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16 Least Popular Classic Rock Artists According to Millennials: Ranked

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It may seem surprising, but millennials have developed a genuine fondness for classic rock—a genre that is typically associated with their grandparents’ generation. Despite being raised in an era where pop, hip-hop, and electronic music dominated the airwaves, many young adults from this demographic are drawn to the enduring appeal of bands like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Queen. 

Earlier this year, legacy acts, or bands that have retained their popularity among fans, have either released albums or have launched toursto the delight of millennials. Some of these include Lenny Kravitz, Sheryl Crow, and Bon Jovi.

But just like millennials have their classic rock artist favorites, they also have strong opinions about classic rock artists they don’t care much about. To determine which classic rock artists were considered least popular among the millennial sector, 24/7 Wall St. examined the results from the survey,The Most Popular Classic Rock/Rock Music Artists (Q1 2024), conducted by yougov.com. We listed 16 classic rock musicians with thelowest percentageof favorable ratings out of all millennial respondents surveyed. Let’s delve into the 16 least popular classic rock artists according to millennials. 

16. Pete Yorn 

Source: Ron Baker (Kingsnake)/Wikimedia Commons
Pete Yorn is known to play most of the instruments featured on his records.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 40%

With notable collaborations such as A-list actress Scarlett Johansson and R.E.M guitarist Peter Buck, New Jersey native Peter Yorn is a singer, songwriter, and musician that burst into the music scene with his critically acclaimed debut album, musicforthemorningafter. 

Yorn composed the score for the movie, “Me, Myself, and Irene,” in 2000. Rolling Stone magazine chose Yorn as one of “Ten to Watch in 2001.” However, with only 40% of millennials expressing a favorable opinion for Yorn, it reflects the overall enthusiasm for the music artist is lukewarm. 

15. Stray Cats 

Source: Fin Costello / Getty Images
The Stray Cats brought back the Rockabilly sound in the early 1980s.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 40%

American rockabilly band, Stray Cats, was formed in Long Island, New York in 1979. Their influences included artists from the 1950s, like Bill Haley and His Comets, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins, and Eddie Cochran. 

Millennials are increasingly drawn to tunes from the past due to their authenticity and lyricism. They also serve as memory markers, reminding them of the time they spent with their parents and grandparents, listening to the oldies. Although the band has caught the attention of such music legends as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, millennials have remained largely unfazed.  

14. Loverboy 

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Loverboy’s Scott Smith performs in Oakland, California.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 40%

More than just an 80s chart-topper, Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend” remains a rallying cry for the workweek weary, a soundtrack to every TGIF celebration. Currently based in Vancouver, the Canadian rock band has earned four multi-platinum albums and continues to play in live shows. During the 2009 Juno Awards, Loverboy was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame. 

13. Bruce Hornsbyand The Range 

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Soft rock band Bruce Hornsby & The Range at the 29th Grammy Awards.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 40%

Bruce Hornsby’s collaborator list reads like a hall of fame of rock royalty, with names like Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, and Crosby, Stills, & Nash gracing his work. The singer, songwriter, and pianist draws his musical inspiration from a variety of genres, southern rock, country rock, bluegrass, folk, jazz, folk rock, and heartland rock, just to name a few. Hornsby’s greatest hit,The Way It Is, earned the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December of 1986. Despite his expansive array of talents, Bruce Hornsby’s music fails to resonate with millennial audiences.

And well, That’s Just the Way It Is!

12. Loggins & Messina 

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons
Loggins & Messina enjoyed chart-topping hits during the early to mid 1970’s.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 39%

Musical duo, Loggins & Messina, were a 1970’s rock band that tugged at the sentimental heartstrings with their sweet tune, “House at Pooh Corner.”After selling 16 million records, Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina parted ways in 1976. Loggins launched a successful solo career, co-writing toe-tapping hits like “Footloose”and singing “Danger Zone”, for Top Gun’s movie soundtrack. 

Though Kenny Loggins’ music has enjoyed staying power for 40+ years, it fails to move most millennials’ feet

11. Billy Squier 

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons
Billy Squier was known as the “personification of early 1980s rock music.”
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 39%

Popular in the early 1980s, Billy Squier’s music videos were on heavy rotation on MTV. The American singer and songwriter is known for hits such as “Lonely is The Night,” “Stroke,” and “In The Dark.” He had five Top 10 Mainstream Rock hits and two Top 20 Singles, and three platinum selling albums. According to some posters on reddit, Squier was not destined for rock legend status, especially when a certain music video, “Rock Me Tonight,” was, as one poster put it,“hilariously awful.” 

10. Bo Bice 

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons
Bo Bice is a modern day Southern rock musician.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 39%

Born in Huntsville, Alabama, Bo Bice was up against Carrie Underwood during the fourth season of American Idol in 2005 and considered one of the most watched seasons in the history of the show.  Prior to his auditioning for American Idol, Bice was busy performing the night club circuit, also releasing a solo album. 

The southern rock singer reached second place in the Billboard Top 100 chart for version of “Inside Your Heaven.” RCA Records dropped Bice after his next album, “The Real Thing,” achieved only moderate success.

9. Måneskin

Source: Fred Gasch/Wikimedia Commons
Italian rock band Måneskin was formed in Rome in 2016.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 39%

Italian rock band Måneskin reached international stardom when they won the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, for their native Italy. Not to be defined by a single music genre, the band can be labeled as funk rock, hard rock, glam rock, alternative rock, as well as pop rock.

At the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, the band won The Best Rock Video Award for their single, “The Loneliest.” They are known to draw both their musical and fashion influences from David Bowie, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones, among others. With less than 40% of millennials holding a favorable opinion, this Roman, Gen Z band has certainly captured the attention of a young Gen Z audience. 

