Special Report

Most Famous Musician Born the Year You Were Born

Mike Lawrie / Getty Images

Every generation has its own musical heroes. These artists have huge fan followings, sell millions of records, and help define the sound of each generation. And while the popularity of musicians is constantly shifting, those who reach the top often achieve an enduring status as a cultural icon.

It’s not only popular music that has changed over the years, but also the industry itself. For musicians, fame was once measured by record and concert ticket sales as well as chart positions of their singles and albums on Billboard, the bible of music information and data.

With the advent of online media and streaming services, the distribution of music has changed dramatically, as has the way fans interact with their favorite musicians. Today’s newest stars are active on social media and other digital platforms. These are the year’s youngest pop stars.

24/7 Tempo used modern measures to determine the most famous musician born each year since 1930. We created an index based on Wikipedia page views, Spotify listeners, and Billboard chart performance.

The most famous artists by these measures 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, many artists who once had chart-topping hits have relatively few Spotify listeners today.

Yet others remain hugely popular despite the age of their music. Elvis “the King” Presley is one such example. His most popular songs were released more than 60 years ago yet remain beloved by music fans. These are the most popular Elvis Presley songs.

Click here to see the most famous musician born the year you were born.

To determine the most famous musician born each year since 1930, 24/7 Tempo constructed an index based on Wikipedia page views, Spotify followers, and Billboard chart performance. We reviewed 818 musicians listed as among the most popular by birth year by celebrity profile aggregation website Famous Birthdays. The Wikipedia page view metric consists of annual page views over the period from Oct. 1, 2018 to Oct. 1, 2019. Total Spotify followers was also included in the index. For artists who have both been in a band or multiple bands as well as recorded as a solo artist, the career stage with the most monthly Spotify listeners is included in the index. Also included in the index is the total number 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 with their solo work – such as John Lennon – we considered the band only when looking at Billboard performance.

Source: Express Newspapers / Getty Images

1930
> Musician: Ray Charles
> Birthday: September 23, 1930
> Spotify followers: 1.4 million
> Birthplace: Albany, GA
> Runner-up: Don Ho

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Source: RCA Victor Records / Wikimedia Commons

1931
> Musician: Sam Cooke
> Birthday: January 22, 1931
> Spotify followers: 0.9 million
> Birthplace: Clarksdale, MS
> Runner-up: Brook Benton

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

1932
> Musician: Johnny Cash
> Birthday: February 26, 1932
> Spotify followers: 3.5 million
> Birthplace: Kingsland, AR
> Runner-up: Petula Clark

Source: Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

1933
> Musician: James Brown
> Birthday: May 3, 1933
> Spotify followers: 1.4 million
> Birthplace: Barnwell, SC
> Runner-up: Willie Nelson

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1934
> Musician: Frankie Valli
> Birthday: May 3, 1934
> Spotify followers: 0.3 million
> Birthplace: Newark, NJ
> Runner-up: Johnnie Taylor

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

1935
> Musician: Elvis Presley
> Birthday: January 8, 1935
> Spotify followers: 3.4 million
> Birthplace: Tupelo, MS
> Runner-up: Johnny Mathis

Source: Michael Buckner / Getty Images

1936
> Musician: Glen Campbell
> Birthday: April 22, 1936
> Spotify followers: 0.2 million
> Birthplace: Billstown, AR
> Runner-up: Roy Orbison

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Source: Andy Kropa / Getty Images

1937
> Musician: Roberta Flack
> Birthday: February 10, 1937
> Spotify followers: 0.4 million
> Birthplace: Black Mountain, NC
> Runner-up: Nancy Wilson

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1938
> Musician: Kenny Rogers
> Birthday: August 21, 1938
> Spotify followers: 0.9 million
> Birthplace: Houston, TX
> Runner-up: Gordon Lightfoot

Source: Evening Standard / Getty Images

1939
> Musician: Marvin Gaye
> Birthday: April 2, 1939
> Spotify followers: 3.0 million
> Birthplace: Washington, DC
> Runner-up: Tina Turner

Source: Harry Benson / Getty Images

1940
> Musician: John Lennon
> Birthday: October 9, 1940
> Spotify followers: 13.6 million
> Birthplace: Liverpool, England
> Runner-up: Dionne Warwick

