The following information is provided by Graphiq and PrettyFamous.
The war for the title of “greatest artist of all time” is waged endlessly by fans of every music genre. Some musicians like to take matters into their own hands — Kanye West, for example, is well-known by now for tweeting about his greatness.
It’s a nebulous title to pin down, hard to prove and always changing, but data helps paint a clearer picture. These days, everything can be tallied, from media mentions and award wins to record sales and social media followers. But what it all comes down to is the music, and how much people like to listen to it.
PrettyFamous isn’t interested in proving anyone’s “greatness,” but they have created a list of the 80 artists with the most lifetime listeners. They teamed up with Last.fm to rank artists, including everyone from Adele to The Who, simply by the number of listeners to their songs on the site.
See how popular your favorite artists really are.
#80. Three Doors Down
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,383,102
This southern rock group didn’t make much of a pop-culture impact after their breakout single “Kryptonite,” but over a decade later, the group still tours in the U.S.
#79. Bloc Party
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,392,840
This British indie-rock group’s single “Helicopter” was a hipster summer anthem in 2004. More than 10 years later, their videos still get millions of views on YouTube.
#78. Jack Johnson
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,407,542
This 40-year-old singer’s greatest hit remains “Better Together,” followed closely by “Banana Pancakes.” The one-man show has also dabbled in film composing, creating the soundtrack for “Curious George.”
#77. Avril Lavigne
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,408,773
Lavigne’s premiere single “Complicated” received the most listens of all her songs on Last.fm. Even though she has less of a media presence now, the pop-punk queen still maintains a vast and loyal audience. In 2014, the video for her single “Hello Kitty” garnered more than 100 million views on YouTube.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,413,604
These grungy nu-metal rockers came out of Bakersfield, California in the mid-1990s and dominated alternative charts for much of the decade. They released their 11th studio album in 2013.
#75. Massive Attack
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,419,882
Massive Attack was well-known in many electronic music circles, but when “Teardrop” was used as the opening song for Fox’s smash-hit medical drama, “House,” the band shot to mainstream fame and landed as the 75th most listened to group of all time.
#74. Chris Brown
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,432,680
Brown’s relationship with Rihanna has overshadowed much of his musical career, but at just 26 years old, the soloist has churned out enough hits to be the 74th most listened to artist of all time.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,433,525
The iconic hard-rock band has been going hard since 1973, and is best known for “Back in Black” and “Highway to Hell.”
#72. Bob Dylan
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,450,151
The 74-year-old singer-songwriter has won 10 Grammys and an Oscar throughout his career, and fans have listened to “Like A Rolling Stone” far more than his other songs.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,454,449
Formed in 1991 by Brandon Boyd, Incubus was introduced to America with “Drive.” Taking the song’s lyrics “whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there” to heart, Incubus is still together 25 years later. They released the single “Trust Fall” in 2014.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,457,186
Usher is best known for his fluid dance moves, but “Scream” and “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” have racked up millions of listens.
#69. 50 Cent
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,460,926
50 Cent may be claiming bankruptcy now, but he owes his fame to the phenomenally popular “In Da Club.” He’s also tried his hand in a number of other ventures, including clothing lines and television shows.
#68. The Kooks
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,466,962
This British rock band hails from Brighton and formed in 2000. It took four years for them to achieve mainstream success with “Naive.”
#67. Fall Out Boy
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,472,927
Fall Out Boy became darlings of the emo indie-rock scene in the early 2000s with breakout singles like “Dance, Dance” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs.” The band is still going in 2016, though their musical style (and indie side bangs) have evolved to keep up with the times.
#66. Depeche Mode
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,475,563
Depeche Mode has achieved legendary status with songs like “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence.” The English electronic band is currently working on a new studio album.
#65. David Guetta
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,476,248
The 48-year-old French DJ has been active in the EDM scene since the early 2000s, but didn’t achieve international success until 2010. “Titanium,” featuring Sia, launched him to the top of the charts.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,503,015
Moby is as known for his signature black-framed glasses and bald head as he is for his music. The “Porcelain” singer is a prominent vegan and animal rights activist.
