My 22 Favorite Musicians Of All Time

by countbeefer | created - 06 Oct 2012 | updated - 6 months ago | Public

The Top 6 are in order of my absolute favorites. Spots 7 through 22 can pretty much be rearranged in any order depending on my mood or what song I've just listened to. I listed singular artists instead of bands because I wanted to acknowledge each person as an artist in their own right. For instance, John Lennon's solo career is absolutely phenomenal and many of his songs have more depth than some of the Beatles' music.

Each of these artists is unique and brilliant in their own right. I've listed my absolute favorite tunes for each artist on the list as well. Most importantly, they all can write their own material! A good singer/songwriter combination beats a plain "singer" any day of the week. All of them have done cover songs, but all are most well known for their original material. These artists range from deeply emotional to spiritual to feel-good to completely breathtaking.

1. John Lennon

Actor | A Hard Day's Night

John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia Lennon (née Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was raised by his mother's older sister Mimi Smith. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, ...

(Just Like) Starting Over, Beautiful Boy, Mind Games, Watching The Wheels, Woman, Gimme Some Truth, Imagine, Bring On The Lucie (Freda People), #9 Dream, Love

2. George Harrison

Actor | A Hard Day's Night

A master musician, a film producer and actor, best known as the lead guitarist and occasionally lead vocalist of The Beatles, George Harrison was born February 25, 1943, in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. He was also the youngest of four children, born to Harold Harrison and Louise Harrison.

Like ...

Awaiting On You All, I Live For You, Any Road, What Is Life, Rising Sun, Got My Mind Set On You, My Sweet Lord, That's What It Takes, Pisces Fish, Give Me Love (Give Me Peace)

3. Paul McCartney

Music_department | A Hard Day's Night

Sir Paul McCartney is a key figure in contemporary culture as a singer, composer, poet, writer, artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and holder of more than 3 thousand copyrights. He is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for most records sold, most #1s (shared), most covered song, "Yesterday," ...

Wanderlust, Junior's Farm, Jet, Band On The Run, Monkberry Moon Delight, Flaming Pie, Average Person, Another Day, No More Lonely Nights, Waterspout

4. Cat Stevens

Soundtrack | Almost Famous

Cat Stevens was born on July 21, 1948 in London, England as Stephen Demetre Georgiou. He has been married to Fawzia Ali since September 9, 1979. They have five children.

Peace Train, Tuesday's Dead, I've Got A Thing About Seeing My Grandson Grow Old, Changes IV, Drywood, Wild World, Jesus, King Of Trees, Ruins, Moonshadow

5. 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.

Learning To Fly, Letting You Go, Flirting With Time, Free Fallin, Don't Do Me Like That, American Girl, Listen To Her Heart, You Don't Know How It Feels, Joe, Into The Great Wide Open

6. John Denver

Soundtrack | Armageddon

His birth occurred on Friday, December 31st, 1943, as the son of an Air Force officer, Denver was constantly moved from state to state and country to country. It was in Tucson, Arizona, that his grandmother gave him his first acoustic guitar, a gift that would prove an icebreaker when meeting other...

Sing Australia, Eagles and Horses, Ponies, Potter's Wheel, Sunshine On My Shoulders, Gravel on the Ground, Annie's Song, Leaving On A Jet Plane, Calypso, Rocky Mountain High

7. 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 ...

Hurt, Delia's Gone, Man In Black, Walk The Line, Ring Of Fire

8. 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, ...

Redemption Song, Time Will Tell, So Much Trouble In The World, Buffalo Soldier, One Love/People Get Ready, Three Little Birds, Could You Be Loved, Iron Lion Zion, No Woman No Cry, Is This Love

9. Phil Collins

Soundtrack | Tarzan

Phil Collins was born in Chiswick, London, England, to Winifred (Strange), a theatrical agent, Greville Philip Austin Collins, an insurance agent. He spent most of his early entertainment life as a young actor and model. He played the "Artful Dodger" in the West End production of "Oliver!" ...

That's Just The Way It Is, Both Sides Of The Story, Invisible Touch, Another Day In Paradise, Something Happened On The Way To Heaven, Can't Stop Loving You, You'll Be In My Heart, On My Way, Land Of Confusion, That's What You Said, Doesn't Anybody Stay Together

10. Lindsey Buckingham

Soundtrack | Back to the Future

Lindsey Buckingham was born on October 3, 1949 in Palo Alto, California, USA as Lindsey Adams Buckingham. He has been married to Kristin Messner since February 15, 2000. They have three children.