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Source: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

1941
> Musician: Neil Diamond
> Birthday: January 24, 1941
> Spotify followers: 0.9 million
> Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
> Runner-up: Bob Dylan

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1942
> Musician: Paul McCartney
> Birthday: June 18, 1942
> Spotify followers: 13.6 million
> Birthplace: Liverpool, England
> Runner-up: Aretha Franklin

Source: Fiona Goodall / Getty Images

1943
> Musician: Mick Jagger
> Birthday: July 26, 1943
> Spotify followers: 7.4 million
> Birthplace: Dartford, England
> Runner-up: John Denver

Source: ShowBizIreland / Getty Images

1944
> Musician: Diana Ross
> Birthday: March 26, 1944
> Spotify followers: 0.9 million
> Birthplace: Detroit, MI
> Runner-up: Gladys Knight

Source: Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

1945
> Musician: Rod Stewart
> Birthday: January 10, 1945
> Spotify followers: 1.6 million
> Birthplace: London, England
> Runner-up: Eric Clapton

Source: Sam Morris / Getty Images

1946
> Musician: Cher
> Birthday: May 20, 1946
> Spotify followers: 1.2 million
> Birthplace: El Centro, CA
> Runner-up: Freddie Mercury

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Source: Ian Gavan / Getty Images

1947
> Musician: Elton John
> Birthday: March 25, 1947
> Spotify followers: 3.7 million
> Birthplace: London, England
> Runner-up: David Bowie

Source: Scott Barbour / Getty Images

1948
> Musician: Olivia Newton-John
> Birthday: September 26, 1948
> Spotify followers: 0.5 million
> Birthplace: Cambridge, England
> Runner-up: James Taylor

Source: Brad Barket / Getty Images

1949
> Musician: Billy Joel
> Birthday: May 9, 1949
> Spotify followers: 2.1 million
> Birthplace: New York City, NY
> Runner-up: Bruce Springsteen

Source: Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

1950
> Musician: Stevie Wonder
> Birthday: May 13, 1950
> Spotify followers: 3.8 million
> Birthplace: Saginaw, MI
> Runner-up: Tom Petty

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Source: Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

1951
> Musician: Sting
> Birthday: October 2, 1951
> Spotify followers: 3.0 million
> Birthplace: Wallsend, England
> Runner-up: Phil Collins

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1952
> Musician: George Strait
> Birthday: May 18, 1952
> Spotify followers: 1.5 million
> Birthplace: Poteet, TX
> Runner-up: Paul Stanley

Source: Bob Levey / Getty Images

1953
> Musician: Michael Bolton
> Birthday: February 26, 1953
> Spotify followers: 0.8 million
> Birthplace: New Haven, CT
> Runner-up: Pat Benatar

Source: Bbadventure / Wikimedia Commons

1954
> Musician: Stevie Ray Vaughan
> Birthday: October 3, 1954
> Spotify followers: 1.3 million
> Birthplace: Dallas, TX
> Runner-up: Yanni

Source: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

1955
> Musician: Reba McEntire
> Birthday: March 28, 1955
> Spotify followers: 1.0 million
> Birthplace: Mcalester, OK
> Runner-up: Billy Idol

Source: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

1956
> Musician: Kenny G
> Birthday: June 5, 1956
> Spotify followers: 0.5 million
> Birthplace: Seattle, WA
> Runner-up: Teena Marie

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Source: Brad Barket / Getty Images

1957
> Musician: Gloria Estefan
> Birthday: September 1, 1957
> Spotify followers: 0.3 million
> Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
> Runner-up: Vince Gill

Source: Rick Stewart / Getty Images

1958
> Musician: Michael Jackson
> Birthday: August 29, 1958
> Spotify followers: 12.0 million
> Birthplace: Gary, IN
> Runner-up: Prince

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1959
> Musician: Sade
> Birthday: January 16, 1959
> Spotify followers: 1.7 million
> Birthplace: Ibadan, Nigeria
> Runner-up: Bryan Adams

Source: ShowBizIreland / Getty Images

1960
> Musician: Bono
> Birthday: May 10, 1960
> Spotify followers: 5.6 million
> Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
> Runner-up: Amy Grant

