Top 50 Most Popular American Singers Of All Time

Top 50 Most Popular American Singers Of All Time


The United States of America is a superpower that is perhaps best known for Hollywood, which, of course, is one of the most renowned entertainment industries in the whole wide world.


While the actors that hail from Hollywood are some of the world’s most popular screen performers, the country’s entertainment industry has also gone on to produce dozens of talented and equally famous singers.


Needless to mention, America has been home to many evergreen singers who have managed to climb to the top of the ladder and have gained immense popularity over the years.


It would, therefore, be fitting to assert that there are only a few things more American than music. From the blues of the south to country music of the midwest, the vast and diverse landscape has given birth to some of the greatest musicians to ever step up to the microphone.


So, whether you are a fan of rock, pop, blues, or country, we have come up with this story to reintroduce you to the most popular American singers in history.




1. Michael Jackson


Michael Jackson


The one and only Michael Jackson was the epitome of a child star, who grew up to become the “King of Pop” and rocketed to international stardom. While he started his musical journey with his brothers in the Jackson Five, he was ready to take the stage on his own at the onset of the 1980s.


Arguably the most popular entertainer to have ever walked the face of the earth, Jackson was one of the most significant global cultural figures of the 20th century. Needless to mention, he inspired thousands of established and inspiring artists to realize their dreams.


The most awarded and followed musical artist in history, MJ is known to have popularized complex dance moves such as the moonwalk and the robot. His album, Thriller, continues to be the best-selling music album of all time.


A recipient of 39 Guinness World Records and 13 Grammy Awards, the unparalleled entertainer has been the top-earning dead celebrity for well over a decade now.




2. Elvis Presley


elvis presley


The “King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley was not only one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century but also among the most controversial ones ever. Known for his distinctive and provocative performance style, he went on to inspire thousands of people across the United States of America to emulate his hairstyles, costumes, and mannerisms.


Presley, who used to set the stage on fire with his numerous popular singles, also capitalized on his popularity by participating in quite a few feature films as well. The superstar artist has sold over 500 million records worldwide, making him arguably the best-selling solo music artist of all time.


Born in Mississippi, the artist moved to Memphis, Tennessee at the age of thirteen. That’s precisely where his interest in music started to peak. Sooner than later, the young artist started to make waves with his act in his vicinity.


Therefore, it didn’t take Sun Records to look and sign him up.




3. Madonna




Hailed as the undisputed “Queen of Pop”, Madonna was arguably the most influential singer and fashion model of the 80s. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to assert that she prompted fans to don blue eyeshadow and wear black plastic pants during her heyday.


An unstoppable girl power figure in the 80s, she is widely recognized for her musical versatility and image reinventions. Most of her projects have gone on to become controversial over the years.


This is probably because they carry themes of contentious topics such as politics, sex, and religion. Even though she is not as active today, Madonna continues to be one of the most significant and well-documented figures in pop culture history.


Her timelessness can be gauged from the fact that there has been an academic sub-discipline (Madonna studies) dedicated exclusively to her name.




4. Frank Sinatra


Frank Sinatra


Singer and actor Frank Sinatra was easily one of the most popular entertainers to have lived during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Nicknamed the “Chairman of the Board”, he has sold an estimated 150 million records worldwide to date, making him one of the better-selling artists in all of entertainment.


He received an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity. Also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, Sinatra led a colourful and controversial life and was also heavily involved with politics during his heyday.


The star was honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997, respectively.



5. Taylor Swift


Taylor Swift


No list of the most popular musicians today can ever be complete without the inclusion of the talented singer-songwriter Taylor Swift on it. Recognized across the world for her fantastic vocal skills and confident personality, she shot to fame at a very young age.


Swift, who started to pursue a career in country music at the age of 14, has sung and composed quite a few singles that are inspired by her personal life itself.


The inherently talented and gorgeous performer is one of the most affluent female celebrities in the world today. A leading crossover artist, Swift’s music has sold over 200 million copies worldwide to date, thus, establishing her as one of the best-selling artists in history.



