Legends: Greatest Live Musicians Of All-time
All-time ratings for Sold-out concerts, visiting venues for tours, and offering musical services have historically been one of the main objectives of the music business for artists and their brands because it shows how influential, approved, or clear an artist’s sound is to the listening public and how devoted their fan base is to their musical offerings.
The heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath and Metallica, as well as the British classic rockers Queen and Led Zeppelin from the 1970s, are among numerous other performers recognized for their unrivaled stage presence during concert tours and sold-out performances.
This article seeks to highlight a few of these fantastic artists out of the many, both living and deceased, who have succeeded with their branding and have a reputation for giving extraordinary mind-blowing live performances.
Table of Contents
Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals) founded the British rock group Queen in London in 1970. John Deacon(bass) later joined the group. Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, and heavy metal influenced the band’s early works. Still, as they increasingly included other genres, like arena rock and pop rock, they began to produce more Mainstream, radio-friendly music.
The band’s 1977 album News of the World featured the songs “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions,” which have since become the anthems for sporting tournaments. Queen was among the world’s best Rock n roll bands by the early 1980s.
While their 1981 compilation album Greatest Hits is the best-selling album in the UK and is certified nine times platinum in the US, “Another One Bites the Dust” from The Game (1980) became their best-selling single. In addition, several publications list their appearance at Live Aid in 1985 as one of the best rock performances ever.
In 1968, the English rock group Led Zeppelin was established in London. Drummer John Bonham, bassist John Paul Jones, guitarist Jimmy Page, and vocalist Robert Plant made up the band. Although they drew from various inspirations, including blues and folk music, their style is credited as one of the forerunners of Hard Rock and heavy metal because of its loud, guitar-driven sound.
Led Zeppelin has been acknowledged as having a considerable influence on the nature of the music business, especially in creating stadium and album-oriented Rock (AOR). Houses of the Holy, a Led Zeppelin album, was released in March 1973.
The band continued experimenting with it, increasing their usage of synthesizers and mellotron orchestration. Houses of the Holy reached the top of the charts worldwide, and the band’s 1973 North American concert tour smashed attendance records by constantly selling out big stadiums and auditoriums.
They broke the attendance record set by the Beatles’ 1965 Shea Stadium performance by playing to 56,800 spectators in Tampa Stadium in Florida, earning $309,000.
American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016), known by his stage name Prince, was born in the United States. He is considered one of the best musicians of his generation and has received several honors and accolades.
His vast vocal range, which featured a high-pitched scream and a far-reaching falsetto, and his proficiency as a multi-instrumentalist—he frequently preferred to play all or most of the instruments on his recordings—made him well-recognized for his flamboyant, androgynous demeanor.
Prince invented the Minneapolis sound by producing his records. He combined several musical genres into his songs, including funk, R&B, Rock, new wave, soul, synth-pop, pop, jazz, and hip-hop.
On February 4, 2007, Prince performed at the Super Bowl XLI halftime show on a large platform fashioned after his emblem in Miami, Florida. His largest-ever television audience of 140 million people watched the event. The Queen’s song “We Will Rock You” served as the overture to his 12-minute performance in the rain, which ended with “Purple Rain.” Billboard named it the best Super Bowl performance ever in 2015.
Sir Elton Hercules John CH CBE is a British vocalist, pianist, and composer born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947. John, one of the best-selling musicians ever, has worked with songwriter Bernie Taupin since 1967 and has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.
He has been the most successful solo artist on the American Billboard charts. His music and showmanship have greatly influenced popular music. He has received praise from critics and musicians, particularly for his work in the 1970s and his long-lasting influence on the music business.
