Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Although nowadays he’s known as one of the most wholesome and busiest actors in Hollywood (just take a look at how many movies he’s starring in the next year), he didn’t start out as part of the glitz and glam of Tinseltown.
Known by his stage name, “Rocky Maivia” (a combination of his father’s and grandfather’s wrestling names), Johnson began wrestling in 1996. He was critical to the creation and success of the World Wrestling Federation, aka WWF. Although his acting has taken center stage, he does still compete.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson
Everyone that grew up in the ‘90s and early 2000s learned of Mary-Kate and Ashley when they began playing the adorable Michelle Tanner in Full House. From there, their resumes only got more impressive with time.
Their last role as part of their acting empire, however, was in New York Minute in 2004. Since then, they’ve left the acting world but not the world of glamor — they’ve created a lucrative fashion brand and now spend their time managing it.
James Van Der Beek
Seeing Dawson Leery next to James Van Der Beek is making us remember exactly why we had a huge crush on him back when Dawson’s Creek was airing in 1998, and James was 19.
It also totally shows us why we still love him. Just look at that charming smirk! Of course, he’s still acting; his latest roles include Matt Bromley in Pose and Grant in the comedy horror film Bad Hair.
It was clear very early on that Beyoncé was going to be a star — from a young age, she participated in (and won) several singing and dancing competitions. Her more serious break came when the singing group she had joined, Girl’s Tyme, morphed into Destiny’s Child.
From there, we all know Beyoncé’s meteoric rise to fame. After all, who can forget such hits as “Survivor”, “Bootylicious”, and”Crazy in Love” (which was also her first number-one single)? Do we really need to explain how Queen Bey is still proving what an immense talent she is to this day?
Haley Joel Osment
Haley Joel Osment was probably the cutest child star of the ‘90s. He first got attention at the age of four when a talent scout signed him and got him in commercials. His first major appearances on the silver screen were as a young Forrest Gump, and, more importantly, as Cole in The Sixth Sense.
From there, the huge roles just kept coming. While his projects since hitting his late teens have slightly dwindled, Osment is still acting both on TV and in films. He’s also been the voice behind the beloved Sora in the Kingdom Hearts video game franchise.
Cherilyn Srakisian’s journey toward becoming the Goddess of Pop began with a cute little number called “I Got You Babe” — which shot Sonny & Cher straight into fame. At the same time, she also established herself as an impressive solo act.
Cher has since become an incredible musical icon, conquering every stage and every entertainment industry she could think of. Even after over 60 years of making music, this powerhouse doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
She might be known nowadays as a talented choreographer, actress, singer, and dancer (and as one of the iconic original judges on American Idol), but Paula Abdul actually began her career as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Interestingly, the Jacksons saw her cheering and gave her a chance to choreograph several music videos for them. From there, she slowly transitioned into creating her own music. Her career since then has been filled with music and dance.
Wax on, wax off — polish your eyes and take a look at the original Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio. Macchio began professionally acting at age 16, with his first role being Jeremy Andretti in Eight Is Enough.
Of course, his major break came when he played underdog Daniel in The Karate Kid, a role he has reprised many times over the years — including, most recently, in the sequel series Cobra Kai.
At the young age of 20, Madonna dropped out of college and moved to New York City with $35 in her pocket to try to make it big as a modern dancer. For quite a few years, she picked up odd jobs while pursuing her career in music.
In 1982, she released several singles that garnered enough attention to propel her forward, all the way to “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl” stardom. The rest, as they say, is history. The Queen of Pop continues to make headlines and albums to this day.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with the sweet smile and immense talent that is Dolly Parton. Before becoming a worldwide sensation, though, Dolly was just a humble songwriter for others. She finally became known for her singing talent with the debut of her first album, Hello, I’m Dolly.
After winning the hearts of every country music lover out there, Dolly branched out to other genres, also becoming a pop sensation. Her latest work includes a rock album, which she started working on after getting nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Beautiful British model Kate Moss began her career in 1988 when she was just 14. She was spotted by Sarah Doukas at the airport in New York after returning from a holiday in the Bahamas. Moss became known for her “grunge” look.
Beyond becoming a renowned model over the years, Moss has also gone into fashion design, creating several collections with Topshop. In 2016, she founded her own agency, KMA (Kate Moss Agency), signing on Rita Ora and Esmé Creed-Miles, among others, as clients.
Looking at a young Leonardo DiCaprio sure takes us back. He first began appearing in commercials at age 14, soon gaining his first role in The Outsiders. We do, of course, have to mention the incredible star status he gained as a teen heartthrob in the late ‘90s with Romeo + Juliet and the massive success of Titanic.
