Most Famous Musician Born the Year You Were Born

August 1, 2018 by Evan Comen

Source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Wikimedia Commons
Fame is elusive for performing artists, and for only a select few, fame is enduring. For musicians, fame was once measured by record and concert ticket sales as well as the chart position of their singles and albums on the Billboard.

With the advent of online media and streaming services, the distribution of music has changed dramatically, as well as the way we gauge fame.

To determine today’s most famous musician born each year since 1930, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on Wikipedia page views, Spotify listeners, and Billboard chart performance.

Click here to see the most famous musicians born the year you were born.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

1930
> Musician: Ray Charles
> Spotify followers: 1.21 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.47 million
> Birthplace: Albany, GA
> Runner-up: Don Ho

[in-text-ad]

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

1931
> Musician: Sam Cooke
> Spotify followers: 0.67 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.02 million
> Birthplace: Clarksdale, MS
> Runner-up: Brook Benton

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

1932
> Musician: Johnny Cash
> Spotify followers: 2.66 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.03 million
> Birthplace: Kingsland, AR
> Runner-up: Petula Clark

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

1933
> Musician: James Brown
> Spotify followers: 1.12 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.35 million
> Birthplace: Barnwell, SC
> Runner-up: Willie Nelson

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1934
> Musician: Frankie Valli
> Spotify followers: 0.06 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.28 million
> Birthplace: Newark, NJ
> Runner-up: Johnnie Taylor

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

1935
> Musician: Elvis Presley
> Spotify followers: 2.20 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 6.88 million
> Birthplace: Tupelo, MS
> Runner-up: Johnny Mathis

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1936
> Musician: Glen Campbell
> Spotify followers: 0.12 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.28 million
> Birthplace: Billstown, AR
> Runner-up: Roy Orbison

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty Images

1937
> Musician: Roberta Flack
> Spotify followers: 0.29 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 0.38 million
> Birthplace: Black Mountain, NC
> Runner-up: Nancy Wilson

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1938
> Musician: Kenny Rogers
> Spotify followers: 0.49 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.19 million
> Birthplace: Houston, TX
> Runner-up: Gordon Lightfoot

Source: Evening Standard / Getty Images

1939
> Musician: Marvin Gaye
> Spotify followers: 2.34 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.93 million
> Birthplace: Washington, DC
> Runner-up: Tina Turner

Source: Harry Benson / Getty Images

1940
> Musician: John Lennon
> Spotify followers: 8.74 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.27 million
> Birthplace: Liverpool, England
> Runner-up: Dionne Warwick

[in-text-ad]

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1941
> Musician: Neil Diamond
> Spotify followers: 0.48 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.51 million
> Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
> Runner-up: Bob Dylan

Source: Mike Coppola / Getty Images

1942
> Musician: Paul McCartney
> Spotify followers: 8.74 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.19 million
> Birthplace: Liverpool, England
> Runner-up: Aretha Franklin

Source: Michael Hickey / Getty Images

1943
> Musician: Mick Jagger
> Spotify followers: 5.10 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.60 million
> Birthplace: Dartford, England
> Runner-up: John Denver

Source: ShowBizIreland / Getty Images

1944
> Musician: Diana Ross
> Spotify followers: 0.66 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.85 million
> Birthplace: Detroit, MI
> Runner-up: Gladys Knight

Source: Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

1945
> Musician: Rod Stewart
> Spotify followers: 0.85 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.76 million
> Birthplace: London, England
> Runner-up: Eric Clapton

Source: Sam Morris / Getty Images

1946
> Musician: Cher
> Spotify followers: 0.69 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.53 million
> Birthplace: El Centro, CA
> Runner-up: Freddie Mercury

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

1947
> Musician: Elton John
> Spotify followers: 1.71 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.03 million
> Birthplace: London, England
> Runner-up: David Bowie

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

1948
> Musician: Olivia Newton-John
> Spotify followers: 0.23 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.10 million
> Birthplace: Cambridge, England
> Runner-up: James Taylor

