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greatest music artists

INTRODUCTION

The Rolling Stone Magazine 100 greatest artist list is the most well known list of it's kind. Whilst there is debate about the exact order and the exclusion and inclusion of certain artists, all the artists on the list are highly regarded in the music world. This page looks at the artists on the list and their performance in UK and US charts, certified sales and in the Grammy awards including a specific look at awards and nominations for the main Grammy categories. The main Grammy awards are the awards which artists across genres are eligible for – Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. They are regarded as the 3 most prestigious Grammy awards that artists want to win, especially Album of the Year. That is widely regarded as the pinnacle of musical achievement.

Charts

1. Artists featured on "Rolling Stone Magazine 100 greatest artists" with Most Main Grammy Awards

2. Artists featured on "Rolling Stone Magazine 100 greatest artists" with Most Main Grammy Nominations

3. Artists featured on "Rolling Stone Magazine 100 greatest artists" with Most UK Number 1's

4. Artists featured on "Rolling Stone Magazine 100 greatest artists" with Most US Number 1's

Data Table

5. Rolling Stone Magazine 100 Greatest Artists by Race, Grammy Awards/Nominations, Certified Sales and US and UK Number 1's

U2, an Irish rock band, have won the most number of main Grammy's with 6. All but one have been in 2001 or later despite the peak of their commercial success being much earlier. Eric Clapton is in 2nd with 5 main Grammy awards, winning 3 in one night for the Album "Unplugged" and the song "Tears in Heaven" in 1993. In 3rd are Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson with 3.

 

It's worth noting that Paul Simon, one half of Simon and Garfunkel, has won an additional 4 main Grammy awards not including the 3 awarded to "Simon & Garfunkel". One of these includes the Song of the Year award for the Simon & Garfunkel song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" which was solely written by Paul Simon.

Stevie Wonder is notable in that his 3 main Grammy awards have all been for Album of the Year which is generally regarded as the most prestigious Grammy award of the 3. Only Frank Sinatra has also won 3 Album of the Year Grammy awards. 

 

U2 also lead for main Grammy nominations with 11. Noteworthy are rappers Jay-Z and Eminem who have had 10 and 9 main Grammy nominations respectively but have both yet to win 1. This is probably due to the fact that votes from rap albums are often divided.

The charts on the left shows all the artists from Rolling Stone Magazine's top 100 artists list who have had 2 or more UK number 1's and two or more US number 1's. The charts for UK number 1's and US number 1's have a similar distribution of American and British artists. This shows the convergence of musical preferences between the two countries. Elvis Presley and the Beatles are the dominant chart performers in both countries for singles. Other strong performers are Madonna and Michael Jackson. Madonna is the only female artist from the list with 2 or more number 1's in the UK. Michael Jackson has had relatively few UK number 1's although he had very strong album sales in the UK.

Elvis Presley topped the UK charts 21 times and the US charts 18 times. 