From there, it’s been a pretty steady rise for Leo, as he’s still a huge star. Even so, nowadays, it seems like people are more concerned with his dramatic love life than with his up-and-coming films.
With his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour underway, what a time to talk about the incredible career of the amazingly talented and iconic Elton John. John began performing at age 15 at a local pub.
His real career, however, began when he met his longtime musical partner, Bernie Taupin, in 1967. The duo has since created the musical talent that is Elton John together. Of course, it’s impossible to sum up his decades-long career, so, let’s just say that it’s still going strong.
He’s once… twice… three times a massively talented singer! It’s Lionel Richie, everyone! And can we just say that this Motown wonder has aged so well? This is one handsome 70-something-year-old that we’d love to be serenaded by.
After all, he was one of the most successful balladeers of the ‘80s — and for good reason. His solo career might have begun in 1982 with his album Lionel Richie, but those sweet dulcet vocals are still going strong today.
While we might most fondly think of Tom Hanks (beyond his wholesome self) as a serious dramatic actor, he actually got a start with a series of comedy films that got some pretty good reviews.
While Splash and Big did wonders for his career, his true shot to stardom came with the iconic Forrest Gump. Hanks has since only reached higher with his many amazing films and truly unforgettable roles.
Although he began his career with a starring role on Days of Heaven, Richard Gere rose to prominence thanks to American Gigolo. This transformed him into one of Hollywood’s favorite heartthrobs.
That’s probably why he got his role in Pretty Woman. He also found himself playing the suave Billy Flynn in Chicago. He’s still acting while also working on his musical talent.
Can we just take a moment to swoon over 16-year-old Robbie Williams in his early Take That days? Unfortunately, the young star had quite a few difficulties with illicit substances during those days, and he left the group in 1995.
Lucky for us, he kept making his own music and even made his return to the group in 2006. He has received 18 Brit Awards, alongside tons of other music awards worldwide — he definitely does Take the Crown.
How you doin’, Matt LeBlanc? ‘Cause you’re looking like you’re doing just fine! He may be older and somewhat rounder these days, but we’re definitely hoping that today’s Matt is a lot wiser than his younger character of Joey Tribbiani.
While Joey might be his most known character, LeBlanc’s career actually started quite a few years before his Friends fame. In fact, his first appearance was in a Heinz Ketchup commercial way back in 1987. Of course, he’s still acting, although he hasn’t yet found a TV role since his show Man With a Plan was canceled in 2020.
By now, we all know what an incredible struggle and journey Britney Spears has undergone in order to gain back her independence and return to the industry… on her terms. So, we really couldn’t care less that she doesn’t look 20 anymore.
The 41-year-old singer has been spending her time working on her book and on her family with Sam Asghari. We can only hope, however, to soon hear that ‘Oops!… She did it again’ and returned to making music.
He might have been the man with no name in Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, but we definitely know Clint Eastwood’s name. This Spaghetti Westerns veteran has, since his time in the Wild West, also graduated to directing many films.
Apparently, his dating history is just as action-filled as his films. Over the years, he’s been connected to many women, eventually fathering at least eight children with six different women. He refuses to confirm exactly how many children he has.
Thanks to great musicians like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen became interested in creating his own music at a young age. He got his first guitar in 1964 and soon after joined a band and started performing.
From there, it was nearly a decade of playing with different bands, honing his skills and musical taste. In 1972, he formed a new band, which eventually became the E Street Band. The band still plays with Springsteen to this day.
Who would have thought that the perfectionist and loyal Gryffindor would grow up to be the fierce and impressive Emma Watson? Okay, yeah, basically everyone. Clearly, Hermione Granger was made to be played by Watson.
Although she hasn’t acted as much in recent years (with the notable exceptions of Beauty and the Beast and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women), Emma is just as outspoken, nowadays taking her activism into board meetings instead of the red carpet.
This international star was often compared to the likes of Steve McQueen, Clark Gable, and Humphrey Bogart in his early years, and we can totally see why. Although his citizenship only included the US and Ireland, thanks to a move in his teen years to Australia, that was where he began his career.
His initial movies (like the Mad Max films), cemented Mel Gibson as an action star. However, as he built his skill, people soon learned that he had a talent in other genres as well. In recent years, due to certain statements made by the actor, he hasn’t been as much in the limelight.
When it comes to movie roles, Harrison Ford certainly has a type (and we absolutely love it) — a wise-cracking, heart-of-gold criminal. Because how else do you explain the fact that Indiana Jones and Han Solo are so much alike?! Seriously, it took us a moment to recognize which one he was dressed up as in this pic.
Beyond his acting career, which is still thriving (with Indiana Jones 5 out this year), Ford also has quite a few other interests. This includes a pilot’s license, which he’s even used to help the local authorities in Wyoming with a rescue! Now, that’s a true action hero!
