Combining elements of rhythm and blues, country, jazz, and gospel, rock music has had a strong cultural impact throughout America and the world since its inception in the 1940s and 1950s. In the three-quarters of a century since then, a number of bands have left an indelible stamp on rock music, captivating millions and pushing the genre to new heights in the process.
Using data from Spotify, Facebook, Ranker, and the Billboard 200 albums chart, 24/7 Tempo determined the 100 most popular rock bands of all time.
The bands on this list represent many different eras and movements in rock music, from British Invasion bands like The Rolling Stones to arena rock acts like Guns N’ Roses, to more recent experimental groups like Radiohead. They vary in places of origin, and include bands from all over America. For more on this, see the most famous band from every state.
While solo artists like Prince, David Bowie, and Elvis certainly belong in any conversation about rock’s greatest figures, this list only considers bands. For more on solo performers, see the most famous musician born the year you were born.