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The DMDB’s Top 100 Acts of All Time

Below are the top 100 acts of all time (starting with #1 in top left corner, working across; then #11 starts at the left on the next row, etc.) 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.

Elvis Presley

Bing Crosby

The Beatles

Frank Sinatra

Stevie Wonder

Michael Jackson

Elton John

The Rolling Stones

Aretha Franklin


Ray Charles

Bob Dylan

James Brown


David Bowie

Benny Goodman

Paul Whiteman Orchestra

Tommy Dorsey

Bruce Springsteen

The Beach Boys

Marvin Gaye

Billy Murray

Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians

Johnny Cash

Jimi Hendrix


Perry Como

Nat “King” Cole

Eric Clapton

Paul McCartney

Billy Joel

Louis Armstrong

Duke Ellington

Led Zeppelin

Rod Stewart

The Bee Gees


Glenn Miller

Chuck Berry

Bob Marley & The Wailers

Fleetwood Mac

Mariah Carey

Henry Burr

John Lennon

The Who

Al Jolson

Whitney Houston

Pink Floyd


Little Richard

Neil Young


Fats Domino

Jimmy Dorsey

The Andrews Sisters


Byron G. Harlan

Arthur Collins

The Doors

Barbra Streisand

The Temptations

Sam Cooke

Ella Fitzgerald

Kenny Rogers

Billie Holiday

Peerless Quartet/
Columbia Male Quartet

Willie Nelson

Ben Selvin

Diana Ross/
The Supremes

Hank Williams

Dolly Parton

Sammy Kaye

B.B. King

Harry MacDonough

Eddy Arnold

Miles Davis

Ted Lewis

Buddy Holly/
The Crickets

Smokey Robinson/
The Miracles


Janet Jackson

The Four Tops

Patti Page


Simon & Garfunkel

Fats Waller

Frankie Laine

The Everly Brothers


Garth Brooks


Roy Orbison

Celine Dion

Robert Johnson

Elvis Costello

Neil Diamond

Muddy Waters


Creedence Clearwater Revival

Pearl Jam

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This page last updated September 29, 2010.