Which musician is the most famous? I will try to answer that question based on the influence the musician had. Some legends had staying power, others kept abreast with changes in industry.
The common factor among these top 10 famous singers is how they left us all begging for more.
1. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is the singer people love to hate. Thriller, Bad and Dangerous are amongst the best selling albums of all time. And that was before the age of iTunes or YouTube. Michael was also perhaps the greatest stage performer with his enchanting stage acts. The Thriller track has outsold every other song in history and can also be proclaimed as the best music single ever. The King of Pop, as he is called is the most famous musician of modern times.
2. Elvis Presley
No other musician has captivated generations of music listeners like the king of rock and roll has. There are cult-like Presley clubs that even believe he didn’t die. Others claim that he moved to the moon to watch over them. That is how good he was. He died in 1977, but not before he was a legend and had revolutionized the celebrity lifestyle of musicians.
3. The Beatles
The Beatles were the first truly great boy band and the most successful band in history. Coming from the working class city of Liverpool, they played their way to fame and money. It was common to see fans fainting at just their appearance on stage. Their brand of psychedelic rock, classic pop and ballads had the entire globe swooning at their mercy.
4. Ludwig van Beethoven
Classical music composers of the Golden Age cannot match up to Beethoven’s work. His pieces are taught to every classical pianist learning the ropes. The German great became a renowned pianist by the time he turned 20 years old. Even as he started losing his sense of hearing, he continued composing and playing.
5. Ray Charles
He was nicknamed “the genius” because he had a Midas touch on almost any song he released. His music transcended racial boundaries and social castes. He brought soul music to life and made it become a mainstream genre. Although his social life made him an enigma, his music threw perception about his character to the wind and endeared him to the masses. He was even featured posthumously in “We Are the World”.
This is another rock band that came into the scene in the early 80s. They popularized heavy metal rock and have kept on churning out the hits for three straight decades. The legend goes that the band was formed after founding member, Lars Ulrich, placed a newspaper advert. Their performances are amongst the highest attended in the rock genre.
7. The Rolling Stones
If they had been formed a few decades later, they could have been higher on the list. After being one of the best selling bands in the world, they also have the most respected entertainment magazine named after them. Lead singer Mick Jagger still has his groove and occasionally performs his songs. They had a sort of rivalry going with the Beatles and this drove their popularity even higher.
8. Bob Marley
The King of Reggae is a term that can’t describe him enough. From soulful ballads to rebel tracks, Robert Nesta Marley took his genre of music to the world. His albums are the best selling reggae albums in history. Just like Elvis Presley, he has inspired cult-like following amongst his listeners.
The only female musician in this list is still going strong. It is hard to think of any other transformative musician. Since she began singing in her teens almost 40 years ago, she has kept up with the times. The press loves her, her fans love her and she says that even God loves her!
10. Frank Sinatra
He was once described as the singer with the greatest voice ever. In a career that spanned over half a decade, Sinatra was so popular that there were rumors he wanted to run for presidency. Of course he rode the wave to increase his own popularity.