"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

My Starting Seven – Greatest Music Artists

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present a re-post of my very first post.
Way before blogging made me rich and famous daft and crazy!

Hopefully, more than one person will comment this time around. hehe


Have you ever tried to pick just seven music artists that you love? It’s a difficult task.

Why seven, you ask? Ten is too many, and five is too few.

Where does one begin?

“Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start.”

Woops, that’s “Do-Re-Mi” from the Sound of Music.

I’m sure I’ve left out some great artists that may leave you thinking “what, are you crazy?” But I’m only picking seven.


Here’s my attempt at seven, in no particular order:

1. Frank Sinatra – “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” Can music be smoother or richer?

Sinatra, Blue Eyes, Mad Men

* Great for mood, romance, and background music.
* “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” is one of my personal favorites.
* You can’t go through a New Year’s Eve without hearing a joyful rendition of Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

2. Madonna – Controversial and wildly successful

* She is one of the top-selling artists of all time (just behind the Beatles).
* Exploded on to the music scene in the early 80’s
* Also set fashion on fire with her quirky style.

3. The Beatles – The “Fab Four”

Beatles, Fab Four

* Known as one of the most influential groups in music and pop culture history.
* They are listed as the number one musical act of all time, by many, including Rolling Stone Magazine and Billboard.
* Too many favorite songs to even pick one – okay, “Let It Be.”

4. Michael Jackson – The King of Pop

* What more can you say?
* The “Thriller” album (1982) is still the best-selling album of all time.
* His music and lyrics crossed over several genres and generations.

5. Carrie Underwood – from American Idol winner, to country music and pop super-stardom

* Winner of five Grammys. Has won 116 different music awards.
* I’m a fan of her hit “Before He Cheats.”
* She’s not in the legend category just yet, but she will be before she’s done.

6. Eminem – aka Marshall Mathers

* The white rapper from Detroit with the hard-edged lyrics, and punchy beats, has transformed the hip hop music landscape.
* You can’t argue with ten number one albums on the Billboard Top 200 and an Oscar for Best Original Song (Lose Yourself).
* Check out “Till I Collapse” for inspiration on perseverance.

7. Bruce Springsteen – “The Boss”

* Okay, I had to have the “Boss” on the list – he’s my wife’s favorite. So I lose a spot and save a marriage.
* Still, he has won 20 Grammy Awards, 2 Golden Globes, and an Academy Award (“Streets of Philadelphia”).
* “Born to Run” is #21 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 500 Songs of All Time.


Sorry, Justin Bieber fans – he didn’t make my cut.


After reading my list, who would be in your top seven?


  1. What happened to Luther Vandross?

  2. Backstreet boys???
    Though nice list! Love them all.

  3. I think I will use your list in my computer applications class tomorrow and see what the kids come up with! I’ll let you know!

  4. Hmmm. This makes me want to make one of these, too. Not sure who I would list. The Beatles would possibly make my cut. So many blog options, so little time.

  5. You exhibit quite a diverse taste in music, MJ, at least based on your list of seven. My seven would probably be (in no particular order– except for Depeche Mode, which is my number one FOR SURE):
    1. Depeche Mode
    2. Madonna
    3. Prince
    4. Gogol Bordello
    5. Radiohead
    6. Saint Etienne
    7. Portishead

    • Interesting Dana. I can see you as a Depeche fan. I loved them myself. Will have to refresh my Mode history. Been too long.

      Ah, Radiohead and Prince, also fine choices. Nice list, my friend!

      • I’m a little late on the Depeche bandwagon, but now that I’m on it, I’m the captain of the fan bus! We saw them live in Seattle a few years back. I was grinning for MONTHS afterward! Is it a coincidence that my initials are “D.M.” too? I think not. 😉

  6. Bill Haley and the Comets… for starting Rock and Roll while backing up Sammy Davis Jr. one day… they recorded ‘Rock Around the Clock’… and ‘the rest was history’ as they say.

