Who was the greatest of them all…? The greatest musician. The greatest songwriter. The greatest singer. There have been dozens of polls like that.

We’ve conducted the polls below between 2006 and 2009, and now it’s high time YOU have updated it!

So, without further ado, here are some our “Best Of” lists.

Enter YOUR favorites into the box below each category. We will update the results once a day as soon as the total number of votes for any possible new entries becomes high enough to qualify for the top 10! Fair enough? Here we go…!


Here’s a few of our favourite musicians of all time as voted by thousands of Fame Games members between 2006 and 2009. But what do YOU think?

To be “the greatest” a musician has to have more than just superb technical skill – he or she also needs to have that indefinable “something” that makes him or her stand out, be imitated and revered.


Who can you think of – off the top of your head? Some of these drummers may not be the best technicians in the world, but they have all changed the way drums are played today:

1. John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
2. Neil Peart (Rush)
3. Ringo Starr (Beatles)
4. Keith Moon (The Who)
5. Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones)
6. Stewart Copeland (Police)
7. Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)
8. Ginger Baker (Cream)
9. Phil Collins (Genesis)
10. Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience)
11. Billy Cobham
12. Buddy Rich

Your Name:

Your Best Drummer:

Yeah we know – you’ll argue that Billy Cobham can outplay them all with his left hand or that your grandmother can outplay Ringo! But think twice: Ringo’s drumming style was one of the secret ingredients of the Beatles formula – and you can’t argue that they got it right!


Here’s another potentially-contentious one… But, once again, think of their INFLUENCE first, and then about their technical skills. In all cases here, however, there can be no doubt that we’re looking at virtuosos:

1. Eric Clapton
2. BB King
3. Jimi Hendrix
4. Duane Allman (Allman Brothers)
5. Chuck Berry
6. Robert Johnson
7. Stevie Ray Vaughn
8. Ry Cooder
9. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
10. Jeff Beck
11. Carlos Santana
12. Brian May (Queen)
13. John McLaughlin
14. Al Di Meola
15. Frank Zappa
16. Robert Fripp (King Crimson)
17. Stevie Vai
18. Les Paul
19. Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple)
20. Michael Schenker

Your Name:

Your Best Guitarist:


This one is especially close to my heart. This list too is bound to be controversial. And once again a reminder: just consider how many imitators each of these great players has inspired:

1. Rick Wakeman (Yes)
2. John Lord (Deep Purple)
3. Elton John
4. Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer)
5. Alan Price (The Animals)
6. Chick Corea
7. Jerry Lee Lewis
8. Vangelis
9. Nicky Hopkins
10. Ian Underwood (Zappa)

Your Name:

Best Keyboard Player:


This list too, is far from definitive. But these dudes can play…! From simple to elaborate styles, they’ve inspired generations. And the hordes of imitators will probably never go away. But that’s a good thing.

1. Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report)
2. JJ Burnel
3. Victor Wooten
4. Paul McCartney (Beatles)
5. Jack Bruce (Cream)
6. Tony Levin (King Crimson)
7. Les Claypool (Primus)
8. Larry Graham
9. Mark King (Level 42)
10. Sting (Police)

Your Name:

Your Best Bass Player:


Another very subjective one. There are dozens more who should all be #1. But these guys here have truly changed the face of modern music.

1. Paul Rodgers
2. Stevie Wonder
3. Jim Morrison
4. Ian Gillan
5. Van Morrison
6. Prince
7. Michael Jackson
8. Freddy Mercury
9. Elvis Presley
10. Paul McCartney
11. Luther Vandross

Your Name:

Your Best Male Singer:


Here’s a few of the best-known divas – and most influential too. See if you agree:

1. Aretha Franklin
2. Janis Joplin
3. Christina Aguilera
4. Mariah Carey
5. Celine Dion
6. Bonnie Raitt
7. Beyonce
8. Whitney Houston
9. Annie Lennox
10. Chaka Khan

Your Name:

Best Female Singer:


The role of a record producer can not be underestimated. When you hear an artist – just about ANY artist – you’re really listening to that artist through the ears of their producer. Some artists produce their own music, but most prefer to have an objective outsider to help them get that magical sound.

