List of atheists in music
There have been many atheists who have composed or performed music. The is a list of atheists in music. Living persons in this list are people whose atheism is relevant to their notable activities or public life, and who have publicly identified themselves as atheists.
- Larry Adler (1914–2001): American harmonica player.
- Javed Akhtar (1945–): Indian lyricist, poet and scriptwriter.
- Steve Albini (1962–): American singer, songwriter, guitarist, audio engineer, and music journalist. He was a member of Big Black, Rapeman, and Flour, and is currently a member of Shellac.
- Eric Avery (1965–): American musician and is the bass player for the rock band Jane's Addiction.
- Roy Bailey (1935–): British socialist folk singer.
- Brian Baker (1965–): American guitarist and bassist for punk bands such as Bad Religion, Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Samhain, Junkyard, The Meatmen and Government Issue.
- Georges Bizet (1838–1875): French composer. His final work, Carmen, became one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertory.
- Björk (1965–): Icelandic singer-songwriter, producer, fashion model, and actress.
- Pierre Boulez (1925–): French composer and conductor.
- Jacques Brel (1929–1978): Belgian singer-songwriter.
- Isaac Brock (1975–): American singer, guitarist, banjoist, and songwriter for the indie rock band Modest Mouse.
- Chico Buarque (1941–): Brazilian singer, composer, poet and writer, one of most famous of MPB.
- Geoffrey Burgon (1941–2010): British composer notable for his television and film themes.
- Mike Burkett (1967–): (a.k.a. Fat Mike) American bassist and vocalist for the punk rock band NOFX. Many of their lyrics include atheist views.
- Henry Burstow (1826–1916): English shoemaker, singer and bellringer from Horsham, Sussex, best known for his vast repertoire of songs, many of which were collected in the folksong revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
- Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924): Italian composer, pianist, teacher of piano and composition, and conductor.
- Vic Chesnutt (1964–2009): American singer-songwriter.
- Eddie Collins (1981–): (a.k.a. Greydon Square) African-American hip hop artist.
- Chris Corner (1974–): English musician, co-founder and former leader singer of 90s trip-hop group Sneaker Pimps. Now performing as IAMX.
- Wayne Coyne (1961–): American rock musician, lead singer of The Flaming Lips.
- Jonny Craig (1986–): Post-hardcore singer-songwriter, poet, lead vocalist for Emarosa and co-leader for Isles & Glaciers.
- Kim Deal (1961–): American singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the bassist and backup vocalist of the alternative rock band the Pixies, and the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for The Breeders.
- Frederick Delius CH (1862–1934): Noted English composer.
- Marina Diamandis (1985–): Welsh singer-songwriter and musician.
- King Diamond (1956–): Danish heavy metal singer.
- Ian "Dicko" Dickson (1963–): English-born music industry and television personality in Australia, best known as a judge on the television shows Australian Idol and The Next Great American Band.
- Ani DiFranco (1970–): Singer, guitarist, and songwriter.
- Beth Ditto (1981–): American vocalist with the band Gossip.
- Electroboy (1974–): Swiss musician and model.
- Brian Eno (1948–): English electronic musician, music theorist and record producer, known as the father of modern ambient music.
- Fenriz (1971–): Norwegian drummer and lyricist for the two-piece black metal band Darkthrone.
- Wil Francis (1982–): American rock musician and poet, lead singer of the post-hardcore band Aiden and the electronic rock project William Control 
- Madonna Wayne Gacy, (1964–): Long time keyboardist of the band Marilyn Manson.
- Bob Geldof, (1951–): Irish singer/songwriter, organized the Live Aid and Live 8 charity concerts.
- David Gilmour CBE (1946–): English guitarist, songwriter and vocalist of Pink Floyd.
- Dave Godin (1936–2004): English champion of African-American music who coined the term 'Northern soul'.
- Greg Graffin (1964–): Lead singer of the punk rock band Bad Religion. Received his zoology PhD with the thesis Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology.
- Percy Grainger, (1882–1961): Australian-born composer and pianist.
- David Gray (1968–): English Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who came to prominence with his multi-platinum selling album White Ladder.
- Kathleen Hanna (1968–): Lead singer of Le Tigre and Bikini Kill.
- Jeff Hanneman (1964-2013): American guitarist, a founding member of the thrash metal band Slayer.
- Roy Harper (1941–): English rock / folk singer-songwriter and guitarist, known for his longtime associations with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and for his guest lead vocals on Pink Floyd's song "Have a Cigar".
- Angel Haze (1991–) American rapper and singer 
- Paul Heaton (1962–): English singer-songwriter, leading member of The Housemartins and The Beautiful South.
- Anthony Heilbut (1940–): American record producer of gospel music and writer, a Grammy Award winner and noted for his biography of Thomas Mann.
- Chris Holmes (1958–): Heavy metal guitarist, best known as founding member of W.A.S.P..
- George Hrab (1971–): American rock & funk musician & podcaster.
- Leoš Janáček (1854—1928): Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, publicist and teacher. He is considered to rank with Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana, as one of the most important Czech composers.
- Billy Joel (1949—): American pianist, singer-songwriter and composer.
- Heri Joensen (1973–): Faroese musician, lead singer of the metal band Týr.
- Brian Johnson (1947–) lead singer of Australian rock band AC/DC
- Alex Kapranos (1972–): Lead singer of Scottish band Franz Ferdinand.
- Howard Kaylan (1947–): American rock and roll musician, best known as a founding member and lead singer of the 1960s band The Turtles, and as "Eddie" in the 1970s rock band Flo & Eddie.
- Paul Kelly (1955—): Australian rock music singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player.
- Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978): Soviet Armenian composer.
- Kerry King (1964—): American guitarist, best known as one of the founding members of the thrash metal band Slayer.
- Seun Kuti (1983–): Nigerian Afrobeat musician.
- Linton Kwesi Johnson (1952–): British-based dub poet.
- Simon Le Bon (1958–): English lead singer and lyricist of the band Duran Duran and its offshoot, Arcadia.
- Geddy Lee (1953–): Canadian singer and bassist of the progressive rock band Rush.
