Media

15 Most Popular Classic Rock Artists According to Millennials: Ranked

Central Press / Getty Images

Millennials have long-been labeled as being narcissistic, lazy, and praising the virtues of avocado toast. But further analysis reveals something completely different. Millennials are not defined by consumerism, extravagance, and unrestrained spending. On the contrary, they are the generation that has embraced work-life balance, are financially savvy, and are eco-conscious. And when it comes to music, millennials are partial towards authenticity and innovation. 

According to Spotify, music is everything to millennials. They seek soundtracks that will help them escape the daily grind and pressures of life as well as enhance the good times.  Fueled by the explosion of audio streaming services, these digital natives have unprecedented access to the world’s vast music library.  With this in mind, 24/7 Wall st. delved into the results of the survey, The Most Popular Classic Rock/Rock Music Artists (Q1 2024)conducted by yougov.com to determine which were the top 15 most popular classic rock artists according to the millennial generation. 

Respondents were asked whether they had a favorable opinion of each classic rock artist. We then compiled the top 15 classic rock musicians with the highest percentage of favorable ratings out of all millennial respondents. Let’s dive into the results. 

15. Green Day

Source: Rich Fury / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images
American rock band Green Day’s core lineup includes Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 65%

From their roots in the punk rock scene to achieving mainstream success, Green Day has enjoyed staying power for nearly 40 years. The release of their third studio album, “Dookie” in 1994 catapulted the Bay area band into worldwide fame and were a livelier answer to the grunge music scene of the early 90s.

Fans of the band easily connect with their emotionally-relatable music, something that is deeply appreciated by the millennial audience. Selling close to 75 million records worldwide, Green Day has received an abundance of accolades, earning a whopping 20 Grammy Award nominations and winning five. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

14. Phil Collins

Source: Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images
English singer, songwriter, and record producer Phil Collins has had a successful solo career since the 1980s.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 65%

Legendary singer, songwriter, drummer, and former member of English rock band Genesis, Phil Collins’s work has spanned across different musical genres and generations. Known as one of the most successful adult contemporary and pop singers of the 80’s, his music continues to make an impact. His most successful songs include “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)”, “In the Air Tonight”,”One More Night”, “Sussudio”, and “Another Day in Paradise.” As one of the most respected musical creators, his high quality of work and musicianship  attract the millennial audience. 

13. Stevie Nicks

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images
American singer and songwriter Stevie Nicks is known for her work with British-American rock band, Fleetwood Mac, as well as her highly successful solo career.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 66%

Known as the “Fairy Godmother of Rock,” Stevie Nicks continues to inspire countless musicians across a wide span of musical genres. As the first woman to ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once for her work with Fleetwood Mac and second as a successful solo artist, Nicks is known for hits like “Gypsy,” “Rhiannon,” and “Sara,” to name a few. Nicks captivates her audience as she is known for her charisma and her ability to forge a deep connection with her fans. This authentic connection is something that millennials can resonate with. 

12. Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley | Elvis - The Comeback TV Special
Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
Elvis Presley is known as “The King of Rock and Roll.”
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 66%

Known the world over as the undisputed King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley continues to rally new fans of all generations. Following the release of Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, “Elvis,” in 2022, The King’s music saw a surge in sales, with reports like Luminate Data indicating streaming-on-demand numbers exceeding 527 million. Moreover, according to Comscore, when the film was release in June of 2022, one-fifth of tickets purchased were by millennials and Gen Z. Not bad for a musical artist that their grandparents listened to. Harkening back to his victorious return with his studio album, “Elvis is Back!”, Elvis has indeed been back to the spotlight, thanks to the popularity of Luhrmann’s film. 

11. John Lennon

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
John Lennon is best known for being the founder and vocalist for the English rock band, The Beatles.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 66%

As co-founder of the English rock band and musical icons, The Beatles, John Lennon was also the co-writer, along with Paul McCartney, of the band’s songs. Lennon embraced a variety of musical influences to formulate the group’s pop and rock songs that became hits in their early years. His song, “All You Need is Love,” was adopted as a popular anthem in the anti-war movement, with some critics noting that the song made a “distinctly political statement.” During an increasingly hostile political climate at the time, the ongoing Cold War and the Vietnam War, Lennon and second wife Yoko Ono took part in Bed-ins For Peace, where they invited the press to their honeymoon suite as they laid in bed for seven days, promoting world peace. An ICRC survey on millennials’ view of war indicated that 75 per cent of millennials believe that most wars could be avoided and they also believe that there should be limits on the ways that wars are fought. Clearly, Lennon’s stance on war is directly aligned with those millennials with an anti-war mindset. 

10. Fleetwood Mac

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac was formed in London in 1967.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 66%

Another group of classic rock artists that have experienced a resurgence of popularity in their music is Fleetwood Mac. Ignited by their raw emotions, Fleetwood Mac channeled their heartbreak, relationship struggles, and internal battles into enduring music that continues to resonate with younger listeners. The tenth highest selling album in history, “Rumours,” has had one of its songs covered by former One-Direction frontman Harry Styles. More recently, Taylor Swift name-drops Stevie Nicks in her new song “Clara Bow.” 

