BIG BAD LIST: 100+ EPIC MUSIC POSTERS

The love for music is universal. We set out to find amazing artwork celebrating music and musicians that have defined eras, topped the popularity charts and in general brightened up our day. This compilation of  posters that spans genres and time periods is a tribute to great art that is often overlooked. It’s also an opportunity for us to shine light on some brilliant artists behind these beauties.

So dive in and have a great time. If you like something, you could just get a poster or a t-shirt of it. Just click the image and head over to Cupick.

(This list is in no particular order and may not be exhaustive)


 

                                                                        LED ZEPPELIN

Addictive hooks and tunes and often quite intelligent and well written lyrics. Brash yet melodic, Led Zeppelin produced some of the best guitar sounds ever played coupled with wailing vocals in a combination that makes every song stick in your head.

Whole Lotta Love by Mounica Tata | Cupick
Whole Lotta Love by Mounica Tata | Cupick  
Led Zeppelin Grunge by Sreeraj | Cupick
Led Zeppelin Grunge by Sreeraj | Cupick
Zeppelin on Fire by R.J. Artworks | Cupick
Zeppelin on Fire by R.J. Artworks | Cupick
Stairway to Heaven by Siddharth Ahuja | Cupick
Stairway to Heaven by Siddharth Ahuja | Cupick
Led Zeppelin:Flower by Alex Oazen
Led Zeppelin:Flower by Alex Oazen
Stairway to Heaven by Jermaine Rogers
Stairway to Heaven by Jermaine Rogers
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Led Zeppelin by Posterography 
Led Zeppelin by Felicia Atansiu
Led Zeppelin by Felicia Atanasiu
Led Zeppelin by Sai Charan | Cupick
Led Zeppelin by Sai Charan | Cupick

                                                                          THE BEATLES

Using numerous words to describe The Beatles is probably still not sufficient enough, since they are obviously a great phenomenon in music industry and happen to be the greatest pop/rock band the world ever has. Their songs and images carry powerful ideas of love, peace, help, and imagination evoked creativity and liberation that outperformed the rusty Soviet propaganda and contributed to breaking walls in the minds of millions.

All we Need is Beatles by Renato Cunha
All we Need is Beatles by Renato Cunha
The Alien Beatles by Charbak Dipta | Cupick
The Alien Beatles by Charbak Dipta | Cupick
The Beatles by Vishesh Sharma | Cupick
The Beatles by Vishesh Sharma | Cupick
Follow the Sun by Roberlan | Cupick
Follow the Sun by Roberlan | Cupick
The Beatles by Viktor Hertz
The Beatles by Viktor Hertz
The Beatles by Andrea Lauren
The Beatles by Andrea Lauren
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Hey Jude by Siddharth Ahuja | Cupick
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The Beatles by Kaleidostrokes | Cupick
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The Beatles by Marian Dcosta | Cupick
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While My Guitar Weeps by Sayok Ray | Cupick
Beatle It Up! by Nikita | Cupick
Beatle It Up! by Nikita | Cupick

                                                                              THE DOORS

The Doors were influenced by so many other genres, they seemed inexhaustible. They had a thirst for knowledge that showed in their albums.  The band was too dynamic, drawing from psychedelia, the potential to work on many subliminal and unconscious levels. You’d have to change your definition depending on which album or even song you are listening to and the context in which you are listening to it. The blanket definitions just cover the surface: there is a lot more underneath.

Jim Morrison by Laura Liberati  | Cupick
Jim Morrison by Laura Liberati | Cupick
The Doors by Createewitty  | Cupick
The Doors by Createewitty | Cupick
Jim Morrison Lizard King by Rhys Cooper
Jim Morrison Lizard King by Rhys Cooper
The Doors by Sam Sirdofsky
The Doors by Sam Sirdofsky
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Lizard King by Devraj | Cupick
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Psychedelic Jim Morrison by Anish Talwar | Cupick
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Morrison by Preran Rai | Cupick
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Jim Morrison by Pankaj Bhambri | Cupick
Break On Through by RJ Artworks  | Cupick
Break On Through by RJ Artworks | Cupick

                                                                 THE ROLLING STONES

Unlike The Beatles, whose music began as simple love pop love songs,the Rolling Stones’ music was influenced by African American blues music and the cultural views that accompanied it. Little did the Rolling Stones know how apt their name – inspired by the title of a Muddy Waters song, “Rollin’ Stone” would turn out to be. Throughout five decades of shifting tastes in popular music, the Stones have kept rolling, adapting to the latest styles without straying from their roots as a lean, sinuous rock and roll band with roots in electric blues.

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Keith Richards by Stavros Damos
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The Rolling Stones by K. Burness
Laharadar Patthar by Createewitty  | Cupick
Laharadar Patthar by Createewitty | Cupick
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The Rolling Stones by Uroš Begović
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The Rolling Stones (Artist Unknown)

IRON MAIDEN

Taking its name from the medieval torture device, Iron Maiden was part of England’s late-Seventies crop of heavy-metal bands that boasted simple guitar riffs, bone-crunching chords and shrieking vocals.

Iron Maiden by Vinoth
Iron Maiden by Vinoth | Cupick

                                                                             PINK FLOYD

You get a new feeling every time you listen to a Floyd song. Some songs impress upon you and you can feel the intensity of the music penetrating through your mind. Whereas some songs make you feel numb and lost wandering aimlessly into the universe trying to explore more of it. It’s like a thrilling roller coaster ride, the high and lows heightening every experience.