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Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1961
> Musician: Toby Keith
> Birthday: July 8, 1961
> Spotify followers: 1.1 million
> Birthplace: Clinton, OK
> Runner-up: Enya

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

1962
> Musician: Garth Brooks
> Birthday: February 7, 1962
> Spotify followers: 0.7 million
> Birthplace: Tulsa, OK
> Runner-up: Sheryl Crow

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1963
> Musician: James Hetfield
> Birthday: August 3, 1963
> Spotify followers: 11.9 million
> Birthplace: Downey, CA
> Runner-up: Whitney Houston

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

1964
> Musician: Lenny Kravitz
> Birthday: May 26, 1964
> Spotify followers: 1.7 million
> Birthplace: New York City, NY
> Runner-up: Eazy-E

Source: Al Bello / Getty Images

1965
> Musician: Shania Twain
> Birthday: August 28, 1965
> Spotify followers: 1.7 million
> Birthplace: Windsor, Canada
> Runner-up: Dr. Dre

Source: Francois Nel / Getty Images

1966
> Musician: Janet Jackson
> Birthday: May 16, 1966
> Spotify followers: 1.7 million
> Birthplace: Gary, IN
> Runner-up: Martina McBride

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Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1967
> Musician: Tim McGraw
> Birthday: May 1, 1967
> Spotify followers: 2.8 million
> Birthplace: Delhi, LA
> Runner-up: R. Kelly

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1968
> Musician: Celine Dion
> Birthday: March 30, 1968
> Spotify followers: 2.8 million
> Birthplace: Charlemagne, Canada
> Runner-up: Kenny Chesney

Source: AGIF / Shutterstock.com

1969
> Musician: Jennifer Lopez
> Birthday: July 24, 1969
> Spotify followers: 7.0 million
> Birthplace: New York City, NY
> Runner-up: Dave Grohl

Source: Scott Barbour / Getty Images

1970
> Musician: Mariah Carey
> Birthday: March 27, 1970
> Spotify followers: 4.8 million
> Birthplace: Long Island, NY
> Runner-up: DMX

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Source: Bennett Raglin / Getty Images

1971
> Musician: Snoop Dogg
> Birthday: October 20, 1971
> Spotify followers: 5.1 million
> Birthplace: Long Beach, CA
> Runner-up: Mary J. Blige

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1972
> Musician: Eminem
> Birthday: October 17, 1972
> Spotify followers: 29.8 million
> Birthplace: Saint Joseph, MO
> Runner-up: Billie Joe Armstrong

Source: Twocoms / Shutterstock.com

1973
> Musician: Pharrell Williams
> Birthday: April 5, 1973
> Spotify followers: 2.9 million
> Birthplace: Virginia Beach, VA
> Runner-up: Akon

Source: Paul Warner / Getty Images

1974
> Musician: Nelly
> Birthday: November 2, 1974
> Spotify followers: 1.3 million
> Birthplace: Austin, TX
> Runner-up: Lil’ Kim

Source: Matteo Chinellato / Shutterstock.com

1975
> Musician: Sia
> Birthday: December 18, 1975
> Spotify followers: 13.9 million
> Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
> Runner-up: Enrique Iglesias

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1976
> Musician: Blake Shelton
> Birthday: June 18, 1976
> Spotify followers: 4.5 million
> Birthplace: Ada, OK
> Runner-up: Luke Bryan

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Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

1977
> Musician: Kanye West
> Birthday: June 8, 1977
> Spotify followers: 10.4 million
> Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
> Runner-up: Shakira

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

1978
> Musician: Usher
> Birthday: October 14, 1978
> Spotify followers: 7.2 million
> Birthplace: Dallas, TX
> Runner-up: John Legend

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

1979
> Musician: Adam Levine
> Birthday: March 18, 1979
> Spotify followers: 20.2 million
> Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
> Runner-up: Pete Wentz

Source: Steve Jennings / Getty Images

1980
> Musician: Christina Aguilera
> Birthday: December 18, 1980
> Spotify followers: 4.5 million
> Birthplace: Staten Island, NY
> Runner-up: T.I.