Source: Brian Ach / Getty Images

1949
> Musician: Billy Joel
> Spotify followers: 1.14 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.21 million
> Birthplace: New York City, NY
> Runner-up: Bruce Springsteen

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1950
> Musician: Stevie Wonder
> Spotify followers: 2.86 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.05 million
> Birthplace: Saginaw, MI
> Runner-up: Tom Petty

[in-text-ad]

Source: Andrew Toth / Getty Images

1951
> Musician: Sting
> Spotify followers: 0.90 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.91 million
> Birthplace: Wallsend, England
> Runner-up: Phil Collins

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1952
> Musician: George Strait
> Spotify followers: 0.81 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.03 million
> Birthplace: Poteet, TX
> Runner-up: Paul Stanley

Source: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images

1953
> Musician: Michael Bolton
> Spotify followers: 0.44 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 0.76 million
> Birthplace: New Haven, CT
> Runner-up: Pat Benatar

Source: Getty Images / Getty Images

1954
> Musician: Yanni
> Spotify followers: 0.18 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 0.59 million
> Birthplace: Kalamata, Greece
> Runner-up: Jermaine Jackson

Source: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

1955
> Musician: Reba McEntire
> Spotify followers: 0.65 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.90 million
> Birthplace: Mcalester, OK
> Runner-up: Billy Idol

Source: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

1956
> Musician: Kenny G
> Spotify followers: 0.36 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 0.53 million
> Birthplace: Seattle, WA
> Runner-up: Teena Marie

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Paul Morigi / Getty Images

1957
> Musician: Gloria Estefan
> Spotify followers: 0.22 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.08 million
> Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
> Runner-up: Vince Gill

Source: Phil Walter / Getty Images

1958
> Musician: Michael Jackson
> Spotify followers: 5.87 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 8.55 million
> Birthplace: Gary, IN
> Runner-up: Prince

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1959
> Musician: Sade
> Spotify followers: 1.18 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.27 million
> Birthplace: Ibadan, Nigeria
> Runner-up: Bryan Adams

Source: Chelsea Lauren / Getty Images

1960
> Musician: Bono
> Spotify followers: 3.14 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.42 million
> Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
> Runner-up: Amy Grant

[in-text-ad]

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1961
> Musician: Toby Keith
> Spotify followers: 0.92 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 0.58 million
> Birthplace: Clinton, OK
> Runner-up: Enya

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1962
> Musician: Garth Brooks
> Spotify followers: 0.50 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.44 million
> Birthplace: Tulsa, OK
> Runner-up: Sheryl Crow

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1963
> Musician: James Hetfield
> Spotify followers: 7.45 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 0.95 million
> Birthplace: Downey, CA
> Runner-up: Whitney Houston

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

1964
> Musician: Lenny Kravitz
> Spotify followers: 1.21 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.84 million
> Birthplace: New York City, NY
> Runner-up: Eazy-E

Source: Al Bello / Getty Images

1965
> Musician: Shania Twain
> Spotify followers: 1.09 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 3.33 million
> Birthplace: Windsor, Canada
> Runner-up: Dr. Dre

Source: Francois Nel / Getty Images

1966
> Musician: Janet Jackson
> Spotify followers: 1.05 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.24 million
> Birthplace: Gary, IN
> Runner-up: Martina McBride

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Frederick Breedon IV / Getty Images

1967
> Musician: Tim McGraw
> Spotify followers: 2.31 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.29 million
> Birthplace: Delhi, LA
> Runner-up: R. Kelly

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1968
> Musician: Kenny Chesney
> Spotify followers: 1.97 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 0.89 million
> Birthplace: Knoxville, TN
> Runner-up: LL Cool J

Source: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

1969
> Musician: Jennifer Lopez
> Spotify followers: 5.00 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.99 million
> Birthplace: New York City, NY
> Runner-up: Ice Cube

Source: Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images

1970
> Musician: Mariah Carey
> Spotify followers: 3.32 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 3.64 million
> Birthplace: Long Island, NY
> Runner-up: DMX

[in-text-ad]

Source: Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

1971
> Musician: Mary J. Blige
> Spotify followers: 1.49 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.20 million
> Birthplace: New York City, NY
> Runner-up: Snoop Dogg