Like many comedians, Jerry Seinfeld began his career appearing in open-mic nights at different improv clubs. Only, he got really lucky when in 1976, he appeared in an open mic at Catch a Rising Star — which led to him appearing on a televised comedy special!
After becoming a late show favorite guest, Jerry finally created Seinfeld in 1988 alongside Larry David. Amazingly, for a show about nothing, it quickly became the most-watched sitcom on TV and Jerry has been a household name ever since.
Everybody, put your hands together for the one, the only Fresh Prince! But before we saw him on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Smith was using the same nickname to create his musical career as an MC and rapper.
He’s since proven that beyond musical and comedic talent, Will Smith could also move us to tears or make us hold our breath in anticipation in his more action-oriented films. Unfortunately, due to his televised slap, his career seems to have been put on a bit of a hold recently.
“Yo, Adrian!” shouts Rocky Balboa, but we want to give a shout-out to the great actor behind the hit franchise — Sylvester Stallone! Under the stage name Mike Stallone, Sylvester began his career in 1969. He changed his stage name again just a year later, finally going back to his real name only a few years into his career.
Did you know that his first starring role was actually in a soft adult film? This was obviously before the success of Rocky when he was strapped for cash. Of course, nowadays, he’s far from destitute and is enjoying his hard-earned career success.
Say hello to this glorious mustache. The young Tom Selleck definitely stole our hearts in 1980 when he starred as the clever private eye in Magnum, P.I. But, his career didn’t stop there.
He’s been winning us over again and again. Since 2010, he’s been doing so as the head of a family of police officers in the long-running Blue Bloods. In recent years he’s also begun singing — appearing on Nicolas King’s album Act One.
We “Can’t Stop Loving You”, Phil Collins! From the moment he began sharing his musical talent with the world, we were hooked. Genesis was his big break, but did you know that he actually had a bit of an acting career before getting into music? That clearly didn’t take.
Of course, many of us in the younger generations first got to know him through his incredible work on the Tarzan soundtrack (which he also recorded himself in several other languages). You’ll always be in our hearts, Phil!
She’s made such a name for herself over the years that it’s hard to consider her a nepo baby, but Jennifer Aniston actually is the daughter of two actors. Of course, over the course of her amazing career, she’s created her own legacy.
Her big break, as we all know, came as Rachel Green in Friends when she inspired a generation of young women. She’s since only grown, honing her dramatic acting chops alongside her comedic timing.
Mother Monster is in the house! With this pic, it’s basically impossible to tell which is the younger version of Lady Gaga. In any case, we know for a fact that the bullies who used to tell Stefani Joanne Angelia Germanotta that she’ll never be famous have been eating their words for years.
Lady Gaga isn’t just an incredibly talented musician and singer (though she most definitely is that); she’s proven in recent years that she’s just as great at acting. She now moves back and forth between her two passions, and we can’t wait to see her blend them in the new Joker film.
Let’s come clean — we all had a crush on Christina Applegate as Kelly Bundy on Married… With Children. There was just something about the beautiful and ditzy character, played by this talented actress, that had us hooked.
Applegate has only gotten better since, taking on more complex roles that really showcase her incredible talent. Seriously, her latest role in Dead to Me is absolutely incredible! Sadly, due to her diagnosis of MS, it looks like she’ll be putting her acting career on pause.
His father might have sold wood, but the “only wood” Henry Winkler “was interested in was Hollywood,” according to the cheeky comedian and actor. He began his career straight out of the Yale School of Drama as a stage actor.
His breakthrough came when he got the role of Fonzie on Happy Days. Apparently, he was told he got the job on his birthday! While “The Fonz” might be timeless, younger audiences probably know him better from his roles on Arrested Development or Barry.
You might be tempted to think that Steven Spielberg’s glorious career began with the masterpiece Jaws in 1975, but he actually spent years before that trying to break into the world of directing.
Of course, nowadays, he’s known for his genius directing, having been responsible for some of the most enjoyable and profitable films of all time. His most personal work, semi-autobiographical The Fabelmans, recently hit theaters to rave reviews.
Johnny Depp actually began his rise to fame as a musician when he left school at 16 to pursue his rock dreams. It was only at 20, after meeting Nicolas Cage, that he decided to give acting a shot. He became a teen heartthrob when he landed his first big role on 21 Jump Street.
However, he didn’t love the commercial aspect of the role and sought more independent and interesting projects. His role in Edward Scissorhands began a lifelong collaboration with Tim Burton, which is still going strong.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro worked in Hollywood for a decade in all sorts of small roles before he got his big break in 1973, when he played a mobster in Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets. His nuanced acting was apparently perfect for criminal roles, as he was soon cast as Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II.