A producer’s job is to prepare the artist’s music for “the market.” A producer may influence everything from the way the vocals are delivered to the arrangements to the playing and even the content of songs – whatever it takes to make the music GREAT. Some people argue that it is the producers who should be superstars – not the artists, but that’s not the point. Some producers have the personality of a doorknob and wouldn’t appeal to a great many people. Their genius and skill is there to serve their artists!

There are MANY absolutely brilliant producers out there. Here is your pick of the crop so far. Good choices! Their work has changed the way music is listened to and they’ve inspired generations of producers and artists – and most importantly: music fans.

1. Sam Philips (Sun Records – Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison)
2. Eddie Kramer (Led Zeppelin,. Jimi Hendrix)
3. Phil Spector (Tina Turner, The Ronettes, Righteous Brothers)
4. George Martin (The Beatles)
5. Norman Smith (Pink Floyd)
6. Ted Templeman (Doobie Brothers, Van Halen)
7. Alan Parsons (Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Pilot)
8. Trevor Horn (10CC, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Pet Shop Boys)
9. Tommy Visconti (David Bowie, T-Rex)
10. Norman Whitfield (Temptations, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye)
11. Tom Dowd (Otis Redding, Drifters)
12. Lou Adler (Mamas 6 Papas, Sam Cooke)
13. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
14. Babyface (Toni Braxton, Brandy)
15. David Foster (Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson)
16. LA Reid (TLC, Usher, Outkast)
17. Phil Ramone (Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin)
18. Shel Talmy (The Who, The Kinks)
19. Mickie Most (The Animals, Hot Chocolate)
20. Glyn Johns (Eric Clapton ,The Eagles)

Your Name:

Best Music Producer:


Great songwriters are hard to define. Is it the person who wrote that one smash hit? – or the one that just kept the hits coming? Or is it the one who never wrote a hit, but still had some strange magic in his or her style?

I’ve divided the listing into three categories. Firstly, the songwriters who specialize in writing songs for others. You’ll find many old timers here, particularly from the days of Tin Pan Alley, but also a few current ones. Next, songwriters who were (or are) also performers, but whose music is frequently covered by other artists, proving that their songs have a universal appeal. Some of them started out as performers and later became dedicated songwriters of that first category. Finally, a small selection of writer-performers whose songs don’t translate well for use by other performers, but who nonetheless managed to create something unique and inspirational to others. I did not include instrumental composers – they deserve a separate list.

Songwriters who only write for others:

Irving Berlin. Jerome Kern said of him “Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he IS American music.” His best-known songs include “White Christmas,” “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better,” “Cheek To Cheek,” “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “God Bless America” – and more than a 1000 others, many of which will probably last till the end of the world.

Hoagy CarmichaelAnother all-time great whose vast catalogue includes such superb songs as “Georgia On My Mind,” “The Nearness of You,” “Washboard Blues,” “Star Dust,” and hundreds more.

George & Ira Gershwin. These guys virtually redefined popular music, giving it sophistication and delicacy unlike anyone before them. They wrote mostly musicals, but each of those yielded scores of timeless classic songs like “Some To Watch Over Me,” “S Wonderful,” “How Long Has This Been Going On,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Love Is Here To Stay,” “Summertime,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” and endless list of other fantastic tunes and great lyrics.

Oscar Hammerstein II & Richard Rodgersbest known for their collaborations on musicals such as “Oklahoma!,” which yielded such hits as “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” or “I Can’t Say No,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I,” “Sound of Music” and many more – all filled with timeless classic songs.

