Rolling Stone Magazine's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time"

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1.
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...
 
2.
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...
 
3.
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...
 
4.
The Rolling Stones
Soundtrack, The Departed
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 "Satisfaction" (1965) was composed by Keith Richards in his sleep...
 
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6.
Jimi Hendrix
Soundtrack, Almost Famous
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 Hendrix, was off fighting in World War II. When his mother became sick from alcoholism...
 
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8.
Little Richard
Soundtrack, Casino
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 fourteen-year-old keyboardist named Billy Preston...
 
9.
Aretha Franklin
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 started to sing due to her father being a minister...
 
10.
Ray Charles
Music Department, 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 catapulted to legendary status by the time he died in Beverly Hills at age 73...
 
11.
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...
 
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13.
Buddy Holly
Soundtrack, Big Fish
 
14.
Led Zeppelin
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 million records and millions of concert tickets worldwide...
 
15.
Stevie Wonder
Soundtrack, Die Hard
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 landmark to be a pioneer and innovator in the music industry...
 
16.
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...
 
17.
Muddy Waters
Soundtrack, Goodfellas
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 mid-'50s to the present day...
 
18.
Marvin Gaye
Soundtrack, Se7en
 
19.
The Velvet Underground
Soundtrack, Juno
The Velvet Underground had its origins, oddly enough, in the world of manufactured pop music, around 1965. Long Island native songwriter/singer/guitarist Lou Reed had gone from college at Syracuse University to a day job as a staff composer and musician for Pickwick Records, whose specialities...
 
20.
Bo Diddley
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...
 
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22.
U2
Soundtrack, Gangs of New York
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 and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize...
 
23.
Bruce Springsteen
Soundtrack, Jerry Maguire
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born September 23, 1949 in 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 ancestry. He has an older sister...
 
24.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Soundtrack, Grease
Jerry Lee Lewis was born on September 29, 1935 into a very religious family . His family, though not very wealthy, sold their house when he was a child to get their son a piano. He loved to play piano. He was sent to a religious school, but was soon thrown out shortly thereafter -- he did a boogie version of a song about Jesus...
 
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26.
Ramones
Soundtrack, Billy Madison
Punk Rock band formed in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City, USA, in 1974. They are known as one of the pioneers of the punk rock sound. All the band members have adopted the fake surname "Ramone" alongside their stage name. School friends John Cummings (Johnny Ramone ) and Thomas Erdelyi (Tommy Ramone ) were together in a band called "Tangerine Puppets" between 1966-1967...
 
27.
Prince
Soundtrack, Batman
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.
The Clash
Soundtrack, Iron Man 2
 
29.
The Who
Music Department, American Beauty
Roger Daltrey formed the Detours in 1962, with several member changes and role swaps abound, John Entwistle joined. Sometime later, on John's recommendation, Pete Townshend was added to the line up. In the meantime, The Detours had become a four-piece band; the drummer was changed with Keith Moon during early 1964...
 
30.
Nirvana
Soundtrack, Jarhead
 
31.
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...
 
32.
Smokey Robinson
Soundtrack, Platoon
Multi-talented performer/writer/producer Smokey Robinson's career, and life, is inextricably tied up with Motown Records' founder Berry Gordy (his first two children are named Tamla, for the Gordy-owned label Smokey recorded for, and Berry, for Gordy himself). He and Gordy have had a professional and personal relationship since the late 1950s...
 
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34.
Neil Young
Soundtrack, Philadelphia
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 spent more than 30 years performing with the super-group Crosby Stills Nash & Young...
 
35.
Michael Jackson
Thanks, This Is It
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...
 
36.
Madonna
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...
 
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38.
John Lennon
Music Department, A Hard Day's Night
John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia (Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was of Irish, and some Welsh and English, ancestry. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, which he attended) who, with the addition of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, later became The Beatles...
 
39.
David Bowie
Actor, Labyrinth
David Bowie is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of pop music. Born David Jones, he changed his name to Bowie in the 1960s, to avoid confusion with the then well-known Davy Jones (lead singer of The Monkees). The 1960s were not a happy period for Bowie, who remained a struggling artist...
 
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41.
The Doors
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
 
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43.
Sly Stone
Soundtrack, Zodiac
 
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45.
The Byrds
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
 
46.
Janis Joplin
Soundtrack, Watchmen
Janis Lyn Joplin was born at St. Mary's Hospital in the oil-refining town of Port Arthur, Texas, near the border with Louisiana. Her father was a cannery worker and her mother was a registrar for a business college. As an overweight teenager, she was a folk-music devotee (especially Odetta...
 
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49.
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...
 
50.
The Band
Soundtrack, The Departed
 
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, Cambridgeshire, England, UK). In 1968, Gilmour replaced Syd Barrett...
 
