In what will be one of the most hotly debated and contested questions will be who really deserves to be in the Top Ten Of The VH1 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time. Many fans were arguing the 6th to 10th placing which were as follows
6th Jimi Hendrix
8th Elvis Presley
9th James Brown
10th Stevie Wonder
One of the most controversial decisions was to actually place one of the greatest living icons in music history in the 8th position.Elvis’s sales records far exceeded that of Prince and Jimi combined during his career.It is regarded that Elvis Presley is one of the most important figures of the 20th century popular culture.HE had such a versatile voice and widely successful in various genres such as country, pop ballads,gospel and blues.And one fact remains clear above all the other artist in the Top Ten.Elvis is the best selling solo artist in the history of popular music.Although never fully recognized by the Grammys, nevertheless Presley won 3 Grammys including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the tender age of 36.The musician who has been called the King Of Rock and Roll has also been inducted into four music hall of fames.His comeback in 1973 title Aloha In Hawaii is the most watched broadcast by any individual entertainer in television history.It was estimated that 1.5 billion people watch him make that comeback.
Prince is highly regarded artist and also one of my favorites.The singer,songwriter,musician and actor has definitely been highly influential in the 1980s and in recent years.He has been prolific through the years and has won several awards.He also pioneered the “Minneapolis Sound”, a hybrid mixture of pop,funk,rock,R&Band new wave that has influenced several other artists.His career has been highly commercial with 10 platinum albums and also thirty Top 40 singles in his career.He has also won various awards throughout his career including 7 Grammy Awards,a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.The artist was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2004.It is however highly debatable that Prince should be ranked higher than Elvis Presley.
Many fans have also argued that Elvis should be in the Top 5 or even Top 3 because of his impact on our culture and his sales records.Jimi Hendrix who is widely acknowledged as one of the best electric guitarist of all time simply does not have a legacy that deserves the 6th place.Many Hendrix fans will argue otherwise however.Hendrix can be said to be a visionary in music because as a record producer,he managed to break new ground in using the recording studios as an extention to his music ideas.He was among the first to also experiment with stereophonic and phasing effects while recording rock music.He was however not an artist who was able to cross into various genres such Prince and Elvis could.He was simply one of the most electrifying guitarist of our time who legacy was cut short before his time. Whether or not he deserves the 6th placing above Prince and Elvis Presley is highly debatable.
Often regarded as the hardest working man in show business,James Joseph Brown Jr was widely influential and recognized for his vocals and electric dancing.His musical career had started out in the early 1950s and rose to immense fame in the 1960s and 1970s.However the music icon faced several setbacks in his career but somehow managed to remain versatile and relevant in our time.He was a prolific singer,songwriter, dancer and bandleader whose music left such an impact on African popular music.He was an icon for several artists and highly regarded by many.
Stevie Wonder has written some of the most iconic songs of the last few decades.His best known works are truly classics such as “Superstition”, ” I Wish”‘ and “I just called to say i love you”.He has won 22 Grammy Awards during his lifetime, more than any other artist during his lifetime.He has more than 30 US Top Ten Hits and has also won the Lifetime Achievement Award.One of the most amazing things about Stevie was that his work has evolved over the years. Like vintage wine,Stevie Wonder was renowned early in his career for his harmonica work but in recent years became a superb vocalists and keyboardist.
Both James and Stevie deserve to be in the Top Ten for their amazing careers and body of work.
VH1 will be releasing the final rankings for Top 5 placings.There will much debate for the final places and the artists who will take those places.The ultimate question is who will be the No 1 artist of all time.
Although such rankings are interesting and often inspire great debate,it can be said that great music has no ranking and is truly universal.