The future of music

25 Best Pop Singers & Artists of All Time (Most Famous)

December 6, 2023
pop singers

I’ve curated a list showcasing the best pop singers and artists, each of whom has left an indelible mark on the music industry with their distinctive styles and memorable hits.

This article celebrates the voices and talents that have shaped and continue to influence the pop music landscape.

Best pop singers & artists of all time

  • Michael Jackson
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Ariana Grande
  • Shawn Mendes
  • Bruno Mars
  • Adele
  • Katy Perry
  • Taylor Swift
  • Demi Lovato
  • Dua Lipa

1. Michael Jackson

It’s hard to imagine a list of the greatest pop singers without the undisputed King of Pop.

Jackson’s influence started in 1964 with the Jackson 5 pop band.

And it wasn’t long before everybody recognized his talent, pushing him to go solo in 1979. 

Today, he’s recognized among the most influential pop singers of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s and one of the greatest artists of all time. 

His career had a little bit of everything, from controversies to successes, mysteries, and criminal investigations. 

And over a decade later, several unanswered questions surround his death. 

We can’t forget his choreographed dance moves and energetic stage performances.

Jackson will always be one of the most influential figures in pop music, with essential hits like “Thriller,” “Billie Jean,” and “Beat It.”

2. Ed Sheeran

It’s only a decade since Ed Sheeran topped the UK Albums Chart with his + studio album. 

And he now looks like one of the most accomplished names in contemporary pop music.

Sheeran has won everything, from the Grammys to the Billboard, American, and World Music Awards. 

The English singer blends pop, soft rock, and folk-rock elements to bring a unique sound that connects with every pop music lover.

His hits like “Shape Of You,” “Perfect,” and “Thinking Out Loud” still excite many pop lovers around the world.

And it’s impossible to write the history of pop music without including this charming, blond-haired British singer

3. Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has done everything to achieve all the successes she’s had in recent years.

Born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida, the American singer started her career at 15 with the 13 Broadway musical.

She became more popular after appearing in the American sitcom, Victorious between 2010 and 2013.

But that was only the beginning for the multitalented pop singer as the subsequent years would prove even better, topping the Billboard 200 with her debut studio album, Yours Truly. 

Ariana has had an epic journey, releasing several studio albums, including My Everything (2014), Dangerous Woman (2016), Sweetener (2018), and Thank U, Next (2019).

Some of her best singles include “Thank U, Next,” “Break Free,” “7 Rings,” and “Bang Bang.”

As one of the best-selling artists of all time, it’s only right that Ariana retains her position among the greatest pop singers and artists of all time. 

4. Shawn Mendes

Every pop lover knows the “Senorita” hitmaker who made history when he debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 at only 18. 

The Canadian singer found fame in the most unusual ways after sharing a video cover of Justin Bieber’s hit, “As Long As You Love Me.”

He now ranks among the greatest pop singers, with four studio albums, several hit singles, and multiple awards to crown an illustrious music career.

Besides his music career, Mendes has excelled in the filming industry, featuring in Metegol, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, and Shawn Mendes: In Wonder. 

5. Bruno Mars

Hawaii native Bruno Mars is always held in the same regard as many singers from the early 2000s for his massive influence on the pop music scene.

He’s best known for his diverse musical styles, including pop, R&B, reggae, disco, rock, and soul. 

Many people also remember his international #1 hit single, “Just the Way You Are,” from his debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010).

Bruno’s discography also includes other famous hit singles, “The Lazy Song,” “Grenade,” and “That’s What I Like.”

He’s sold over 130 million album units throughout his career, becoming one of the best-selling pop musicians of all time.

He’s also one of the best pop singers in history, with 15 Grammy Awards, 4 Brit Awards, 13 Soul Train Awards, 11 American Music Awards, and 3 Guinness World Records. 

6. Adele

With only four studio albums, Adele has built an admirable career many pop singers can only dream of.

The English singer started her career in 2008 with her 19 debut album, featuring songs about heartbreak, relationships, and nostalgia. 

It’s almost two decades now, and she’s only become bigger and better during that period as a decorated pop singer and one of the best-selling music artists. 

Adele’s most successful songs include “Hello,” “Someone Like You,” and “Rolling in the Deep.”

7. Katy Perry

Katy Perry’s place among the greatest pop singers and artists is indisputable.

Her voice is unmistakable.

Her fashion sense is on point. 

And with a bigger influence on many upcoming female singers than ever before. 

The “Queen of Camp” debuted in the late 2000s with “I Kissed a Girl,” before following it up with “Hot n Cold.”

And it wasn’t long before pop lovers noticed what a massive talent they had right before their eyes.

The famous Teenage Dream album, released in 2010, made her even more popular, thanks to the five #1 hit singles “Teenage Dream,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” “Firework,” “E.T.” and “California Gurls.”

8. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s storied music career is what pop music is all about.

There’s her popularity, heartbreak anthems, and even heartbreaks in real life.

But one thing that stands out about the American singer and songwriter is her consistency.

Reaching the very peak of his popularity many years ago, Swift has now built a 17-year discography, featuring hits like “You Belong With Me,” “Fearless,” and “Our Song.”

She can turn anything into an excellent work of art, be it in the form of conventionally smooth hit singles, teenage anthems, or heartbreak songs.

Throughout the highs and lows of her music career, Swift has always shown us that if you believe in something, you go for it.

That’s why she ranks among the greatest pop singers and artists of all time. 

See also: Best Taylor Swift Songs

9. Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato is the pop singer behind the hit singles “Sorry Not Sorry,” “Heart Attack,” and “Confident.”

Her discography reveals a talented pop singer who moved audiences with her honest and relatable lyrics.

Demi is known to release some of the most compelling pop songs.

And her seven studio albums alone are enough to secure a place among the industry’s best-ever pop singers. 

The American singer is already releasing some good music in 2023, including “Still Alive,” which recently came out in March. 

10. Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa might be the only English-Albanian singer on this list, but that hasn’t stopped her from going toe to toe with some of the industry’s biggest names.

She was born in London, England, to Kosovo-Albanian parents and initially worked as a waitress at a local cocktail bar before launching her music career.

After penetrating the European markets, her debut single, “New Love,” pushed her to fame. 

Dua has been active in the music industry ever since, releasing two studio albums and a series of hit singles, including the famous “Levitating” song featuring DaBaby. 

11. Lady Gaga

Here’s the name you’ve waited so long to see on this list.

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, commonly known as Lady Gaga, has had quite an eventful journey in the music industry.

She started performing at local clubs at a young age before making her official debut in the early 2000s.

Gaga’s breakthrough came in 2008 with her first album, The Fame, featuring the hit singles “Poker Face” and “Just Dance.”

Her second album, Born This Way (2011), attracted even more attention, selling over 1 million copies in the first week of release. 

Gaga is among the best-selling musicians of all time and one of the best pop singers in history. 

12. Harry Styles

Harry Edward Styles is a name many pop lovers will be familiar with since his time on The X Factor.

He launched his career in 2010 and quickly gained fame after joining the British boy band, One Direction.

Harry has been such a revelation in the pop industry, especially as a member of One Direction, where they’ve enjoyed massive success locally and worldwide.

He’s also featured in films and documentaries, including Dunkirk, Eternals, and Don’t Worry Darling. 

He launched a solo career in 2016 after the boy band disbanded and has had quite a successful journey with hits such as “Sign of the Times,” “As It Was,” and “Golden.”

13. Madonna

Of course, “The Queen of Pop” must be on the list of the greatest pop singers and artists.

Madonna was the real deal at the height of her career, pushing beyond the limits at the risk of her style being labeled counterculture.

She’s impressed with her immense creativity and the power of reinvention, making a lasting impression on upcoming pop singers.

From her social and political lyrics to matchless artistic expression and endless controversies, Madonna’s storied career earned her a place in the list of the greatest pop singers ever. 

14. Michael Buble

Michael Buble was born in Burnaby, Canada, and developed a strong interest in jazz at five.

He looked up to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, and Sam Cooke growing up.

Michael discovered his talent at a young age.

But there was an interesting problem for the young Canadian native; his love for ice hockey.

Michael had developed so much interest in ice hockey that it was difficult to convince him to pursue a different path.

One of his biggest childhood dreams was to represent the Vancouver Canucks.

But when it became clear that he wouldn’t realize this dream, he focused on his music career, getting his first gigs at 16. 

15. Rihanna

The Queen of Barbados is all about her businesses and endorsement deals these days, but she’s still one of the most celebrated pop singers in history.

Rihanna is among the contingent of musicians who entertained pop music lovers throughout the 2000s, releasing hit singles like “Umbrella,” “What’s My Name?” and “Diamonds.”

She’s one of the most successful pop singers in history, working with established musicians like Eminem, Drake, Kanye West, and Jay-Z throughout an illustrious 2-decade-long career.

The nine-time Grammy winner has participated in social activism and philanthropic activities through the Believe Foundation she launched in 2006.

She’s also founded the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in honor of her grandparents to offer education programs to support research in oncology and nuclear medicine. 

Though she’s no longer active in the music industry, Rihanna is one of the most popular figures in the pop industry, with an admirable career many upcoming singers look up to.

16. Justin Bieber

It’s impossible to ignore Justin Bieber’s influence on the pop music scene.

E’s released many hit songs since he debuted in the late 2000s, becoming a pop star and one of the defining figures in the entertainment industry.