9. Freddie Mercury

Source: Fox Photos / Getty Images
Freddie Mercury performs at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom, on June 5, 1982.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 67%

Freddie Mercury, the flamboyant frontman of British rock band Queen, also joined the ranks of rock legends immortalized on the big screen, with the biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” In 2018, it was the highest-grossing biopic in movie history. Box Office Mojo reports a surprising demographic for “Bohemian Rhapsody”: 78% of viewers were over 25 years of age. This indicates that the movie not only resonated with Queen’s older and established fanbase, but it also attracted a new generation of fans.

8. Aerosmith

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Rock band Aerosmith at a press junket at the House of Blues on September 18, 2012 in West Hollywood, California.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 67%

Known as the “Bad Boys From Boston,” Aerosmith has been performing since 1970. The four-time Grammy Award-wining rock band’s re-release of their hit “Dream On,” became the best single of the decade in 1976. From 1990 and onward, the band earned six American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and two People’s Choice Awards. 

Featuring Steven Tyler’s soaring vocals, Aerosmith’s sound remains instantly recognizable to millennials.

7. The Rolling Stones

Source: Brian Bahr / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images
The Rolling Stones perform during the “Sprint Super Bowl XL Halftime Show” at Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006 in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 68%

In 2023, iconic British rock band, The Rolling Stones entered the world of TikTok, launching an official a account and the hashtag #The Rolling Stones. Fans on their account will see historic footage, band updates, and exclusive live streams. For a band that has been performing for over 60 years, their energy seems indefatigable. Frontman Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards even created their own personal accounts to keep fans informed about their everyday lives. Driven by a younger demographic, TikTok exposes users to a wider range of music, with The Rolling Stones finding new fans among millennials and Gen Z.

6. Jon Bon Jovi

Source: Skip Bolen / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jon Bon Jovi is known as the founder and lead singer of the rock band, Bon Jovi.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 68%

New Jersey-born singer Jon Bon Jovi’s and his band, Bon Jovi, reached massive popularity with the release of their third album, “Slippery When Wet” in 1986. Their notable songs include “Living on a Prayer,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.” This year, the documentary, “Thank You, Good Night: The Bon Jovi Story,” was released, chronicallying the story of Bon Jovi’s road to stardom and the complexities surrounding Jon Bon Jovi’s vocal surgery and the band’s future. With the release of the documentary via Hulu, having the streaming service that had the highest number of subscribers in the U.S. and Japan, the docuseries is sure to capture the attention of both the Gen Z and millennial audience, which make up 54% of subscribers on the streaming service platform. 

5. Red Hot Chili Peppers

Source: Handout / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images
American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers was formed in Los Angeles in 1982.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 69%

With well over 120 million albums sold worldwide, the Red Hot Chili Peppers hold the record for the most number one singles–15 in total. They also hold the most top ten songs on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart at 28. Blending punk, funk, and hip-hop, the band followed closely behind Nirvana as their music climbed the charts in the early nineties an alternative rock band. Many millennials seem to like The Red Hot Chili Peppers due to their adept instrumentation and the overall vibe of their music. 

4. Linkin Park 

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images
Linkin Park pose with their award at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 8, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 70%

Formed in 1996 in California, Linkin Park is an alternative rock band that fuses together hip hop, heavy metal, pop, and electronica elements. Selling over 100 million records worldwide, the band has also garnered awards, including two Grammy Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, and six American Music Awards, to name a few. Provided that some millennials were teenagers when Linkin Park broke into the music scene, it is very likely that they encountered their music. 

3. Jimi Hendrix

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images
Guitarist and songwriter Jimi Hendrix is regarded as one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 70%

A revolutionary guitarist of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix forever changed the landscape of rock music. The self-taught electric guitarist embodied the psychedelic rock movement of the late 60s. Through the use of wah-wah pedals, feedback, and distortion, Hendrix was determined to create a new guitar language. Hendrix’s unique musicianship and innovations are what continue to fascinate millennial fans today. 

2. Queen

Source: Keystone / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
British rock band Queen has sold over 300 million rock albums worldwide.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 71%

It is commonly believed that the fan base for British rock band Queen is made up mostly of Baby Boomers. Despite its diverse influences, from glam rock to heavy metal, Queen’s music has a wide appeal that cuts across generations. Millennials especially connect with the band’s emotional and powerful sound. With eight gold and six platinum records, Queen has left an indelible mark on music history.

1. The Beatles

The Beatles | Happy Beatles
Source: Hulton Archive / Hulton Archive via Getty Images
Formed in Liverpool in 1960, English rock band, The Beatles, comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
  • Percentage of millennials with a favorable opinion: 72%

Holding the number one spot for the most popular classic rock artist according millennials is none other than the Fab Four from Liverpool,  The Beatles. With their historic and electrifying performance on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, The Beatles ignited the rise of Beatlemania, a frenzy of screaming fans and unprecedented media attention. In 1967, the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released and later ranked as the # 1 album of all-time on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list. With the numerous ways that they can sample The Beatles music, through streaming platforms, there is no doubt that millennials can appreciate the work of these musical pioneers. 

Why We Are Covering This  

Source: Prostock-Studio / iStock via Getty Images
Millennials are an economically powerful segment.

Impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are known for their frugal spending habits. Yet, they remain loyal to brands they connect with. Many pursued university degrees, seeking both financial security and career opportunities. However, in doing so, they have racked up a considerable amount of debt and entered a new employment landscape showing little promise and even meager pay. That is why investors and businesses would do well to cater to this segment as, once they find a business that aligns with their values, they will be loyal customers for the long haul. 

Check out this article if you want to know which clothing brands that Millennials love.

 

 

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.