John has over fifty Top 40 singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart, including nine US and UK number ones. He also has seven US number-one albums in a row. The best-selling chart single of all Time is “Candle in the Wind 1997,” a revised version of his 1974 track that was an homage to Princess Diana. It has sold over 33 million copies worldwide. He made history in 2021 by becoming the first solo artist to have songs in the UK Top 10 for 60 years.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix, sometimes known as Johnny Allen Hendrix, was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter who lived from November 27, 1942, until September 18, 1970. Even though his mainstream career lasted only four years, he is considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in popular music history and among the most illustrious artists of the 20th century.
In addition, he is referred to as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rolling Stones
English rock group, The Rolling Stones, was founded in London in 1962. They are one of the rock era’s most well-known and lasting bands and have been around for six decades. The Rolling Stones invented the gritty, rhythmically driven sound known as hard Rock in the early 1960s.
Mick Jagger on vocals, multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones on instruments, guitarist Keith Richards on guitar, bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts made up their first stable lineup. Jones was the band’s prominent leader during their early years; he put the group together, named it, and oversaw its music and image.
The group’s manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, urged them to create their music after he took over in 1963. Jones, who developed a drug addiction problem, was displeased when Jagger and Richards took over as the band’s main creative forces. Their staging tools and props advanced in sophistication over Time.
The Stones encountered the issue of the audience being unable to see them when they started to fill stadium-sized or larger venues. This was especially true in 2006 during the A Bigger Bang tour when they gave a free concert in Rio de Janeiro for an estimated 1.5 million people. A video screen about thirteen meters (43 feet) long, over 500 lights, and hundreds of speakers were needed for the performance.
The Stones had to perform on a beach that was 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long, so sound systems had to be set up in a relay pattern to keep the sound in sync.
Brothers Malcolm (Vocals, rhythm guitar) and Angus Young(Vocals, lead guitar), born in Scotland, founded the Australian rock group AC/DC in Sydney in 1973. Brian Johnson later joined the band in 19.
The band refers to their sound as “rock & roll,” despite it being called hard Rock, blues rock, and heavy metal. The group received its induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. At Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto on July 30, 2003, the band performed with the Rolling Stones and Rush. The goal of the performance, which drew 500,000 spectators, was to aid the city in overcoming the bad press brought on by the 2003 SARS pandemic.
The commission has the record of being the most prominent paid music event in North American history. Despite not touring since 2003 or releasing an album since 2000, the band was ranked second in Australia among the highest-paid entertainers in 2005 and sixth in 2006.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr created the English musical group The Beatles in Liverpool in 1960. They are recognized as the most influential band of all Time and had a significant role in the rise of the counterculture in the 1960s and the appreciation of popular music as an art form. Its sound, which had its roots in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, creatively combined parts of classical music and traditional pop; the band also experimented with various musical genres, from folk and Indian music to psychedelia and hard Rock.
The Beatles revolutionized many facets of the music business as recording, songwriting, and artistic presentation innovators. They were frequently hailed as the leaders of the young and societal movements. It is believed that 55,600 people attended their Shea Stadium performance, which served as the band’s North American tour opener in 1965. Spitz said the event was a “huge breakthrough” and “a giant step toward transforming the concert business.”
Emulation of their attire, especially their rebellious hairstyles, impacted fashion worldwide. Gould asserts that the Beatles altered how people listened to popular music and perceived its significance. The Beatles’ popularity expanded from what started as the Beatlemania phenomenon to what was viewed as an expression of social developments of the decade.
They served as symbols of the 1960s counterculture, igniting bohemianism and activism in numerous social and political spheres.
English rock group Pink Floyd was founded in 1965 in London. Being one of the first British psychedelic bands to gain popularity, they stood out for their lengthy songs, auditory experimentation, philosophical lyrics, and complex live performances. In 1965, Syd Barrett (guitar, lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass guitar, vocals), and Richard Wright formed the band Pink Floyd (keyboards, lyrics).
The round was led by Barrett, who also oversaw the successful debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and the release of two chart-topping singles (1967). David Gilmour, a guitarist and singer, joined in January 1968; Barrett resigned in April 1968 due to a decline in his mental health. The conceptions for Pink Floyd’s most popular albums, The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979), was developed by Waters, who later assumed the role of the group’s primary lyricist and thematic leader.