Thanks to his many collaborations with Scorsese, De Niro rose quickly from there, marked as an impressively diverse actor. He might not be super handsome, but there’s quite a bit of charm in every character that De Niro plays.
Did you know that before beginning her illustrious acting career, Courteney Cox actually worked for the video game company Bethesda Softworks? Well, soon after that, she began acting in all sorts of projects. She finally landed her breakout role in Friends.
While we definitely associate her with Monica Geller, Cox was also recognized at the time as one of the biggest horror actresses with her role in the Scream franchise. Of course, she’s still acting, even returning to set to film the sixth Scream film recently.
We might think of him nowadays as the suave and funny aged actor that he is, but Rob Lowe was actually technically a child actor, beginning his career at age 12. His breakout role was in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders.
He later gained even more fame as Sam Seaborn on the fan-favorite The West Wing. Lowe’s career has only risen to new heights since, and we have to say, he’s just as crush-worthy now as he was in his younger years.
Mr. Silver Fox himself, George Clooney, has only gotten better with age — although he’s always been a heartthrob. His career first began in 1978 when he played an extra on Centennial. But, it wasn’t until 1994 that he landed his first real break in ER.
During his time on the show, he also began appearing in films — showcasing his versatility by starring in comedy, action, and romantic movies. He’s still enjoying that same diversity of roles nowadays as he jumps from project to project, leaving his foxy mark on all of them.
Paul McCartney met John Lennon when he was only 15 years old, and was soon invited to join his band, the Quarrymen. They quickly invited McCartney’s school friend George Harrison to also play with them, and soon after, they became The Beatles.
Look, we’re not going to get into Beatlemania, but McCartney was right in the thick of it. Of course, after the band broke up, McCartney created his own solo career, where he’s done extremely well for himself to this day.
Then and now, it doesn’t matter — Julia Roberts will forever be our Pretty Woman. But she’s not just an incredibly beautiful person; she’s also an amazingly talented actress that has made us laugh and cry many times over the years.
With Mystic Pizza, Steel Magnolias, and Pretty Woman, Roberts quickly established herself as an A-list leading lady, and she’s kept up that level of success since. She keeps appearing in endlessly diverse roles that make us fall in love with her over and over again.
Let’s take a look at one of our favorite child-actors-turned-acting-adults ever — the fabulous and charming Drew Barrymore. Her breakout role was, of course, as Gertie in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Due to her fame, though, her teenhood was quite complicated.
However, she managed to make it out the other side with her career fairly intact as she became a favorite rom-com and chick-flick actress. Her latest venture has been her talk show, which has quickly become a wholesome must-watch.
Brad Pitt tried to make it big in Hollywood for quite a few years before he was finally noticed when he played a supporting role in Thelma & Louise. He then really broke out thanks to his role as Paul Maclean in A River Runs Through It.
It was finally Interview With the Vampire that truly cemented his place in Hollywood. He’s since had an incredibly diverse career thanks to his talent for making each of his characters unique.
Cyndi Lauper began writing and playing songs when she was just 12, thanks to a guitar that was given to her by her sister. This girl definitely wanted more than just to have fun — in her early singing days with the band Blue Angel, she refused any contract that wouldn’t include the band.
She’s since, “Time After Time”, made us dance with her amazing songs. But, she isn’t just a musical sensation. Did you know that she also acts on occasion, even having a recurring role as a psychic on Bones?
We’re “Never Gonna Give You Up”, Rick Astley! After all, how could we ever let down the internet’s favorite memeable musician? His most famous song was also his debut solo song, and it shot him to the top of the charts.
Amazingly, Astley decided to retire from music in 1994 to raise his daughter. He returned only in the late 2000s but has since slowly risen back to fame. Of course, he’s become an inescapable part of pop culture in recent years thanks to Rickrolling.
45. Bo Diddley
Bo Diddley was a rock and roll singer-songwriter and guitarist known for his unique, rhythmic guitar style and influence on many music genres. He was born in 1928 in Mississippi. Bo started his professional life in music, playing on the streets of Chicago and later on in clubs and bars.
He was known for his energetic and charismatic stage performances, and his music was characterized by its distinctive rhythmic patterns and syncopated beats. Throughout his career, he released many albums and singles, and his music continues to be celebrated and influential in Rock and Roll.
44. Johnny Ramone
Johnny Ramone, guitarist of the punk rock band The Ramones, wrote and performed songs that reflected his professional life as a musician. His songs such as “Judy Is a Punk” and “Rockaway Beach” are still considered classics of the punk rock genre.