6. Beyoncé




Beyoncé, who first found fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of an acclaimed group called Destiny’s Child, went on to cement her position as one of the most loved singers of all time.


Also a songwriter, producer, and actress, she is known to have had a knack for performing in various singing and dancing contests ever since she was a child. Needless to say, the super musical star had been sharpening her skills as a true-blue performer from before she officially entered the entertainment industry and turned out to be a force to be reckoned with.


One of the most followed mainstream musicians in the world today, Beyoncé is reportedly the first solo artist whose first six studio albums have all debuted at number one on the Billboard 200; a feat that may not find worthy competition anytime in the near future.



7. Cher




Often referred to by the media as the “Goddess of Pop”, Cher has gone on to successfully show what women can achieve in an industry previously dominated by males. Known for her distinctive contralto singing voice, she has made her remarkable presence felt in numerous areas of entertainment, including in motion pictures The artist rose to prominence in 1965 as one-half of the folk rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher.


Together, they went on to sell over 40 million records worldwide, and many of their songs peaked on the US and UK charts. Also noted for her strong political views, Cher is the only artist to have a number-one single on a Billboard chart in six consecutive decades, from the 1960s to the 2010s.



8. Whitney Houston


Whitney Houston


Nicknamed “The Voice” for her unmatched vocals and improvisational skills, the beloved Whitney Houston continues to be one of the best-selling artists of all time with her music selling an estimated 200 million records globally to date.


A recipient of numerous accolades, the amazing vocalist has inspired a generation of aspiring singers. Even though her music and public appearances made a whole lot of money for everyone involved, her personal life also fetched its fair share of inevitable controversy.


Be that as it may, the fact that Houston is the only artist to have had seven consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 perhaps overshadows the frailty of her life.



9. Bob Dylan


Bob Dylan


Those who have fine taste in music are quite familiar with the name Bob Dylan. The American singer and songwriter is often called one of the greatest songwriters of all time by fans and music critics across the globe.


The influence that he has had on popular culture throughout his 60-year-long career as an artist can simply not be refuted. While his songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin” became bonafide anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements, their popularity during the beginning of his career also eventually helped him sell over 125 million records globally.


Dylan has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, ten Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award, respectively.



10. Ariana Grande


Ariana Grande


Ariana Grande first gained recognition after playing the part of Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon TV series Victorious and its spin-off Sam & Cat. While the personal life of the popular singer and actress has always found attention in the mainstream media, she has also managed to impress her harshest critics by baking on her fantabulous four-octave vocal range.


Believe it or not, the pop star has 27 Guinness World Records attributed to her name and is reportedly among the most streamed female artist of all time on platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify. Way to go, Grande!



11. Selena Gomez


Selena Gomez


Selena Gomez began her acting career on the children’s television series Barney & Friends and shot to instant fame after starring as Alex Russo on the popular Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place.


In fact, it would be fair to say that the show turned her into a teen crush of many. The singer and actor released three albums with her former band, Selena Gomez & the Scene, all of which reached the top ten of the US Billboard 200.


Also the executive producer of the Netflix television series 13 Reasons Why, Gomez was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in 2017 and is one of the most followed musicians on social media.


She is reported to have broken 15 Guinness World Records.



12. Lana Del Rey


lana del rey


This American singer-songwriter is best known for her supreme voice quality and themes of tragic romance and melancholia incorporated into her compositions.


If you’ve seen her videos and heard her music, you’d be able to figure out that they exude that vintage cinematic Hollywood vibe.


Often cited as one of the most influential musicians of the 21st century, Lana Del Rey has managed to amass a dedicated following in over a decade.


The award-winning artist started to achieve phenomenal critical and commercial success following the release of her album Born to Die in 2012.


Over the years, she has gone on to collaborate with other forms of entertainment. While she composed and featured in the well-received musical short Tropico, she also released “Young and Beautiful” for the 2013 historical romantic drama film The Great Gatsby.


Rolling Stone gave her a much-deserved place in their list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time in 2023.