- Tom Lehrer (1928–): American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician.
- György Ligeti (1923–2006): Composer of contemporary classical music.
- Till Lindemann (1963–): Lead singer of the German industrial metal band, Rammstein.
- Dave Lombardo (1965–): Cuban American heavy metal drummer, best known for his work with American thrash metal band Slayer.
- John Lydon (1956–): British singer-songwriter and television presenter. Best known as the lead singer of punk rock band the Sex Pistols and post-punk band Public Image Ltd.
- Emcee Lynx (1980–): anarchist hip hop musician who identifies as potentially pantheist, agnostic or atheist.
- Marilyn Manson (1969–): American musician.
- Marina and The Diamonds Welsh pop singer.
- Shirley Manson (1966–): Lead singer of the British-American alternative rock band, Garbage.
- Ida Maria (1984–): Norwegian rock musician.
- George Marshall-Hall (1862–1915): English-born Australian composer, conductor and professor of music.
- Nick Mason (1944-): English drummer for Pink Floyd.
- Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CBE (1934–): English composer and conductor, currently Master of the Queen's Music.
- Andy McKee (1979–): American composer and guitarist.
- George Melly (1926–2007): English jazz and blues singer, critic, writer and lecturer.
- Tim Minchin (1975–): British-Australian comedian, actor, and musician. Many of his songs and beat poems involve Tim's thoughts on his own atheism and organised religion.
- Vinicius de Moraes (1913–1980): Brazilian composer and poet, best known as one of the first songwriters of bossa nova.
- Simon Napier-Bell (1939–): English music producer, songwriter, journalist and author, best known as manager of (among others) The Yardbirds, Marc Bolan, T. Rex and Wham!.
- Randy Newman (1943–): American singer-songwriter, who is known for his distinctive voice, mordant (and often satirical) pop songs and for film scores.
- Gary Numan (1958–): English new wave, synthpop and industrial rock musician.
- Alice Nutter (1962–): British singer and percussionist for Chumbawamba.
- Meshell Ndegeocello (1968–) American musician known for influencing the Neo soul movement.
- Charlie Parker (1920–1955): American jazz saxophonist and composer. He is widely considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of his time.
- Richard Patrick (1968–): American singer, songwriter for the band Filter.
- Andy Partridge (1953–): English singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the pop/new wave band XTC
- George Perdikis (1966–): Australian musician, co-founder and former guitarist of Christian pop rock band Newsboys.
- Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953): Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century.
- Maurice Ravel (1875–1937): French composer.
- Marc Riley (1961–): British musician, alternative rock critic and radio DJ.
- Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908): Russian Nationalist composer, member of "The Five", best known for the symphonic suite Scheherazade.
- Richard Rodgers (1902–1979): American composer of the music for more than 900 songs and 40 Broadway musicals, best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II.
- Henry Rollins (1961–): American punk/rock musician, author, spoken word performer and actor. When asked "Henry, Do you believe in any form of afterlife or form of "God"? Also, what makes you get up out of bed every morning?" Henry responded- "No. Curiosity/anger."
- Linda Ronstadt, singer and author of Simple Dreams: a Musical Memoir (2013).
- Ned Rorem (1923–): American composer.
- Anton Rubinstein - Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.
- Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) - French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era.
- Eric Sams (1926–2004): British musicologist and Shakespeare scholar.
- Fazıl Say (1970) Turkish pianist and composer.
- Anton Seidl (1850-1898) - Hungarian conductor.
- Captain Sensible (1955–): singer, songwriter, musician and co-founded the punk rock band The Damned.
- Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975): Russian composer and pianist.
- Robert Smith (1959–): British musician, songwriter, singer and guitarist of the band The Cure.
- Donita Sparks (1963–): American vocalist, guitarist and song-writer with her band Donita Sparks and The Stellar Moments and co-founder of grunge band L7.
- Wayne Static (1965-2014): Frontman for industrial metal band Static-X.
- Oliver Sykes (1986–): Vocalist of British metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon.
- Richard Thomas (1964–): British musician, writer, and comedy actor, best known for composing and scoring the award-winning Jerry Springer - The Opera.
- Tracey Thorn (1962–): English pop singer and songwriter, best known as one half of the duo Everything but the Girl.
- Sir Michael Tippett OM (1905–1998): English composer, regarded as one of the greatest of the 20th century.
- Frank Turner (1981–): English folk/punk singer-songwriter.
- Edgard Varèse (1883–1965): Franco-American composer and pioneer of electroacoustic music.
- Eddie Vedder (1964–): lead singer and lyricist of the band Pearl Jam.
- Caetano Veloso (1942–): Brazilian singer-songwriter, musician. Best known for his participation in the tropicalia movement.
- Roger Waters (1943–): English rock musician; singer, bassist, guitarist, songwriter and composer, best known for his career with Pink Floyd.
- Pete Wernick (1946–): American bluegrass banjo player and songwriter.
- Jerry Wexler (1917–2008): American music journalist and producer, regarded as one of the major record industry players behind music from the 1950s through the 1980s, coiner of the term rhythm and blues.
- Mark White (1961–): Bassist of the American alternative rock band Spin Doctors.
- Earl Wild (1915–2010): American classical pianist, considered a leading virtuoso of his generation.
- Iannis Xenakis (1922–2001): Greek composer, music theorist, and architect-engineer. He pioneered the use of mathematical models in music such as applications of set theory, stochastic processes and game theory and was also an important influence on the development of electronic music.
- Frank Zappa (1940–1993): American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer, and film director.
Notes and references
- Ingrams, Richard (12 August 2001). "Larry Adler: brilliant musician, formidable campaigner". The Observer.
I was among friends and family who packed a chapel at Golders Green crematorium on Friday to hear more than two hours of tributes to Larry Adler. In accordance with Larry's wishes - he was an inveterate atheist who refused to recognise the supernatural in any shape or form - there were no religious observances.
