Soundtrack | Blue Hawaii

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. ...

4. Johannes Brahms

Soundtrack | Grosse Pointe Blank

German Romantic composer Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg in 1833 and died in Vienna, Austria in 1897. A perfectionist, he often compared himself unfavorably to composers such as Beethoven and ended up destroying many compositions without their ever being heard. While basically conservative, he ...

5. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Soundtrack | Amadeus

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart grew up in Salzburg under the regulation of his strict father Leopold who also was a famous composer of his time. His abilities in music were obvious even when Mozart was still young so that in 1762 at the age of six, his father took him with his elder sister on a concert ...

6. Sergei Rachmaninoff

Soundtrack | Dawn of the Dead

Sergei Rachmaninov (also spelled Rachmaninoff) was a legendary Russian composer and pianist who emigrated after the Communist revolution of 1917, and became one of the highest paid concert stars of his time, and one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century.

He was born Sergei Vasilevich ...

7. Johann Sebastian Bach

Soundtrack | Minority Report

Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, into a large and distinguished family of professional musicians. His father, named Johann Ambrosius Bach, was a violinist and trumpeter, employed by the city of Eisenach. His uncles were church organists, court ...

8. Maurice Ravel

Soundtrack | Basic

Maurice Ravel was born on March 7, 1875 in Ciboure, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France as Joseph-Maurice Ravel. He died on December 28, 1937 in Paris, France.

9. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Soundtrack | Minority Report

Pyotr (Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840, in Votkinsk, Vyatka region, Russia. He was the second of six children (five brothers and one sister). His father, named Ilya Chaikovsky, was a mining business executive in Votkinsk. His father's ancestors were from Ukraine and Poland. His ...

10. Frédéric Chopin

Soundtrack | Paycheck

Frédéric François Chopin was born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, on March 1, 1810, in Zelazowa Wola, Masovia region, Duchy of Warsaw, Poland. His father, named Mikolaj (Nicolas) Chopin, was a Frenchman who came to Poland from Lorraine, and eventually became professor at Warsaw Lyceum. His mother, ...

11. Claude Debussy

Soundtrack | Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Claude Debussy was born in St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, France. His father was a salesman and kept a china shop. His mother was a seamstress. Some traumatizing events in his childhood caused him a depression and he never spoke about his early years. Later he could not compose without having his...

12. Kurt Cobain

Soundtrack | Moulin Rouge!

Kurt Cobain was born on February 20 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. Kurt and his family lived in Hoquiam for the first few months of his life then later moved back to Aberdeen, where he had a happy childhood until his parents divorced. The divorce left Kurt's outlook on the world forever scarred. He...

13. Michael Jackson

Soundtrack | Michael Jackson: Thriller

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson, had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Jackson (née Katherine Esther Scruse). Together, ...

14. 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...

15. Nirvana

Soundtrack | Lost

Ranked #42 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll.

16. Robert Schumann

Soundtrack | Wasabi

Schumann studied Law and at the same time attended piano lessons. He ignored all musical theory because in his mind the romantic music had only to be inspired by fantasy. Publishing the "Neue Zeitschrift fuer Musik" he supported young composers of his time like Frédéric Chopin or Johannes Brahms. ...

17. Antonín Dvorák

Soundtrack | Arrival

Antonin Dvorak was a son of butcher, but he did not follow his father's trade. While assisting his father part-time, he studied music, and graduated from the Prague Organ School in 1859. He also was an accomplished violinist and violist, and joined the Bohemian Theatre Orchestra, which was under ...

18. Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Soundtrack | Enemy of the State

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was born on February 3, 1809 in Hamburg as Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. He was married to Cécile Charlotte Sophie Jeanrenaud. He died on November 4, 1847 in Leipzig, Saxony [now Germany].

19. Anton Bruckner

Soundtrack | Bronson

He was the son of a village schoolmaster and organist.