13. Lady Gaga


Lady Gaga


The stunning Lady Gaga is one of the only contemporary artists who has been killing it of late as an actor as well. Known for her unmatched versatility and image reinventions, the superstar first found fame after the release of her chartbusters such as “Poker Face”, “Bad Romance”, “Telephone”, and “Judas”.


When it comes to acting, she was first seen playing a role in the miniseries, American Horror Story: Hotel. Soon after, Gaga went on to win hearts by delivering consistent performances in feature films such as A Star Is Born and House of Gucci, respectively.


A decorated musician and a confident screen actor, she has sold an estimated 170 million records worldwide to date.



14. Eminem




Credited with popularizing hip hop in middle America, Eminem is an artist whose earth-shattering success went on to break racial barriers for the acceptance of white rappers in popular music.


Arguably the greatest rapper of all time, his global success and acclaimed music helped him become a representation of the popular angst among the American underclass. However, his work during the late 1990s and early 2000s made him widely controversial as well.


Be that as it may, Eminem has had an influence on many artists of various genres over the years. The “rap god” has also played a fictionalized version of himself in his debut feature film 8 Mile.



15. Jennifer Lopez


Jennifer Lopez


Officially the first Hispanic actress ever to earn over $1 million for a movie, J. Lo is as international as any other artist on this list. An outstanding singer and dancer, she tried her hands at acting quite early in her career.


While she appeared as a Fly Girl dancer on the sketch comedy television series In Living Color during the 1990s, her participation in motion pictures such as Anaconda and Out of Sight consolidated her position as a screen performer within the industry.


Besides having featured in films that have raked in more than $3.1 billion worldwide, Lopez has also been able to sell about 70 million records as a singer to date.



16. Bruno Mars


Bruno Mars


There is no denying that fans of English music may have known the artist and have heard hits like Uptown Funk, Grenade, and Just the Way You Are. However, not many people know of Bruno’s melting pot heritage.


Known for his stage performances, retro showmanship, and for performing in a wide range of musical styles, the artist is part Asian from his mother’s side. While eight of his songs have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, his concert tours have also turned out to be some of the highest-grossing in history.


Rightfully regarded as a pop icon due to his influential career, Mars became the first artist to receive six Diamond-certified songs in the United States of America.



17. Miley Cyrus


Miley Cyrus


Trust the eccentric Miley Cyrus to thrive on her distinctive raspy voice and inimitable persona to deliver chartbuster music time and again. With a total of thirteen entries on the list, the sensational performer has managed to attain the most US Billboard 200 top-five albums in the 21st century by a female artist.


Easily among the most talked-about singers of the new millennium, Cyrus started her career by playing the main lead in Disney Channel’s much-loved Hannah Montana; a show that helped the multi-genre artist turn into a “Teen Queen” in no time.


Needless to mention, she has had a following since then.



18. Britney Spears


Britney Spears


We believe that most music aficionados out there are duly aware of the fact that the first two studio albums of Britney Spears were not only among the best-selling albums of the time but they also helped her become the fastest-selling teenage artist in music history.


Needless to say, the scintillating singer and dancer was soon credited with reviving teen pop culture during the initial stages of her career. Often and rightfully called the “Princess of Pop”, Britney has sold over 150 million records worldwide and has been named the eighth-biggest musical artist of the 2000s by Billboard.


Like most other musical geniuses on our list, she has also led a life marred by a ton of controversies.



19. Mariah Carey


Mariah Carey


During her peak, “Songbird Supreme” Mariah Carey was easily one of the most famous American singers in the world. Noted for her five-octave vocal range and her signature use of the whistle register, she shot to global fame following the release of her single “All I Want for Christmas Is You”.


She was the first artist to have her first five singles rank number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. That said, her aforementioned Christmas chartbuster can be heard everywhere during the holidays every single year.


Carey, who has inspired multiple generations of pop and R&B artists, was ranked as the fifth greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023 and placed second in VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music.



20. Johnny Cash


Johnny Cash


Although the beginning of his music career was rough, it has markings of transformation throughout. Cash, who had a major turnaround in the late 1960s, began his musical journey as an outlaw of sorts.


However, his image altered as he became more involved with activism. A winner of several Grammys and Country Music Association Awards, his music ceased to be defined by a specific genre.


