Rolling Stone Made a List of 200 Musicians of All Time- and It left out Many Icons

Phaylen Fairchild
3 min readJan 3, 2023

When it comes to the true judgement of good music, legendary divas, cultural icons and a celebration of genuine talent, look no further than the LGBTQ+ community, many of whose lives revolve around music and celebrating the artistry of sound and storytelling.

In this culture, we have our very roots in celebrating musical artists who are legendary, often in their own time, in every form from drag, parody and impersonation, to discovering more obscure talent that the community’s support pushes into the limelight and then into the stratosphere of fame. Musicians like Madonna and Lady Gaga, even Cher credit the queer community with their storied careers, so when looking to compile a list of the very best of the best, these are the opinions you can trust to be delivered with authenticity.

As we begin the year, and in light of Rolling Stone’s unfortunate and glaring omissions (No Celine?! No Judy Garland?!) we’re going to try to remedy this maligning of our greats by offering up our own list of the best musical artists in history.

The criteria used was cultural embedding, genre influence, intersectional generational appeal, originality, international popularity and recognizability. You will notice more recent pop culture phenoms might be missing, such as Taylor Swift, Katy Perry or Rihanna, which is not a contest to their popularity or talent, but instead a remark on their being closely influenced by an artist who came before. For example, both Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt originated in country and crossed into the pop genre with narrative driven songs, which Swift succeeds at carrying the trend forward.

Here we go!

  1. Whitney Houston
  2. Tina Turner
  3. Michael Jackson
  4. Madonna
  5. Linda Ronstadt
  6. Phil Collins
  7. Mariah Carey
  8. Enya
  9. Celine Dion
  10. Barbara Streisand
  11. Janet Jackson
  12. Diana Ross
  13. Prince (The Artist Formerly Known As)
  14. Judy Garland
  15. Elvis Presley

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Phaylen Fairchild

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright phaylens@gmail.com