They rose to prominence as a progressive rock band and have been called the best of all Time by some. One of the most popular and influential rock bands of all Time, Pink Floyd, has achieved significant commercial success. More than 250 million records have been sold worldwide, with 75 million certified in the US and 37.9 million albums sold here since 1993.
Waters was placed number 12 on The Sunday Times Rich List, Music Millionaires 2013 (UK), with an estimated net worth of £150 million, Gilmour was ranked 27th with £85 million, and Mason was ranked 37th with £50 million.
Canadian singer Céline Marie Claudette Dion was born on March 30, 1968. Dion is the best-selling Canadian recording artist and the best-selling French-language singer ever. She is renowned for her strong and technically proficient voice. [ She successfully integrated pop, Rock, R&B, gospel, and classical music into her music. Since then, she has primarily recorded in English and French, though she has also sung in other languages, including Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese, and Chinese.
Dion’s shows were always packed full, so there was always a rush for tickets. For example, for Céline’s first-ever concert in Taiwan in 2018, nearly 300,000 Taiwanese fans fought for the 20,000 available visas, causing the system to lag for 30 minutes. Eventually, they had to add two more concerts due to demand.
Also, In 2018, Billboard stated her Celine residency as the second most successful residency ever.
Elvis, stage name for Elvis Aaron Presley, was an American musician, actor, and sergeant in the US Army who lived from January 8, 1935, until August 16, 1977. He is known as the “King of Rock and Roll” and is regarded as one of the most influential cultural figures of the 20th century. His passionate interpretations of songs and sexually suggestive stage presence, and a particularly potent confluence of influences spanning color lines at a transformative period in racial relations, brought him immense popularity and initial controversy.
One of the most successful musicians of all time, Presley has sold over 500 million records worldwide. He enjoyed commercial success in various genres, including gospel, pop, country, rhythm & blues, and adult contemporary.
Presley was admitted into several music halls of fame, got the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at 36, and won three Grammy Awards. The number of albums with RIAA gold or platinum certifications, the number of albums that have charted on the Billboard 200, the number of albums by a solo artist that has reached number one on the UK Albums Chart, and the number of number-one singles by any act on the UK Singles Chart are among the records he currently holds. Presley received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018 after his passing.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock group with vocalist Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist John Frusciante. The group was founded in Los Angeles in 1982. Hip-hop, punk rock, hard Rock, Alternative Rock, funk, and psychedelic Rock are all represented in their music. Their wide variety impacted genres like funk metal, rap metal, rap rock, and nu metal. They are among the greatest bands in global record sales, with over 120 million albums sold. They hold the records for the most number-one singles, the most cumulative weeks at the top, and the most top-ten songs on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. They received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022 after receiving six Grammy Awards and being elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
British-American rock group Fleetwood Mac was established in London in 1967. Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Mick Fleetwood, who played drums and sang on guitar, formed Fleetwood Mac. Before John McVie joined the lineup in Time for their self-titled debut album, Bob Brunning was hired as a temporary bass player. In 1968, Danny Kirwan joined as a third guitarist and singer.
Christine Perfect, a keyboardist and vocalist who was a part of Chicken Shack and contributed as a session musician beginning with the group’s second album, wed McVie and became Christine McVie, a full member of Fleetwood Mac, in 1970. One of the best-selling bands in the world, Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 120 million records globally.
The trio was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979. The band won the Brit Award for Best Contribution to Music and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. The band was honored by The Recording Academy with the MusiCares Person of the Year award in 2018 in recognition of their creative success in the music business and commitment to philanthropy.