These songs are anthems of the punk rock movement about breaking the rules and doing things on their terms. They still testify to the band’s influence and impact on the music scene.
43. Jerry Garcia
Jerry Garcia, the lead singer and guitarist of the Grateful Dead, wrote and sang about professional life and the challenges of being a musician. He’s well known for his songs “Playing in the Band” and “Deal”. His lyrics have a sense of improvisation and spontaneity, characteristic of the band’s music style.
Garcia also sang about the financial struggles of being a musician in songs like “Money Money”. He conveyed the uncertain lifestyle of a musician and the search for purpose in his professional life through his music.
42. Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson is a country singer-songwriter who had a successful career in the music industry. His songs often touch on working life themes and the working class’s struggles, such as in “Working Man Blues”.
He also wrote a song called “On the Road Again,” which reflects on the life of a touring musician and the joys and hardships that come with it. His lyrics are often simple, heartfelt, relatable, and speak to everyday people’s struggles and triumphs.
41. Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell is a singer-songwriter who has written and performed many songs throughout her career. Some of her songs, such as “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Free Man in Paris”, touch on themes of professional life and the pressures and demands of working in the public eye.
Mitchell’s lyrics often explore personal themes such as love and heartbreak. Additionally, many of her songs reflect on the music industry itself, such as the song “For the Roses”, which expresses her struggles and disappointment with the commercialization of her work.
40. Buddy Guy
Buddy Guy is known for his blues guitar skills. He began his career in the 1950s and quickly established himself as a leading figure in the genre. He’s renowned for his powerful guitar playing and passionate vocals and has released several albums throughout his career.
He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has also given back to the music community by opening Legends, a Chicago blues club, and establishing Buddy Guy’s Blues Foundation to support young musicians.
39. Tom Morello
Tom Morello is a musician, singer, and songwriter famous as the lead guitarist of the bands Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage. He’s widely recognized for his unique guitar-playing style, his use of unconventional techniques and effects, and his socially conscious lyrics.
He has released several albums with his bands and has played a significant role in shaping each of their unique sounds. Morello is also known for his collaborations, touring and playing with many other musicians like Bruce Springsteen, and his side projects.
38. Angus Young
Angus Young is a renowned musician and songwriter, best known for his role as the lead guitarist of the iconic rock band AC/DC. He co-founded the band in 1973 at 18 and has been an essential member of the band ever since.
He’s renowned for his high-energy stage performances, often characterized by his signature schoolboy outfits and distinctive guitar-playing style. He has written and played many of the band’s hit songs, including “Back in Black” and “Highway to Hell”, which have become rock classics.
37. Brian May
Brian May is known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen. He’s recognized for his guitar-playing skills and contributions to the band’s hit songs such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Don’t Stop Me Now”.
May is known for his unique guitar playing style, in which he uses finger-tapping techniques, and for his use of guitar effects. He has also built his own guitars, the Red Special and the Old Lady, which he created at a young age with his father.
36. Bobby Krieger
Bobby Krieger is a musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the guitarist for the rock band The Doors. He joined the band in 1965 and played a vital role in the band’s sound and success. He’s recognized for his guitar-playing skills and his contribution as a songwriter.
Krieger wrote several hit songs for the band, including “Light My Fire”, as well as co-wrote “Riders on the Storm” and “Roadhouse Blues”. Despite the band’s short tenure, Bobby Krieger is considered one of his generation’s most talented guitarists.
35. The Edge
The Edge, also known as David Evans, is famous as the lead guitarist of the band U2. He has been a member of the band since its inception in the 1970s and has played a crucial role in its success.
He’s renowned for his innovative and distinctive guitar-playing style, characterized by his use of delay effects and his economy of notes. The Edge is famous for his contributions to U2’s hit songs such as “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, “I Will Follow”, “and “The Fly”.
34. Billy Gibbons
Billy Gibbons is the main vocalist and guitarist of the band ZZ Top. He began his career at a young age and became a musical phenomenon. He formed ZZ Top in the 1970s along with Dusty Hill on bass guitar and Frank Beard on drums.
The band is known for its mix of blues rock, boogie rock, and hard rock music and has released several hit songs throughout their career, such as “Tush” and “Gimme Your Lovin”, that have become classic rock staples.
33. Scotty Moore
Scotty Moore was an American guitarist and a pioneer of rock and roll music, known for his work with Elvis Presley in the 1950s. He played the guitar for Presley from the beginning of his career until his comeback in 1968.
His performances on songs like “That’s All Right”, “Mystery Train”, and “Heartbreak Hotel” are considered some of the most iconic moments in rock music history. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and his contributions to music continue to be celebrated.