- Spirituality, Halo or Hoax - Javedakhtar.com, Spirituality, Halo or Hoax, February 26, 2005. "There are certain things that I would like to make very clear at the very outset. Don’t get carried away by my name – Javed Akhtar. I am not revealing a secret, I am saying something that I have said many times, in writing or on TV, in public…I am an atheist, I have no religious beliefs. And obviously I don’t believe in spirituality of some kind. Some kind."
- Ryan Kohls: "I was wondering, is there a spiritual or religious side to Steve Albini?" Steve Albini: "No, not at all. I’m an atheist. You could say that I’m agnostic, but that’s just a certain kind of atheist (laughs). An atheist is someone who lacks a belief in a supernatural, and that’s me. I can’t say with absolute certainty that there is nothing beyond the material world, but there’s no reason for me to think there is. If I were a gambling man I would put all my money on there not being anything other than this universe." Ryan Kohls, Steve Albini, Jun 3, 2011.
- An interview with Avery on The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe
- "I think of myself as a militant atheist and I never knew quite where Tony [Benn] was coming from on the religion side." The Writing on the Wall: An Interview with Roy Bailey (accessed April 14, 2008).
- '"We're dealing with religious zealots. I mean, they're so far behind the equal as it is and it's not like they...no one's ever coming up to us, as individuals, and asking about our individual viewpoints, because in our band, believe it or not, though I am a staunch atheist, there are variation on that theme that go through our band" Bad Religion Talk 'True North' and Religious Views (Part 1 of 2)
- "The Pearl Fishers - Georges Bizet". Virginia Opera. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
At the end of the first year he was asked to submit a religious work as his required composition. As a self-described atheist, Bizet felt uneasy and hypocritical writing a religious piece. Instead, he submitted a comic opera. Publicly, the committee accepted, acknowledging his musical talent.
- Martin Cooper (1938). Georges Bizet. Oxford University Press. p. 48. ISBN 0781294908.
As the second part of his letter shows, he was too much of an artist—too firm a believer in the mysteriousness of the greatest things in the world—to be an atheist: and like the Voltaire of whom he wrote from Rome so admiringly, it is the church that he attacks rather than religion, although like Voltaire he does not always manage to keep the distinction clear in his writing.
- Bjork profileGQ, "GQ&A: Björk""Irish atheists challenge new blasphemy laws" 1 January 2010 Guardian
- Joan Peyser (1976). Boulez: Composer, Conductor, Enigma. Schirmer Books. p. 7. ISBN 9780028717005.
A priest showed me around. At the chapel door he asked me if what he had been told was true: that Boulez no longer believed in God. I said it was and he replied, 'Then I won't show you the chapel where he prayed twice a day between the ages of six and sixteen'.
- Chris Tinker (2005). Georges Brassens And Jacques Brel: Personal And Social Narratives In Post-war Chanson. Liverpool University Press. p. 36. ISBN 9780853237686.
Brel himself asserts that he is an atheist: 'Je ne crois pas en Dieu et je n'y croirai jamais', and he describes such a belief as a 'fetish', 'plus un besoin qu'une realite'." For him, all ideologies are a 'maniere elegante de tricher'.
- When asked "Do you still consider yourself an atheist?" Brock replies "Pretty much, but there are things that make me think...I'm 100 percent on the whole Christianity thing being a crock of shit..." A V Club[dead link]
- "Atheism in brazilian music". 2002.
- "Geoffrey Burgon [...] has declined a generous Hollywood offer to write the music for award-winning John Carpenter's remake of The Thing, a 1950s horror film. An atheist with a remarkable feel for "church" music, Burgon tells me that time prevents his crossing the Atlantic; he is busy writing two operas [...]" Peter Watson, 'The Times Diary', The Times, January 12, 1982; pg. 8; Issue 61129; col C.
- "At the Warped Tour 06 Fat Mike joined the bible study and clearly stated that he does not believe in a god."
- "Burstow was a fascinating man. A shoemaker by trade, he shared the radical and non-conformist attitudes of many who followed the gentle craft. His reading included Darwin and Lyle and he was a convinced atheist, this in spite of the fact that he was a well known church bell-ringer." Vic Gammon, Chairman of the Oral History Society, 'The Grand Conversation: Napoleon and British Popular Balladry', March 26, 1999 (accessed May 2, 2008).
- "Aside from his undisputed powers as composer, pianist and man of letters, Busoni was an enterprising (if sometimes erratic) conductor, a passionate bibliophile, a talented draughtsman and a bon vivant. Baptized into the Catholic church, he was at heart an atheist; a lucid commentator on world affairs, he remained politically uncommitted." Beaumont, Anthony: 'Busoni, Ferruccio (Dante Michelangelo Benvenuto)', Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (accessed April 28, 2008)
- "Chesnutt's contrary nature was forged in isolation, in the backwoods of Pine County, Georgia. Though he loved the closeness of nature, and was loved by friends and parents, he found himself "at odds with the Protestant power structure". "I had a revelation that I was an atheist at a very early age," he remembers, "and I bumped up with these fuckers my whole time there. Sometimes it felt great to be at war with them. But I knew I needed to go somewhere else." " Nick Hasted interviewing Chesnutt, 'The Dark side of the Tune', The Independent (London), April 4, 2003, Features, Pg. 21.
- "Written, produced and recorded by Greydon Square, The Compton Effect fuses atheism, critical thinking, and rationality with hip hop to spread free-thought and education about the dangers of faith and religion. It's a giant step towards the enlightenment of urban culture's dependency on religious indoctrination. "This is music that transcends genres," says Greydon. "This is bigger than just hip hop, these are cultural issues that need to be addressed before humanity can safely take another evolutionary step. I am the minority of the minority, an African-American atheist, from a community that does not tolerate threats to the status quote unless it's based on religion. This album is the manifestation of the thought, research and education that has been used to free myself from the shackles of religion." " Atheist Rapper - African American Hip-Hop Artist Shatters Stereotype Tackling Age Old Theological Positions in Unique Form of Rap', Greydon Square's website January 25, 2008; reposting an article from top40-charts.com June 11, 2007. (Accessed June 23, 2008.)