Burt BacharachOften under-appreciated among the younger audiences because of his sweet, wholesome style, some of his songs are however simply beautiful. Just consider these hits for starters: “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” “Promises, Promises,” “That’s What Friends Are For,” “Arthur,” or “Night Shift.” Not bad, eh?

Jerry Lieber & Mike Stollerthis team of writers is forever carved into the annals of popular music history with classic hits such as “Jailhouse Rock,” Hound Dog,” “Yakkety Yak,” “stand By Me,” “Spanish Harlem,” “On Broadway,” “Love Potion #9,” “Kansas City,” “There Goes My Baby,” “Is That All There Is,” and countless more.

Stock, Aitken & Watermanthis team of songwriters had a run of hits with their “hit factory,” which even got them a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Their most famous songs include: “You Spin Me Round,” “Say I’m your Number One,” “Respectable,” “Never Gonna Give You Up,” “Love In The First Degree,” “I Should Be So Lucky,” “Together Forever,” “Too Many Broken Hearts,” “Tears On My Pillow,” and tons more.

Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Ricesome of the most memorable rock musicals were penned by these two, including the soundtracks for Jesus Christ Superstar, Ecita, Josephe and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera,” all of which yielded many superb hits.

Norman Whitfieldpenned some spectacular hits for Motown acts and more. His most memorable tunes include “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” “I Know I’m Losing You,” “I Wish It Would Rain,” “War,” “Smiling Faces Sometimes,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “Let’s Go Down to the Disco,” and countless more.

Diane Warrenone of the most spectacularly successful writers ever – her songs chart around the world on an almost daily basis. Best known examples include “Solitaire,” “Rhythm of the Night,” “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” “How Do I Live,” “Can’t Fight The Moonlight,” “Unbreak My Heart,” “Don’t Turn Around,” and many, many more.

Performer-songwriters whose music gets covered regularly

Cole Porter authored dozens of timeless classic songs which virtually everyone on Earth knows. To name just a handful: ·”I Get a Kick Out of You,” “In The Still of the Night,” “It’s D’Lovely,” “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” “So In Love,” and many more songs, many of which first became known in films or Broadway musicals.

Jimmie RodgersOften considered the father of country music, he gave us such classics as “Bo Diddley,“ “The Brakeman’s Blues,” “Waitn’ For a Train,” and many more which inspired generations of songwriters.

Hank Williamsanother legend of country, rock & roll and folk, whose songs still live on to this day and are constantly covered by some artist or other. Best know titles include “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” Cold, Cold Heart,” “Jambalaya,” “Hey Good Lookin’,” “You Win Again,“ “Ramblin’ Man,” and dozens more.

Woody Guthrie. One of the fathers of American Folk, his songs are so famous they’re almost generic. They include “This Land is Your Land,” “Grand Coulee Dam,” “Roll On Columbia,” “Goin’ Down The Road Fellin’ Bad,” “I Ain’t Got No Home,” and dozens more.

Paul Ankaa singer as wella s an enormously successful songwriter who brought us such great songs as “Put Your Head On My Shoulders,” “Puppy Love,” “Lonely Boy,” “One Man Woman,” or “You’re My Destiny.”

Chuck BerryOne of the founding fathers of Rock n Roll – a true poet and innovator, he brought us some of the best pop songs ever written, such as “Maybelline,” “Johnny B Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Rock and Roll Music,“ or “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

Eric Clapton Another great writer whose songs will live on forever, with timeless tunes such as “Layla,” “Crossroads,” “Born Under a Bad Sign,” “Tears In Heaven,” “Wonderful Tonight,” or “Before You Accuse Me.”

Phil Collins this former drummer from Genesis also has an uncanny genius for a catchy song. His best known works include “In The Air Tonight,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Against All Odds,” “Sussudio,” “Two Hearts,” “You’ll Be In My Heart,” and dozens more.

Bjorn Ulvaues & Bjorn Andersson the musical greats behind ABBA’s phenomenal success, penned dozens of top international hits such as “Mama Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” “Waterloo,” “Does Your Mother Know,” “Fernando,” and – scores more – most of which you probably know by heart.

