The Most Influential People in Music

Here is a list of arguably the most influential people in music history. It’s a list which could be debated for months which makes it even more interesting, but what is incontrovertible is the profound impact these people have had on not only the music industry but on our culture as well.

What list of the most influential people in music would be complete without The Beatles? The Beatles changed the face of Pop and the music industry. They pushed boundaries with albums such as “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “the White Album”. There mix of psychedelic transient whorls and messages of love and peace became a catalyst for the hippy revolution and influenced the way people thought. The band became so influential they were able to break the mould and create a whole new concept and definition of what popular music should be. The Beatles harnessed the environment around them and communicated a meaningful message to the masses.

Elvis Presley was from Memphis, Tennessee his southern drawl and punk rock fashion influenced politics and music. His music was influenced by Jazz, Gospel and Blues and helped break down racial barriers, his music coincided with a strong civil rights movement which made him even more evocative. Elvis became such an icon he was almost god-like with hip swivels and a cool swagger which made girls want to be with him and guys want to be like him, but underneath it all his songs had strong undercurrents of love, religion and race, which influenced the millions of people who listened to him from across the globe. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) he has had 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum. His total record sales are said to exceed 1 billion worldwide more than any other artist in history.

Bob Dylan integrated Blues, Folk, Country and Rock into his music with his unique style, distinctive vocals and profound lyrics set an enviable standard which many have tried to emulate but few have succeeded. He is known as the poet-laureate of Rock n’ Roll, his music came from the heart and has stayed with fans ever since. Bob Dylan has affected many peoples’ lives which is why he is seen as such an iconic figure to this day.

Sam Philips was a music producer whose credits include Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison to name just a few. Some say he was the first Rock ‘n’ Roll producer ever and without him Rock ‘n’ Roll as we know it would not be what it is today. His vision and guidance helped many of recent histories most loved performers bring pleasure and entertainment to fans worldwide.