- "I wish I did believe in God. It would be a great relief to think, 'God'll take care of it. God'll put gas in the car tomorrow'" McCormick, Neil (March 23, 2006), "I'm 45 and I'm Going Insane", The Daily Telegraph (London), retrieved June 12, 2011
- Jonny Craig stated in a video interview quote: "I personally am atheist, but I grew up Christian. If you believe there is a god or are religious, I'm all for it. But if you don't believe in a god, you shouldn't be prosecuted for it, but it also goes both ways." Hardtimes.ca January 29, 2009 (accessed on February 3, 2009).
- Kim Deal: "I’m an atheist. I go with whoever brings the minimal amount of religion into government." SF Station, Q&A with Kim Deal of The Breeders, Oct 31, 2008.
- "In the Mass of Life (1904–05) Delius testified to his atheism. With Cassirer's assistance, he selected the words from Nietzsche's prose-poem Also sprach Zarathustra [...] In music that touches extreme poles of physical energy and rapt contemplation, Delius celebrates the human 'Will' and the 'Individual', and the 'Eternal Recurrence of Nature'." Diana McVeagh, 'Delius, Frederick Theodor Albert (1862–1934)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 2, 2008).
- heavymetal.dk - metal på den hårde måde
- "I have developed a spirituality which I suppose you could call metaphysics or science of mind - nothing to do with Scientology, I hasten to add. It's something that was developed by a guy called Ernest Holmes, and it's about the law of the universe, the law of attraction. It's all that stuff that's been popular on The Secret but there's far more to it than that. I'm an atheist but I've got a spirituality I can fall back on. I don't like religion because I see it as a bureaucracy of faith and I've never really been big on bureaucracy." Ian Dickson interviewed by Bridget McManus, 'Back to where he once belonged', The Age (Australia), August 2, 2007 (accessed May 22, 2008).
- "I'm an atheist, for Chrissake!" "Question: Do DiFranco and Brown have all the answers?". Archived from the original on 2001-08-25., 2000 interview with DiFranco by Jim Walsh, Pioneer Planet (Archived August 25, 2001)
- DiFranco described her religious beliefs, saying " I'm not a religious person myself. I'm an atheist. I think religion serves a lot of different purposes in people's lives, and I can recognize the value of that, you know, the value of ceremony, the value of community, or even just having a forum to get together and talk about ideas, about morals--that's a cool concept."DiFranco quote[dead link]
- " "Southern life really was God-fearing. Granny Ditto was a strict Pentecostal, with hair down to her knees. I said in an interview not long ago that I didn't believe in God, and people called my mother saying, 'How do you feel about Beth being an atheist?'" She realised she was gay when she was only five years old. "I loved the sound of women's voices, not those of guys. I would pray because I didn't want to go to hell." She's not joking; her eyes fill with tears. "In my teens, my motor skills quit, I was shaking all the time." Did her pubic hair really turn white? "Yes. In fact, it's still half white!" A revelation about her atheism, at 19, saved Ditto from her fate. "I realised that every 2,000 years, there's a religion that happens to rule, and Christianity is just today's religion," she says." Jane Bussman interviewing Ditto, 'Queen Beth', The Sunday Times (London), February 4, 2007, Features; Style; Pg. 10.
- Personal website
- "The ecumenical echoes are no accident. Eno describes himself as an "evangelical atheist, and has spoken of his intent to create a space in which one could have "secular spiritual experiences"." James Flint, 'This 'art for airports' is merely screen deep', Daily Telegraph, February 2, 2007, Features: Film on Friday, Pg. 32.
- "For meg har aldri opprøret vært greia. Det har heller handlet om en slags ateistisk vind-i-håret-frihet og kritikk av organisert religion."Nytid retrieved January 15, 2008
- "God doesn’t exist, it’s a fairy tale, heaven and hell isn’t real. Fear of hell and the promise of heaven is not a good reason for choosing to do the right over the wrong thing. We shouldn’t need these things to make the decision that killing others, or raping children is wrong. In my mind, the god idea should be eradicated from this world if we expect to survive. There is a mountain of debate on this topic and an even greater ocean of information available to support it. All you have to do is look. Open your eyes, do some research." 
- YouTube video
- "Mr Geldof said that as an atheist he was not going along with this "if you like fundamental Christian agenda". " BBC "Geldof presses Brown on aid cash"
- From Newsday, published March 30, 2006: "I'm an atheist, and I don't have any belief in an afterlife..."
- "The theme of the new album - those Pink Floyd habits die hard - is mortality. One song, 'This Heaven', reflects Gilmour's atheism. 'There is an element of contended resignation in that song. It extols the virtues of living in the moment and accepting your mortality. Perhaps the closest I will get to immortality will be through Dark Side of the Moon. I think that record will go on being played for a while yet.' " Nigel Farndale interviewing Gilmour, 'Still on the dark side', The Sunday Telegraph (London), May 28, 2006, Section Seven, Pg. 8.
- "There was more to Godin than a love of music, however. A militant atheist, a conscientious objector who argued his way out of national service, a vegetarian from the age of 14, a campaigner against cruelty to animals and cinema censorship, he abhorred violence and believed in fairness in all areas of human conduct." Richard Williams, 'Obituary: Dave Godin', The Guardian, October 20, 2004, Pg. 27.
- 'Graffin is a smart, proud atheist...'—Kinsella, Warren (January 2007), The punk and the professor and what they say about God, Anglican Journal. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
- '[Graffin] describes himself as a naturalist, which to him means someone who holds that the natural world is all there is. "If you can believe in God, then you can believe in anything," he says. "It's a gang mentality."'—Olson, Steve (November 2006), Faces of the New Atheism: The Punk Rocker, Wired News, Condé Nast Publishing. Retrieved November 15, 2007.