Pink Floyd by Apurva Chaudhari | Cupick
Pink Floyd by Apurva Chaudhari | Cupick
Comfortably Numb by Prafful Patel | Cupick
Comfortably Numb by Prafful Patel | Cupick
No Guess'n by Swayampravo Dasgupta | Cupick
No Guess’n by Swayampravo Dasgupta | Cupick
Coming to Life by Arka Baidya | Cupick
Coming to Life by Arka Baidya | Cupick
Pink Floyd by Sai Charan | Cupick
Pink Floyd by Sai Charan | Cupick

 

Year After Year by Malvika Tewari | Cupick
Year After Year by Malvika Tewari | Cupick
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Pink Floyd by RJ Artworks | Cupick
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Wish You Were Here by Devraj | Cupick

 

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 Floyd Motifs by Vrushali Somavanshi | Cupick           

QUEEN

Queen is one of the most unusual bands ever. They experimented with genres: hard rock moving towards speed metal (Stone Cold Crazy), art rock (Bohemian Rhapsody), pop-rock (Under Pressureand the rest of Hot Space), funk(Fun It), and some simple melodic rock (like Crazy Little Thing Called Love). There’s something for everyone. Freddie Mercury brought an invigorating theatricality to his performances, making him one of the best rock frontmen ever.

Freddie Mercury by The Painter of Oz | Cupick
Freddie Mercury by The Painter of Oz | Cupick
Freddie Mercury by Sreeraj | Cupick
Freddie Mercury by Sreeraj | Cupick
Freddie Mercury by Elena Dolgova
Freddie Mercury by Elena Dolgova
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Rani by Createewitty | Cupick
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Queen by Abhishek Choudhury | Cupick
Freddie Mercury by Rajarshi Goswami | Cupick
Freddie Mercury by Rajarshi Goswami | Cupick

                                                                                   KISS

Four musicians with painted faces and platform shoes rose from the streets of New York to create one of rock & roll’s biggest bands – and brands. KISS looked like nothing else in pop music history. Each member adopted a different persona: Starchild! Demon! Spaceman! Cat! It would be tempting to think that the band was all  show and no substance, but there was a clear artistic point of view, with music and lyrics that were upbeat, direct, populist and unambiguous. And even romantic given the success of “Beth,” from Destroyer (1976), Criss’ paean to his long-suffering then-wife.

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The Kiss by Jeff LaChance
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Kiss by Mel Marcelo
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Oh Happy Day by Biando & Mado| Cupick

 

Lion Kiss by Alessandro Aru | Cupick
Lion Kiss by Alessandro Aru | Cupick

JANIS JOPLIN

Janis Joplin was perhaps the premier blues-influenced rock singer of the late Sixties, and certainly one of the biggest female rock stars of her time.

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Janis by Duende Lobo | Cupick
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Janis Joplin by Vanzanto

 THE WHO

Along with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the Who complete the holy trinity of British rock. The group began as fashionable London mods, playing a self-styled brand of “Maximum R&B,” but became much more: the pioneers of rock opera, a powerhouse arena act, and among the first rock groups to successfully integrate (rather than merely fiddle with) synthesizers. Their smashed guitars and overturned (or blown up) drum kits symbolized the violent passions of a band that mixed four distinct and powerful sounds.

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The Who by Bob Masse
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The Who by Devraj | Cupick
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The Who by John Entwistle

   

Who Are You by RJ Artworks | Cupick
Who Are You by RJ Artworks | Cupick

                                                                            AEROSMITH

Aerosmith were America’s feisty retort to hard-rocking British groups like the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Who, Cream, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Almost alone among American bands, Aerosmith matched those British legends in power, intensity, and notoriety. Moreover, they’ve long since surpassed many of their influences in terms of longevity and popularity.

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Aerosmith by Al Hirschfeld
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Dreamcatcher by Mehma Atwal | Cupick

 

                                                                                  AC/DC

For three decades AC/DC has reigned as one of the best-loved and hardest-rocking bands in the world. Featuring guitarist Angus Young as their visual symbol and musical firebrand, they grew from humble origins in Australia to become an arena-filling phenomenon with worldwide popularity. They did so without gimmickry, except for Angus’s schoolboy uniform, which became mandatory stage attire. From the beginning they have been a straight-ahead, no-frills rock and roll band that aimed for the gut.

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AC/DC by Ken Taylor
Acidity by Jugal C| Cupick
Acidity by Jugal C | Cupick

                                                   

                                                                          JIMI HENDRIX

Jimi Hendrix was  one of the biggest cultural figures of the Sixties, a psychedelic voodoo child who spewed clouds of distortion and pot smoke and delighted audiences in the 1960s with his outrageous electric guitar playing skills and his experimental sound.

Jimi Hendrix by Binny Malik  | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Binny Malik | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Sarvesh Agarwal  | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Sarvesh Agarwal | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Vaishnavi Ravi  | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Vaishnavi Ravi | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Rajarshi Goswami  | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Rajarshi Goswami | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Abhimanyu Ghimiray  | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Abhimanyu Ghimiray | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Satyaki Sarkar  | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Satyaki Sarkar | Cupick
Purple Haze by Jaiwant Pradhan  | Cupick
Purple Haze by Jaiwant Pradhan | Cupick
Bold as Love by Roger Law
Bold as Love by Roger Law
Jimi Hendrix by Mounica Tata | Cupick
Jimi Hendrix by Mounica Tata | Cupick

                                                                         DAVID BOWIE

A consummate musical chameleon, David Bowie has been a folksinger, androgyne, alien, decadent, blue-eyed soul man, art-rocker and a modern pop star, with each persona spawning a new league of imitators. His late-Seventies collaborations with Brian Eno made Bowie one of the few older stars to be taken seriously by the new wave.
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Aladdin Sane by Laura Liberati | Cupick
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Bowie Stardust by The Painter of Oz | Cupick

 

                                                                   JEFFERSON AIRPLANE

Best known as the hippie revolutionaries who produced Sixties pop nuggets like “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love,” Jefferson Airplane survived myriad personnel shifts, including the 1984 departure of founder/guiding light Paul Kantner, several name changes. Over its subsequent years, the band morphed from psychedelic rockers to an MOR pop powerhouse and back again.