Caroline, Not That Funny, Wrong, I Must Go, Family Man, What Makes You Think You're The One, Second Hand News, Tusk, Eyes Of The World, Empire State, Can't Go Back, Doing What I Can, Illumination, The Right Place To Fade

11. Stevie Nicks

Soundtrack | Sweet November

Stevie Nicks was born in Phoenix, Arizona. From an early age, she showed a love and aptitude for music, singing country and western duets with her grandfather when she was 4 years old. After moving to San Francisco, she began songwriting and performing at Menlo-Atherton High School, where she met ...

Sorcerer, Landslide, Dreams, Paper Doll, Edge Of Seventeen, Stand Back, Talk To Me, If Anyone Falls, I Can't Wait, Rooms On Fire

12. Pat Benatar

Soundtrack | Metropolis

Pat Benatar was born Patricia Andrzejewski in Brooklyn and raised in suburban Lindenhurst, Long Island. Her mother Millie had sacrificed her own career as an opera singer to bring up Pat and son Andrew. Years later, it was Pat who singing classical, honing the powers of her 4.5-octave voice as a ...

Shadows of the Night, Promises in the Dark, Le Bel Age, Hell is for Children, Precious Time, We Live For Love, All Fired Up, Heartbreaker, Invincible, We Belong

13. 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, The Only One, Lana, Crying, Pretty Woman, Only The Lonely, End Of The Line, Not Alone Any More, Careless Heart, We'll Take The Night, Coming Home, Life Fades Away

14. 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 (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 Katherine ...

Earth Song, Black Or White, Man In The Mirror, Smooth Criminal, Bad, Remember The Time, Human Nature, They Don't Care About Us, You Rock My World, Beat It

15. 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 ...

Cecelia, Homeward Bound, Fakin' It, At The Zoo, Mrs. Robinson, The Only Living Boy In New York, The Sound Of Silence, 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy), El Condor Pasa (If I Could)

16. Art Garfunkel

Actor | The Rebound

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 The Rebound (2009), Catch-22 (1970) and Carnal Knowledge (1971). He has been married to Kim Garfunkel since September 18, 1988. They have two children. He was previously ...

Bridge Over Troubled Water, I Am A Rock, Slip Slidin' Away, Why Don't You Write Me, Old Friends

17. Ringo Starr

Actor | A Hard Day's Night

Ringo Starr is a British musician, actor, director, writer, and artist best known as the drummer of The Beatles who also coined the title 'A Hard day's Night' for The Beatles' first movie.

He was born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940, in a small two-storey house in the working class area of Liverpool...

Simple Love Song, Photograph, Puppet, It Don't Come Easy, Goodnight Vienna, No No Song, Hey Baby, I Keep Forgettin', Sunshine Life For Me (Sail Away Raymond), Never Without You

Fading In, Fading Out

18. Jeff Lynne

Soundtrack | Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Jeff Lynne was born on December 30, 1947 in Birmingham, England as Jeffrey Lynne.

Calling America, Shine A Little Love, Send It, Strange Magic, Tightrope, Telephone Line, Surrender, Mission (A World Record), Rockaria, Livin' Thing

19. Enya

Soundtrack | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Eithne, the fourth youngest of nine children, comes from the small village of Dore (Dobhar in Irish) in the Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair) region of County Donegal in the northwest of the Republic of Ireland. She now lives in Killiney, a coastal district on the southern outskirts of Dublin The family is ...

Aníron, Amarantine, As Baile, Ebudae, The Celts, My! My! Time Flies!, Stars And Midnight Blue, Exile, May It Be

20. Annie Lennox

Soundtrack | The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Annie Lennox was born on December 25, 1954 in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland as Ann Griselda Lennox. She has been married to Mitch Besser since September 15, 2012. She was previously married to Uri Fruchtmann and Radha Raman.

Love Is A Stranger, Into The West, Here Come That Sinking Feeling, Walking On Broken Glass, Why, Little Bird, Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four), For The Love Of Big Brother, Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

21. 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...

Hurricane, Gotta Serve Somebody, Things Have Changed, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Blowin' In The Wind, Congratulations, Tweeter And The Monkey Man, The Times They Are A-Changin', Mr. Tambourine Man

22. Carly Simon

Soundtrack | All Good Things

Carly Elisabeth Simon was born in New York City, and was raised in its Riverdale neighborhood, with two sisters and a brother. Her father, Richard L. Simon, co-founded the Simon and Schuster publishing company, and played Chopin and Beethoven on the piano. Her mother, Andrea Louise (Heinemann), was...

With A Few Good Friends, You're So Vain, Nobody Does It Better, Coming Around Again, Let The River Run



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