- Robert Simon, Percy Grainger: The Pictoral Biography, p. 122
- "The first single off the album, The One I Love (released as a download this week), is a strange beast, an uplifting anthem about the last thoughts of a dying soldier. "We live imagined lives - it's all in our heads and they can just vanish, they can be changed utterly by something completely beyond our control. Obviously on the field of battle you're far more likely to encounter some shard of metal but even walking down the street it can all come to an abrupt end. "I don't believe in God but ultimately I think death will have no dominion. My dad seemed to play a trick, he didn't want to show us all the emotional pain he was going through, having to let everything go, and he sort of disappeared in a kind of magical way, somehow managing to say how brilliant his life had been even though he knew he was about to lose it. "Obviously not everyone is given that luxury, so I don't want to start painting some sort of crass picture of happy dying people. It can be very hard to find a thread of hope but there is always one there. So I just imagined this person celebrating the fact that they have actually been loved, and it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." " Neil McCormick interviewing Gray, 'A new shade of Gray', The Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2005, Art, Pg. 4.
- "I don't believe in God, but I believe God invented four-tracks". Kathleen Hanna, interviewed at "SFBG Arts and Entertainment: September 9, 1998: Woman vs. rock". Archived from the original on 1999-04-29.
- "But, as Araya said, Slayer has always been plagued with controversy. Band members have been accused of satanism, racism and enticing fans to violence and suicide. But they've said they are not satanists, racist or riot-mongers, although the lyrics to some of their songs do explicitly depict war, terrorism and serial killings. For the record, King, Hanneman and Lombardo are atheists and Araya was raised Catholic. And both Araya and Lombardo are of Hispanic descent." Scott Iwasaki, "Grammy nominee Slayer will bring thrash-metal sound to Saltair". Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City), 26 January 2007.
- "Standouts in the first half included "Frozen Moment" and a recent, vehemently anti-war and anti-religion, epic, "The Death of God". This he prefaced with an atheist polemic that drew cheers from some but resolute silence from others. He also did the notorious ditty "Watford Gap", a much more focused attack, this time on 1970s motorway food." Simon Hardeman reviewing a Harper performance at London's 100 Club, The Independent (London), January 24, 2006, Features, Pg. 43.
- http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jan/31/rapper-angel-haze-religion-rape-survival. Missing or empty
- "Paul Heaton, frontman of the hugely successful Beautiful South and founder member of the iconic 1980s band the Housemartins, discusses the inspiration behind his lyrics, speaks candidly about his atheist views and reviews a TV exclusive demo from his first ever band Tools Down." TRILT: 'Faith and Music, ITV1 (various regions), Monday 30 Oct 06, 00:15 (50 mins)' (accessed May 22, 2008).
- "People are amazed that a German Jewish atheist would be supposedly the world's expert on gospel music." Anthony Heilbut interviewed by Barney Hoskyns, 'The gospel according to Anthony', The Independent (London), June 24, 1996, Arts; Pg. 26.
- "There's a Lot Of People I Don't Like". June 5, 2011.
...religion to me is a crock of shit. The god? The devil? There’s no god, there’s no devil [...] I’m too much of a skeptic – if there’s god, show me god so I can believe it. When I was young, I was brought up a Mormon by my grandparents, and I asked too many questions on things like god and Jesus that they couldn’t deliver.
- "George Hrab is an atheist in the Christmas City, a performer more famous globally than in his hometown and his "day job" is drumming for a funk band." Heller-Labelle, Greg (July 30, 2008), "Hrab: Skeptic 'a geek at heart'", The Bethlehem Press: A5
- "Mša glagolskaja". Retrieved 19 April 2012.
During his adult life Janáček was an atheist and distanced himself from the church Nevertheless religion features frequently in his work, not always in a positive light; as an emotional crutch (in the despairing pleas of the characters in Jenůfa or Kát’a Kabanová) or in a more humorous light (the alcoholic, lustful Priest in The Cunning Little Vixen). The composer once described organised religion as ‘concentrated death.
- Referred to himself as an atheist in a 2010 interview on the Howard Stern Show.
- "Interview with Heri Joensen of TYR". May 15, 2011.
Yeah, I’m an Atheist definitely. Or more like an anti-theist. I’m not just convinced there is no God, I’m thrilled there is no evidence.
- Johnson, Brian, Rockers and Rollers: A Full-Throttle Memoir,
Religion comes and goes, depending on age or thinking about what comes next. I'm a lucky lad. I've never believed in God as such, but if there has to be one, then let it be the one who looked after me. He's cool. I'm sure he can't be the same one that people pray to in war; he surely can't be the one who tells people to kill anyone or anything in their way; and he can't be the one that some made-eyed Southern preacher says keeps talking to him.
- "'Atheist or believer?' 'Atheist.'" , The Mind's Construction Quarterly, (accessed May 4, 2008)
- Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles, Flo and Eddie, and Frank Zappa, etc. Hal Leonard Corporation. 2013. ISBN 9781480342934.
I was an atheist. Zappa was atheist.
- " For someone who doesn't believe in God, Paul Kelly spends a lot of time thinking about Him. Religion runs like a river through the 53-year-old singer-songwriter's enormous body of work. "I'm probably as puzzled by it as the people who ask [me about it]," he says, acknowledging that his Catholic upbringing provided him with "some familiarity with the Bible". " Lisa Dabscheck interviewing Kelly, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), 25 September 2008, The Sydney Magazine, Pg. 124.
- Hamalian, Leo (1980). As others see us: the Armenian image in literature. New York: Ararat Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0933706170.
Aram Khachaturian ... Besides his being an atheist, his Armenian descent...
- Volkov, Solomon. "Они сократили целых 4 такта моей музыки!!!". Novoye Vremya (in Russian) (Yerevan). Archived from the original on 22 August 2014.
По поводу поездки в Рим композитор отметил: "Я — атеист, но являюсь сыном народа, первым в истории официально принявшим христианство, и потому посещение Ватикана было моим долгом".
- "You've never shied away from attacking organized religion in your songs—directly and unapologetically—and Christ Illusion cranks up the heat. But then we often arrive at a "Hail Satan" conclusion, which seems a little strange. Are you talking about the Christian devil?" "Actually on "Cult" ["Beware the cult of purity / Infectious imbecility / I've made my choice / 666"] the line "666" was going to be "Atheist," to get that point across about how I really feel. But it doesn't make for a good song. Kids love screaming "666." [laughs]" Interview: Kerry King of Slayer, ArtistDirect.com, 7 August 2007 (accessed 27 February 2009).