20. Carl Orff

Soundtrack | Excalibur

Carl Orff was born on July 10, 1895 in Munich, Germany as Karl Heinrich Maria Orff. He was married to Liselotte Schmitz, Luise Rinser, Gertrud Willert and Alice Solscher. He died on March 29, 1982 in Munich.

21. Madonna

Actress | Evita

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 ...

22. Hans Zimmer

Composer | Gladiator

German-born composer Hans Zimmer is recognized as one of Hollywood's most innovative musical talents. He featured in the music video for The Buggles' single "Video Killed the Radio Star", which became a worldwide hit and helped usher in a new era of global entertainment as the first music video to ...

23. Aretha Franklin

Actress | The Blues Brothers

Several Grammy award wins, the first women to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and dubbed as the Queen Of Soul. Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Aretha was born to parents, Barbra Singers homemaker, and Clarence Franklin a baptist minster. Aretha Franklin ...

25. Franz Liszt

Soundtrack | The Green Hornet

Franz Liszt, the virtuoso pianist and composer, was the most famous concert superstar of the 19th century. He was born in what was then the Austrian Empire. His father was Hungarian and his mother was Austrian. At age 6 he took music lessons from his father, Adam Liszt, who worked at the Court of ...

26. John Williams

Music_department | Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

As one of the best known, awarded, and financially successful composers in US history, John Williams is as easy to recall as John Philip Sousa, Aaron Copland or Leonard Bernstein, illustrating why he is "America's composer" time and again. With a massive list of awards that includes over 41 Oscar ...

27. 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, ...

28. Guns N' Roses

Soundtrack | Body of Lies

They were ranked #9 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists and #40 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.

29. Mariah Carey

Actress | Precious

Mariah was born in Huntington, New York. She is the daughter of Patricia Carey (born: Patricia Hickey), an opera singer and vocal coach, and Alfred Roy Carey, an engineer. Her mother is of Irish descent, and her father was of African & Venezuelan descent. Mariah attended Greenlawn's Harborfields ...

30. Martha Argerich

Soundtrack | Wasabi

Martha Argerich was born on June 5, 1941 in Buenos Aires, Argentina as María Martha Argerich. She has been married to Stephen Kovacevitch since 1974. They have one child. She was previously married to Charles Dutoit and Robert Chen.

31. Svyatoslav Richter

Actor | Kompozitor Glinka

Svyatoslav Richter, one of the greatest pianist of the 20th century who was largely self-taught, had survived traumatic events and restrictions on his concert tours during the Soviet era and was widely recognized as the leading pianist of his time.

He was born Svyatoslav Teofilovich Richter on March...

32. Glen Gould

Actor | Charlie Zone

Glen is an Ontario based award-winning Actor, with an extensive background in theater, television & film. He recently had a recurring role on Guillermo Del Toro's The Strain and went directly into production on Hard Powder, a Hollywood remake of the Norwegian film, In Order of Disappearance, ...

34. Metallica

Soundtrack | Zombieland

On YouTube, a video can be seen of a concert in the early 1990s with a switched line-up, with Lars Ulrich on vocals, James Hetfield on drums, Jason Newsted on guitar and Kirk Hammett on bass.

36. Dmitri Shostakovich

Soundtrack | Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Dmitri Shostakovich, one of Russian culture's most acclaimed intellectuals who was censored under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, was an internationally recognized composer whose music was in over 100 films.

He was born Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich on September 25, 1906, in St. Petersburg, ...

37. Robbie Williams

Soundtrack | Johnny English

Robbie Williams was born in Stoke On Trent, England on February 13th, 1974. Having played in school productions of "Oliver" and, obviously showing a flair for entertaining, Williams' mother saw an advert for auditions to be in a new boy band which he applied for and, at age 16, was a member of Take...

38. John Legend

Soundtrack | La La Land

John Legend was born on December 28, 1978 in Springfield, Ohio, USA as John Stephens. He has been married to Chrissy Teigen since September 14, 2013. They have one child.