David Gatesthe frontman of the band Bread wrote some of the most beautiful and haunting ballads ever. Some of the best-known ones include “Baby I’m a Want You,” “Make It With You,” “It Don’t Matter To Me,” “Everything I Own,” “Diary,” “Sweet Surrender,” “Guitar Man,” or “She’s The Only One.”

Sam Cookethis is one of the all-time greats. His music has inspired generations of songwriters. His best known hits include “Only Sixteen,” “”What a Wonderful World,” “Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha,” “Cupid,” Chain Gang,” “Twistin’ The Night Away,” “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and loads more.

John DenverThis sweet-sounding folk singer penned some truly beautiful songs, sucha s “Annie’s Song,” “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Take Me Home Country Road,” “Back Home Again” and many, many more.

Neil Diamond he wrote some of the biggest songs ever with hits such as “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Kentucky Woman,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “Solitary Man,“ “Cherry, Cherry,” and many more.

Bob Dylan – the first true poet of rock n roll and folk, he gave us some of the most intelligent lyrics packaged in simple but powerful songs. Best known hits include “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “Mr Tambourine Man,” “Knocking On Heaven’s Door,” “Hurricane,” “Freight Train Blues,” “Just Like a Woman,” “Times They Are a Changin’,” and many dozens more.

Leonard Cohen another great lyricist, he gave pop a new lyrical dimension with songs such as “Susanne,” “Sisters of Mercy,” “First We’ll Take Manhattan,” “The Stranger Song,” and others.

John FogertyThe frontman of Creedence Clearwater Revival, he gave us some of the hottest pop rock tunes ever. Just think of “Proud Mary,” “Fortunate Son,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Down On the Corner,” and dozens more total out and out classics.

Maurice, Robin & Barry Gibbotherwise known as Bee Gees, performed their own material and wrote for others, becoming some of the most successful songwriters ever. Their hits included “Massachussetts,” “More Than a Woman,” “Woman In Love,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Night Fever” and many dozens more.

Don HenleyThe Eagles’ frontman, penned some of the best-known songs ever, including such greats as “Hotel California,” “New Kid In Town;” “Desperado,” “Heartache Tonight,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Life In The Fast Lane,” and many, many more.

Michael Jacksonwrote some of the most beautiful and soulful songs ever, with highlights such as “Bad,” “Thriller,” “Dirty Diana,” “Billy Jean,” “Beat It,” “Black or White,” “We Are The World” (with Lionel Richie) and too many more to list in this brief recap.

Babyfacea great writer and producer whose best-known songs include “Never Keeping Secrets,” “Every Time I Close My Eyes,” “I Said I Love You,” “How Come, How Long,” “Work It Out,” and many more.

Mick Jaggerthe Rolling Stones frontman also penned some memorable classics, such as “Satisfaction ,” “Brown Sugar,” “Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Angie,” and many, many more.

Billy Joelanother extremely talented writer whose biggest hits include “Piano Man,” “Just The Way You Are,” “Only the Good Die Young,” “Uptown Girl,” “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” and many more.

Elton John & Bernie Taupin one of this century’s best-loved performers and songwriters, with gigantic hits such as “Candle In The Wind,” “Rocket Man,” “Daniel,” “Your Song,” “Crocodile Rock,” and countless more.

Carole Kingpenned such frequently-covered classics as “Locomotion,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Up On The Roof,” “Tapestry,” “One Fine Day”

John Lennon & Paul McCartneythe Beatles’ famous frontmen wrote some of the most successful songs ever, and are, according to some, the most successful songwriters – ever. Here are some of their classics: “Hey Jude,” “Yesterday,” “Let It Be,” “Got To Get You Into My Life,” Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” “Get Back,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “The Long and Winding Road,” and hundreds more. Both Paul and John had separate writing careers with individual hits such as “Imagine” (John) or “Live and Let Die,” “Mull of Kentyre,” “Jet,” and many more (Paul).