#63. Justin Timberlake
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,512,670
Justin Timberlake began as a curly-haired heartthrob of NSYNC and went on to become a successful solo artist, actor and business mogul. His debut solo album, “Justified” premiered in 2002 with hits like “Cry Me A River” and “Señorita.”
#62. Jimi Hendrix
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,518,146
Hendrix died at the age of 27 in 1970, but nearly half a century later, he’s still one of the most listened to artists of all time, best known for “Purple Haze” and “All Along the Watchtower.”
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,522,704
Placebo made its mark on the alternative rock scene in 1994 and still boasts a legion of fans two decades later. In March 2016, the group announced their “A Place for Us to Dream” tour, which spanned from the U.K. to Russia.
#60. Pearl Jam
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,526,834
Pearl Jam is an alternative rock band that came out of Seattle in 1990. Best known for “Alive,” the group announced a new North American tour in January 2016.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,560,073
The psychedelic rock band never “meant to become a band,” but rose to prominence in 2006 after signing to Columbia Records with singles like “Kids” and “Time to Pretend.”
#58. The Who
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,579,673
The legendary English rock band formed in 1964 and still remains active in the music industry.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,581,286
The singer behind “Hello” has had an impressive career so far, breaking international records with “Someone Like You” and “Rolling in the Deep.” Only 27 years old, she made history with a theme song for the James Bond film “Skyfall,” as it’s the first Bond theme song to win awards at the Golden Globes, the Brit Awards and the Academy Awards.
#56. Christina Aguilera
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,582,743
Aguilera rose to fame with Britney Spears after their shared upbringing at Disney. “Genie in a Bottle” was her first single, but a later endeavor, “Not Myself Tonight” is actually her most listened to song.
#55. Johnny Cash
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,583,196
Johnny Cash had a voice and gravity that transcended his country genre. His most famous song, “Hurt,” was a cover of the 1994 Nine Inch Nails single.
#54. Smashing Pumpkins
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,623,616
Smashing Pumpkins ruled the rock scene for most of the ’90s with songs like “1979” and “Tonight, Tonight.” The group broke up in 2000 and reformed in 2006. In March 2016, the band’s new incarnation started their “In Plainsong” tour in Portland, Oregon.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,651,285
This hard rock band rose to fame in the ’80s with hits like “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman.” In the ’90s, they became vocal opponents of the peer-to-peer file-sharing network, Napster.
#52. Led Zeppelin
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,659,662
Led Zeppelin is considered by many critics to be one of the most successful and influential rock groups in history. After rising to fame in the ’70s, it became largely inactive in the 1980s but still maintains a massive following (and commercial bankability).
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,661,658
Best known for “Song 2” after rising to fame in the late ’80s, Blur still enjoys commercial and critical success. The four member English rock group released “The Magic Whip” in 2015, their first studio album in twelve years.
#50. Rage Against the Machine
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,663,705
Also known as RATM, the Los Angeles-based rap metal band ruled the grunge rock scene in the ’90s.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,670,358
Formed in 1980, the Georgia-based rock group didn’t achieve success until the early ’90s. They are best known for songs like “Losing My Religion” and “Everybody Hurts.”
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,679,064
People love to make fun of Nickelback, but millions of fans apparently love their music. Songs like “How You Remind Me” and “Far Away” have jointly garnered almost 10 million listens on Last.fm.
#47. Death Cab for Cutie
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,690,563
Death Cab for Cutie was one of the most prominent indie rock bands of the early 2000s, topping people’s playlists with songs like “Soul Meets Body” and “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.” Vocalist Ben Gibbard spun off to create the ultra-successful side-project The Postal Service with Jenny Lewis.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,694,201
Aerosmith holds the record as one of the rock bands with the most listeners of all time with singles like “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Fun fact: lead singer Steven Tyler is famous for his tongue.
#45. The Cure
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,705,065
The Cure reached iconic status in the ’80s with songs like “Friday I’m in Love” and “Just Like Heaven.” They still tour today.
#44. The Offspring
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,709,418
The Offspring started in Huntington Beach in the ’80s, and achieved mainstream success in 1994 with the album “Smash.”