DATA TABLE
5. Rolling Stone Magazine 100 Greatest Artists by Race, Grammy Awards/Nominations, Certified Sales and US and UK Number 1's
Rolling Stone Magazine Rank
Artist
Racial/Ethnic group
Main Grammy awards
Main Grammy Nominations
Total Grammy Awards (Nominations)
Certified Sales (millions)
US number 1's
UK number 1's
1
The Beatles
White/European
2
10
14(29)
272
20
17
2
Bob Dylan
White/European
1
4
10(38)
45.4
0
1
3
Elvis Presley
White/European
0
2
2(4)
224.5
18
21
4
The Rolling Stones
White/European
0
1
4(14)
99.1
8
8
5
Chuck Berry
Black/African
0
0
0
N/A
1
1
6
Jimi Hendrix
Black/African
0
0
0(1)
N/A
0
0
7
James Brown
Black/African
0
0
3(8)
N/A
0
0
8
Little Richard
Black/African
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
9
Aretha Franklin
Black/African
0
0
18(44)
25.5
2
1
10
Ray Charles
Black/African
2
6
17(37)
N/A
3
1
11
Bob Marley
Black/African
0
0
0
41.3
0
0
12
Beach Boys
White/European
0
0
0(4)
30.7
4
2
13
Buddy Holly
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
1
2
14
Led Zeppelin
White/European
0
0
1(3)
140
0
0
15
Stevie Wonder
Black/African
3
8
25(74)
35.2
10
2
16
Sam Cooke
Black/African
0
0
0(6)
N/A
1
0
17
Muddy Waters
Black/African
0
0
6(11)
N/A
0
0
18
Marvin Gaye
Black/African
0
0
2(12)
N/A
3
1
19
Velvet Underground
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
20
Bo Diddley
Black/African
0
0
0(2)
N/A
0
0
21
Otis Redding
Black/African
0
0
2(5)
N/A
1
0
22
U2
White/European
6
11
22(46)
109.3
2
7
23
Bruce Springsteen
White/European
1
8
20(50)
103.2
0
0
24
Jerry Lee Lewis
White/European
0
0
1(3)
N/A
0
0
25
Fats Domino
Black/African
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
26
The Ramones
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
27
Prince
Black/African
0
3
7(38)
65.1
6
0
28
The Clash
White/European
0
0
1(1)
N/A
0
1
29
The Who
White/European
0
0
0(2)
27.6
0
0
30
Nirvana
White/European
0
0
1(6)
47.3
0
0
31
Johnny Cash
White/European
0
2
13(35)
31.1
0
0
32
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Black/African
0
0
0(1)
N/A
0
0
33
Everly Brothers
White/European
0
0
0(4)
N/A
0
4
34
Neil Young
White/European
0
3
2(27)
N/A
1
0
35
Michael Jackson
Black/African
3
8
13(38)
230.6
13
7
36
Madonna
White/European
0
3
7(28)
172.9
12
13
37
Roy Orbison
White/European
0
1
5(9)
N/A
2
3
38
John Lennon
White/European
1
2
1(4)
N/A
4
3
39
David Bowie
White/European
0
1
5(19)
34.8
2
5
40
Simon & Garfunkel
White/European
3
4
7(11)
59.6
3
1
41
The Doors
White/European
0
0
0
48.1
0
0
42
Van Morrison
White/European
0
0
2(7)
N/A
0
0
43
Sly & The Family Stone
Black/African
0
0
0
N/A
3
0
44
Public Enemy
Black/African
0
0
0(6)
N/A
0
0
45
The Byrds
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
2
1
46
Janis Joplin
White/European
0
0
0(2)
N/A
1
0
47
Patti Smith
White/European
0
0
0(4)
N/A
0
0
48
Run
Black/African
0
0
0(1)
N/A
0
1
49
Elton John
White/European
0
7
5(34)
183.7
9
7
50
The Band
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
51
Pink Floyd
White/European
0
1
1(4)
120.3
1
1
52
Queen
East Indian and White/European
0
0
0(4)
135.8
2
6
53
The Allman Brothers Band
White/European
0
0
1(8)
N/A
0
0
54
Howlin' Wolf
Black/African
0
0
0(3)
N/A
0
0
55
Eric Clapton
White/European
5
6
17(37)
70.3
1
0
56
Dr. Dre
Black/African
0
4
6(26)
N/A
3
0
57
Grateful Dead
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
58
Parliament / Funkadelic
Black/African
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
59
Aerosmith
White/European
0
0
4(14)
85.3
1
0
60
Sex Pistols
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
61
Metallica
White/European
0
0
8(18)
95.8
0
0
62
Joni Mitchell
White/European
1
3
8(16)
N/A
0
0
63
Tina Turner
Black/African
2
3
8(25)
33.8
1
0
64
Phil Spector
White/European
1
3
1(3)
N/A
0
0
65
The Kinks
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
66
Al Green
Black/African
0
0
11(21)
N/A
0
0
67
Cream
White/European
0
0
0(1)
N/A
0
0
68
The Temptations
Black/African
0
0
4(9)
N/A
4
0
69
Jackie Wilson
Black/African
0
0
0(2)
N/A
0
0
70
The Police
White/European
0
2
5(8)
39.6
1
5
71
Frank Zappa
White/European
0
0
2(9)
N/A
0
0
72
AC/DC
White/European
0
0
1(7)
115
0
0
73
Radiohead
White/European
0
3
3(18)
N/A
0
0
74
Hank Williams
White/European
0
0
null
N/A
0
0
75
The Eagles
White/European
1
4
6(18)
149.5
5
0
76
The Shirelles
Black/African
0
0
0
N/A
2
0
77
Beastie Boys
White/European
0
0
3(10)
N/A
0
0
78
The Stooges
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
79
The Four Tops
Black/African
0
0
0(1)
N/A
2
1
80
Elvis Costello
White/European
0
0
1(14)
N/A
0
0
81
The Drifters
Black/African
0
0
0(1)
N/A
1
0
82
Creedence Clearwater Revival
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
1
83
Eminem
White/European
0
9
15(44)
224.3
5
9
84
James Taylor
White/European
0
5
5(18)
N/A
1
0
85
Black Sabbath
White/European
0
0
2(4)
N/A
0
0
86
2Pac
Black/African
0
0
0(6)
N/A
2
1
87
Gram Parsons
White/European
0
0
0(1)
N/A
0
0
88
Jay-Z
Black/African
0
10
22(77)
103.7
4
4
89
The Yardbirds
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
90
Carlos Santana
Mestizo
2
2
10(14)
N/A
0
0
91
Tom Petty
White/European
0
2
3(18)
34.7
0
0
92
Guns N' Roses
White/European and Mixed
0
0
0(3)
76
1
0
93
Booker T & The MG's
White/European and Black/African
0
0
1(4)
N/A
0
0
94
Nine Inch Nails
White/European
0
0
2(10)
N/A
0
0
95
Lynyrd Skynrd
White/European
0
0
0
N/A
0
0
96
Diana Ross and the Supremes
Black/African
0
0
0(2)
N/A
12
1
97
R.E.M.
White/European
0
3
3(13)
42.8
0
0
98
Curtis Mayfield
Black/African
0
0
0(8)
N/A
0
0
99
Carl Perkins
White/European
0
0
1(2)
N/A
0
0
100
Talking Heads
White/European
0
0
0(2)
N/A
0
0
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