39. Alfred Brendel

Soundtrack | Le gamin au vélo

Alfred Brendel was born on January 5, 1931 in Loucná nad Desnou, Czechoslovakia.

40. The Black Eyed Peas

Soundtrack | G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Won Best International Group at the 2006 Juno Awards in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was a tie with Coldplay.

41. Marilyn Manson

Soundtrack | Detroit Rock City

Marilyn Manson was born Brian Hugh Warner on January 5, 1969 in Canton, Ohio, to Barbara Jo (Wyer) and Hugh Angus Warner. He has German and English ancestry. During his childhood, one of his neighbors molested him several times until the young Brian broke down one day and told his mother what ...

42. Stone Temple Pilots

Soundtrack | Battleship

Stone Temple Pilots are: Scott Weiland (vocals), Dean DeLeo (guitarist), Robert DeLeo (bassist) and Eric Kretz (drums).

44. Witold Lutoslawski

Composer | Granatowy Zeszyt

Witold Lutoslawski was born on January 25, 1913 in Warsaw, Poland, Russian Empire. He was a composer, known for Granatowy Zeszyt (2014), Inland Empire (2006) and O Meu Alien (2008). He was married to Danuta Boguslawska. He died on February 7, 1994 in Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland.

45. Sergei Prokofiev

Soundtrack | Blade Runner 2049

Prokofiev was a multi-talented man and an innovative composer. He learned piano from his mother and chess from his father. He always had a chess set on his piano, and was able to play against the chess champions of his time. He studied music with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, graduated with highest ...

46. Bush

Soundtrack | Fear

47. AC/DC

Soundtrack | Iron Man

Honored with a 60¢ Australian commemorative postage stamp in the Living Legends series, issued 18 January 2013. Other performers honored in this issue were John Farnham, Paul Kelly, Ian 'Molly' Meldrum, Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John, Cold Chisel, INXS, Men at Work, and The Seekers.

48. Bobby McFerrin

Soundtrack | Dawn of the Dead

Bobby McFerrin was born on March 11, 1950 in New York City, New York, USA. He has been married to Debbie Green since 1975. They have three children.

49. The Chemical Brothers

Soundtrack | Hanna

Members have included Tom Rowlands, Ed Simons

50. Armin van Buuren

Soundtrack | Yesterday Was a Lie

Armin van Buuren was born on December 25, 1976 in Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands as Armin Joseph Daniel Jacobus van Buuren. He has been married to Erika van Thiel since 2009. They have two children.

51. Tiësto

Soundtrack | Ecstasy

Tijs Michiel Verwest born in Holland back in 1969, Tiesto's aim from the start was 'to share his music with others'. By first gaining experience with his residency in Dutch club The Spock all while perfecting his producing skills in the studio at the start of 1995, he was always searching for the ...

52. Coldplay

Soundtrack | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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

53. Fugees

Soundtrack | Fugees: Killing Me Softly

Barack Obama's favorite song is "Ready or Not" by The Fugees.

54. 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 ...

55. 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 ...

56. Lenny Kravitz

Actor | The Hunger Games

Four time Grammy Award-winner Leonard Albert Kravitz was born on May 26, 1964 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, the only child of actress Roxie Roker and Hollywood producer Sy Kravitz. The family moved to California when Lenny was ten. His father was Jewish and his mother was of ...

57. George Enescu

Soundtrack | The Royal Tenenbaums

George Enescu was born on August 19, 1881 in Liveni, Romania. He was a composer, known for The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Colonia Ingerilor (2011) and Vox Maris (1994). He was married to Maria Cantacuzino. He died on May 4, 1955 in Paris, France.

58. Scott Weiland

Soundtrack | Battleship

Scott Weiland was born on October 27, 1967 in Santa Cruz, California, USA as Scott Richard Kline. He was married to Jamie Wachtel, Mary Forsberg and Janina Castenada. He died on December 3, 2015 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA.