#43. White Stripes
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,709,975
Rock duo (and former spouses) the White Stripes topped the indie charts for much of the 2000s, and lead vocalist Jack White went on to have a successful solo career, as well as to form side projects like the Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,716,367
Beck is one of the most influential musicians in the indie rock movement. He’s won 5 Grammys throughout his career.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,741,443
Masters of the pierced-lip emo genre, Blink-182 is best known for songs like “What’s My Age Again,” “I Miss You” and “All the Small Things.”
#40. Pink Floyd
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,800,044
Critically-acclaimed as one of the most influential bands of all time, Pink Floyd dominated the ’60s and ’70s rock scene and remain culturally relevant to this day. 2014’s “The Endless River” is said to be their last album.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,813,431
Weezer has been active in the rock scene since 1992. They are the only band to release four eponymous albums, one as recently as April 2016.
#38. Snow Patrol
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,830,569
Snow Patrol began in Ireland in 1997 but didn’t achieve worldwide recognition until 2005, when the single “Chasing Cars” was featured on an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,873,905
Madonna is known around the world as the original pop diva, making the careers of stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga possible. 57 years old and still going strong, her single “Hung Up” has been played on Last.fm over 3.5 million times.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,913,296
The 29-year-old Canadian rapper began his career in the spotlight as an actor on “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” His most recent single, “Summer Sixteen,” was released in January 2016.
#35. Britney Spears
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,975,573
Arguably the most famous of all the former Mouseketeers, Spears has been dominating the pop and club charts since her debut in the late ’90s. She is currently a resident performer at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
#34. The Doors
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,987,742
The Doors were only officially active from 1965 to 1973, but have made a lasting impression on the rock genre. The group is best known for “Light My Fire” and “Break On Through.”
Total Lifetime Listeners: 2,988,721
Jay-Z rose to fame as a rapper in the ’90s, but has gone on to become a major business mogul, founding the Rocawear clothing line and acquiring TIDAL, the music streaming service. Some might say his biggest success is marrying Beyoncé.
#32. Guns N’ Roses
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,010,438
Guns N’ Roses topped rock charts all through the ’80s, and the band remains incredibly active. They are headliners for 2016’s Coachella Music Festival in California.
#31. Franz Ferdinand
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,020,349
Franz Ferdinand hit it big with the single “Take Me Out” in the mid-2000s. In 2015, the indie rock band announced they were merging with Sparks to form a super-group called FFS.
#30. The Strokes
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,045,585
One of the brightest stars of the indie-rock scene in the 2000s, The Strokes are best known for the vintage sound and minimal productions of their albums “Is This It” and “Room On Fire.”
#29. David Bowie
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,058,316
David Bowie is one of the most influential solo rock stars of our time, contributing decades of cutting-edge music to our culture. He passed away in January 2016 at age 69.
#28. Black Eyed Peas
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,125,428
The Black Eyed Peas are best known for spawning music mogul Will.I.Am and solo sensation Fergie. Fans have listened to the ready-to-go club song “I Gotta Feeling” more than any others.
#27. Maroon 5
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,173,634
Maroon 5 made lead singer Adam Levine a star, showcasing the unique vocals that made him such an asset on “The Voice.” The band is currently working on their sixth studio album.
#26. Arctic Monkeys
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,194,366
Arctic Monkeys is an English rock band formed in 2002. Most known for songs like “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” and “Do I Wanna Know,” they have been on hiatus since 2014.
#25. Kings of Leon
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,214,936
Kings of Leon rose to international fame in 2008 with the single “Sex On Fire.” They are slated to release their seventh studio album in 2016.
#24. Michael Jackson
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,231,260
Known the world over as “The King of Pop,” Michael Jackson was famous for most of the 50 years he was alive. His singles, “Billy Jean,” “Beat It” and “Thriller” received the most listens, and have been played on Last.fm over 15 million times, collectively.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,246,151
Perhaps the most iconic artist of our time, the 34-year-old performer rose to unimaginable fame and success after leaving Destiny’s Child to go solo.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,270,821
Active since the ’70s, U2 churned out chart-topping hits throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Lead singer Bono has become one of the most prominent philanthropists in the world with a net worth of $600 million.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,271,205
The English “virtual band” consists entirely of animated cartoon characters. The unique and gimmicky concept has produced a number of critically and commercially acclaimed singles, like “Clint Eastwood” and “Feel Good Inc.”