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White Rabbit by Nour Tohme | Cupick
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Jefferson Airplane by David Byrd
White Rabbit by Vrushali Somavanshi
White Rabbit by Vrushali Somavanshi | Cupick
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Jefferson Airplane (Artist Unknown)
Jefferson Airplane by Feed Your Head
Jefferson Airplane by Feed Your Head | Cupick

COLDPLAY

 Coldplay’s sound —elegant, melodic, vaguely spacey and very dramatic — bore plenty of similarity to mid-1990s Radiohead. But the group’s hooks, sharpened by frontman Chris Martin’s ability to pull heartstrings, and the their willingness to evolve their sound, gave Coldplay staying power. As a result, the band became one of the most commercially successful acts of the new millennium.

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Thandakhel by Createewitty | Cupick
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Strawberry Fields by Sayok Ray | Cupick
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Us Against The World by Shikha Nambiar | Cupick
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Paradise by Paneer Pixel Masala | Cupick
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Coldplay Doodle by Chachi Chaudhari | Cupick
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Viva La Vida by Arka Baidya | Cupick
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Paradise by Naseem | Cupick

PEARL JAM

Along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam were initially known for popularizing grunge, the Seattle sound that exploded nationwide in the early Nineties. But the band became an American rock institution by broadening their heavy, Led Zeppelin-influenced sound while maintaining the emotional depth that made their songs so resonant in the first place.

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Eddie Vedder by Nishant D’Souza | Cupick
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Eddie Vedder by Laura Liberati | Cupick
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Society by Antharadhwani | Cupick

ADELE

British diva Adele touches the hearts of millions with her soulful singing style and powerfully emotional yet catchy songs.

adele
Rolling in The Deep by Paneer Pixel Masala | Cupick

BEYONCE

In the 2000s, no pop star was as poised, as polished, or as generally fierce as Beyoncé Giselle Knowles. She scored early success with Destiny’s Child, which started out as a sexier and sassier, then steadily became more and more of a vehicle for Beyoncé’s operatic vocals and general diva-tude.

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Single Ladies by Nour Tohme | Cupick
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Beyonce by Seanings | Cupick

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

It took Justin Timberlake less than a decade to transform from a curly-haired New Mickey Mouse Club member to a teen-pop sensation to a debonair, highly respected R&B star.

Justin Timberlake by Seanings
Justin Timberlake by Seanings | Cupick

LADY GAGA

At a time when mainstream pop was getting dangerously bland, Lady Gaga came charging to the rescue. Here was a New York art diva who knew how to make a spectacle of herself, refusing to wear pants and storming the Top 40 with the battle cry “This beat is sick/ I wanna take a ride on a disco stick!”

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Lady Gaga by Seanings | Cupick

ELVIS PRESLEY

Elvis Presley was rock & roll’s first real star, not to mention one of the most important cultural forces in history, a hip-shaking symbol of liberation for the staid America of the 1950s. A white Southerner singing blues laced with country, and country laced with gospel, he brought together American music from both sides of the color line and performed it with a natural sexuality that made him a teen idol and role model for generations of cool rebels.

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Elvis by Seanings | Cupick
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The King of Hearts by Abhishek Choudhury | Cupick
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Elvis Presley by Sarvesh Agarwal | Cupick
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Rational Immunization Elvis by Biando & Mado | Cupick

U2

With Bono’s soulful, grandiose cry, The Edge’s intricately textured guitar parts, and the steady propulsion of bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr., U2’s sound is instantly recognizable and much-imitated.

Tum Bhi by Createewitty  | Cupick
Tum Bhi by Createewitty | Cupick

HERMAN BROOD

Herman Brood was a Dutch musician and painter. As a musician he achieved artistic and commercial success in the 1970s and 1980s, and was called “the Dutch greatest and only rock ‘n’ roll star”.

Herman Brood by carolyn J.
Herman Brood by Carolyn J. | Cupick

METALLICA

Black Sabbath invented heavy metal in the Seventies, and Metallica redefined it in the Eighties. Since erupting on the scene with their debut album, Kill ‘Em All, in 1983, Metallica has been a cutting-edge band – the standard by which metal’s vitality and virtuosity are measured. No band has loomed larger, rocked heavier, raged more angrily or pushed the limits further than Metallica.

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Metal Madness by RJ Artworks | Cupick
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Master of Puppets by Aditya Damle | Cupick
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James Alan Hetfield by Devraj | Cupick
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Metallica by Sai Charan | Cupick
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Master of Puppets by Sayok Ray | Cupick

KANYE WEST

Kanye West is full of contradictions: He’s arrogant but self-deprecating, materialistic but religious, remarkably rude but also sensitive. Rather than sublimate those conflicts, his music shows them off. By melding the gangsta ethos with his own nerdy persona and making hip-hop that was at once deeply introspective, utterly distinct, and lots of fun, West became the most important new pop star of the 2000s.

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Kanye West by Mohak Gulati | Cupick
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Kanye West by Seanings | Cupick
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Kanye West by Jayesh Joshi | Cupick

JAY Z

One of the greatest living rappers — and certainly the most inventive and consistently successful — Jay-Z has built a career on combining nimble, braggadocious and largely autobiographical rhymes with adventurous production that incorporates everything from snatches of classic R&B to Broadway showtunes and Eighties electropop.

Jay Z by RJ Artworks | Cupick
Jay Z by RJ Artworks | Cupick
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Jay Z by Jayesh Joshi | Cupick
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Jay Z Decoded by Panjaj Bhambri | Cupick
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Jay Z by Seanings | Cupick

LIL WAYNE

His material suggests that Wayne isn’t only the best rapper in the hip-hop, but also the weirdest: The rapper’s grizzled rhymes we

re as all-over-the-place as he was, ranging from quick-tongued braggadocio about girls, cash and guns to gut-wrenching expressions of personal pain to instances of pure id like “I can mingle with the stars and throw a party on Mars / I am a prisoner locked up behind Xanax bars,” from the psychedelic mixtape cut “I Feel Like Dying.

Young Money by RJ Artworks
Young Money by RJ Artworks | Cupick

ENRIQUE

Enrique grew up largely in Miami and began singing as a teenager. He released his self-titled debut album in 1995 and, like his subsequent studio works, proved to be a huge success. By early 2012, Iglesias had sold more than 60 million records worldwide. His most successful songs include “Bailamos,” “Rhythm Divine,” “Be With You,” “Escape,” “Maybe,” “Don’t Turn Off The Lights” and “Hero.”