American rock group Aerosmith was founded in Boston in 1970. Brad Whitford plays the drums, Joe Perry plays the guitar, Tom Hamilton plays the bass, Joey Kramer plays the piano, and Steven Tyler sings lead (guitar). Their loud, rocking, blues-based sound, incorporating pop rock, heavy metal, glam metal, and rhythm and blues, has influenced numerous other rock musicians.
The “Toxic Twins” are the principal songwriting duo of Tyler and Perry. With over 150 million records sold worldwide, including over 85 million in the US, Aerosmith is the most successful American hard rock band ever. They hold the record for the total certifications by an American group. They are tied for the most multi-platinum albums by an American group with 25 gold, 18 platinum, and 12 multi-platinum albums. They accomplished twenty-one US Hot 100 Top 40 singles, nine Mainstream Rock number-one singles, four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards.
They were ranked 57 and 30, respectively, on Rolling Stone’s and VH1’s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Tyler and Perry were recognized in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, and the band won the MusiCares Person of the Year honor in 2020.
American rock group Foo Fighters was founded in Seattle in 1994. Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl started as a solo project before eventually forming the Foo Fighters. Grohl (lead vocals, guitar) assembled a band with Nate Mendel (bass guitar), William Goldsmith (drums), and Pat Smear after the 1995 self-titled first album’s commercial success (guitar).
The band’s main lineup, which consists of Grohl, Mendel, Chris Shiflett (guitar), and Taylor Hawkins, was established in 1999 after a string of lineup changes that included the departures of Goldsmith and Smear (drums). Rami Jaffee (keys) joined in 2017, and Smear returned in 2005.
Foo Fighters are among the best-selling rock acts in Grammy history thanks to their 15 career victories, which include five Best Rock Album nominations. At the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards, the band received the first-ever “Global Icon” award, it was announced. In addition, in 2021, the year they first became eligible, they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
American singer-songwriter Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born on September 23, 1949. During their six-year career, he has released 21 studio albums, most involving his backup band, the E Street Band. He is credited with creating the genre of heartland rock, which combines mainstream rock music with poetic and socially concerned lyrics that depict the lives of Americans in the working class.
Known as “The Boss,” he is well-known for his songs and upbeat concerts that may continue for more than four hours. For example, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 7, 2016, Springsteen gave a 4-hour, 4-minute performance at Citizens Bank Park. His most extended version in the United States occurred during this performance, which was a part of The River 2016 Tour.
Taylor Swift’s 2015 tour, which brought in $250.1 million, was surpassed by The River 2016 Tour as the highest-grossing Tour of 2016, with a total revenue of $268.3 million.
Guns N’ Roses
American hard rock group, Guns N’ Roses, was founded in 1985 and is based in Los Angeles, California. The band’s original members were vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler when they signed with Geffen Records in 1986.
Rose, Slash, McKagan, Richard Fortus on guitar, Frank Ferrer on drums, and Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese on keyboards make up the current lineup. The band was dubbed “the most dangerous band in the world” in their early years due to their hedonism and rebelliousness, which brought comparisons to the early Rolling Stones. In 2012, the band’s first year of eligibility, the original lineup was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum.
One of the best-selling acts in history, Guns N’ Roses has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 45 million in the US.
Michael Joseph Jackson, an American singer, composer, dancer, and philanthropist, was born on August 29, 1958, and died on June 25, 2009. He is known as the “King of Pop” and is considered one of the most influential individuals in 20th-century culture.
He became a significant character in popular culture throughout a four-decade career thanks to his contributions to dance, music, and fashion and his widely known personal life. In addition, Jackson impacted musicians in many other musical genres; through his stage and film appearances, he made complex dance routines like the robot and the moonwalk, which he also gave their names to and made well known. In addition, Micheal is known to hold concerts that had the audience in awe and tears after his exceptional deliveries.
With an estimated 400 million album sales globally, Jackson is among the most successful musicians ever. He was the first performer to have a Billboard Hot 100 top ten hit in five different decades and had 13 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, third most of any artist throughout the Hot 100 era. His accolades include 39 Guinness World Records, including “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time,” 15 Grammy Awards, six Brit Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and six other awards.