32. Muddy Waters
McKinley Morganfield, also known by his stage name Muddy Waters, was a seminal blues musician and songwriter born in 1913 in rural Mississippi. He was a pioneer of the electric blues and rock and roll genres, and his music continues to be highly celebrated.
He began his career in the 1930s and quickly became one of the most influential figures in the blues world. He’s known for his hit songs such as “Rollin’ Stone”, which inspired the band The Rolling Stones to name themselves after it. His music has significantly influenced many musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and The Beatles.
31. Tom Petty and Mike Campbell
Tom Petty, best known as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, was a highly successful musician, singer, and songwriter. He was also an accomplished guitarist; his music career spanned over 40 years.
Mike Campbell, the Heartbreakers’ guitarist, was a key member of the band, and his guitar-playing and songwriting contributions have been essential to the band’s sound. Together with Tom, they co-wrote many of the band’s hit songs and played a vital role in its success.
30. Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore on December 21st, 1940. He’s famous for his work with the band The Mothers of Invention and his solo career, which spanned over 30 years.
He released more than 60 albums during his career, which featured a wide range of musical styles like rock, Jazz, experimental, and classical music. His songs like “Montana” and “In-a-Gadda-Stravinsky” have become classics in the rock music scene.
29. Neil Young
Neil Young, born in Toronto, Canada, in 1945, is a musician, singer, and songwriter known as “The Godfather of Grunge.” He began his career in the 1960s as a member of the band Buffalo Springfield and later played with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
His influence has been felt throughout the years, from the counterculture movement in the 1960s to the emergence of grunge in the 1990s, with bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam citing him as an influence.
28. David Gilmour
David Gilmour is a highly respected musician, singer, and songwriter, best known for his role as the lead guitarist and a key member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd. He joined the band in 1968 and played a significant role in defining the band’s sound, particularly in albums like Dark Side of the Moon.
He has a unique style of guitar playing, characterized by his use of effects and sound production techniques. He has become known for his expressive and powerful guitar solos in songs such as “Comfortably Numb” and “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”.
27. Joe Perry
Anthony Joseph “Joe” Perry is a musician, songwriter, and the lead guitarist and co-founder of the rock band Aerosmith. He’s renowned for his guitar skills, prominently featured in many of Aerosmith’s hit songs like “Dream On” and “Walk This Way”.
Perry has also released solo albums, collaborated with other musicians, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He tours and performs with Aerosmith and is known for his dynamic and energetic live performances.
Slash is a legendary rock musician, famous for his work as the lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses. He joined the band in the mid-’80s and helped establish them as one of the most successful and popular rock bands, with hit songs such as “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “November Rain” showcasing his guitar skills.
Despite his falling out with the band’s lead singer Axl Rose, they reunited in 2016 and continue to tour and perform together. He has also released several solo albums and collaborated with various other musicians.
25. Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly was a pioneer of rock and roll in the 1950s. He’s famous for his hit songs “That’ll Be the Day” and “Peggy Sue”, which helped to establish his signature sound, characterized by its catchy melodies, upbeat rhythms, and Holly’s distinctive vocal style.
He began his career in the early ’50s and quickly became well-recognized as one of his time’s most popular and influential musicians. Despite his short career, Holly’s music continues to be celebrated, and his impact on the rock and roll genre continues to be felt today.
24. Dick Dale
Dick Dale, born in Boston on May 4th, 1937, was a pioneering surf rock musician. He developed a unique guitar sound based on Middle Eastern music scales and experimented with reverberation. He’s famous for his hit songs “The Peter Gunn Theme” and “Misirlou”, which helped popularize the surf rock genre.
Dale’s influential guitar playing and energetic live performances earned him the nickname “King of the Surf Guitar.” He continues to be remembered as a pioneering figure in surf rock music.
23. Freddie King
Freddie King was an American blues musician, singer, and songwriter. He was born on September 3rd, 1934, and began his career in the 1950s. He was best known for his song “The Stumble” and his unique rock and blues music blend. He was considered one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar”, along with B.B. King and Albert King.
He was a significant influence on the development of blues rock. His guitar style was characterized by his use of powerful lead lines, innovative vibrato, and a strong sense of phrasing.
22. Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain was an American musician, singer, and songwriter whose popularity came from his being the lead vocalist and guitarist of the rock band Nirvana. He was born on February 20th, 1967, and began his career in the late 1980s. He was famous for his unique, gritty sound that combined rock, punk, and folk music elements.
He and Nirvana revolutionized music with their new sound, and their songs, such as “All Apologies” and “Heart Shaped Box”, became instant classics and helped popularize the grunge genre. He was also known for his emotionally honest songwriting, which often dealt with pain, isolation, and disillusionment themes.