This is because his diverse style was often a mix of rock and roll, blues, folk, and gospel. Not only did the sensational Johnny Cash pave his own path in the country music world but he also went on to become the youngest living person elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and deservingly so.



21. Katy Perry


Katy Perry


Referred to as the “Queen of Camp” by Vogue, Katy Perry pursued a career in gospel music at the age of 16 and released her debut album in 2001. While it was commercially unsuccessful, she decided to venture into secular music and shot to fame following the release of “I Kissed a Girl” in 2008.


Post that, there was no looking back for the singer who started churning out one chartbuster after another. Today, she is one of the best-selling female music artists of all time with sales of over 143 million records worldwide.


It is imperative to mention that all of her studio albums released under Capitol have gone on to individually surpass one billion streams on Spotify. Add to that the fact that her acclaimed Super Bowl halftime show performance in 2015 is reportedly the most watched in history.



22. Billy Joel


Billy Joel


“For the longest time”, Billy Joel has been known for his distinctive voice and piano-playing abilities. Often referred to as “The Piano Man”, he has sold about 150 million copies worldwide.


Joel began playing piano at a young age and soon resorted to composing his own songs. He continued to produce chart-topping albums and singles throughout the 1980s. Some of his songs like “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, “Tell Her About It”, and “We Didn’t Start the Fire” rocked the charts during his heyday.


Joel, who has been nominated for 23 Grammy awards (winning five), was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991.



23. Bruce Springsteen


Bruce Springsteen


Often referred to as “The Boss”, Bruce Springsteen is a musical force of nature who rocked the 1980s as he should have. There is no denying that he has owned American rock for several decades and that his work has shaped rock history.


In 1984, he released Born In The U. S. A., and then went on to perform in East Germany just four years later. Needless to say, he became a headliner voice for the ’80s.


While he certainly was going strong during the aforementioned decade, he still hasn’t stopped yet. However, one must mention that the vocalist of classic tracks such as “Hungry Heart” has been a staunch critic of American capitalism.



24. Stevie Wonder


Stevie Wonder


A creative force for nearly six decades now, Stevie Wonder is a musical legend who certainly deserves to find a spot on the list of the most popular American singers of all time.


The man was only a kid when he started his musical career in the 1960s and, therefore, came to be known as a child prodigy. Not long after that, he went on to become the youngest artist ever to top the chart at the tender age of 13.


Wonder has been a recipient of 25 Grammy Awards (the most by a solo artist) and one Academy Award, and he was honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.



25. James Brown


James Brown


Dubbed the “Godfather of Soul”, James Brown was a leading figure in the funk genre and 20th-century music. The iconic singer made his mark on American culture and was one of the first 10 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Remembered for his hard work and unique vocal abilities, his music has been covered and sampled by many other famous musicians. His songs “I Feel Good” and “Sex Machine” turned out to be timeless classics, and he also tried to incorporate a social message in some of his compositions.


Referred to by various honorific nicknames, Brown is ranked seventh on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.



26. Dolly Parton


Dolly Parton


Dolly Parton was always bound for fame and glory. Her affinity for music can be gauged from the fact that she got her start playing music on local radio at a very young age.


In fact, she even got the opportunity to appear on the Grand Ole Opry at the tender age of 13. Parton, who has had 25 number-one country singles, is perhaps the most successful country-pop crossover act, and undoubtedly one of the most impactful country icons of all time.


While she even tried acting in the movies, she is also known for her countless philanthropic efforts through The Dollywood Foundation.



27. Aretha Franklin


Aretha Franklin


One of the most popular soul singers to have ever lived, Aretha Franklin was the first female music artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


She began singing in church and released a gospel album when she was just 14 years old. The artist, who has sold over 75 million records and won an astonishing 18 Grammy Awards, has delivered such as “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman”, “Respect”, and “Chain of Fools”, to mention a few.


The “Queen of Soul” received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.