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Source: JStone / Shutterstock.com

1981
> Musician: Beyoncé
> Birthday: September 4, 1981
> Spotify followers: 20.3 million
> Birthplace: Houston, TX
> Runner-up: Justin Timberlake

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

1982
> Musician: Nicki Minaj
> Birthday: December 8, 1982
> Spotify followers: 16.2 million
> Birthplace: Saint James, Trinidad And Tobago
> Runner-up: Lil Wayne

Source: stock_photo_world / Shutterstock.com

1983
> Musician: Future
> Birthday: November 20, 1983
> Spotify followers: 8.0 million
> Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
> Runner-up: Carrie Underwood

Source: Rich Fury / Getty Images

1984
> Musician: Katy Perry
> Birthday: October 25, 1984
> Spotify followers: 13.9 million
> Birthplace: Santa Barbara, CA
> Runner-up: Calvin Harris

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1985
> Musician: Bruno Mars
> Birthday: October 8, 1985
> Spotify followers: 22.5 million
> Birthplace: Honolulu, HI
> Runner-up: J. Cole

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

1986
> Musician: Drake
> Birthday: October 24, 1986
> Spotify followers: 40.9 million
> Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
> Runner-up: Lady Gaga

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Source: Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images

1987
> Musician: Kendrick Lamar
> Birthday: June 17, 1987
> Spotify followers: 13.2 million
> Birthplace: Compton, CA
> Runner-up: Wiz Khalifa

Source: Caroline McCredie / Getty Images

1988
> Musician: Rihanna
> Birthday: February 20, 1988
> Spotify followers: 34.1 million
> Birthplace: St. Michael, Barbados
> Runner-up: Adele

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

1989
> Musician: Taylor Swift
> Birthday: December 13, 1989
> Spotify followers: 23.3 million
> Birthplace: Reading, PA
> Runner-up: Chris Brown

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

1990
> Musician: The Weeknd
> Birthday: February 16, 1990
> Spotify followers: 17.2 million
> Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
> Runner-up: Rita Ora

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Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

1991
> Musician: Ed Sheeran
> Birthday: February 17, 1991
> Spotify followers: 51.7 million
> Birthplace: Hebden Bridge, England
> Runner-up: Charlie Puth

Source: Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images for BET

1992
> Musician: Cardi B
> Birthday: October 11, 1992
> Spotify followers: 9.5 million
> Birthplace: The Bronx, NY
> Runner-up: Selena Gomez

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

1993
> Musician: Ariana Grande
> Birthday: June 26, 1993
> Spotify followers: 36.2 million
> Birthplace: Boca Raton, FL
> Runner-up: Zayn Malik

Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

1994
> Musician: Justin Bieber
> Birthday: March 1, 1994
> Spotify followers: 30.3 million
> Birthplace: London, Canada
> Runner-up: Halsey

Source: Rich Fury / Getty Images

1995
> Musician: Post Malone
> Birthday: July 4, 1995
> Spotify followers: 18.0 million
> Birthplace: Syracuse, NY
> Runner-up: Dua Lipa

Source: Mark Davis / Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

1996
> Musician: Alessia Cara
> Birthday: July 11, 1996
> Spotify followers: 6.1 million
> Birthplace: Brampton, Canada
> Runner-up: 6ix9ine

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Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

1997
> Musician: Camila Cabello
> Birthday: March 3, 1997
> Spotify followers: 12.1 million
> Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
> Runner-up: Kodak Black

Source: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com

1998
> Musician: Shawn Mendes
> Birthday: August 8, 1998
> Spotify followers: 20.4 million
> Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
> Runner-up: XXXTENTACION

Source: Ser Baffo / Getty Images

1999
> Musician: Trippie Redd
> Birthday: June 18, 1999
> Spotify followers: 3.5 million
> Birthplace: Canton, OH
> Runner-up: YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

2000
> Musician: Lil Pump
> Birthday: August 17, 2000
> Spotify followers: 6.0 million
> Birthplace: Miami, FL
> Runner-up: Willow Smith

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Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

2001
> Musician: Billie Eilish
> Birthday: December 18, 2001
> Spotify followers: 13.9 million
> Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
> Runner-up: AJ Mitchell

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