In addition, Jackson has been inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame (the only recorded artist to be inducted), the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (twice), the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
American rock group Bon Jovi was established in Sayreville, New Jersey, in 1983. Its members are guitarist Phil X, bassist Hugh McDonald, drummer Tico Torres, keyboardist David Bryan, and singer Jon Bon Jovi. Alec John Such, the band’s original bassist, left in 1994, and Richie Sambora, a longtime guitarist and co-songwriter, retired in 2013. “[Bridging] the gap between heavy metal and pop with style and ease” is how the band has been hailed. Making history after releasing their eleventh album, The Circle, Bon Jovi began the stadium run of the Circle Tour.
They performed the inaugural at the brand-new New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The three gigs on May 26, 27, and 29, 2010 that were sold out were a big success. One hundred eighty-seven thousand six hundred ninety-six people attended Bon Jovi’s 12-night run at London’s O2 Arena, which brought in $18,178,036 in revenue.
According to Billboard’s annual Top 25 concert tours, The Circle Tour had the most ticket sales in 2010. According to Pollstar, the Time has played to 1,909,234 fans, making $201.1 million from over 80 venues. Bon Jovi was named Billboard and Pollstar’s top touring act of the year for the second time in three years.
Earth, Wind & Fire
With over 90 million records sold globally, Earth, Wind & Fire (also known as EW&F or EWF) is one of the most successful bands ever. After the Salty Peppers’ dissolution, Maurice White formed the band in Chicago in 1969. Afro-pop, Latin, jazz, R&B, soul, funk, and pop are all represented in the music of the American band.
There have been several notable members, including Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Roland Bautista, Robert Brookins, Sonny Emory, Fred Ravel, Ronnie Laws, Sheldon Reynolds, and Andrew Woolfolk.
The contrast between Bailey’s falsetto and Maurice’s baritone, the band’s kalimba sound, its vibrant horn section, and its energetic and extravagant stage performances are all things that the group is well-known for. The group has received four American Music Awards and six Grammy Awards out of 17 nominations.
In addition, they have received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame, NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame, and Hollywood’s Rockwalk, amongst other awards.
English rock group The Who was founded in 1964 in London. Guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, drummer Keith Moon, and lead vocalist Roger Daltrey made up their core group.
They are regarded as one of the essential rock groups of the 20th century and have sold more than 100 million records globally. Their contributions to rock music include the creation of Marshall Stack, the usage of massive PA systems, the synthesizer, the influential playing styles of Entwistle and Moon, the development of the rock opera, and the feedback and power chord guitar techniques of Townshend.
Their songs are still often played and are credited as influences by hard Rock, punk, power pop, and mod bands. In 1990, The Who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Bob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley and the Wailers were a Jamaican ska, rocksteady, and reggae band (formerly known as The Wailers, The Wailing Rudeboys, The Wailing Wailers, and The Teenagers).
Bob Marley (Robert Nesta Marley), Peter Tosh (Hubert Winston McIntosh), and Bunny Wailer (Neville Livingston) were the group’s original members in 1963. Bob Marley’s cult following and the in-vogue reggae era of that Time ensured they sold out numerous back-to-back shows and concerts while on Tour.
Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein co-founded the American rock group Blondie. The group pioneered New York’s American new wave scene in the middle of the 1970s. Blondie’s first two albums heavily incorporated aspects of punk and new wave.
Although very popular in the UK and Australia, they weren’t well recognized in the US until the 1978 publication of Parallel Lines. The band had several popular singles over the following four years, including “Heart of Glass,” “Call Me,” “Atomic,” “The Tide Is High,” and “Rapture.”