59. Matt Zemlin

Actor | Bad Hero

Matt Zemlin was born in Hamburg of mixed Scandinavian/Irish descent(father)and French/Prussian descent(mother) and started acting as a child. After his education in Hamburg and Canterbury, Kent, where he had his first professional theatre performances, he earned a BA (Hons) degree in London while ...

62. Faithless

Soundtrack | Chasing Amy

The band consists of Maxwell Alexander Fraser AKA Maxi Jazz, Ayalah Deborah Bentovim AKA Sister Bliss and Rowland Constantine O'Malley Armstrong AKA Rollo.

63. Linkin Park

Soundtrack | Transformers

Linkin Park has had several bassist swaps, Kyle Christner (now in the band NoseDive) was the bassist for Hybrid Theory, then Phoenix was back, while Phoenix was touring with "The Snax," Scott Koziol was a step in bassist, then finally, Phoenix came back for good...

64. Ice-T

Actor | New Jack City

The legendary gangsta hip-hop emcee Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his paternal aunt after the death of his father while he was in the sixth grade; his mother had died earlier when he was in the third grade....

65. Steve Dewey

Sound_department | Black Rain

Steve Dewey is known for his work on Black Rain (1989), Sneakers (1992) and John Q (2002).

66. Paul Van Dyk

Composer | Zurdo

Paul Van Dyk was born on December 16, 1971 in Eisenhüttenstadt, German Democratic Republic as Matthias Paul.

68. Beth Gibbons

Soundtrack | Fantastic Four

Beth Gibbons was born on January 4, 1965 in Bristol, England.

69. The Prodigy

Soundtrack | The Matrix

Prodigy are an English electronic music group consisting of Liam Howlett, Keith Flint, Maxim Reality and formerly Leeroy Thornhill and Sharky.

70. Liam Howlett

Soundtrack | The Matrix

The man behind the music of the Prodigy, Liam Howlett, was born on August 21, 1971 in Essex, England. Ever since his childhood, Liam had an undying devotion for music. His father forced him to take piano classes but his interest was grabbed by other musical styles. He particularly liked the Ska ...

71. Andrew Roachford

Soundtrack | This Is Your Life

Andrew Roachford was born on January 22, 1965 in London, England as Andrew S. R. Roachford.

73. Type O Negative

Soundtrack | I Know What You Did Last Summer

A gothic/metal band formed in Brooklyn, New York in 1989. Led by singer/bassist/songwriter Peter Steele (was also the leader of the NYHC band 'Carnivore' from 1983-1988), followed by guitarist Kenny Hickey, keyboardist Josh Silver, and drummer Johnny Kelly. The band hit its prime in 1993 with the ...

74. The Sex Pistols

Soundtrack | The A-Team

They lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album.

75. Paul Cook

Soundtrack | The A-Team

Paul Cook was born on July 20, 1956 in London, England. He is married to Jeni Cook. They have one child.

76. John Lydon

Soundtrack | The A-Team

John Joseph Lydon, more popularly known by his former stage name, Johnny Rotten, is an English singer, songwriter and author. He is best known as the frontman of the British punk band The Sex Pistols, one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music. The band originally lasted from ...

78. Billy Corgan

Soundtrack | Batman & Robin

Billy Corgan was born on March 17, 1967 in Elk Grove, Chicago, Illinois, USA as William Patrick Corgan. He was previously married to Christine Fabian.

79. Smashing Pumpkins

Soundtrack | The Saint

Ranked #49 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists.

80. Slash

Soundtrack | Terminator Salvation

Saul Hudson, mainly known as Slash, was born on July 23, 1965, and was raised in Stoke-on-Trent. Both his parents worked in the entertainment business, his mother being a clothing designer (she did some of David Bowie's costumes) and his father being an art director for a record company. When Slash...

81. Axl Rose

Soundtrack | Terminator Salvation

Born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana, W. Axl Rose is the pure embodiment of decadent late 1980s rockerdom. Brash, slightly misogynistic and notoriously wild, Rose grew up in a maniacally dysfunctional household - molested by his own father at age two; beaten by his abusive stepfather.

