100 Most Popular Rock Bands of All Time

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

20. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
> Spotify followers: 4.2 million
> Facebook likes: 8.4 million
> Most popular album: Are You Experienced?

Jimi Hendrix put the electric in the electric guitar. In his brief but impactful career, he dazzled audiences with his technique and showmanship — such as his version of the national anthem at Woodstock — earning accolades as one of the greatest guitarists of all time before he died of a drug overdose at age 27. Hendrix’s psychedelic take on rock was fully realized on full length records, where the Seattle native posted 10 Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200. His record “Electric Ladyland” reached No. 1 and was one of 10 albums to be certified platinum. His songs “Purple Haze,” “Foxy Lady,” and “Crosstown Traffic” are still heard on classic rock stations.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

19. The Doors
> Spotify followers: 5.0 million
> Facebook likes: 16.1 million
> Most popular album: The Doors

The Doors brought the Los Angeles underground rock scene to the forefront of rock and influenced a wide swath of rock acts such as Echo & The Bunnymen, Stone Temple Pilots, and Patti Smith. Their take on rock seemed to embody all the fears that parents had about the dangerous influence of rock and roll. Helmed by the legendary frontman Jim Morrison, many of their songs spoke about the dark side of humanity, particularly their opus “The End” that was played in the Vietnam War film “Apocalypse Now” and took on more nefarious connotations. Two of their singles went to No. 1 — “Hello, I Love You” and their signature hit “Light My Fire,” which went platinum. Their eponymous album “The Doors” has been certified platinum four times.

Source: RB / Redferns via Getty Images

18. Eagles
> Spotify followers: 5.2 million
> Facebook likes: 6.4 million
> Most popular album: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975

The Eagles’ greatest hits album is the highest certified album of all time, meaning recognized sales and streams of the album are higher than any other record. The California-based band that seemed to perfect the mellow, country-rock sound has also had five songs reach No. 1 in the 1970s. Thirteen of the six-time Grammy winners’ albums have gone platinum. The Eagles have sold about 120 million singles and albums in the U.S., according to data from the RIAA, the fourth most of all time.

Source: Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

17. Bon Jovi
> Spotify followers: 8.0 million
> Facebook likes: 24.8 million
> Most popular album: Greatest Hits: The Ultimate Collection

The New Jersey big-hair rockers have shifted from traditional rock and roll to more adult contemporary music. Among their four No. 1 hits are “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Living on a Prayer.” Bon Jovi was as successful with their LPs, posting six albums that were chart-toppers such as “Slippery When Wet,” “New Jersey,” and “Lost Highway.” Twelve of their albums went platinum, and “Slippery When Wet” was certified platinum 12 times.

Source: Timothy Norris / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

16. Green Day
> Spotify followers: 10.8 million
> Facebook likes: 29.8 million
> Most popular album: American Idiot

While Green Day’s first six albums — “39/Smooth,” “Kerplunk!” “Dookie,” “Insomniac,” “Nimrod,” and “Warning:” — garnered them a strong cult following throughout the 1990s, the band first achieved widespread success with the release of “American Idiot” in 2004. The album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in October of that year and has since gone on to sell over 6 million copies in the United States.

Source: Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images

15. U2
> Spotify followers: 7.0 million
> Facebook likes: 16.7 million
> Most popular album: War

U2 emerged from Dublin as one of the greatest bands of the 1980s. The four-man group led by the charismatic singer Bono posted eight No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 such as “The Joshua Tree,” “Achtung Baby,” and “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” Two of their six Top 10 hits have topped the Billboard Hot 100 — “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” U2 are known for visually stunning and emotionally stirring performances, none more so than their show at halftime of the 2002 Super Bowl that paid tribute to those who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Source: Fin Costello / Redferns via Getty Images

14. Aerosmith
> Spotify followers: 8.7 million
> Facebook likes: 15.8 million
> Most popular album: Toys in the Attic

Formed in Boston in 1970 by singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry, Aerosmith quickly gained popularity on the heels of distorted power ballads like “Dream On” and catchier hits like “Walk This Way,” and by the mid-1970s were one of the biggest rock bands in the world. After years of declining popularity in the early 1980s, Aerosmith returned to critical and commercial acclaim with the release of “Permanent Vacation” in 1987, which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 5 million albums in the United States to date.

Source: Scott Gries / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

13. Red Hot Chili Peppers
> Spotify followers: 13.8 million
> Facebook likes: 26.7 million
> Most popular album: Greatest Hits

Combining a distinct mix of funk, punk, and a high-octane stage presence, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the most successful bands to come out of the Los Angeles punk rock scene of the 1980s. RHCP achieved their first No. 1 album in 2006 with the release of “Stadium Arcadium,” which has sold 3 million units in the U.S. to date. Among their most beloved songs are “Scar Tissue,” “Under the Bridge,” and “Dani California.”

Source: dfoster / Flickr

12. Nirvana
> Spotify followers: 10.9 million
> Facebook likes: 26.3 million
> Most popular album: Nevermind

Formed in 1987 in the trenches of the Seattle grunge scene, Nirvana’s rapid and commercial success on the heels of “Nevermind” — which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1992 and includes songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” — helped cement alternative rock as one of the most popular musical currents of the 1990s. Nirvana was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, 20 years after lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain’s untimely death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

11. The Jackson 5
> Spotify followers: 6,683,199
> Facebook likes: 1,166,063
> Most popular album: Third Album

In 1970, the singing group from Gary, Indiana, led by entertainment wunderkind Michael Jackson, became the first group to debut with four consecutive No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Fusing funky pop with a smooth, highly produced Motown sound, they had four chart-topping singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and six albums reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 200. “Triumph” was one of their three platinum albums.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.