Eye Can Bee Ur Hero Baby by Arindam Majumdar | Cupick
Eye Can Bee Ur Hero Baby by Arindam Majumdar | Cupick

JUSTIN BIEBER

Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber was barely into his teens when he released his 2009 debut, My World, and became one of the youngest success stories in contemporary pop when it went either platinum or double platinum in several countries.

Justin Bieber by Seanings | Cupick
Justin Bieber by Seanings | Cupick

5SOS

Australian rock band 5 Seconds of Summer makes ebullient, high-energy music that straddles the line between ’90s punk-pop and 2000s boy band pop. Formed in 2011, the band features fellow Norwest Christian College grads Luke Hemmings (lead vocals/guitar), Michael Clifford (guitar/vocals), Calum Hood (bass/vocals), and Ashton Irwin (drums/vocals).

Luke Hemmings by Megha Nair
Luke Hemmings by Megha Nair | Cupick

JIMMY CLIFF
Jimmy Cliff was reggae’s first international star and remains its greatest living ambassador, having taken the music of Jamaica to all corners of the world.

Jimmy Cliff by Choorma
Jimmy Cliff by Choorma | Cupick

PHOENIX

The French group Phoenix, draw elements from their eclectic ’80s upbringing to arrive at a satisfying blend of rock and synthesizers. Vocalist Thomas Mars, bassist Deck d’Arcy, and guitarist Christian Mazalai were a garage band based out of Mars’ house in the suburbs of Paris. Mazzalai’s older brother Branco joined the band on guitar when his band Darlin’ disbanded in 1995.

Chloroform by Phoenix | Cupick
Chloroform by Pilar Cordoba | Cupick

ED SHEERAN

Flame-haired singer/songwriter, beatboxer, and guitarist Ed Sheeran’s eclectic blend of acoustic pop, folk, and hip-hop has been championed by everyone from the underground grime scene to American Oscar winners.

Colors and Ed Sheeran by Pritish
Colors and Ed Sheeran by Pritish | Cupick

ONE DIRECTION

Following the success of JLS and the Wanted, X Factor contestants One Direction were the next group of heartthrobs to help revive the boy band concept.
The group was formed by Niall Horan from Mullingar, Ireland; Zayn Malik from Bradford; Harry Styles from Cheshire; Louis Tomlinson from Doncaster, and Liam Payne from Wolverhampton.

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Ek Disha by Createewitty | Cupick
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Harry Styles by Seanings| Cupick
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Summer Love by Nikhita Prabhudesai| Cupick

DRAKE

Drake was a cross-platform cultural phenomenon in the 2010s. The songwriter, producer, rapper, and singer sustained a high-level commercial presence shortly after he turned to rapping in 2006, whether on his own chart-topping releases or through a long string of guest appearances.

Drake by Seanings | Cupick
Drake by Seanings | Cupick

BRUNO MARS

After several years as one of pop music’s premier songwriters, Mars broke out as a singer in his own right with the 2010 hit “Nothin’ on You.”

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Bruno Mars by Pritish | Cupick
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Bruno Mars by Seanings | Cupick

ALT-J

Their signature blend of layered, folk-inflected dub-pop and soaring alternative rock was first heard on the 2012 singles “Matilda” and “Fitzpleasure” with the group’s full-length studio debut, An Awesome Wave, arriving later that year. The album would eventually go on to earn the prestigious Mercury Prize, alongside three Brit Award nominations.

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∆ by thesame | Cupick
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Alt-J by SwineFlew | Cupick
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Alt-J (∆) by Sudeepti Tucker | Cupick
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Let’s Tessellate by Shreya Swamy | Cupick
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Hunger Of The Fine by Neethi | Cupick
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An Awesome Wave by Ragamuffin Illustration | Cupick
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Alt-J by Noopur | Cupick
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Alt-J by Lakshmi Nair | Cupick
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Alt-J by Akyanyme | Cupick
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Alt-J by Rhea Ahuja | Cupick
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Alt-J by Tanya Singh | Cupick
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Alt-J by RJ Artworks | Cupick
Alt-J by The Monkey Biscuit | Cupick
Alt-J by The Monkey Biscuit | Cupick

AWOLNATION

A solo project of Aaron Bruno, AWOLNATION began as a creative outlet for the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.With AWOLNATION, Bruno built a kind of creative free-for-all for himself, allowing him to mix genres as he wanted in a style reminiscent of Beck, blending live instrumentation, electronic elements, and slick production into an electro-pop hybrid drawing from the whole of pop music.

Awolnation by Devraj | Cupick
Awolnation by Devraj | Cupick

OASIS

Formed by brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher and their Manchester mates, Oasis rose to the top of the British charts in the mid-Nineties with its flair for classic psychedelic pop. The Beatles-influenced rock of its debut album, Definitely Maybe (1994), made Oasis overnight pop stars.

Wonderwall by Devraj
Wonderwall by Devraj | Cupick

LINDSEY STIRLING

Combining her love of classical music with EDM, hip-hop, and dubstep, violinist, dancer, and performance artist Lindsey Stirling is best known for videos she posts to her YouTube channel, and for competing on the fifth season of America’s Got Talent in 2010.

Shatter Me by Devraj | Cupick
Shatter Me by Devraj | Cupick

PINK

Contrasting her edgy, tomboyish style with that of her female popstar peers, Pink has had huge success with hits like “You Make Me Sick” and “There You Go.

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P!NK by Seanings | Cupick
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PINK by Paul Kafka | Cupick

BOB DYLAN

For almost 50 years, Bob Dylan has remained, along with James Brown, the most influential American musician rock & roll has ever produced. Inscrutable and unpredictable, Dylan has been both deified and denounced for his shifts of interest, while whole schools of musicians took up his ideas. His lyrics — the first in rock to be seriously regarded as literature — became so well known that politicians from Jimmy Carter to Vaclav Havel have cited them as an influence.

