Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time

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"The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time" is a special issue published by the American magazine Rolling Stone in two parts in 2004 and 2005 and updated in 2011.[1] The list presented was compiled based on input from musicians, writers, and industry figures and is focused on the rock & roll era.[1]

The publication features comments written by musicians about their favorite colleagues (e.g., Elvis Costello on The Beatles, Janet Jackson on Tina Turner, etc.). Since its publication, the list has been frequently cited by many specialized and generalist publications.[2][3][4][5][6]


The list, published in two issues in 2004 and 2005 and updated in 2011, was based on the choices of a panel of 55 musicians, writers, and industry figures.[1] As the editors explain, the artists were selected by "their peers", and the list aims to be "a broad survey of rock history", encompassing rock and roll, blues, hard rock, heavy metal, indie rock, rap and contemporary pop.

List statistics[edit]

In both versions of the list, the top three positions are held by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Presley; rounding out the top ten (in descending order) are The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles.

In 2011, Rolling Stone published a revised edition of the list, with changes from the 27th position onward. The updated list features artists not present in the original (including Queen, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, R.E.M., Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Jay-Z), while removing a number of other artists (including Etta James, Miles Davis, Roxy Music, N.W.A., and Martha & The Vandellas).

The list consists primarily of American or British artists, with the following exceptions: AC/DC (Australia), The Band (Canada/US), Bob Marley (Jamaica), Joni Mitchell (Canada), Lee "Scratch" Perry (Jamaica; only in the 2005 list), Carlos Santana (Mexico), U2 (Ireland), Van Morrison (Ireland/UK) and Neil Young (Canada).[citation needed]

Most artists on the list were active in the 1960s and 1970s.


# 2004 / 2005 List 2011 List
1 The Beatles
2 Bob Dylan
3 Elvis Presley
4 The Rolling Stones
5 Chuck Berry
6 Jimi Hendrix
7 James Brown
8 Little Richard
9 Aretha Franklin
10 Ray Charles
11 Bob Marley
12 The Beach Boys
13 Buddy Holly
14 Led Zeppelin
15 Stevie Wonder
16 Sam Cooke
17 Muddy Waters
18 Marvin Gaye
19 The Velvet Underground
20 Bo Diddley
21 Otis Redding
22 U2
23 Bruce Springsteen
24 Jerry Lee Lewis
25 Fats Domino
26 The Ramones
27 Nirvana Prince
28 Prince The Clash
29 The Who
30 The Clash Nirvana
31 Johnny Cash
32 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
33 The Everly Brothers
34 Neil Young
35 Michael Jackson
36 Madonna
37 Roy Orbison
38 John Lennon
39 David Bowie
40 Simon & Garfunkel
41 The Doors
42 Van Morrison
43 Sly & the Family Stone
44 Public Enemy
45 The Byrds
46 Janis Joplin
47 Patti Smith
48 Run-D.M.C.
49 Elton John
50 The Band
51 Howlin' Wolf Pink Floyd
52 The Allman Brothers Band Queen
53 Eric Clapton The Allman Brothers Band
54 Dr. Dre Howlin' Wolf
55 Grateful Dead Eric Clapton
56 Parliament-Funkadelic Dr. Dre
57 Aerosmith Grateful Dead
58 Sex Pistols Parliament-Funkadelic
59 Louis Jordan Aerosmith
60 Joni Mitchell Sex Pistols
61 Tina Turner Metallica
62 Etta James Joni Mitchell
63 Phil Spector Tina Turner
64 The Kinks Phil Spector
65 Al Green The Kinks
66 Cream Al Green
67 The Temptations Cream
68 Jackie Wilson The Temptations
69 Carl Perkins Jackie Wilson
70 The Police
71 Frank Zappa
72 AC/DC
73 Radiohead
74 Hank Williams
75 Eagles
76 The Shirelles
77 Beastie Boys
78 The Stooges
79 The Four Tops
80 Elvis Costello
81 The Drifters
82 Eminem Creedence Clearwater Revival
83 N.W.A. Eminem
84 James Taylor
85 Black Sabbath
86 Tupac
87 Gram Parsons
88 Miles Davis Jay-Z
89 The Yardbirds
90 Carlos Santana
91 Ricky Nelson Tom Petty
92 Guns N' Roses
93 Booker T. & the M.G.'s
94 Nine Inch Nails
95 Lynyrd Skynyrd
96 Martha & The Vandellas Diana Ross and the Supremes
97 Diana Ross and the Supremes R.E.M.
98 Roxy Music Curtis Mayfield
99 Curtis Mayfield Carl Perkins
100 Lee "Scratch" Perry Talking Heads

See also[edit]


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