21. John Lennon
John Lennon was a British musician, vocalist, and lyricist famous for being a part of the Fab Four, The Beatles. He was born on October 9th, 1940, and began his career in the early ’60s. He played the rhythm guitar and was renowned for his skill in composing and writing songs.
He penned and co-wrote many of the band’s most famous songs, such as “Help!”, “Day Tripper”, and “Yer Blues”. He also sang and strummed the guitar on many of the band’s tracks. Although his guitar skills aren’t as widely acknowledged as his songwriting abilities, they were integral to the band’s sound.
20. George Harrison
George Harrison was an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. He was born on February 25th, 1943, and began his career in the early ’60s.
He wrote classics like “Taxman” and “Here Comes the Sun”, which have become timeless classics. He had a successful solo career and released many albums. His album All Things Must Pass became one of the best-selling triple albums of all time.
19. Albert King
Albert King, also known as “The Velvet Bulldozer,” was born on April 25th, 1923, and began his career in the mid-20th century. He significantly influenced the blues and rock genre, with his guitar style characterized by string bending, vibrato, and a strong sense of phrasing.
His music is known for its raw energy, and his most famous songs include “Born Under a Bad Sign”, “Crosscut Saw”, and “As the Years Go Passing By”. He’s considered a blues guitar legend, and his influence on music continues to be felt today.
18. Joe Walsh
Joe Walsh is an American musician, singer, and songwriter known for his exceptional guitar playing and contributions to the rock genre. He began his career in the 1970s and is remembered for his work as a member of the Eagles and for his solo career.
He has written and performed on some of the most iconic songs in rock music, such as “Hotel California”, “Rocky Mountain Way”, and “Funk #49”. He gained popularity for his versatility as a musician and his ability to blend different rock, blues, and country music elements.
17. Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend is an English musician and songwriter, best recognized as the guitarist and principal songwriter of the rock band The Who. He began his career in the 1960s and is known for his unique guitar-playing style, which often features power chords, windmills, and feedback.
Despite his immense talent, he never played a single solo with the band, but his contributions to the band’s sound and songwriting are undeniable. He co-wrote some of the band’s biggest hits like “My Generation”, “I Can See for Miles”, and the cover of “Summertime Blues”.
16. Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan was an American musician, singer, and songwriter widely regarded as one of the most talented guitarists of his generation. He was born in 1954 and began his career in the ’70s.
His songs, such as “Love Struck Baby”, “Cold Shot”, and “Look at Little Sister”, are considered masterworks of guitar playing and have been covered by many musicians. Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music career was cut short due to his untimely passing in 1990, but his legacy and influence on music continue to live on.
15. Tony Iommi
Tony Iommi is a British musician widely considered one of the most influential guitarists in the history of heavy metal music. He’s famous as the lead guitarist, co-founder, and principal songwriter of the band Black Sabbath. He was born in 1948 and began his career in the late 1960s.
His work with Black Sabbath, which includes songs such as “Iron Man”, “Sabbra Cadabra”, and many more, has been highly acclaimed and has inspired countless musicians and bands in the heavy metal genre.
Prince, born Prince Nelson, was a legendary musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist known for his eclectic and innovative approach to music. He began writing songs at age seven, with his first composition being “Funk Machine” in 1965.
He rose to fame in the ’80s with hit songs such as “Purple Rain”, “Kiss”, and “When Doves Cry”, which have become timeless classics. He was a great musician and was known for playing several instruments, including guitar, piano, and drums. He was a prolific artist, releasing 39 studio albums throughout his career.
13. Sami Raatikainen
Sami Raatikainen is a Finnish guitarist known for his work in the German metal band Necrophagist. He joined the band in 2006 after the departure of Christian Müenzner and has been a crucial part of the band’s sound since then.
He also plays guitar in the band Codeon and performs guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums for his solo project Radiance. He’s known for his exceptional technical skills and ability to blend different elements of metal, progressive metal, and other subgenres.
12. Jimmy Vivino
Jimmy Vivino is an American musician, singer, producer, and music director, best known as the leader of Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band. He was born on January 10th, 1955. He’s a multi-instrumentalist and versatile performer, proficient in guitar, keyboard, and singing.
He has released an album called 13 Live, and his music genre is a blend of rock and roll and jazz. He’s a well-respected musician in the industry and has worked with many artists and bands as a session musician, producer, and music director.
11. Norman Brown
Norman Brown is an American smooth jazz guitarist and singer. He was born on December 18th, 1970. He has released several albums, including After the Storm, Just Chillin’, Celebration, 24/7, and The Very Best of Norman Brown.