When Axl was ...

82. R.E.M.

Soundtrack | Independence Day

Music video "Losing My Religion" was ranked #19 on VH1's 100 Greatest Videos.

83. Michael Stipe

Producer | Being John Malkovich

John Michael Stipe was born in Decatur, Georgia, on January 4th, 1960. Since his father was in the military, they moved around a lot. In 1980, while he was attending the University of Georgia (studying painting and photography), he met Mike Mills, Peter Buck and Bill Berry. They dropped out of ...

84. Peter Buck

Soundtrack | Man on the Moon

Peter Buck was born on December 6, 1956 in Oakland, California, USA as Peter Ernest Lawrence Buck. He has been married to Chloe Johnson since June 1, 2013. He was previously married to Stephanie Dorgan and Barrie Greene.

85. Foo Fighters

Soundtrack | Godzilla

Ranked #72 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists.

86. Dave Grohl

Soundtrack | Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters front-man, will always be remembered as the drummer for Nirvana. But, drumming for a great band such as Nirvana is not Dave's only claim in the world of music. Dave's musical career began at age 15 as the guitarist and later as the drummer for a punk band called "Freak Baby...

88. The Offspring

Soundtrack | Bubble Boy

Recording the seventh studio album, which will be released later this year or 2007.

89. Dexter Holland

Soundtrack | Bubble Boy

One of the greatest punk vocalists in rock history, Bryan Keith Holland was born two days before the end of 1965 in Orange County, California to a father who was a hospital-administrator and a mother who was a school teacher. He is the third of four children of his family. Holland has cited bands/...

90. Steven Tyler

Soundtrack | Wayne's World 2

Steven Tyler was born on March 26, 1948 in Yonkers, New York, USA as Steven Victor Tallarico. He was previously married to Teresa Barrick and Cyrinda Foxe.

91. Aerosmith

Soundtrack | Armageddon

The group has earned more money from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (2008) royalties than from their album sales.

92. Christina Aguilera

Soundtrack | The Voice

Christina Maria Aguilera was born on December 18, 1980, in Staten Island, New York, to Shelly Loraine (Fidler) and Fausto Wagner Xavier Aguilera, a U.S. army sergeant. Her father is Ecuadorian and her mother, who is American-born, has English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry. Her parents divorced ...

93. Tricky

Actor | Le cinquième élément

Tricky was born on January 27, 1968 in Knowle West, Bristol, England as Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws.

94. DJ Krush

Soundtrack | Arakimentari

DJ Krush was born in 1962 in Tokyo, Japan as Hideaki Ishii.

95. Britney Spears

Soundtrack | Crossroads

Britney Jean Spears was born in McComb (Mississippi) and raised in rural Louisiana (Kentwood) to Jamie Spears and Lynne Spears. As a child, Britney attended dance classes, and she was great at gymnastics, winning many competitions and the like. But, most of all, Britney loved to sing. At age 8, ...

96. Dr. Alban

Soundtrack | Blended

Dr. Alban was born on August 26, 1957 in Nigeria as Alban Nwapa.

97. Massive Attack

Soundtrack | Mad Max: Fury Road

Massive Attack are an English trip hop group formed in 1988 in Bristol, consisting of Robert "3D" Del Naja and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall. The group started as a trio. Andrew Vowles was a founding member, next to Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshall, but decided to leave in 1999 because of the ...

98. Robert Del Naja

Soundtrack | Gomorra

Robert Del Naja was born on January 21, 1965 in Brighton, England.

99. Ricky Martin

Soundtrack | Hercules

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ricky initiated his singing career in the Latin all boy-band group Menudo. After leaving the group, he moved to New York to study acting. After finishing his studies, he relocated to Mexico where he performed as actor in "Mama ama el Rock", "Alcanzar una Estrella II"...

100. Gabriele Peter

Sound_department | Vatanyolu