28. Marvin Gaye


Marvin Gaye


The “Prince of Motown” and “Prince of Soul” was blessed with an unforgettable silky voice that accompanied his songs brilliantly. Marvin Gaye started as an in-house session player and then began his music solo career, eventually becoming one of the most influential artists of his era.


There is no denying that the man helped in shaping the sound of Motown in the 1960s and his music influenced several contemporary subgenres such as neo-soul. Gaye, who has been called “the number-one purveyor of soul music”, was ranked number 18 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, sixth on their list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, and number 82 on their list of the “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time”, respectively.



29. Barbra Streisand


Barbra Streisand


Among the few performers awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT), Barbra Streisand is a legendary diva whose career spans over six decades. One of the stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, she continues to be active and is actively touring even today.


Her dedication to her art probably explains why she has gone on to sell over 150 million records worldwide. A receiver of many awards, Barbra is still adored by many for her distinctive voice and endless energy.


According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the second-highest-certified female artist in the United States. Some of her greatest hits include “Memory”, “Somewhere”, and “The Way We Were.”



30. Tim McGraw


Tim McGraw


Aside from being a critically and commercially acclaimed country singer, Tim McGraw is also a talented actor, guitarist, and record producer, whose ability to produce relatable songs turned him into an influential artist in the country music genre.


Known for his ballads and love songs, he entered the country music scene in the mid-90s and has reportedly released 16 albums to date; ten of which have made it to the top on the Top Country Albums charts.


McGraw has been a recipient of three Grammy Awards, three People’s Choice Awards, 10 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, and 14 Academy of Country Music Awards.



31. George Strait


George Strait


Widely recognized as the “King of Country”, George Strait is credited with ushering in a revival of western swing and honky-tonk music. While the iconic country star didn’t have an easy start in his career, he shot to fame in the 1980s and 1990s, therefore, establishing himself as one of the top-selling country music artists of all time by selling more than 100 million records globally.


Strait, who was also at the frontier of the neotraditionalist country style, signed a one-song contract with MCA Records in 1981, and the rest, as they say, is history.



32. Jimmie Rodgers


Jimmie Rodgers


“The Father of Country Music”, Jimmie Rodgers, got his break in 1927 when he and his band were discovered at the Bristol Sessions held by the Victor Talking Machine Company.


Soon after, they earned the golden opportunity to record an album with the company. While his iconic yodelling style made him one of country music’s first big stars, hits like “In The Jailhouse Now” and “Blue Yodel No. 1” turned him into a bonafide sensation at the time.


Credited with inspiring almost all country musicians that came after him, Rodgers, unfortunately, died from tuberculosis-related complications in 1933 after his final recording session.



33. Hank Williams


Hank Williams


One of the most influential country musicians of all time, Hank Williams rose to fame after singing songs on a local radio show in Mongomery, Alabama. A talented vocalist who was known for singing from his heart, he started his own band, The Drifting Cowboys, which grew popular throughout Alabama, Georgia, and Florida in a short span of time.


Despite having a short career due to a fatal heart attack at the age of 29, Williams established himself as one of the first country music superstars in the United States of America.


Some of his most popular hits went on to inspire the next generation of country singers. Today, a lot many new-age artists pay tribute to him by releasing covers of his songs.



34. Ella Fitzgerald


Ella Fitzgerald


Known as the ‘First Lady of Song’ and ‘Queen of Jazz’, Ella Fitzgerald is rightfully regarded as one of the most influential American singers to have ever stepped up to the microphone.


She is best remembered for her scat singing, vocal improvisation with wordless vocables, and impeccable diction. Known to have collaborated with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and other music legends, she is responsible for countless hits such as “A-Tisket, A-Tasket”, “Dream A Little Dream”, and “It Don’t Mean a Thing”.


That said, there is no denying that Fitzgerald changed the music scene of her era and that her contribution to the jazz genre can only be compared to a few.



35. Prince




Prince Rogers Nelson, better known by his stage name Prince, was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter who was as original and creative as they come. Regarded as one of the most talented musicians of his generation, he was signed to Warner Bros. at the age of nineteen.


He found instant fame with the release of his album Dirty Mind in 1980. An accomplished guitar player, pianist, drummer, and vocalist, Prince was also a gifted lyricist and composer, who released his most successful album, Purple Rain, in 1984.