8. Robert Palmer 

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Robert Palmer was an English singer and songwriter.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 38%

Among the many music artists who dominated MTV in the 80s, Robert Palmer stood out with his signature music video style – featuring tall models with slicked-back hair and bold red lips in his most popular hit, “Addicted to Love.”  His unique style combined a wide range of music genres, such as funk, pop, rock, jazz, soul, reggae, and blues. With a musical career spanning 40 years, earning two Grammy Awards, an MTV Music Award, and nominated for a Brit Award. 

However memorable his signature musical videos were, millennials were not exactly addicted to his music. 

7. Neil Sedaka 

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Neil Sedaka has penned or co-written over 500 songs for himself or other artists.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 37%

American singer, songwriter, and pianist, Neil Sedaka, produced a string of hits during the 1960s, including “Calendar Girl,” “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen,” and “Breaking Up is Hard To Do.” Sedaka was also a founding member of the American doo-wop band, The Tokens. Sedaka was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983. 

Given the saccharine-infused musical lyrics of heartache and breakup, it’s no wonder that millennials might find Sedaka’s music outdated. 

6. Anwar Hadid 

Watermelon Pictures Private Screening Of Walled Off
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Anwar Hadid is the youngest sibling of supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 36%

The  younger sibling of uber-famous supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, Anwar Hadid is an actor, producer, and model. At only 19, Hadid released his debut album “Bleach,” which featured a collaboration with fellow actor and friend, Jaden Smith, in April 2019.

According to GQ Middle East, Hadid is a “poster child for Gen Z,” and quite vociferous about social justice. This could be the reason why  millennials don’t quite relate to Hadid or his music. 

5. Todd Rundgren 

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Todd Rundgren played with bands Nazz and Utopia.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 36%

Born in Philadelphia, Todd Rundgren was one of the first music artists to adopt computer software and to leverage the Internet to deliver his music. He is also considered a pioneer in progressive rock and electronic music. 

Between 1972 and 1978, four of Rundgren’s singles reached the Top 40 Singles on Billboard’s Hot 100. Rundgren became heavily involved in musical production. He was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021. Although  his eclectic sound and his production work have been subjects of praise, millennials have simply not caught interest. 

4. Kaleo 

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images
Icelandic alternative rock band, Kaleo, sold out their first headline tour in the U.S.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 36%

Grammy-nominated Icelandic musical group, Kaleo, was formed in Mosfellsbær in 2012. Their music influences include blues rock, alternative rock, and indie folk. In 2014, their single, “All The Pretty Girls,” was streamed 87 million times on Spotify. In 2015, they signed with Atlantic Records and continued to garner attention throughout the U.S. In fact, their appearance at Austin’s South By Southwest Festival earned them a writeup from Esquire magazine, and were featured in “40 Bands You Need to Hear.”

With Kaleo’s bluesy sound, reminiscent of folk and blues artists of the past, you would think they would catch the attention of millennials, however, their music hasn’t achieved mass popularity among this demographic. 

3. Robbie Robertson 

Source: RB / Getty Images
Robbie Robertson was known as one of Martin Scorsese’s “key collaborators” for the music scores in his films.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 36%

Canadian musician Robbie Robertson was known as Bob Dylan’s lead guitarist during the mid 1960’s and through the mid 1970’s. He received numerous accolades for his work, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and Canada’s Walk of Fame as a member of the musical group, The Band. 

His work also included producing music for film and television soundtracks like Martin Scorcese’s rockumentary, “The Last Waltz” and the movie, “Raging Bull.” Despite Robertson’s involvement with The Band and the influence it had on other popular musical artists, they have failed to appeal to most millennials. 

2. JXDN

Source: Andrew Evenson/Wikimedia Commons
Jaden Hossler is known by his professional name of JXDN.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 35%

Known professionally as JXDN, Jaden Hossler is an American singer, songwriter, and TikTok personality. With 9.2 million followers on TikTok, JXDN released his debut album “Comatose,” in February 2020. Travis Barker signed him onto his own label, DTA Records, along with Elektra Records. Although JXDN has been garnering a lot of attention, given his appearance on a YouTube video for Seventeen Magazine,it appears JXDN is attracting a relatively younger, teenage fanbase. It remains to be seen if this will spill over to the millennial demographic. 

1. Frank Beard

Source: Fin Costello / Getty Images
Frank Beard is famously known as the drummer for Texas rock band, ZZ Top.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 34%

Topping the list for the Least Popular Classic Rock Artist, according to Millennials is the drummer for ZZ Top, Frank Beard. Born in Frankston, Texas, Beard ironically played with his fellow band members, sans the iconic beard, at least, not until 2013. The trio released their first album on London records in January 1971. 

Legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards inducted ZZ Top into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. So if Frank Beard is ranked least popular among millennials, it might be due to their preference for a different type of drumming style in classic rock music compared to ZZ Top’s sound.”

Why We Are Covering This

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Millennials are an economic force to be reckoned with.

Considered the largest adult age group in the world, millennials have a significant influence on just about any industry today. This segment of the population cares deeply for the environment and the impact that we all have on our current resources.  Millennials will reward businesses and organizations with their patronage if their mission and efforts align with their deeply rooted values. 

It is important to note that millennials are cautious investors, and with the uncertain, topsy-turvy economic landscape and job market they have to navigate, they still want to invest, but they are keenly aware about the social impact. They are the demographic that cares most about making a difference. 

To read more about which city millennials are choosing to call home, check out this article. 

 

 

 

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