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Like a Rolling Stone by Sarvesh Agarwal | Cupick
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Dylan by Sonika Sil | Cupick
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Dylan by Vibhuti Dabral | Cupick
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Time Out Of Mind by Devraj | Cupick
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Blowin’ in The Wind by Arka Baidya | Cupick
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Tambourine Man by RJ Artworks | Cupick

SKRILLEX

Sonny Moore found club and mainstream stardom beginning in 2008, when he swapped his gig as the frontman in post-hardcore band From First to Last for the dancefloor-oriented project Skrillex. In 2010, the self-released digital download EP My Name Is Skrillex appeared, combining the Benny Benassi and Deadmau5 styles of electro with the same type of over-the-top samples and giant noise of electronica acts like the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim.

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Skrillex by Prasanth Krup Duth | Cupick
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Drop The Bass by RJ Artworks | Cupick
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Skrillex by Pankaj Bhambri | Cupick

DEADMAU5

Joel Zimmerman, masked EDM hitmaker and celebrity DJ Deadmau5 rose to prominence when his track “Faxing Berlin” found its way onto the playlist of legendary DJ/producer Pete Tong’s radio show. Deadmau5 soon became an important figure in the world of progressive house music,

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Deadmau5 by Siladityaa Sharma | Cupick
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Mau5 by Jayesh Joshi | Cupick
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Deadmau5 by Paneer Pixel Masala | Cupick

HARDWELL

A superstar Dutch DJ who helped shape the EDM explosion of 2012-2013, Robbert van de Corput tbecame Hardwell when he began DJing at the age of 13. Watching the massive dance parties broadcast on MTV influenced the teen Hardwell to learn how to mix, and he soon became interested in remixing and working on his own productions.

Hardwell by Pankaj Bhambri | Cupick
Hardwell by Pankaj Bhambri | Cupick

DEPECHE MODE

Depeche Mode were the quintessential Eighties techno-pop band, parlaying a fascination with synthesizers into huge success on the British charts (where its albums consistently went Top 10) and eventually on the U.S. pop chart.

Dave Gahan by Laura Liberati | Cupick
Dave Gahan by Laura Liberati | Cupick

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND

The ultimate New York band — and, arguably, the most influential of all the proto-punk groups — the Velvet Underground were unique among Sixties rockers in their intentional crudity, in their sense of beauty in ugliness, and in their dark and risqué lyrics. During the age of flower power, the Velvets spoke in no uncertain terms of social alienation, sexual deviancy, drug addiction, violence, and hopelessness, evoking the exhilaration and destructiveness of modern urban life.

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Lou Reed by Laura Liberati | Cupick

KATY PERRY

A former Christian artist, Katy Perry rebranded herself as a larger-than-life pop star and rose to prominence during the summer of 2008.

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I Kissed A Girl by Nour Tohme | Cupick
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Katy Perry by Seanings | Cupick

KATRINA AND THE WAVES

With a charismatic lead singer fronting a band pulled together by guitarist Kimberley Rew, who could write songs like nobody’s business, they seemed tailor-made for success. And they did briefly cut a swathe across pop music in Europe, America, and around the world, achieving some serious success of their own with a pair of catchy, hook-laden songs.

Walking on Sunshine by Nour Tohme  | Cupick
Walking on Sunshine by Nour Tohme | Cupick

AMY WINEHOUSE

British diva Amy Winehouse scored legions of fans with her 2006 album, Back to Black, which showed off her brassy, sweet-and-sour voice and taste for meticulously retro soul music.

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Rehab by Nour Tohme | Cupick
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Amy Winehouse by Aman Bahuguna | Cupick

GUNS N’ ROSES

Guns N’ Roses shot to stardom with Appetite for Destruction, the biggest-selling debut in rock history. The album combined Seventies-derived hard rock and a hedonistic rebelliousness that simultaneously recalled the early Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Aerosmith, and the Sex Pistols.

gunsnroses
Slash by Shivani | Cupick
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Guns N’ Roses by Aroma Mandal | Cupick
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SLASH-ing Through the Notes by Indranil Saha | Cupick
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Tamancha Aur Gulab by Createewitty | Cupick

RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS

Formed in the wake of the L.A. punk scene, the Red Hot Chili Peppers combined funk and punk with macho, sexed-up lyrics. (One early track was called “Party on Your Pussy”). The result was a high-octane sound that made the quintet alt-rock favorites in the Eighties, then superstars in the Nineties.

Lal Garam Mirche by Createewitty
Lal Garam Mirche by Createewitty | Cupick

CYNDI LAUPER

With her distinctive little-girl voice, thrift-store style, and art-school training, Cyndi Lauper was one of the earliest female icons to harness MTV’s influence and become a pop star.

Cyndi Lauper by Nour Tohme  | Cupick
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Nour Tohme | Cupick

NIRVANA

Few bands in rock history have had a more immediate and tangible impact on their contemporary pop musical landscape than Nirvana did in the early Nineties. Within hours of the release of Nirvana’s anarchic, angry single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” —the rules had changed. Artifice was devalued; pure, raw emotion was king.

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Kurt Cobain by Nishant D’Souza | Cupick
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Kurt Cobain by Rhea Ahuja | Cupick
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Dave Grohl by Hay Bagusandi | Cupick
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Nirvana by Ocean Clark | Cupick
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Teen Spirit by RJ Artworks | Cupick
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Nirvana by Rajeshkumar Ankam | Cupick
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Moksha by Createewitty | Cupick

MICHAEL JACKSON

Jackson changed the balance in the pop world in a way that nobody has since. He forced rock & roll and the mainstream press to acknowledge that the biggest pop star in the world could be young and black, and in doing so he broke down more barriers than anybody.

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The Jack O’ Diamonds by Abhishek Choudhury | Cupick
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Anti-Gravity by Nicebleed | Cupick
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Michael Jackson by Seanings | Cupick
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Michael Jackson by Malvika Asher | Cupick
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Michael Jackson by Rajarshi Goswami | Cupick
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Michael Jackson by Pragadeesh Sudarsanam | Cupick

BOB MARLEY

Bob Marley did more than anyone else to popularize reggae around the globe. He was a gifted songwriter who could mix protest music and pop as skillfully as Bob Dylan, and his songs of determination, rebellion, and faith became important parts of the rock and pop canon.