With his technical proficiency and soulful approach, he has become a leading figure in the smooth jazz genre. He has won a Grammy award and has collaborated with other jazz musicians.
10. Duane Allman
Duane Allman was a musician and guitarist best known for his work as a lead guitarist of the Allman Brothers Band. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1946.
He co-wrote and performed on many of the Allman Brothers Band’s biggest hits, including “Statesboro Blues”, “Whipping Post”, and “Blue Sky”. He passed in 1971. However, his legacy and influence on music continue to live on, and he’s still considered an important figure in the history of Southern rock and blues rock.
9. Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana is a highly acclaimed musician and guitarist known for his fusion of Latin American rhythms and rock and roll music. He rose to fame in the late 1960s with his band, Santana, and is best remembered for his iconic solos in hit songs such as “Black Magic Woman”, “Oye Como Va”, and “Soul Sacrifice”.
Santana has sold over 100 million records worldwide and continues to tour and perform. His achievements include numerous Grammy awards, and he’s globally acclaimed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
8. B.B. King
B.B. King was born on September 26th, 1925, in Itta Bena, Mississippi; he was a legendary musician and guitarist known for his soulful and expressive playing style, earning him the title “The King of Blues.” His work ethic was legendary, performing over 342 shows in 1956 alone and an average of 200 shows per year in the ’70s.
He’s famous for his songs such as “The Thrill Is Gone”, “3 O’Clock Blues”, and “Sweet Little Angel”. He’s considered a significant influence on the development of blues and rock music. Along with Albert and Freddie King, they made up what was known as the “Three Kings of Blues Guitar.”
7. Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck is a legendary musician and guitarist known for his virtuosic guitar playing and innovative approach to music. Born in Surrey on June 24th, 1944, Beck rose to fame as a part of the Yardbirds, where he co-wrote and performed on songs such as “I Ain’t Superstitious” and “Heart Full of Soul”.
His contributions to music have been instrumental in defining the sound of blues-rock and heavy metal. He continues to tour and perform well into his 70s, and his influence continues to be felt in the music industry, inspiring many new and upcoming guitar players.
6. Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page is famous for his work as the primary guitarist of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Born in Middlesex, England, on January 9th, 1944, he co-wrote many of the band’s iconic songs, such as “Heartbreaker”, “Dazed and Confused”, and “Kashmir”.
His contributions to Led Zeppelin earned him numerous honors, like induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. He’s known for his finger-picking style and use of feedback, distortion, and echo effects, which cemented his place as one of the most imitated guitarists in rock history.
5. Keith Richards
Keith Richards is a musician, songwriter, guitarist, and founding member of the Rolling Stones. He was born in Kent, England, on December 18th, 1943. He co-wrote many of the band’s biggest hits, including “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Gimme Shelter”, and “Paint it, Black”.
He is known for his wild lifestyle and has become a cultural icon for his influence on music, fashion, lifestyle, and attitude. His guitar skills and playing style are considered one of the most imitated in rock and roll history.
4. Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry, born in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 18th, 1926, was a seminal figure in the early days of rock and roll. He became famous for hit songs such as “Maybellene” and “Roll Over Beethoven” in the ’50s and continued to write and record successful music throughout the following decade.
Berry’s guitar playing was highly innovative, and his performances were known for their energy. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and his song “Johnny B. Goode” is regarded as one of the greatest guitar solos in history.
3. Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen was a legendary musician born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on January 26th, 1955. He’s known for his incredible technical skill and innovative playing style. He was the lead guitarist, co-founder, and principal songwriter of Van Halen, one of the most successful rock bands of the 1970s and ’80s.
He’s famous for tracks such as “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love”, “Eruption”, and “Hot for Teacher”. Eddie Van Halen was known for his finger-tapping technique, powerful solos, and innovative tone. He continues to be an inspiration to many guitar players around the world.
2. Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton is a legendary musician born in Surrey, England, on March 30th, 1945. He’s considered one of the greatest guitar players, known for his incredible technical skill and passionate playing style. He’s best known for his songs “Bell Bottom Blues”, “Crossroads”, and “Layla”.
Throughout his career, Clapton has been a member of several influential bands, including Cream, The Yardbirds, and Derek and the Dominos, and has also released successful solo albums. He has sold over 280 million records worldwide and received 18 Grammy Awards. He continues to record music to this day.
1. Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix was a legendary musician born in Seattle, Washington, on November 27th, 1942. He was known for his incredible guitar skills and innovative playing style. He wrote and recorded many iconic songs such as “Foxy Lady”, “Purple Haze”, and his rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
Hendrix’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was a powerful and emotive performance demonstrating his musical skill and ability to push boundaries. His powerful performances and incredible talent made him one of the most prominent guitar players.