Bieber is best remembered for the hit singles “Sorry,” “Love Yourself,” and “As Long As You Love Me,” which elevated his status in the contemporary pop music scene. 

17. Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera is another celebrated female singer who’s succeeded with pop music, soul, R&B, Latin pop, and dance-pop music. 

She was born in New York and got hooked on blues and soul music at a young age. 

Her journey goes back to the early 1990s when she joined The All-New Mickey Mouse Club.

It’s been an upward journey for the American singer ever since, going from strength to strength to cement her name among the industry’s best pop singers. 

She’s inspired many female pop singers while working with some of the biggest names, like Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, and Britney Spears. 

18. Enrique Iglesias

Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias became a pop star in his native Spain before crossing to the English market.

But one thing has always stood out; his consistency and desire to improve.

He has released five chart-topping singles and boasts over 70 million in album sales, becoming one of the best pop singers in history.

While many remember him from his “Bailando” hit, Enrique raised the bar for other Latin pop singers with “Hero,” “I Like It,” and “Bailamos.”

19. The Weeknd

Canadian singer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, commonly known as The Weeknd, is one of the best artists in the contemporary pop music scene. 

He’s found success with R&B, pop, alternative R&B, new wave, hip hop, and dance music since 2009 when he came into the limelight as an anonymous singer on YouTube.

He built his career after launching the XO record label, where he released three mix tapes, Echoes of Silence, Thursday, and House of Balloons.

The Weeknd is best known for the Beauty Behind the Madness studio album and the chart-topping singles “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face,” which earned him a global following in 2015.

The album also won him a Best Urban Contemporary Album Award at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. 

20. Beyoncé

Beyoncé came to the limelight with Destiny’s Child in the 1990s before launching her solo career in 2003. 

The American pop singer has excelled as a dancer, actress, producer, and entrepreneur, with her celebrity marriage with rapper Jay-Z making her more popular in recent years.

Beyoncé is one of the most successful pop singers of her generation, with a career that has now extended beyond a decade.

She’s best remembered for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” “Crazy in Love,” and “Run the World (Girls).”

She’s also among the most awarded pop singers of all time, with 32 Grammys, 21 NAACP Image Awards, 26 MTV Video Music Awards, 17 Soul Train Awards, and 31 BET Awards.

21. Elvis Presley

How could we forget the legendary Elvis Presley, nicknamed the King of Rock and Roll?

The Mississippi-born singer was one of the most influential cultural figures in the 1960s, moving audiences with his sexually provocative lyrics and songs that often attracted success and controversy in equal measure. 

Presley is among the bests selling musicians of all time, with 3 Grammy Awards, several halls of fame, and multiple albums to show for it. 

22. Elton John

Elton John has undoubtedly left his legacy in the entertainment industry.

He was one of the definitive figures of the 70s pop and continued entertaining his fans throughout the 80s and 90s.

The British pop-rock singer, nicknamed the Rocket Man, has sold more than 300 million album units worldwide, making him one of the most successful artists during that time. 

He’s had several singles top the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, with widely acclaimed albums to cement his name amongst the greatest pop singers and artists of all time. 

See also: Best Elton John Songs

23. Frank Sinatra

The legendary Frank Sinatra is always considered one of the greatest jazz singers of all time.

But the New Jersey-born musician also succeeded with traditional pop, swing, easy listening, and big band.

He’s one of the most influential entertainers from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

Frank is also among the best-selling music artists in the world and among the most influential musicians of all time.

Many artists have covered his songs, and his matchless legacy lives on in hits like “My Way,” “That’s Life,” and “The Way You Look Tonight.”

24. Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand is one of the best-selling female artists of all time.

The American singer also excelled as an actor and film director throughout a 6-decade career. 

She’s won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT) award, confirming her as one of the greatest pop singers ever.

Some of her best hits include “Woman in Love,” “Guilty,” and “I Finally Found Someone.”

25. Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder influenced many upcoming musicians in the jazz, pop, funk, soul, gospel, and rhythm and blues genres.

He’s considered one of the greatest artists of all time, who started making music at 13.

Stevie’s best songs take a positive look at life at the most challenging times.

Decades later, he’s still one of the most respected names in pop music, with a massive influence on upcoming singers. 

Best Pop Singers & Artists – Final Thoughts

The list of the greatest pop singers and artists of all time is just as diverse as the music collection.

And while we would have liked to mention all the artists, it’s impossible to include everyone in a list of only 25 singers.

We’ve considered album sales, popularity, and influence to create a list of the 25 best pop singers and artists of all time. 

We hope you are now familiar with the biggest names in the pop music scene over the years.

Check out their best songs to learn more about their stories and why they deserve a place on your playlist. 

You may also like: Best Pop Songs of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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