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

1972
> Musician: Eminem
> Spotify followers: 18.51 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 8.43 million
> Birthplace: Saint Joseph, MO
> Runner-up: Brad Paisley

Source: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

1973
> Musician: Nas
> Spotify followers: 1.31 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.11 million
> Birthplace: New York City, NY
> Runner-up: Akon

Source: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

1974
> Musician: Nelly
> Spotify followers: 1.08 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 0.97 million
> Birthplace: Austin, TX
> Runner-up: Da Brat

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1975
> Musician: Sia
> Spotify followers: 7.10 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 3.11 million
> Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
> Runner-up: Enrique Iglesias

Source: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

1976
> Musician: Blake Shelton
> Spotify followers: 3.55 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.55 million
> Birthplace: Ada, OK
> Runner-up: Luke Bryan

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

1977
> Musician: Kanye West
> Spotify followers: 8.06 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 5.53 million
> Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
> Runner-up: Shakira

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

1978
> Musician: Usher
> Spotify followers: 6.27 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.21 million
> Birthplace: Dallas, TX
> Runner-up: John Legend

Source: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

1979
> Musician: Adam Levine
> Spotify followers: 12.24 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.46 million
> Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
> Runner-up: Pete Wentz

Source: Angela Weiss / Getty Images

1980
> Musician: Christina Aguilera
> Spotify followers: 3.32 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.56 million
> Birthplace: New York City, NY
> Runner-up: Gucci Mane

[in-text-ad]

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1981
> Musician: Justin Timberlake
> Spotify followers: 6.57 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 5.50 million
> Birthplace: Memphis, TN
> Runner-up: Britney Spears

Source: Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images

1982
> Musician: Lil Wayne
> Spotify followers: 6.38 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 2.97 million
> Birthplace: New Orleans, LA
> Runner-up: Nicki Minaj

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty Images

1983
> Musician: Future
> Spotify followers: 6.90 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.83 million
> Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
> Runner-up: Carrie Underwood

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

1984
> Musician: Katy Perry
> Spotify followers: 10.72 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.07 million
> Birthplace: Santa Barbara, CA
> Runner-up: Calvin Harris

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1985
> Musician: Bruno Mars
> Spotify followers: 14.96 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 6.32 million
> Birthplace: Honolulu, HI
> Runner-up: J. Cole

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1986
> Musician: Drake
> Spotify followers: 23.67 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.96 million
> Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
> Runner-up: Lady Gaga

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1987
> Musician: Kendrick Lamar
> Spotify followers: 10.03 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.32 million
> Birthplace: Compton, CA
> Runner-up: Wiz Khalifa

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

1988
> Musician: Rihanna
> Spotify followers: 25.40 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 5.61 million
> Birthplace: St. Michael, Barbados
> Runner-up: Adele

Source: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

1989
> Musician: Taylor Swift
> Spotify followers: 13.90 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 7.09 million
> Birthplace: Reading, PA
> Runner-up: Chris Brown

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

1990
> Musician: The Weeknd
> Spotify followers: 11.51 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 3.19 million
> Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
> Runner-up: Iggy Azalea

[in-text-ad]

Source: WPA Pool / Getty Images

1991
> Musician: Ed Sheeran
> Spotify followers: 29.10 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 7.43 million
> Birthplace: Hebden Bridge, England
> Runner-up: NF

Source: Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

1992
> Musician: Cardi B
> Spotify followers: 3.12 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 18.24 million
> Birthplace: The Bronx, NY
> Runner-up: Demi Lovato

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1993
> Musician: Ariana Grande
> Spotify followers: 16.83 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 6.11 million
> Birthplace: Boca Raton, FL
> Runner-up: Meghan Trainor

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

1994
> Musician: Justin Bieber
> Spotify followers: 24.00 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 5.97 million
> Birthplace: London, Canada
> Runner-up: Lil Uzi Vert

Source: Paul Morigi / Getty Images

1995
> Musician: Post Malone
> Spotify followers: 5.33 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 8.74 million
> Birthplace: Syracuse, NY
> Runner-up: Dua Lipa

