Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Top 100 Acts of All Time

Below are the top 100 acts of all time according to the DMDB. This list is an aggregate of multiple best-of lists, including specialty lists, such as those focused exclusively on a certain genre.

This information is combined with various awards, chart success, and sales figures (links go to a detailed list of resources). A great effort has been made to find lists that represent numerous genres and eras of music. Even so, this list still leans almost entirely on the 20th century, or roughly the era of recorded music, meaning classical music, such as composers Ludwig van Beethoven, are absent from this list. Still, this list does do something very few “best of all-time” lists can claim – acknowledge music from before the rock era (although this list still favors acts from the rock era).

Links below connect to the act’s entry in the Music Makers A-Z guide, which offers a short bio about the act and lists significant works. In some cases, the act has a more detailed DMDB page which can be linked to via the A-Z guide entry.

1. Elvis Presley
2. The Beatles
3. Frank Sinatra
4. Bing Crosby
5. Michael Jackson
6. Stevie Wonder
7. The Rolling Stones
8. Elton John
9. Aretha Franklin
10. Ray Charles

11. James Brown
12. Louis Armstrong
13. Bob Dylan
14. Prince
15. Benny Goodman
16. Madonna
17. Paul Whiteman
18. Tommy Dorsey
19. Bruce Springsteen
20. Billy Murray

21. Marvin Gaye
22. David Bowie
23. Nat “King” Cole
24. The Beach Boys
25. Duke Ellington
26. Perry Como
27. Guy Lombardo
28. Glenn Miller
29. U2
30. Led Zeppelin

31. Paul McCartney
32. Johnny Cash
33. Jimi Hendrix
34. Rod Stewart
35. Eric Clapton
36. Fats Domino
37. Queen
38. Mariah Carey
39. Henry Burr
40. Al Jolson

41. The Bee Gees
42. Billie Holiday
43. Billy Joel
44. Chuck Berry
45. Bob Marley
46. Fleetwood Mac
47. Whitney Houston
48. Jimmy Dorsey
49. Byron Harlan
50. The Andrews Sisters

51. Arthur Collins
52. Eagles
53. Ella Fitzgerald
54. The Who
55. Neil Young
56. The Peerless Quartet
57. Sam Cooke
58. The Temptations
59. Pink Floyd
60. Little Richard

61. John Lennon
62. Aerosmith
63. Harry MacDonough
64. Ben Selvin
65. Fats Waller
66. The Supremes
67. The Doors
68. R.E.M.
69. Hank Williams
70. Sammy Kaye

71. Patti Page
72. Barbra Streisand
73. Diana Ross
74. Ted Lewis
75. AC/DC
76. Miles Davis
77. Jo Stafford
78. Smokey Robinson
79. Janet Jackson
80. Chicago

81. Kenny Rogers
82. The Mills Brothers
83. Harry James
84. Buddy Holly & the Crickets
85. Robert Johnson
86. Simon & Garfunkel
87. Muddy Waters
88. Frankie Laine
89. Willie Nelson
90. Count Basie

91. George Gershwin
92. Roy Orbison
93. The Everly Brothers
94. Irving Berlin
95. Freddy Martin
96. Four Tops
97. B.B. King
98. Santana
99. Dolly Parton
100. Nirvana


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