    The Beatles… of course.

    Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen

    Steely Dan

    Aretha Franklin

    The Rolling Stones

    And for my American Idol… Katherine McPhee.

    • Bill Haley, a visionary for sure.

      Hmm, forgot about Commander Cody.

      Steely, Aretha, and The Stones could easily have been in my top seven. All excellent musicians.

      Katherine McPhee should have a good, long career.

  7. I may be one of the only people in America that doesn’t like “The Boss”. Bryan Adams kicks Bruce’s butt, in my very humble opinion. 😉

    • Love Bryan Adams, as well. Some great songs. Don’t think he’s better than Bruce, but he’s in the same league for sure. Love “When you really love a woman.”

  8. Seven isn’t many at all, once you try to list them. I pick:
    Red Hot Chili Peppers
    The Eagles
    Cat Stevens (he tied with Neil Diamond…)

  9. Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) says:

    Good list. I like Bruce Springstein IF you discount his Born in the USA album. For big namers, I also like Peter Gabriel and U2. I love the lyrics of Leonard Cohen and Neil Young.

    • U2 could easily be in my top seven. Peter Gabriel is in the top 20, but not top seven.

      Cohen and Young could definitely be in the top seven.
      Love Hallelujah – one of the most covered songs in history. Though he is Canadian – hehe.

  10. I started collecting Sinatra records found in thrift shops. Usually a buck. I don’t care about the record , just want the album cover to frame and display on wall.

  11. Bob Seger.

  12. Carrie Underwood, but no Kelly Clarkson???

  13. No Madonna, no no no.

    Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
    Thad Jones/Mel Lewis
    Bob Marley
    Aretha Franklin
    Nina Simone
    Byron Lee and The Dragonnaires

  14. Oooo. I have trouble picking favourite artists because my music tastes are so varied. If I had to narrow it down to seven, though, I guess they would beeee… (in no particular order)

    1. Andrew Lloyd Webber – I’m of the opinion he’s recently gone barking mad, (Love Never Dies? Eugh.) but I can’t deny he’s also madly talented. And I love him forever for putting Phantom of the Opera to song.
    2. Josh Groban – My heart soars to hear his voice.
    3. Alan Menken -Disney songs!! <3
    4. F. T. Island – A kick-ass Korean pop band!
    5. Electric Light Orchestra – British rock with a classical twist. Fond memories listening to hours of their songs on family trips. Fantastic stuff!
    6. Hayley Westenra – The voice of an angel.
    7. Celtic Thunder – A handful of Irishmen who can sing…. sometimes even Celtic songs! 😛

    • Okay, my friend:

      1. I LOVE just about all musicals. All-time best is Les Mis, hands down. Sorry, ALW.
      2. Groban – outstanding.
      3. Menken – who could ever not like Disney tunes by Menken?
      4. ELO – forgot about them. Fantastic Brit pop-rock.
      5. Celtic Thunder – don’t get me started on Irish music. With a name like Monaghan, you know I love all things Irish!
      6. Haven’t heard Hayley Westenra. Must do.

      Good list!

  15. Naomi Baltuck says:

    Mmmm. Nobody mentioned The Clancy Brothers, The Weavers, Tom Lehrer, or Fats Waller. And, um, er….well, Gordon Lightfoot.

  16. Wow! You got tons of comments! You are doing well, being rich and famous. My first blogs are garbage. I have to edit them to death before reposting! Very fun, at least I see how I have improved over the years!

    • Thanks, Jodi. I’m no Jodi, but I’m working on it! hehe

      I pretty much just added pics and re-formatted. I was very surprised it required so little tweaking. Course it was only last August. Ha

      You’re a very good writer, my friend!

  17. It is so hard to pick just seven. Over the years my tastes change so much.

    1) The Beatles/John Lennon’s solo career
    2) Sting
    3) Nirvana
    4) The Red Hot Chili Peppers
    5) Led Zeppelin/Robert Plant’s solo stuff
    6) Tom Petty
    7) Pearl Jam

    • Outstanding list, D-Woww!