- " And in the end, there is no Old School vs. New School. There is just an alliance forged in steel, in blood, in fully tattooed leather-clad splendour, waiting to disrupt the staid confines of middle North America. "I'm not religious," explains King. "I'm an atheist. It's cool to be into God, that's America's nature, but they aren't happy until you convert. You agree with me or you don't." " Shawn Jam Hill interviewing King, 'Pumped for a great night of thrashing', Ottawa Citizen, 8 February 2007, Section: Arts, The Metalhead; Pg. E1.
- " Slayer makes Marilyn Manson look like Mickey Mouse. Just look at Slayer's Grammy-winning album "Christ Illusion," the sixth track of which is listed as 666. But that does not mean Slayer worships Satan. "I'm not a religious person. I think religion is the silliest thing on the planet," King said. "I'm an atheist, but atheism doesn't sell." " Tom Netherland, 'Thrashing into town', Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia), 15 February 2007, Section: Weekend, Pg. F-13.
- "I am happy I'm an atheist, says Seun Kuti - Vanguard News". Vanguardngr.com. 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
- "as an atheist, 'I [Johnson] couldn't reconcile myself to the idea that Haile Selassie was God.'" 'I did my own thing', Guardian Books, March 8, 2008 (accessed March 31, 2008)
- "Losing my faith was very gradual. [...] And then I started thinking, 'Well, what if it's just people trying to personify life? To personify the fact that there is matter, and that there is a universe? If there is a God, that's it. God doesn't have a brain, God doesn't think, God is just existence.' And when you get to that point, you realise, if that's what God is, then there's no such thing. [...] I didn't like it [the Atheist Bus Campaign's slogan] at first -- I thought it was too nice. I wanted to say, 'There's no God, so forget it! You're living in a dream world!' But then it made sense to me, because probability is one of the things I really believe in, in a scientific sense. It's quite healthy to have an open mind." Simon Le Bon, 'Losing My Faith', in Ariane Sherine (ed.), The Atheist's Guide to Christmas, Harper Collins 2009, ISBN 978-0-00-732261-9.
- Tannenbaum, Rob (March 17, 2009). "Dear Superstar: Geddy Lee". Maxim. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- Warren Allen Smith (2002). "Tom Lehrer". Celebrities in hell. chelCpress. p. 72. ISBN 9781569802144.
He responded: No one is more dangerous than someone who thinks he has The Truth. To be an atheist is almost as arrogant as to be a fundamentalist. But then again, I can get pretty arrogant.
- Ligeti declared himself not religious. György Ligeti & Eckhard Roelcke (2003). "Träumen Sie in Farbe?" György Ligeti im Gespräch mit Eckhard Roelcke. Paul Zsolnay Verlag. ISBN 3552052283.
- "Till Lindemann".
- "On the liner notes of a 1992 single, "Cruel," he included, "Where is God? I see no evidence of God. God is probably Barry Manilow."" Warren Allen Smith, Celebrities in Hell, page 74.
- "The closest word I’ve found to describe [my] belief system is Pantheism, but I could also call myself an agnostic (because I don’t claim to know if my own conception of divinity is ultimately true) or an atheist (because I believe that religions based around personified deities are definitely not true)."—The Universe According to Lynx (June 30, 2007), Soundtrack for Insurrection, circlealpha.com. Retrieved October 21, 2007.
- "Too Late with Adam Carolla". 2005-10-31.
Adam: 'You're not God-fearing, but you don't the devil either'. MM: 'I don't believe in either'."Missing or empty
- http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-31838270. Missing or empty
- At age 12 she announced her atheism at the dinner table, calling religion "bullshit." This view she continues to maintain, though more tactfully. Elissa Blake. "Spirit In The Sky (From Rolling Stone, September 1998)". garbage.net. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- "I was the only one at that school who was certain that gay people are equal. It was a really Christian school, almost like a sect. It just provoked me and made me more secure in myself because I could see it was crazy. That's why I write so much about God. I never believed in God. I just love the philosophy." Ida Maria interviewed by Jacqui Swift, The Sun (England), 18 July 2008.
- "Opposed to pedantry, he spoke extravagantly of the power of emotive discipline—not a popular cause among strait-laced Melburnians; he expounded his socialist theories and declared his atheism." Maureen Thérèse Radic: 'Marshall-Hall, George William Louis (1862 - 1915)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition (accessed July 16, 2008).
- "Q magazine Questionnaire". Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- Interviewing Maxwell Davies, Ivan Hewett wrote: "An avant-gardist who uses ancient Christian chants, an atheist who's written pieces entitled Antichrist and Revelation and Fall - clearly there are tensions beneath that carefully controlled surface." 'A Life on the Edge', Daily Telegraph, April 7, 2005, Features Pg. 015.
- On his website's FAQ section Andy said: "I guess because of my look in the November 2006 YouTube videos, many people came to assume that I am Muslim. Well, I am not Muslim. I am actually an atheist. As a side note, I believe in anyone's right to believe in what they want and kindly ask the same. So please don't message me trying to convert me to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or anything else"
- Interviewed by Nigel Farndale, Melly said: "I don't understand people panicking about death. It's inevitable. I'm an atheist; you'd think it would make it worse, but it doesn't. I've done quite a lot in the world, not necessarily of great significance, but I have done it." Daily Telegraph, October 24, 2005, Features section, Pg. 023.
- "Science adjusts its views based on what's observed. Faith is the denial of observation, so that belief can be preserved." Timminchin[dead link]
- "Bob was arguing the point but Dick was having none of it. 'Look, I'm telling you. There'll be no fucking religion - not Christian, not Jewish, not Muslim. Nothing. For God's sake, man - you were born Jewish, which makes your religion money, doesn't it? So stick with it, for Christ's sake. I'm giving you 20 million bucks - it's like baptising you, like sending you to heaven. So what are you fucking moaning about? You want 20 million bucks from us? Well, you gotta do what we tell you. And what we're telling you is... No Torah! No Bible! No Koran! No Jesus! No God! No Allah! No fucking religion. It's going in the contract.' As a devout atheist, I could hardly object, though it seemed tough that a contract should include such specific restrictions." Simon Napier-Bell, 'The life and crimes of the music biz', The Observer (England), January 20, 2008, Observer Music Magazine, Pg. 41.