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Bob Marley by Sarvesh Agarwal | Cupick
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Bob Maal-li by Choorma | Cupick
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Bob Marley by Seanings | Cupick
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Bob Marley by Vicky Sharma | Cupick
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Bob Marley by Rajarshi Goswami | Cupick
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Bob Marley by Pink Elephant Illustrations | Cupick
Bob Maali by Orijit Sen
Bob Mali by Orijit Sen | Cupick

CARAVAN PALACE

Caravan Palace is a self-described électro-swing group from Paris, France, that made its full-length album debut in 2008. Comprised of Charles Delaporte (bass, programming), Arnaud Vial (guitar, programming), Hugues Payen (violin, programming), Colotis Zoé (vocals), Toustou (electronics, trombone), and Chapi (clarinette), the group is chiefly influenced by Django Reinhardt but also cites Vitalic, Cab Calloway, Justice, Lionel Hampton, and Daft Punk among its influences.

Caravan Palace by Devraj
Caravan Palace by Devraj | Cupick

THE PIERCES

The Pierces, comprising sisters Catherine and Allison,was a slick blend of folk harmonizing and adult alternative textures.

The Pierces by Rae Zachariah
The Pierces by Rae Zachariah | Cupick

IMAGINE DRAGONS

These Las Vegas rockers, stormed the charts with their blend of synth-based dance-pop and emotionally charged, Brit-pop-inspired alternative.

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Demons by Amoolya Bhat | Cupick
IMAGINEDRAGONS
Imagine Dragons by Devraj | Cupick

BJORK

The biggest rock band to emerge from Iceland, the Sugarcubes drew notice for their offbeat songs and singer Björk Gudmundsdóttir, an elfin womanchild with a powerful, keening voice.

Bjork by Kabini
Bjork by Kabini Amin | Cupick

DAFT PUNK

With their thoroughly modern disco sound — a blend of house, funk, electro and techno — this French duo were one of the biggest electronic music acts of the late 1990s and 2000s. Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter were as influenced by rock bands like AC/DC as they were by classic disco acts.

daft love
Daft Love by Jugal C | Cupick
daftpunk
Daft Punk by Jaydhrit Sur | Cupick
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Daft Force by Daniac | Cupick
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Daff Punk by Olivier Delmas | Cupick
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Get Lucky by RJ Artworks | Cupick
Daft Punk by Siladityaa Sharma
Daft Punk by Siladityaa Sharma | Cupick

AVICII

Cleverly using dance music blogs as the platform to launch his career,Tim Bergling, aka Avicii, has since become one of the most prominent producers on the burgeoning Swedish house scene.

Avicii by Pankaj Bhambri
Avicii by Pankaj Bhambri | Cupick

GREENDAY

Punk revivalists with style, substance and hooks galore, Green Day have gone through two distinct identities. They were bratty, mischievous twentysomethings when they hit MTV in 1994, but Green Day became elder statesmen during the 2000s with American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown—a pair of epic, politically charged rock and roll operas that chronicled the confused reality of life in the first decade of the new millennium.

greenday
Wake Me Up When September Ends by Sayok Ray | Cupick
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Hara Din by Createewitty | Cupick
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Billie Joe Artmstrong by Rhea Ahuja | Cupick

MADONNA

Her pleasure-celebrating dance music and outré videos gave feminism a much-needed makeover throughout the Eighties, smashing sexual boundaries, making eroticism a crucial pop-song element, and challenging social and religious mores. To her detractors, she merely reinforced the notion of “woman as plaything,” turning the clock back on conventional feminism two decades.

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Diamond Queen by Abhishek Choudhary | Cupick
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Madonna by Durro | Cupick

RIHANNA

R&B and dance-pop singer Rihanna’s stark, sexualized hit singles established her as one of the biggest pop stars in music history.

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Rihanna by Seanings | Cupick
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I’m Friends With the Monster Under my Bed by CatchyRey | Cupick

EMINEM

Eminem is the best-selling white rapper of all time, alternately comic and confrontational, both hugely talented and highly controversial.

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Recovery by Ambady | Cupick
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Lose Yourself by Kushagra Singh | Cupick
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I Am Phenomenal by Yatin Raj Singh | Cupick
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Eminem by Prashanth Krupa Duth | Cupick
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Eminem by Seanings | Cupick
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Like A Toy Soldier by Sayok Ray | Cupick
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Rap God by RJ Artworks | Cupick

SNOOP DOG

Rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, with his lazy drawl and gangster persona, became one of the most commercially successful artists in all of rap. Alongside artists like N.W.A., Tupac, and Ice-T, Snoop epitomizes West Coast hip-hop.

Snoop Dog by Seanings | Cupick
Snoop Dog by Seanings | Cupick

GORILLAZ

Conceived as the first “virtual hip-hop group,” Gorillaz blended the musical talents of Dan “The Automater” Nakamura, Blur’s Damon Albarn, Cibo Matto’s Miho Hatori, and Tom Tom Club’s Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz with the arresting visuals of Jamie Hewlett, best known as the creator of the cult comic Tank Girl.

Feel Good Inc by Sanaya C | Cupick
Feel Good Inc by Sanaya C | Cupick
Gorillaz by Shinoj
Gorillaz by Shinoj | Cupick

NICKI MINAJ

Influenced by the unpredictable rhymes of Missy Elliot along with the sexually charged attitudes of Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown, rapper, television reality show judge, and household name Nicki Minaj was discovered thanks to her MySpace page

Anaconda Minaj by Akyanyme
Anaconda Minaj by Akyanyme | Cupick

LITTLE DRAGON

Formed in Gothenberg, Sweden in 1996, this electronic quartet comprise lead vocalist Yukimi Nagano(Vocals, Percussion), Hakan Wirenstrand (Keyboards), Erik Bodin (Drums), and Fredrik Kallgren Wallin(Bass).