The group gained notoriety for combining various musical genres, including early rap, disco, pop, and reggae. Over the years, the group has toured and played worldwide, and in 2006, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Blondie is still active and has sold almost 40 million records worldwide. Pollinator, the group’s eleventh studio album, was available on May 5, 2017.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, an American singer, songwriter, actor, and dancer, was born on September 4, 1981. Beyoncé is renowned for her innovative artistic style and powerful vocals. She gained the moniker “Queen Bey” due to her success, which has turned her into a cultural figure. She is one of the best-selling recording artists in the world, with more than 200 million albums sold worldwide.
She received awards for Top Certified Artist of the Decade from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Top Female Artist of the Decade from Billboard in recognition of her popularity during the 2000s. Her first seven studio albums debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, making her the first solo artist to do so.
Beyoncé has won more awards than any other musician, including 32 Grammys, 26 MTV Video Music Awards, 24 NAACP Image Awards, 31 BET Awards, and 17 Soul Train Music Awards (including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 2014). She was named the highest-paid black musician of all Time by Billboard in 2014, and she was included on Time’s list of the 100 women who shaped the 20th century in 2020.
In 2011, she appeared on stage at New York’s Roseland Ballroom for four nights of exclusive performances. Her “4” album was performed to an only-standing room at the 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé events. The Recording Industry Association of America gave the album a platinum certification on August 1, 2011. (RIAA). She has since gone on to make more captivating show performances at her sold-out tours, Coachellas, and Super Bowl halftime shows, amongst other top-ranking concerts, and to thousands of adoring fans.
With over 100 million records sold globally, Adele is among the best-selling musical acts. She has been crowned the best-selling female artist of the twenty-first century in the UK and the best-selling artist of the 2010s globally and in the US. 16 Grammy Awards, 12 Brit Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award are among her honors.
She was voted Artist of the Year by Billboard in 2011, 2012, and 2016. Adele was named Songwriter of the Year by The Ivors Academy at the Ivor Novello Awards in 2012 and 2016. In 2012, 2016, and 2022, Time magazine listed her as one of the most influential persons in the world.
She received an MBE at the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours for her contributions to music. The Times named her the second-best singer of the 21st century, while Rolling Stone placed her 22nd on their list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time (2023).
Sheeran is one of the best-selling musicians in the world, with more than 150 million records sold globally. Two of his albums are included in the list of the best-selling albums in the history of the UK chart, and he has 101 million RIAA-certified units in the US.
He received the most combined success in the UK album and singles charts in the 2010s, earning him the title of artist of the decade from the Official Charts Company in December 2019. In addition, he was ranked as Spotify’s second-most streamed musician globally for the decade.
He is known to fill up large venues consistently and holds sold-out concerts and shows to date.
Irish rock band U2 was founded in Dublin in 1976. The band consists of Larry Mullen Jr. on bass guitar, Adam Clayton on bass guitar, the Edge on lead guitar, keyboards, and backup vocals (drums and percussion). U2’s music, which initially had its roots in post-punk, has changed throughout its career while retaining an anthemic aspect supported by Bono’s expressive vocals and the Edge’s chiming, effects-based guitar sounds.
Focusing on social and political issues, Bono’s lyrics frequently include mystical imagery. The trio, well-known for their live performances, has put on several ambitious and expensive tours. With 15 studio albums under their belt, U2 is among the best-selling musicians in the world, with 150–170 million albums sold to date.
More than any other band, they have won 22 Grammy Awards, and in 2005, during their first year of eligibility, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” U2 came in at number 22.
According to Billboard Boxscore, the band’s US$1.67 billion in ticket sales from 1990 to 2016 were second only to the Rolling Stones. In the top 25 touring acts from 2000 to 2009, only U2 could sell out every concert.
The band was named the ultimate touring act of the 2010s by Pollstar after raking in $1.038 billion and selling 9,300,500 tickets from 255 gigs between 2010 and November 2019. U2 was the only act to gross over $1 billion during that period. Five times in a row, according to Forbes, U2 was ranked as the highest-paid musician in the world. The group’s combined wealth was assessed at €670 million, according to The Sunday Times’ 2020 Irish Rich List.