- Etienne Gilfillan (November 2010). "Praying to the Aliens: Gary Numan - Aliens, alienation and Asperger's Syndrome". ForteanTimes.
- "Singer and atheist Alice Nutter, a Jewish student and an Anglican businessman each join a Muslim family in Bradford to experience Ramadan first hand, and through some hard conversations get a unique view of what it's like to be a Muslim in contemporary Britain." TRILT: 'Fast Friends, BBC1, Sunday 14 Nov 04, 23:45 (35 mins)' (accessed May 22, 2008).
- Ross Russell (1996). Bird Lives!: The High Life And Hard Times Of Charlie (yardbird) Parker. Da Capo Press. p. 361. ISBN 9780306806797.
A confirmed atheist, he had not been inside a church in years.
- "Basically I don't believe in God." From an interview with Partridge in The Limelight Annual, 1987 (Accessed 26 August 2007)
- "I Co-Founded One of the Most Popular Christian Rock Bands Ever…and I’m Now An Atheist". Patheos.com. January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Harlow Robinson (2002). Sergei Prokofiev: a biography. Northeastern University Press. p. 425. ISBN 978-1-55553-517-9.
Prokofiev had always been a stubborn atheist; his first marriage to Lina was not performed in a church.
- Izrailʹ Vladimirovič Nestʹev (1960). Prokofiev. Stanford University Press. p. 2. ISBN 9780804705851.
However, until the end of his life he remained a confirmed atheist, with a hatred for the gentry and the arrogance of the nobility, and a respect for the peasantry.
- "The Bible made me an atheist." Marc Riley in response to the question "A book that changed me...", 'My Secret Life', The Independent (London), May 22, 2004, Features, Pg. 7.
- Simon Alexander Morrison (2002). Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement. University of California Press. pp. 116–117. ISBN 9780520927261.
That task was accomplished by another prominent artist of the Silver Age, the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who was a positivist, not an idealist, and who feuded with his Symbolist colleagues. Moreover, he was an atheist who complained to his friends that institutionalized religion had become corrupt and hypocritical, since, in his estimation, doctrine promoted exclusion.
- Rodgers' biographer William G Hyland states: "That Richard Rodgers would recall, at the very beginning of his memoirs, his great-grandmother's death and its religious significance for his family suggests his need to justify his own religious alienation. Richard became an atheist, and as a parent he resisted religious instruction for his children. According to his wife, Dorothy, he felt that religion was based on "fear" and contributed to "feelings of guilt." " Richard Rodgers, Yale University Press 1998, ISBN 0-300-07115-9. Chapter 1 at New York Times Books (accessed April 30, 2008).
- "Henry Rollins -- Recountdown Tour 2008 Update". The Washington Post. October 28, 2008. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- Asked about her religious beliefs on The Tavis Smiley Show (26 September 2013), she replied, "I'm a spiritual atheist."
- quoted as saying "I'm an atheist" in interview for American Music Box
- Philip S. Taylor (2007). Anton Rubinstein: A Life in Music. Indiana University Press. p. 280. ISBN 9780253116758.
In the ecclesiastical and religious sense I am an atheist, but I am convinced that it would be a misfortune if people had no religion, no church, no God.
- Brian Rees (1999). Camille Saint-Saëns: a life. Chatto & Windus. p. 73. ISBN 9781856197731.
(Baumann constantly emphasises the spiritual content of Saint-Saëns's music despite the composer's emphatic atheist views of later years.)
- Richard Benefield, ed. (2003). Motets for One Voice: The Organ-accompanied Solo Motet in Nineteenth-century France, Volume 36. A-R Editions, Inc. p. xx. ISBN 9780895795274.
An avowed atheist, Saint-Saëns's uncompromisingly rigid standards and austere musical tastes, as well as his outspoken views on church music, often placed him at odds with the clergy.
- "To these he brought the disciplines that had stood him in such good stead in music, most particularly the rejection of traditional beliefs unsupported by hard evidence. This also lay behind his own atheism." Andrew Lamb, 'Sams, Eric Sydney Charles (1926–2004)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edition, Oxford University Press, January 2008 (accessed May 6, 2008).
- Arsu, Sebnem; Wakin, Daniel J. (June 1, 2012). "Turkey Charges Pianist Fazil Say Over Twitter Posts". The New York Times.
- Michael Steinberg (1995). The Symphony : A Listener's Guide: A Listener's Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 149. ISBN 9780199761326.
For all that Seidl's atheism made the devout Dvořák uneasy, the two men were good friends.
- "How many times have religions of the world been damaged by some discovery or other only to move the goalposts and carry on as before as though nothing had happened? They gave Gallileo a hard time for saying the world was round... somehow God seems to have forgotten to tell his 'flock' about our planet revolving round the sun and all that. Then there was the theory of evolution - the teaching about which in schools was fought against in a courtroom in the USA and is still disbelieved by a majority of Americans, incredibly. There's also no mention of dinosaurs in the bible either. Perhaps it's not inspired by an all knowing being after all and is, after all, just a cracking good work of fiction? No - I'm afraid none of that faith thing holds any water for me." Warren Allen Smith, Celebrities in Hell, pages 26-27.
- In Laurel Fay's biography Shostakovich: A Life (pp. 263), she writes: When asked if he believed in God, his reply was swift and firm: "No, and I am very sorry about it."
- Warren Allen Smith (2002). "Smith, Robert James". Celebrities in Hell. chelCpress. pp. 106–107. ISBN 9781569802144.
During a 1992 press conference, Smith told one reporter, "I don't believe in god. I wish I did." Similarly in The Face (1989), Smith said, "I used to lay myself open to visions of God, but I never had any. I come from a religious family, and there have been moments when I've felt the oneness of things, but they never last, they fade away, leaving me with the belief that it's only fear that drives people to religion. And I don't think I'm ever going to wake up and know that I was wrong."
