TheBestSchools.org is pleased to announce the publication of a fun and fascinating new piece entitled “The 50 Most Important Living Musicians.” Author David A. Tomar pays tribute to the singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, and artists still among us who have had played a leading role in making this last century a wildly inventive and thrilling time in music history.
The artists included here embody brilliance, excellence, and inspiration, providing an encompassing look at musical innovation the world over. By including only musicians who are still living today, the feature serves not just as a study of our shared musical heritage but also as a celebration of musical forms that continue to evolve right before our ears.
In the last 75 years, the world has seen the birth and proliferation of Bebop, Doo-Wop, Electric Blues, R&B, Rock and Roll, Motown, Soul, Disco, Funk, Salsa,Tropicalia, Bossa Nova, Afrobeat, Ska, Reggae, Dub, Fusion, Hip Hop, Punk, New Wave, Alternative, Pop, and EDM. In that same span of time, the world has seen the borders between these musical genres largely disappear as the artists on this list have time and again defied convention, expectation, and precedent to the ends of musical greatness.
Bluesman B.B. King once played 342 shows in a single year. Jazz bassist Ron Carter has appeared on more than 2000 recordings. Country music legend Dolly Parton has written more than 3000 songs.
Kool Herc pioneered hip-hop, Joao Gilberto invented Bossa Nova, and George Clinton marshaled the armies of funk.
Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. Rap mogul Dr. Dre is worth close to a billion dollars. Senegalese pop star Youssou N’Dour is so successful that he once undertook a presidential campaign in his home country.
TheBestSchools.org celebrates the work of these and other living musical icons in a list that is extensive but by no means exhaustive. The world of popular music is increasingly diffuse and global, comprised of infinite forms, genres, subgenres, movements, cultural phenomena, and artistic institutions.
With the concession that any list of this nature is sure to spark debate for both its inclusions and exclusions, TheBestSchools.org submits “The 50 Most Important Living Musicians” as a compelling conversation-starter for music lovers and a stellar point of entry for those who wish to learn more.