The album won him the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and spent six consecutive months at #1 on the Billboard charts.



36. Willie Nelson


Willie Nelson


Willie Nelson’s passion for music can be gauged from the fact that he wrote his first song when he was just seven years old. He started performing at a very young age and eventually moved to Nashville to become a songwriter for Pamper Music.


Credited with composing for artists such as Faron Young and Patsy Cline, he rose to prominence after the release of Red-Headed Stranger. Nelson, who added to the outlaw country subgenre in his own way, is now in his 80s and continues to produce music and go on tours.



37. Tina Turner


Tina Turner


Anna Mae Bullock, or Tina Turner as we know her, was one of the finest female singers of the 1980s. This statement means a lot considering that she had been out for a while in the bygone decade.


However, her phenomenal rise during the ’80s was seen as her comeback, and with the release of her album Private Dancer in 1984, a lot of things changed for the better.


She followed the success of her aforementioned album with the release of Break Every Rule in 1986 and Foreign Affair in 1989, respectively. Needless to say, Turner was back and hungry for more.



38. Reba McEntire


Reba McEntire


“The Queen of Country”, Reba McEntire, is one of the most successful female country singers of all time in the United States of America. She has sold over 75 million records worldwide and has released over 100 singles that have been placed on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.


It is imperative to mention that her most famous album, From My Broken Heart, was produced after she, unfortunately, ended up losing eight of her band members in a plane crash.


While her musical roots began in country music, she also matured as an artist and explored a variety of genres. She is one of those rare country singers whose solid vocal control enables her to sing incredibly complex melodies.



39. Steven Tyler


Steven Tyler


There is no denying that Steven Tyler is a name that has been associated with Aerosmith for over 50 years, but it is also true that the man has had a solo career as well.


Aerosmith released their self-titled debut album in 1973 and, eventually, went on to sell over 150 million records worldwide. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, Tyler released his first solo album entitled We’re All Somebody from Somewhere in 2016.


He had one of the most powerful voices at the absolute peak of his career, and it is incredibly tough to imagine Aerosmith’s music without his voice. Also known for his energetic live performance and even stage acrobatics, Tyler has been one of the best rock singers of his generation.



40. Ray Charles


Ray Charles


Among the top American singers in history for a reason, Ray Charles is credited with making some iconic tunes such as “Hit The Road Jack” and “What I’d Say”. The man had incredible vocals as well as an impactful music career.


Many of his finest performances were full of surprises. Therefore, it is not surprising then that he went on to influence many famous artists such as Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder during his heyday.


Over the course of his musical career, Charles recorded more than 50 albums, and he was one of the first people to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.



41. Akon




The inimitable singer and songwriter Akon rose to prominence following the release of “Locked Up” in 2004. The voice behind chartbusters such as “Smack That”, “I Wanna Love You” and “Right Now”, he has been listed by Guinness World Records as the number-one selling artist for master ringtones in the world.


Credited with over 300 guest appearances and more than 35 Billboard Hot 100 songs, the Senegalese-American artist sports a concurrent career in producing and songwriting records. Akon announced in 2018 that he was working with the Senegalese government to build a tourist city with a cryptocurrency-based economy, named Akon City.



42. Patsy Cline


Patsy Cline


The Virginia-born Patsy Cline is widely considered to be one of the greatest country singers of all time. While she first made a name for herself by participating in local radio and television programs, she set the stage on fire nationally with her televised performance of “Walkin’ After Midnight” in 1957.


Even though a near-fatal car accident threatened to derail her flourishing career in 1961, she returned with a bang to the Grand Ole Opry stage just six weeks later. Songs like “I Fall to Pieces” and “Crazy” helped her become one of the first country performers to successfully crossover to the pop music charts.



43. Jim Morrison


Jim Morrison


Jim Morrison, the lead singer for the Doors, a rock band formed in 1965, was known for his wild personality, poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, and unpredictable and erratic stage performances.