- "When I was in junior high, I sang in the school chorus. We had a Christmas concert every year in which we sang Christmas songs, both secular and religious. Being the rebellious atheist I am, I would roll my eyes at the Jesus songs. When we did the song 'Oh Holy Night,' I got all my friends in the choir to sing the words 'shining' and 'pining' in a diving, stretched-out descending note—kind of like a barbershop quartet would—and in the middle bridge, we would fall on our knees during the line 'fall on your knees' and drop out of sight. But when we actually performed the concert, we didn't want to humiliate the music teacher, so we did it the correct way. It reminds me that I've always been an instigator and ringleader. And even though I was the little atheist, I still love that song and the melody." Donita Sparks, 'Joyful Noise', OC Weekly, 24 December 2004. (Print version: Section: Music, Pg. 22; online version accessed 27 February 2009.)
- Quoted saying that he is an atheist in an interview with concertlivewire.com concertlivewire.com
- Explained in an interview with @ARTISTdirect: "I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. I was asked to believe in him when I was in this bad place. I couldn't understand why I needed a god or, in my opinion, something that doesn't exist." 
- "Thomas flatly denies the work is being shocking for its own sake. The gay, atheist fan of Judge Judy and Wife Swap is pleasant, polite and 44 [...]" King of the high sleaze, The Australian, 7 March 2009 (accessed 9 March 2009).
- "I've always been an atheist. We grew up in a village and I was like 'I'm not joining the Christian Youth Club'. Believing something that's unprovable is not how my mind works." Tracey Thorn, 'G2: Pieces of me: Tracey Thorn, Singer', The Guardian, July 23, 2007, Features pages, Pg. 14.
- "He then went as a boarder to Stamford grammar school, Lincolnshire, where he was much happier, though still a notorious character largely on account of his now fully developed atheism. [...] He was cremated on January 15 at Hanworth crematorium, at an explicitly non-religious service." Geraint Lewis, 'Tippett, Sir Michael Kemp (1905–1998)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed May 6, 2008).
- "Yet the most striking and contentious song is Glory Hallelujah, described by Turner as "atheist gospel", is a stirring sing-a-long based around a chorus of "There is no God! So clap your hands together!" and is best described as a musical version of London's 2009 atheist bus adverts. "I know this will get a lot of attention, but I want to make it clear it is not an anti-religious song," he says. "It is an anti-theist song. I'm a big Richard Dawkins fan, but I wanted to write a joyous song, not a spiteful fuck-you song that says if you are a religious person, you are an idiot. I have no desire to offend anyone: in fact, I'm not even sure I'll play it at the show tonight because it is in the crypt of Liverpool cathedral." " Frank Turner: troubadour with a troubled past, The Guardian, Thursday 2 June 2011.
- "The last track – 'Glory Hallelujah' - is an atheist gospel song and the chorus involves the gospel choir singing, 'There is no God,' but it is still a functioning church [where it was recorded]," he explained. "I was conducting it on a chair and I thought, 'If I'm wrong about this I’m really fucked'. There is no coming back from that kind of offence." Frank Turner chats about his 'atheist gospel song' at Great Escape, NME, May 12, 2011.
- See Louise Varèse, 'Varèse: A looking glass diary', passim
- Bonnie Gutsch. "Eddie Vedder". Freedom From Religion Foundation.
At a July 22, 1998 Pearl Jam concert in Seattle's Memorial Stadium, Vedder said of the good weather, "I would thank God, but I don't believe in it."
- "Please, God - I'm an atheist so maybe I shouldn't be asking God - but let Barack Obama finally win the Democratic nomination and elect a person who seems to be not just enormously intelligent but also deeply humane and seems to have an imagination." Roger Waters interviewed by Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain Music, April 25, 2008 (accessed June 10, 2008).
- McGowan, Dale, ed. (2007). Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion. AMACOM. pp. 39–43; 257–264.
- "The music business held a curious appeal to a man who had hitherto dreamed only of becoming the Jewish John O'Hara - and whose fiction had been published in Story magazine. It was dominated by Jews, and therefore excluded from Wasp high culture. "I was determined to use all my wit and courage to confound the Christian tormenters," Wexler says, referring to the "immanent anti-Semitism that existed then and exists now. It's like Dr John says, 'I don't want no one hangin' no jacket on me'." He is, in fact, a confirmed atheist of many years' standing." Barney Hoskyns interviewing Wexler, 'Crossing the divide', The Independent (London), May 30, 1993, Sunday Review Pages, Pg. 10.
- Spin Doctors’ Mark White on Atheist Talk #266|Minnesota Atheists
- "He is against pianists who express concentration by leaning their heads back with their eyes closed: "When you give a recital, God doesn't help you." (Wild claims to be an atheist largely for musical reasons, having at age ten asked his mother how there could be a God when the organist at their local church in Pittsburgh was so lousy.)" Leo Carey interviewing Wild, 'Wilding', The New Yorker, August 11, 2003 (accessed June 10, 2008).
- Zbigniew Skowron, ed. (2001). Lutoslawski Studies. Oxford University Press. pp. 122–123. ISBN 9780198166603.
In accordance with his atheist views, Xenakis emphasizes the finality of death as the ultimate event of human life, and this is probably why wild shrieks and moans punctuate his score.
- Iliescu, Mihu. "Beyond the modern-postmodern cleavage: Xenakis’ mythical thinking" (PDF). p. 4.
On the other hand, Xenakis is a non religious modern man who regards himself as an atheist. He does not conceive of repeating in any way the work of anyone else, be it a god.
- Iannis Xenakis (1992). Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (2 ed.). Pendragon Press. p. 181. ISBN 9781576470794.
Man is one, indivisible, and total. He thinks with his belly and feels with his mind. I would like to propose what, to my mind, covers the term "music":...7. It is a mystical (but atheistic) asceticism...
- Nugent, Michael, Michael Nugent, retrieved May 5, 2011