Yukimi Nagano by Kirti Kalyan | Cupick
Yukimi Nagano by Kirti Kalyan | Cupick

PRINCE

Prince is one of the most naturally gifted artists of all time, and also one of the most mysterious.
His Minneapolis sound- a hybrid of rock, pop, and funk, with blatantly sexual lyrics — not only influenced his fellow Minneapolis artists, but also impacted much of 1980s dance-pop music.

Prince by Laura Liberati | Cupick
Prince by Laura Liberati | Cupick

LANA DEL RAY

Lana Del Rey makes atmospheric, orchestral, retro-’60s-sounding pop that showcases her torchy image and sensuous singing style

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Lana Del Ray by Panini Pandey | Cupick
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Lana Del Ray by Priyanka Menon | Cupick
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Lana Del Ray by Veer Mishra | Cupick

B. B. KING

Riley “B.B.” King has been called the “King of the Blues” and “Ambassador of the Blues,” and indeed he’s reigned across the decades as the genre’s most recognizable and influential artists.

B.B. King by Ocean Clark | Cupick
B.B. King by Ocean Clark | Cupick

TUPAC SHAKUR

Tupac Shakur was one of the most dynamic, influential and self-destructive pop stars of the Nineties. The rapper’s husky voice described his stark contradictions, setting misogyny against praise of strong women, hard-won wisdom against the violence of the “thug life” The critical and commercial successes of his music were continually overshadowed by his legal and personal entanglements.

Tupac Shakur by Panini Pandey
Tupac Shakur by Panini Pandey | Cupick

RAKIM

Although he never became a household name, Rakim is near-universally acknowledged as one of the greatest MCs — perhaps the greatest — of all time within the hip-hop community.His flow is smooth and liquid, inflected with jazz rhythms and carried off with an effortless cool that makes it sound as though he’s not even breaking a sweat.

Rakim-The God MC by Panini Pandey
Rakim-The God MC by Panini Pandey | Cupick

KENDRICK LAMAR

 

Platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper Kendrick Lamar is one of the rare artists who has achieved critical and commercial success while earning the respect and support of those who inspired him. A native of Compton, California,

Kendrick Lamar by Panini Pandey
Kendrick Lamar by Panini Pandey | Cupick

ERIC CLAPTON

In the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominos, as well as through his prolific solo work, guitarist Eric Clapton has continually re-defined his own version of the blues. From the start, he caught audiences’ attention with his fiery, adventurous and precise playing. Over the next four decades, Clapton did little to dampen that reputation and was named number four in Rolling Stone‘s 2003 list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

Eric by Kehaan Saraiya
Eric by Kehaan Saraiya | Cupick
Layla by Jaiwant Pradhan  | Cupick
Layla by Jaiwant Pradhan | Cupick

TOVE LO

Swedish singer/songwriter  Tove Lo’s  epic, electronically tinged songwriting with raw, brutally honest lyrics is influenced as much by ’80s pop as by contemporary EDM.

I Gotta Stay High All The Time by CatchyRey | Cupick
I Gotta Stay High All The Time by CatchyRey | Cupick

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY

With a reputation for a scathingly intense live performance and a quickly sold-out CD-R demo, Explosions In The Sky, was touted early on in their career as the next phenomenon in moody and dynamic instrumental indie rock.

Explosions In The Sky by Swati Banerjee
Explosions In The Sky by Swati Banerjee | Cupick

RICK ROSS

While Atlanta and Houston artists were establishing their cities as Southern strongholds, Ross aimed at putting Miami back in rap’s national spotlight.

Everyday I'm Hustlin by Ambady
Everyday I’m Hustlin by Ambady | Cupick

FOSTER THE PEOPLE

Formed in Los Angeles in 2009 by multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Mark foster, indie rock trio Foster The People make melodic and atmospheric, dance-oriented pop

A Beginner's Guide to Destroying the Moon by Pilar Cordoba
A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon by Pilar Cordoba | Cupick

BONOBO

With the experimental warmth of ’60s French films and the pizzicato flavor of horizontal hip-hop, Simon Green’s Bonobo project established the welcome niche of a pretension-free, post-party intellectual chillout.

Bonobo by Nehaal Gonsalves
Bonobo by Nehaal Gonsalves | Cupick

MUTEMATH

Taking cues from several decades of alternative rock, Mute Math (also known as MUTEMATH and MuteMath) fuse together New Order’s synth-dance epics, the Stone Roses’ shambling shuffle, Radiohead’s chilliness, Air’s ambient pop, and the booming vocals of mainstream pop/rock.

Mutemath by Nehaal Gonsalves
Mutemath by Nehaal Gonsalves | Cupick

BAAUER

Besides being at the forefront of the electro-trap music movement, Brooklyn-based producer Baauer made headlines when his track “Harlem Shake” became the first viral sensation to debut on top of the Billboard charts.

Harlem Shake by Sayok Ray
Harlem Shake by Sayok Ray | Cupick

LINKIN PARK

Although rooted in alternative metal, Linkin Park became one of the most successful acts of the 2000s by welcoming elements of hip-hop, modern rock, and atmospheric electronica into their music.

The Hunting Party by Siladityaa Sharma
The Hunting Party by Siladityaa Sharma | Cupick
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Linkin Park by Sayok Ray | Cupick
linkinpark2
Linkin Park by Parth Sabnis | Cupick
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Linkin Park by Sreeraj | Cupick

ARCTIC MONKEYS

By distilling the sounds of Franz Ferdinand, The Clash, The Strokes, and The Libertines into a hybrid of swaggering indie rock and danceable neo-punk, Arctic became one of the U.K.’s biggest bands of the new millennium.

Alex Turner by Daniac
Alex Turner by Daniac | Cupick
Do I Wanna Know by Sonika Sil
Do I Wanna Know by Sonika Sil | Cupick

JOHN MAYER

After making his introduction as a sensitive, acoustic-styled songwriter, John Mayer steadily widened his approach over the subsequent years, encompassing everything from blues-rock to adult contemporary in the process.