Dolly Parton an extremely talented songwriter, although better known as a singer, whose hits include: “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” “Coat of Many Colors,” “Dumb Blonde,” and loads more.

Otis Reddinga ground-breaking performer and songwriter with such timeless classics as “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay,” “These Arms of Mine,” “Mr Pitiful,” “I’ve Been Lovin’ You Too Long,” “Respect,” “Sweet Soul Music,” “Hard To handle,” and many more.

Lionel Richieanother performer with a great talent for songwriting. His hits include “Hello;” “Say You Say me,” “Three Times a Lady,” “Easy,” “Still,” “Sail On,” “Lady,” “We Are the World” (with Michael Jackson) and many more.

Carly Simona great singer/songwriter with some fabulous songs to her credit. A few examples include: “Anticipation,” “You’re So Vain,” “Loving You Is the Right Thing To Do,” “Haven’t Got Time for the Pain,” “Mockingbird” (with James Taylor), “Nobody Does It Better,” “Jesse,” “Coming Around Again,” “Give Me All Night,” “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of’ and “Let the River Run (Theme from Working Girl),” among others.

Paul Simona modern-day troubadour with some very powerful songs to his credit, such as for example “Sound of Silence,” “Mrs Robinson,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “You Can Call Me Al,” “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” “The Boxer,” “Old Friends,” and many, many more.

Bob Marley this reggae god created some of the most memorable songs of his generation with samples such as “I Shot The Sheriff,” “One Love,” “No Woman No Cry,” “Could You be Loved,” and countless more.

Smokey RobinsonAnother Motown legend who blended his own performance career with songwriting for others very well. His best known hits include: “Shop Around,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Tears of a Clown,” “My Guy,” “Two Lovers,” “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “Ain’t That Peculiar,” and scores more.

Stingthe famed Police frontman, had many of his songs covered by others, although, arguably, his original versions are stil the best. Some of the best known hits include “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” “Roxanne,” “The Russians,” “Englishman In New York,” and many others.

Stevie Wondera living legend and one of the best performers and songwriters ever – rolled into one. His unique writing style has influenced generations of songwriters and performers and is still going strong today. His best known hits include: “Superstition,” “Higher Ground,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Isn’t She Lovely,” “I Just Called To Say I Love You,” “Sir Duke,” “Black Man,” “Happy Birthday,” “Ebony and Ivory” (with Paul McCartney), “I Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer,” “Pastime Paradise,” “Part Time Lover,” “Cherie Amore,” “All In Love is Fair,” “Signed Sealed Delivered,” and many – many – more.

Brian Wilson the Beach Boys founder created some timeless classics. Best known examples include “Surfin’,” Surfin’ USA,” “Little Surfer Girl,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “California Girls,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” and so many others more.

Ray Charles one of the giants of soul music, his hits included “What’d I Say,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” Hit The Road Jack,” “Swanee River Rock,” “It Should’ve Been Me,” and many more.

More idiosyncratic performer-songwriters

Roger Waters a different kind of songwriter than most on this list, this Pink Floyd co-founder has still managed to inspire generations of writers with classics such as “Money,” “Breathe,” “Another Brick In The Wall,” “Great Gig In the Sky,” “Lunatics,” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” “Us and Them” and loads more.

Frank Zappanow, here’s a different kettle of fish altogether. His talent for music and satire are unique. Some of his best-known songs include: ”Bobby Brown,” “Valley Girl,” “Catholic Girls,” “Crew Slut,” and loads upon loads more.

EminemYou’ve gotta love his humour and teeth-grinding wit. Some of his best known songs include “My Name Is,” “I’m The Real Slim Shady,” “Stan,” “Without Me,” “White America,” and loads more.

Your Name:

Best Songwriter:

Inspired? I hope so!

Check back often to see how all the feedback affects the results…