52.
Queen
Soundtrack, A Knight's Tale
Formed in London in 1970 following the demise of the band Smile, Queen originally consisted of vocalist Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor. The band became popular with audiences via their hit singles, live performances, originality and showmanship...
 
55.
Eric Clapton
Soundtrack, Back to the Future
Eric Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, on March 30, 1945. His real father was a Canadian pilot but he didn't find that out until he was 53. When he was 2 his mother felt she was unable to look after him, so Eric then went to live with his grandparents. When he was 14 he took up the guitar...
 
56.
Dr. Dre
Considered by many to be hip-hop's greatest producer, Dr. Dre (b. André Young, February 18, 1965) pioneered gangsta hip-hop and his own variation of the sound, dubbed G-Funk. His very early albums were violent but cautionary tales of the criminal mind, but Dre's records with NWA celebrated the hedonistic...
 
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61.
Metallica
Soundtrack, Zombieland
 
62.
Joni Mitchell
Soundtrack, Love Actually
Joni Mitchell is one of the most highly regarded and influential songwriters of the 20th century. Her melodious tunes support her poetic and often very personal lyrics to make her one of the most authentic artists of her time. As a performer she is widely hailed for her unique style of playing guitar...
 
63.
Tina Turner
Soundtrack, GoldenEye
After almost fifty years in the music business, Tina Turner has become one of the most commercially-successful international female rock stars to date. Her sultry, powerful voice, her incredible legs, her time-tested beauty and her unforgettable story all contribute to her legendary status. Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush...
 
64.
Phil Spector
Soundtrack, Goodfellas
 
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66.
Al Green
Soundtrack, Pulp Fiction
 
67.
Cream
Soundtrack, Goodfellas
British rock band Cream formed in 1966. Its members had come from other bands and had backgrounds in blues. Drummer Ginger Baker and bass guitarist Jack Bruce had both played with The Graham Bond Organization, an early British blues band, while lead guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton had come from The Yardbirds and John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers...
 
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69.
Jackie Wilson
Soundtrack, Sweet November
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 influence in his life...
 
70.
The Police
Soundtrack, Rush Hour 2
 
71.
Frank Zappa
Composer, Baby Snakes
Of all the qualities that typified Frank Zappa, perhaps the most striking is that he was a paradox. A workaholic perfectionist rock star who eschewed the hippie culture of the 1960s, deploring its conformism, spurious ideals and drug use, Zappa was not only a brilliant rock guitarist but an orchestral composer...
 
72.
AC/DC
Soundtrack, The Avengers
 
73.
Radiohead
Soundtrack, Prisoners
 
74.
Hank Williams
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 mother...
 
75.
Eagles
Soundtrack, The Big Lebowski
 
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77.
Beastie Boys
Soundtrack, Star Trek
 
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80.
Elvis Costello
Soundtrack, The Big Lebowski
Elvis Costello was born Declan Patrick MacManus in London, England and raised in Liverpool. The son of British band leader Ross MacManus, Costello took his pseudonym from Elvis Presley and his father's stage name (Day Costello). He began performing professionally in 1969 and was a musician and/or...
 
81.
The Drifters
Soundtrack, Goodfellas
 
83.
Eminem
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...
 
85.
Black Sabbath
Soundtrack, Iron Man
 
86.
Tupac Shakur
Soundtrack, Django Unchained
Born in New York City, Tupac grew up primarily in Harlem. In 1984, his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he became good friends with Jada Pinkett Smith. His family moved again in 1988 to Oakland, California. His first breakthrough in music came in 1991 as a member of the group Digital Underground...
 
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88.
Jay Z
Shawn Corey Carter was born 4 December 1969 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Raised in Brooklyn, Carter was a school friend of The Notorious B.I.G.. He first started releasing records in the late 1980s. In 1990, he appeared on records by his close friend, Jaz ("The Originators") and Original Flavor ("Can I Get Open")...
 
90.
Carlos Santana
Soundtrack, Desperado
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...
 
94.
Nine Inch Nails
Soundtrack, Se7en
 
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96.
The Supremes
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
The greatest girl group ever had its origins in the late 1950s in Detroit's Brewster Projects. At the beginning the girls formed a quartet and named themselves "The Primettes", achieving mild success locally and recording a single for the Lupine record label. They ended up being a trio in 1960 shortly after they were signed by Detroit-based Motown...
 
98.
Curtis Mayfield
Soundtrack, Superbad
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. Member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame whose 1968 hit "We're A Winner...
 
99.
Carl Perkins
Soundtrack, Battleship
 
100.
Talking Heads
Soundtrack, Risky Business
Started performing in the New York club, CBGBs. They released their first album, "Talking Heads: 77", in 1977. They recorded the film, Stop Making Sense, in 1984, with director Jonathan Demme. After releasing their 1988 album, Naked, the group broke up. In 1992, they released "Popular Favorites: Sand in the Vaseline"...