#20. System of a Down
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,288,767
The politically-minded rock band formed in 1992 and produced some major hits throughout the ’90s and 2000s, including “Toxicity” and “Chop Suey!” They reunited in 2010 and have been touring since.
#19. The Beatles
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,329,999
Arguably the most famous band of all time, The Beatles have sold over 178 million units in the United States. “Let It Be” and “Yesterday” are their most listened to songs on Last.fm.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,338,417
Oasis became one of the most famous rock groups in the ’90s with singles like “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova.” The group split in 2009.
#17. Katy Perry
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,435,565
The 31-year-old star first turned heads with “I Kissed a Girl” and went on to become a pop-culture dominating diva with her albums “Teenage Dream” and “Prism.”
#16. Green Day
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,460,345
Arguably the most successful pop-punk band of our time, Green Day broke through to mainstream success in 1994 and experienced a major resurgence in the 2000s with their rock opera album “American Idiot.”
#15. Lady Gaga
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,487,082
Lady Gaga has always gotten attention for her outlandish outfits, from crowning her head with Saturn rings to wearing a dress made of raw meat. But the 30-year-old singer-songwriter has gotten nearly 30 million listens from singles like “Bad Romance,” “Pokerface” and “Paparazzi” alone.
#14. The Rolling Stones
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,529,771
Truly legendary, the Rolling Stones celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012, but they’re still not done. In February 2016, they embarked on a month-and-a-half-long tour through Latin America.
#13. Daft Punk
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,533,583
The electronic music duo is best known for never appearing in public without their signature robot masks, but their most famous single “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” has received more than 8.5 million listens on Last.fm.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,639,856
Queen was one of the most influential rock groups of the ’70s and ’80s, led by Freddie Mercury’s groundbreaking vocals and style. The album “Queen Forever,” featuring previously unheard demos of Mercury, was released in 2014.
#11. Linkin Park
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,682,191
Linkin Park rose to international fame with their debut album “Hybrid Theory,” an album that featured hard rock with heavy electronic elements. In November 2015, they announced their seventh studio album.
#10. Foo Fighters
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,784,351
After the death of Nirvana lead Kurt Cobain, drummer Dave Grohl stepped away to form Foo Fighters, which went on to become one of the most successful rock bands of the era.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,864,514
Muse rose to international prominence in 2001 with the album “The Origin of Symmetry.” Their album “Drones” won a Grammy for best rock album in 2016.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 3,987,238
Led by Kurt Cobain, one of the most iconic rock stars of our time, Nirvana defined the grunge-rock scene for the short time it was active. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is still referenced in pop culture to this day.
#7. Kanye West
Total Lifetime Listeners: 4,012,116
Kanye likes to tweet about being the greatest artist of all time, but according to Last.fm, he only ranks No. 7 in terms of listeners. His most popular song by far is “Stronger,” which used samples from Daft Punk.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 4,147,615
Slim Shady enjoyed massive success in the ’90s as the world’s foremost white rapper, and even tried his hand at acting in “8 Mile,” along with a number of guest roles in “Entourage” and “The Interview.”
#5. The Killers
Total Lifetime Listeners: 4,148,985
The Killers were darlings of the indie scene through the 2000s, and achieved mainstream commercial success with the single “Mr. Brightside.”
Total Lifetime Listeners: 4,182,669
Rihanna is one of the most prolific solo artists of the past decade, constantly topping the charts since her breakout hit “Umbrella” in the summer of 2007. She’s released an album nearly every year since “Good Girl Gone Bad,” or maintained a presence on the radio with guest vocals on other artists’ tracks.
#3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Total Lifetime Listeners: 4,304,943
Since forming in 1985, the legendary SoCal rock band has released 10 studio albums. In March 2016, after a five-year hiatus, they announced their eleventh studio album.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 4,429,547
One of the most revered rock bands of all time, Radiohead immediately got attention in 1993 with “Creep.” The band has become a pioneer of the “pay-what-you-want” music distribution strategy.
Total Lifetime Listeners: 5,044,381
Coldplay has a lot of haters, but that comes with the territory of larger-than-life success. Their single, “Viva La Vida” alone has gotten over 14 million listens on Last.fm.