What makes a truly great solo artist? That unique ability to stand alone on stage and command the attention and the participation of a crowd of thousands. To take people on a journey and inspire so many with their music.
With artists from so many decades and genres to choose from, deciding the true G.O.A.T. is a near impossible task - picking the four shortlisted was hard enough - but what makes one stand out above all the rest? Is it the ability to hop genres? Is it the number of albums sold? Is it their cultural impact?
Most will say it’s a mix of the above and certain things will be more or less important for different people. For some, it’s the enduring influence of an artist which sets them apart, for others it’s simply a case of which songs they like best, while other fans talk about the artist’s iconic look and stage presence.
We’ve whittled it down to four legendary solo artists which were put to vote in a Twitter poll of LADbible readers. The four artists on the shortlist were Elvis Presley, the renowned ‘King of Rock and Roll’; the boundary-breaking David Bowie; the ultimate showman Elton John; and Amy Winehouse, with her timeless sound.
It was fairly close between the top three artists in the list, but out of almost 20,000 votes, 39% voted for Elvis Presley. As one fan said, “Elvis was called the King for a reason”.
Elvis’ music was truly groundbreaking at the time and continues to have an enduring influence. One user said: “Elvis inspired so many bands after he died and still does. Just like the Beatles, love or hate them the effect on music they’ve had is undeniable and that defines G.O.A.T. status.” Another agreed, “All great in their own right. But no Elvis = no rock and roll.”
Alongside the music itself, it’s this lasting impact that seems to qualify true G.O.A.T. status.
Coming in second was David Bowie, another artist who is considered to be one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. His ability to hop genres and his creation of many personas like Aladdin Sane and Ziggy Stardust have helped set him apart from other artists. There really has never been anyone quite like Bowie before or since, and I doubt there ever will be.
Following shortly behind Bowie, comes the man in the jazzy specs, Elton John, who was chosen as the G.O.A.T. by 26% of voters. One user said: “I’ll choose Elton 10 times before anyone else on this list.” Elton’s blend of pop and rock, alongside his high-energy showmanship and outlandish glam-rock style made him a truly revolutionary solo artist.
Amy Winehouse came in fourth with 9% of the vote. An incredible performer and songwriter who we lost far too soon at the age of 27. Who knows what we might have seen from Amy had this not been the case but this relatively shorter career may be one of the reasons why Winehouse came in behind the other three artists.
So, Elvis is the King and he’s the out-and-out ruler of this poll. An icon, an unbelievable performer and a trailblazer who paved the way for hundreds of artists after him. A very worthy winner as far as we’re concerned.
Featured Image Credit: Strongbow