All the coolest music artists to listen to – and the least cool

Public reveal which musicians are the ‘coolest’ and ‘uncoolest’

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Songstress Adele – whose new album is riding high in the charts – also made the top 10 coolest artists list, along with Elton John and the Rolling Stones.

Our music taste is intensely personal, and it can be seen as almost an insult if others don’t consider artists as cool, the way we do

Peter Alfred-Adekeye, founder

Hot audio property Billie Eilish only made it to number 23 on the cool list – while rapper Stormzy ranked at 28, just ahead of rockers Radiohead.

Meanwhile other singers deemed tragically un-hip include Robbie Williams and Madonna – with some artists making it into BOTH lists.

It also emerged just one in three adults consider their music taste “cool”.

But nearly half (48 percent) will crank up the volume in their car if they’re blasting something they consider particularly on-trend.

The study of 2,000 music-loving adults was commissioned by, which enables independent artists to sell their songs and keep all the proceeds.

Peter Alfred-Adekeye, founder at LetterBox and MusicBox, said: “There’s no accounting for taste, and what one person considers cool might be the exact opposite for another.

“However, it’s still interesting to get a nationwide consensus on the artists people deem to be either with it – or totally without it.

“Our music taste is intensely personal, and it can be seen as almost an insult if others don’t consider artists as cool, the way we do.”

The study found 27 percent of people admit they want to be seen to be listening to “cool” music by other people.

But more than seven in ten readily admit there is a place for cheesy, deeply uncool music in everybody’s life.

Three-quarters reckon there are some artists who can transcend all age and generational divides and remain eternally cool.

And more than half (54 percent) are willing to give uncool artists a second chance, believing it’s possible to cycle from cool, to uncool – and back again.

Rock was deemed the coolest genre of music, by 27 percent – while pop was next coolest, with 23 percent of the public vote.

However, dubstep – intensely popular in the early 2010s – has dwindled to just four percent who consider it a cool genre of music.

But what makes an artist or band cool? For 39 percent, it’s the bravery to try something “different” with their music.

Another 35 percent consider coolness to come from not caring what others think about them, and 24 percent believe they need to be popular with a younger generation.

One in four adults would be “offended” if someone told them their taste in music wasn’t à la mode, according to the research.

When it comes to learning more about music, more than six in ten admit they often discover great new sounds by listening to unsigned artists – however, a third say these artists don’t have enough visibility in the music industry.

Peter Alfred-Adekeye for added: “We were pleasantly surprised to see some of the artists deemed cool, we have to admit.

“Those of us of a certain age will remember Queen have always been popular, but perhaps now as the decades have gone by, they’re considered cooler than they ever were.

“It’s a similar case with Abba – their timelessly brilliant songs have transcended the last 40 years, making them eternally cool.”


  1. Queen
  2. The Beatles
  3. Ed Sheeran
  4. Abba
  5. Adele
  6. Rolling Stones
  7. Elton John
  8. Jimi Hendrix
  9. Coldplay
  10. Led Zeppelin
  11. P!nk
  12. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  13. Bob Dylan
  14. Bryan Adams
  15. Kylie Minogue
  16. Robbie Williams
  17. Taylor Swift
  18. Guns n Roses
  19. Dua Lipa
  20. U2
  21. The Killers
  22. Eminem
  23. Billie Eilish
  24. The Weeknd
  25. Lewis Capaldi
  26. Madonna
  27. Shakira
  28. Stormzy
  29. Radiohead
  30. David Guetta
  31. Harry Styles
  32. Anne Marie
  33. Little Mix
  34. Lana Del Rey
  35. Drake
  36. Cliff Richard
  37. Jay Z
  38. Doja Cat
  39. Jake Bugg
  40. DJ Khalid


  1. Cliff Richard
  2. Daniel O’Donnell
  3. Kanye West
  4. Robbie Williams
  5. Madonna
  6. Elton John
  7. Little Mix
  8. Harry Styles
  9. Ed Sheeran
  10. Abba
  11. Coldplay
  12. U2
  13. Kylie Minogue
  14. Jay Z
  15. Bryan Adams
  16. Stormzy
  17. Eminem
  18. Taylor Swift
  19. Pitbull
  20. Lewis Capaldi
  21. Adele
  22. Billie Eilish
  23. The Wombats
  24. Travis Scott
  25. Drake
  26. Rolling Stones
  27. Guns n Roses
  28. Dua Lipa
  29. The Beatles
  30. David Guetta
  31. Young Thug
  32. Bob Dylan
  33. DJ Khalid
  34. P!nk
  35. Queen
  36. Shakira
  37. Burna Boy
  38. Skepta
  39. Yungblud
  40. Anne Marie

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