Citylove by Madhuvanti Mohan
Citylove by Madhuvanti Mohan | Cupick
1983 by Madhuvanti Mohan
1983 by Madhuvanti Mohan | Cupick

TAYLOR SWIFT

Taylor Swift is that rarest of pop phenomenona: a superstar who managed to completely cross over from country to the mainstream. Swift shed her country roots like they were a second skin to reveal she was perhaps the sharpest, savviest, populist singer/songwriter of her generation.

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Reckless by Suchita Isaac | Cupick
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Taylor Swift by Kashish Rabbani | Cupick

SIR MIX-A-LOT

Inextricably linked with his pop culture touchstone “Baby Got Back,” Sir Mix-a-Lot parlayed a gonzo tribute to women with large buttocks into hip-hop immortality, even despite his failure to score another hit of its magnitude. But even before he struck crossover gold, Sir Mix-a-Lot was one of rap’s great D.I.Y. success stories.

I Like Big Mugs and I cannot Lie by Natasha Phillips
I Like Big Mugs and I cannot Lie by Natasha Phillips | Cupick

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT

God Is An Astronaut made a strong claim to being the best Irish indie export of the 2000s, thanks to their mix of epic melodies of post-rock, the precision of electronic-fuelled Krautrock and elements of space rock. The band’s status was further boosted by their active anti-war stance and their fierce live performances.

God is An Astronaut by Sin
God is An Astronaut by Sin | Cupick

THE BLACK KEYS

The group consists of Dan Auerbach (guitar,vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). The duo began as an independent act, recording music in basements and self-producing their records, before they eventually emerged as one of the most popular garage artists during a second wave of the genre’s revival. The band’s raw blues rock sound draws heavily from Auerbach’s blues influences.Till I Get Away by I,Saint Yuvee

Till I Get Away by I,Saint Yuvee | Cupick

RADIOHEAD

Radiohead were one of the most innovative and provocative bands of the 1990s and 2000s, five very serious Englishmen guys who developed their own sound and always tried really, really hard. The band, began as purveyors of a swooning, from-the-gut sound that Alicia Silverstone aptly labeled as “complaint rock” in the film Clueless.

Thom Yorke by Vaishnavi Ravi  | Cupick
Thom Yorke by Vaishnavi Ravi | Cupick
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Radiohead by Sidharth Ojha | Cupick
radiohead3
Radiohead by Pooja Bulbule | Cupick
radiohead
Radiohead by Albert | Cupick
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Thom Yorke by Tanya Singh | Cupick

ZEDD

Born Anton Zaslavski, German producer Zedd broke onto the European electronic scene in 2010 with a remix of Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.” Though known for his glitch, pulsing production, Zedd’s musical journey began in the acoustic realm.

Transmission by Jaiwant Pradhan
Transmission by Jaiwant Pradhan | Cupick

AYO

Folk-soul chanteuse Ayo emerged as one of Europe’s biggest new pop stars of 2006 with her breakthrough debut LP, Joyful. Born to a Nigerian father and gypsy mother, as a child Ayo absorbed the musical traditions of her parentage as well as influences including American soul, reggae, and Afrobeat.

Only You by Navedita Singh
Only You by Navedita Singh | Cupick

WALK OFF THE EARTH

Walk Off the Earth turn folky pop into a multimedia extravaganza with their irreverent and innovative takes on artists like Gotye and Adele.

walkofftheearth
Walk Off the Earth by Teo Ventura | Cupick

CHET BAKER

Chet Baker was a primary exponent of the West Coast school of cool jazz in the early and mid-’50s. As a trumpeter, he had a generally restrained, intimate playing style and he attracted attention beyond jazz.

Chet Baker by Kehaan Saraiya
Chet Baker by Kehaan Saraiya | Cupick

THELONIUS MONK

Thelonious Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer. Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire.

Old Monk by Kehaan Saraiya
Old Monk by Kehaan Saraiya | Cupick

INCUBUS

Incubus became one of the most popular alt-metal bands of the new millennium, setting themselves apart from a crowded field with a tireless touring ethic and a broad musical palette.

incubus
In This Moment by Madhuvanti Mohan | Cupick
incubus2
Anomaly by Anoushka Gonsalves | Cupick

MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN

Maynard James Keenan of Tool isn’t afraid to unseal the hidden miseries of everyday existence. With Tool’s first album Undertow, Keenan was thrust into the spotlight of alternative rock stardom; his grim lyrics and cold, angst-laden vocals appealed to both goth rockers and heavy metal enthusiasts.

Maynard James Keenan by Swayampravo Dasgupta
Maynard James Keenan by Swayampravo Dasgupta | Cupick

LUKE SITAL SINGH

Raised in the southwest London suburb of New Malden, indie folk singer/songwriter Luke Sital-Singh released his first EP, Fail for You, in late 2012.

Bring Me Desire Bottled Up Tight by Sonika Sil
Bring Me Desire Bottled Up Tight by Sonika Sil | Cupick

NEIL YOUNG

Young has always kept his fans guessing, turning an array of stylistic corners — country twang here, poignant picking there, and a whole lot of blaring guitar rock everywhere between. It doesn’t matter if the songs are personal confessions, allusive tales, or bouncy throwaways — since the mid-1960s Young has filled each with immediacy and passion.

Neil Young by Ocean Clark
Neil Young by Ocean Clark | Cupick

JAMES BROWN

What became known as soul music in the Sixties, funk music in the Seventies and rap music in the Eighties is directly attributable to James Brown. His transformation of gospel fervor into the taut, explosive intensity of rhythm & blues, combined with precision choreography and dynamic showmanship, served to define the directions black music would take from the release of his first R&B hit (“Please Please Please”) in 1956 to the present day.

James Brown by Shruti Anand
James Brown by Shruti Anand | Cupick

 

Do you know any artists or artwork that should be featured on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Sources: Rollingstone.com, Rockhall.com, Allmusic.com, Classicrock.about.com, Billboard.com

 

 

 

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