      I’m actually with you on every single one of them. I’m shocked.
      LOVE Tom Petty.
      Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit is in my top 20 songs list.

      • Get out! Tom Petty had my heart a long long time ago. I had a chance to see him out in Tacoma, Washington but had to miss out. I’ve seen Sting three times, my first concert was in the 80s and my last was his Brand New Day tour. Best concert I’ve ever seen aside from Robert Plant when I saw him 20 years ago. Oh, and I forgot Neil Young. I saw him (acoustic set) out in Washington State when I was in college and it was absolutely a spiritual experience.

  18. We specialize in obscure artists whom we have seen in concert. We specialize in small venues (I saw Simon and Garfunkle in Oakland 30 years ago and saw no reason to see 17 miles away from the stage again). We usually buy their CD’s because you cannot find the music on Clear Channel. In small venues, the artists usually hang around to autograph those CD’s. Three “known” artists signatures include Aaron Nevile, Mary Chapan Carpenter, and Bill Kirchen (guitarist who did the licks on “Hot Rod Lincoln” with Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airman). All nice folks.

    • Sorry about the delay in this response, Oscar. I’ve been in the middle of moving! UGH!

      Love S&G. Would love to have seen them live. Neville and Carpenter were two of my faves as well. Glad they were nice people, too.

  19. We were JUST talking about this the other day. Let me see if I can remember my answers.
    James Taylor
    Michael Jackson
    Donna the Buffalo (local but tours nationally)
    Bruno Mars
    Rage Against the Machine
    The Beach Boys

    • Great list, Laine.

      MLB loves Bruno Mars right now. I forgot about the Beach Boys. They would be in my top 10 for sure. They have influenced so many other artists. Especially in harmonies.

  20. Yeah so agree with Madonna, Michael and the Fab Four. No Rolling Stones? You strike me as a Stones fan, ha ha Lol. 😉

    My choices? Cant imagine narrowing it down to 7 but lets try:
    Michael Jackson
    Nicki Minaj
    Goo Goo Dolls

    • Love the Stones. They could easily have been top seven. Classic and with great longevity. Same for Aerosmith.

      Love your additions of Oasis, Goo Goo Dolls, and U2.

      U2 should be in my top seven as well.

  21. Quite an interesting and diverse list you have there.
    1. Elton John
    2. Billy Joel
    3. Stevie Wonder
    4. Alanis Morrisette
    5. Ray Charles
    6. Prince
    7. Lionel Richie/Commodores

  22. Mike, you set the bar really high with your first post! It was very informative, visually appealing, etc. Now if you could just do something with that guy who always comments wearing that ivy league hat and glasses. :)

  23. Vladimir (@socialmediatry) says:

    Your list is fairly OK. Raised an eyebrow on Eminem, but alright. And I was just blown away with Madonna’s Superbowl performance. If you ask me, best SB half time show ever, and I’ve seen them a lot.

    • Madonna still rocks it! Don’t care what anybody says, she’s still on top of her game.

      You have to like Eminem … if you can get past the profanity. His lyrics are genius, really.

  24. Copious Gasser says:

    I liked your list until you came to Eminem.

    By the way, hope everything is all right. Haven’t heard from you in a while.

    • Oh, man, I’ve been moving for the last two weeks! It’s been CRAZY! Thanks for the concern, my friend!

      I’m copying my comment about Eminem from above:
      You have to like Eminem … if you can get past the profanity. His lyrics are genius, really.

  25. I wish I could contribute anything wise- but I don’t know much about music, Mike. :( But, I know a nice song when I hear it- i just never know who sings it or what it’s called. :)

  26. sunshine says:

    Entertaining post MJ! :)
    Only one I can think of as a favorite music artist . . . George Michael. :)

  27. Judy Berman says:

    If I did this right, I should posted your blog onto my Facebook page. Keep ’em laughing.

Love to hear from you.

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