American guitarist James Joseph Brown lived from May 3, 1933, until December 25, 2006. He is known by many superlative nicknames, some of which include “the Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” “Godfather of Soul,” “Mr. Dynamite,” and “Soul Brother No. 1.”
He is regarded as the principal founder of funk music and a significant figure in 20th-century music. In addition, he impacted the evolution of various musical genres throughout a more than 50-year career. Brown was one of the first ten honorees at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s first induction in New York on January 23, 1986.
Rapper, songwriter, and record producer Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known by his stage name Eminem, was born in the United States on October 17, 1972. He is hailed by critics as one of the best rappers of all time and is credited with introducing hip-hop to middle America.
The acceptability of white rappers in mainstream music is often credited to Eminem’s widespread success and renowned works, which broke down racial barriers. He became notorious for provocative pieces in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Yet, despite this, he became a symbol of the widespread anguish of the American underclass and was mentioned as an influence by several artists across many genres.
He is known to still pull large crowds in their thousands at his tours and concerts and has somewhat of a loyal fanbase and cult following to date.
American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was given his legal name, Robert Dylan, and was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941. Bob Dylan has played a significant role in popular culture with a career spanning more than 60 years and a reputation as one of the greatest songwriters of all Time. His most well-known songs, such as “The Times They Are a-Changin'” (1964) and “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963), became anthems for the civil rights and antiwar movements at this Time.
Around this time, his songs broke pop music norms and catered to the rising counterculture by including various political, social, philosophical, and literary elements. He is among the best-selling musicians of all time, with over 125 million recordings sold.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, 10 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award are just a few of the honors he has won. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have all recognized Dylan. He received a special commendation from the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2008 for “his significant impact on American culture and popular music, defined by lyrical compositions of exceptional poetic intensity.”
The Nobel Prize in Literature was given to Dylan in 2016 “for having developed fresh lyrical interpretations within the great American song heritage.” He was a showman, and his concerts were always as energetic as they were remarkable.
American rock group Linkin Park hails from Agoura Hills in California. The band’s current lineup includes all original members: drummer Rob Bourdon, lead guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave Farrell, DJ Joe Hahn, and rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Mike Shinoda.
Former band members Mark Wakefield and Chester Bennington both sing. Linkin Park is a band that falls within the alternative rock genre. Its early music combined parts of heavy metal and hip hop, while its latter work contains more electronic and pop elements. Having sold more than 100 million records worldwide, Linkin Park is one of the best-selling bands of the twenty-first century.
Six American Music Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, ten MTV Europe Music Awards, three World Music Awards, two Grammy Awards, and six other accolades have been bestowed upon them. Linkin Park was ranked third best band of the new millennium and sixth best band of the music video period by MTV2 in 2003.
Linkin Park was placed No. 19 on Billboard’s Top Artists of the Decade list. The group was chosen as the best 2000s musician in a Bracket Madness poll on VH1 in 2012. The group was hailed by Kerrang! as “The Biggest Rock Band in the World Right Now” in 2014.
The English rock group Duran Duran was founded in Birmingham in 1978 by guitarist/bassist John Taylor, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, and singer and bassist Stephen Duffy.
Before settling on their most renowned lineup in May 1980 by bringing on guitarist Andy Taylor and lead vocalist Simon Le Bon, the band had several lineup changes before adding drummer Roger Taylor the following year.
Billboard claims that Duran Duran has sold more than 100 million records. They produced 21 top 40 hits on the US Billboard Hot 100 and 30 top 40 singles on the UK Singles Chart (14 of which reached the top ten).
The group has received various honors throughout their career, including two Brit Awards, the 2004 award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, two Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement MTV Video Music Award, and an MTV Europe Music Award for Video Visionary. A star was also bestowed upon them on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition, the group was a member of the 2022 class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.