25 Most Famous American Musicians 

The land of the free and the home of the brave. 

A place that has given birth to an endless number of supreme musicians since the early 1900s. 

Narrowing down them all to a list of only 25 is no easy task. 

Needless to say, hundreds of relevant artists will be left behind. 

The question is, will your favorite American musician appear here? 

Only one way to find it out…  

1. Johnny Cash 

Cash earned himself the nickname of The Man in Black because of the clothes he wore. 

Naturally, a country musician wearing black clothes was not a common sight. 

But dressing to kill was just yet another detail. Johnny Cash is remembered for his rebellious attitude, noir storytelling, and depressing yet faithful lyrics. 

A truly one-of-a-kind. 

2. Lady Gaga 

Gaga’s groundbreaking performances and magnified stage (and off-stage!) presence cannot be ignored. 

She has become one of the key female artists of the 21st Century; a century that began not so long ago. 

The single Poker Face immediately skyrocketed Gaga’s career, but it was merely the beginning of what would become a never-ending series of classics, including Bad Romance, Alejandro, Born This Way, Judas, A Million Reasons, and Rain On Me. 

3. Madonna 

Lady Gaga might have rightfully printed her essence in history, but it was Madonna who first seized the throne, crowning herself as The Queen of Pop.

What can I say? Madonna wore daring clothes, showed the boldest attitude, and sang fearlessly at a time no other woman had ever done. 

4. Miley Cyrus 

Daughter of country celebrity Billy Ray Cyrus; Miley began her musical career as a Disney product for the TV series Hannah Montana. 

Years passed, and Miley Cyrus slowly but steadily grew to become an original solo Pop star singer, adding small but noticeable ‘Rockstar-like’ features to her style. 

5. Alice Cooper 

Blending Rock N’ Roll music, drama, and horror, Alice Cooper positioned himself as the godfather of shock rock. 

Alice Cooper initially started as a band, in which singer Vincent Damon Furnier personified the character Alice Cooper. 

Eventually, the band would dissolve, and Vincent Furnier would adopt the name Alice Cooper for his solo career. 

Non-rock enthusiasts most probably ignore the relevance of Alice Cooper in the music business. The truth is, he has been playing music since 1964, which means he’s also contemporary to The Beatles and The Doors!  

Not only that, but Cooper also began the trend of wearing theatrical makeup on stage, something other artists would eventually replicate, including KISS, David Bowie, and Marilyn Manson. 

6. Elvis Presley 

Elvis Presley was the first teen idol. The charming musician behind the TV screen.

He was the man every girl wanted to have, and the man every boy wanted to become. 

Moreover, he switched the direction music was taking during the first half of the 20th Century. 

After all, it was Elvis Presley who made Rock N’ Roll music a legendary genre and not a trend. 

7. Jack White 

From Detroit comes this musician responsible for creating one of the most unforgettable riffs in history. 

The White Stripes is surely Jack White’s most memorable creation, but the songwriter has also done wonders with The Raccounters, The Dead Weather, as a solo artist, and with other projects and collaborations. 

8. Kurt Cobain 

Nirvana is the living proof that quality matters more than quantity. 

In five years, Kurt Cobain and company left a legacy that thousands of artists haven’t achieved in decades. 

Sadly, it was the suicide he committed in April 1994 that helped mystify his figure in rock history. One way or another, though, Nirvana fans around the globe will always remember Kurt as a unique, sympathetic, and talented human being. 

9. Bob Dylan 

There’s an emotional depth and richness to songwriting that many musicians tend to disregard. 

Bob Dylan knew about it and showed that lyrics matter as much as music does. 

With an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, Dylan stood in front of a microphone and influenced hundreds along the way. 

10. Michael Jackson 

Michael Jackson is the top artist in the entire world. 

His sixth solo studio album Thriller turned out to be the best-selling studio album of all time, and that’s not to say little. 

11. Jim Morrison 

The Lizard King; an unrecognized poet. A man who claimed had the spirit of a native Indian chief within himself. 

A musician who, like Elvis, faked his death and went to live in Argentina. 

There are myths to spare surrounding Jim Morrison’s life and death. 

The only thing we can be sure about is that he was the frontman of The Doors, a most relevant band during the 1960s. 

Jim Morrison would later influence bands like The Cult, Stone Temple Pilots, The Misfits, Aerosmith, and Joy Division. 

12. Chris Cornell  

Chris Cornell fronted two legendary rock bands. 

The first one was Soundgarden, one of the heaviest grunge acts in the 90s. 

The second one was Audioslave, along with Rage Against The Machine musicians. With this one, Chris released classics such as Be Yourself, Revelations, and Like A Stone. 

This last one has not so long ago hit the billion views on Youtube. 

13. Dave Grohl 

From playing in a legendary band to playing in another one, Dave Grohl has mastered as many instruments as he could, and played with artist after artist. 

Not only has he played drums in Nirvana (and in Nevermind, one of the top-sold rock albums in existence) and fronted Foo Fighters, he has also recorded with Queens of The Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Tenacious D, Them Crooked Vultures, Ghost, and I better stop here if I want to continue with this list. 

14. Eminem 

In a market dominated by black musicians, a white rapper called Eminem stood for what he loved and showed that, ultimately, skin color shouldn’t matter at the time of making art. 

Eminem united the upper and lower class with his music, and of course, has sold millions of albums as a result of it.

15. Taylor Swift 

16. Prince 

17. Frank Sinatra 

18. Bruce Springsteen 

19. Stevie Wonder 

20. Dolly Parton 

21. Jimi Hendrix 

22. Frank Zappa 

23. Lou Reed 

24. James Brown 

25. 2Pac