The 25 best musicians of the Rock & Roll era

Since time immemorial, music has serenaded, invigorated, inspired, healed, and just plain entertained us. For just as long we've looked up to and lauded those of us who are particularly skilled at producing it. Who are the best musicians? Check out this ranking of the 25 most influential artists from the rock -and-roll era, as chosen by Rolling Stone.

Charlie Neibergall/AP

25. Fats Domino

Fats Domino, born Antoine Dominique Domino Jr., is known for his R&B and his influence on early rock 'n' roll music.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him this way: "In Domino’s nickname became the basis of his first single, "The Fat Man," a huge R&B hit – it went to Number Two nationally – and reported million-seller. Some music historians consider “The Fat Man” to be the first rock and roll record; at the very least, it is a milestone rhythm and blues performance heralding a new age in popular music.

The secret behind the appeal of Domino’s music’s was, unsurprisingly, rhythm. "You got to keep a good beat," Domino said in a 1956 interview in Downbeat magazine. "The rhythm we play is from Dixieland — New Orleans." He elaborated on that point in the liner notes for his 1991 box set, They Call Me the Fat Man...: The Legendary Imperial Recordings: “Everybody started callin' my music rock and roll,” noted Domino, “but it wasn't anything but the same rhythm and blues I'd been playin' down in New Orleans."

Domino rose to fame in the late 1940s, but it was mostly confined to the R&B charts until 1952. He sold more records (65 million) than any other 1950s-era rocker except Elvis Presley, according to the R&R Hall of Fame. Some of his biggest hits included "The Fat Man" and "Ain't That A Shame" and "Blueberry Hill."

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