While The Doors’ eponymous debut album is credited with bringing them success with the hit song Light My Fire, the artist has transformed into a cult figure over time and is now recognized as one of the popular culture’s top rebellious figures.


Morrison was not only ranked 47th in a Rolling Stone list of “The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time” but he was also placed at number 22 in the list of the greatest rock singers by Classic Rock magazine.



44. Chester Bennington


Chester Bennington


Singer and songwriter Chester Bennington has been a part of everyone’s childhood who grew up in the 2000s and early 2010s. Best known as the lead vocalist of the hugely popular rock band Linkin Park, he was placed at number 46 on Hit Parader magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time”.


Arguably the greatest rock vocalist of his generation, the artist went on to deliver one smash hit after another with his world-famous band. While he certainly was dynamite on stage, Bennington also tried his hands at acting by appearing in films such as Crank, Crank: High Voltage, and Saw 3D.


He perhaps played the biggest role in helping Linkin Park become one of the most successful acts of the 2000s.



45. Cardi B


Cardi B


The fact that Cardi B’s first studio album, Invasion of Privacy, debuted at number one on the U. S. Billboard 200 speaks volumes about the fact that she was destined to be a bonafide rap star.


The critically and commercially successful album made her the first and only woman to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album as a solo artist. However, before her debut album turned her into an artist to look forward to, she had already gained popularity as an influencer on Vine and Instagram.


Not only that but she also appeared as a regular cast member on the VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York. Cardi B, who reportedly has the most songs with a billion streams on Spotify for a female rapper, was named the Woman of the Year by Billboard in 2020.



46. Janis Joplin


Janis Joplin


Born in Port Arthur, Texas, Janis Joplin started her career as the lead vocalist of Big Brother and the Holding Company, a San Francisco rock band. She combined blues and rock and roll in her music and eventually went on to achieve fame as a solo artist with over 18 million albums sold.


One of the most popular singers of the sixties, she played at the famous Woodstock festival in 1969. Unfortunately, she was able to release only one solo album before her shocking death at the age of 27.


A true-blue rock star of her era, Joplin was noted for her powerful mezzo-soprano vocals and “electric” stage presence.



47. Kurt Cobain


Kurt Cobain


Singer, songwriter, and musician Kurt Cobain was the lead vocalist and guitar player for the band Nirvana. He went on to become an incredibly influential figure in the alternative rock and grunge scene in Seattle.


Even though his unfortunate demise at such a young age shocked many at the time, the artist by then had done enough to always be remembered in good faith, all thanks to some hit Nirvana songs such as “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Come As You Are”, “All Apologies”, and “Heart-Shaped Box.” Needless to mention, music historians are of the firm opinion that when it comes to the best American rock singers ever, Kurt Cobain is hard to forget.



48. Stevie Nicks


Stevie Nicks


Named her the “Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll”, Stevie Nicks has incredible vocal power, and that’s one of the reasons we are giving her a well-deserved spot on our list.


While her song “Edge Of Seventeen” is an iconic rock hit, she is best known for churning out hits like “Landslide” and “Dreams” along with her band Fleetwood Mac. Together, they sold over 120 million records globally.


Nicks has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice; first with Fleetwood Mac and again as a solo artist, and all we can say is that she truly deserves the honour.



49. Nat King Cole


Nat King Cole


One of the most popular jazz singers of all time, Nat King Cole delivered his first hit song, “Sweet Lorraine”, in 1940. Also remembered for compositions such as “The Christmas Song” and “Nature Boy”, he is perhaps widely recognized as the singer of “Unforgettable.”  Throughout his career, he recorded several successful hits and was one of the most renowned entertainers in the ’50s and the ’60s.


Aside from his successful music, the man also acted in films and performed on Broadway. Cole was posthumously awarded a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 1990, and he became part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.



50. John Legend


John Legend


John Legend might well be on his way to becoming a musical legend. A singer, pianist, and actor, he began his musical career by working behind the scenes; playing piano on Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything”.


His debut album, Get Lifted, reached the top ten on the Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. A recipient of twelve Grammy Awards so far, Legend received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for playing Jesus Christ in NBC’s adaptation of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.



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