Source: Mark Davis / Getty Images

1996
> Musician: Alessia Cara
> Spotify followers: 3.49 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.92 million
> Birthplace: Brampton, Canada
> Runner-up: 6IX9INE

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

1997
> Musician: Kodak Black
> Spotify followers: 3.35 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.98 million
> Birthplace: Pompano Beach, FL
> Runner-up: Camila Cabello

Source: Handout / Getty Images

1998
> Musician: Shawn Mendes
> Spotify followers: 10.55 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 4.88 million
> Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
> Runner-up: XXXTENTACION

Source: Aaron J. Thornton / Getty Images

1999
> Musician: Trippie Redd
> Spotify followers: 1.36 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 1.78 million
> Birthplace: Canton, OH
> Runner-up: YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

2000
> Musician: Lil Pump
> Spotify followers: 3.58 million
> Wikipedia page views (1 yr.): 6.17 million
> Birthplace: Miami, FL
> Runner-up: Willow Smith

Detailed findings and methodology:

The most famous artists today who were active in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s were not necessarily the most popular musicians of their day. Tastes change, and the fame of many of the most popular artists in the mid-20th century did not last. For example, of the 10 artists who had the No. 1 song of the year from 1970 to 1980, three have fewer than 450,000 monthly Spotify listeners today. For context, there are thousands of artists with at least half a million monthly listeners.

The title of most famous musician born in a given year, as determined by our index, is more contested in some years than others. Some of the closest competitions were between artists in similar music categories.

For example, the top two contenders for the most famous musician born in 1978 are Usher and John Legend. Though Legend has eclipsed Usher in terms of daily average Wikipedia page views and monthly Spotify listeners, Usher’s appearance on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs of all time with “Yeah!” and Billboard Top 200 Albums of all time with “Confessions” pushed his celebrity index score above that of Legend. Usher has spent a total of 1,010 weeks on the Hot 100 Songs chart, the ninth longest stay of any artist.

Other tightly contested years with musicians from similar music genres include 1947, when rock icons Elton John and David Bowie were born. Similarly, born in 1951, Sting and Phil Collins, former lead singers of rock bands The Police and Genesis who have fashioned successful solo careers, compete for the most famous musician that year.

Other years feature performers whose fame is enhanced by the news they make. Pop stars Cardi B and Demi Lovato were both born in 1992. This year has been a big one for Cardi B. She became the first female rap artist to post two No. 1 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, and she also gave birth to her first child. Cardi B weighed in with more than 18.24 million Wikipedia page views. She topped Lovato, whose relapse into drug addiction made headlines earlier in July.

Whereas recording was once prohibitively expensive for many potential stars, today’s artists have access to a wider array of recording options and easier distribution platforms than their predecessors.

Drake and Lil Wayne, the most famous musicians of 1986 and 1982, respectively, have already surpassed the record previously set by the Beatles and Elvis Presley for the most songs on the Billboard Hot 100. Pop divas Rihanna and Taylor Swift are well on their way to accomplishing the same feat. Presley, born in 1935, still has the most Wikipedia page views with nearly 6.9 million.

With access to streaming technology and the ability to distribute their art across an increasing number of new mediums, the music stars of today may leave a larger and more enduring legacy than any artist before them.

To determine the most famous musician born each year since 1930, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index based on Wikipedia page views, Spotify followers, and Billboard chart performance. The list of musicians within the index consists of the 818 artists that were listed among the most popular musicians listed by their birth year on celebrity profile aggregation website Famous Birthdays. The Wikipedia page view metric consists of annual page views over the period from July 29, 2017 to July 29, 2018. Total Spotify followers were also included in the index. For artists who have both been in a band or multiple bands and recorded as a solo artist, the career stage with the most monthly Spotify listeners is included in the index. Also included in the index are the total numbers of weeks each artist spent on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts going back to 1960. Due to these constraints, commercial success of artists prior to 1960 may have been overlooked. For artists who had greater chart success with their bands than they did with solo work – such as John Lennon – we considered the band only when looking at Billboard performance.