Not up on your music royalty? Here’s a quick guide to 100+ crown holders (from Elvis to Aretha to Michael to “Weird Al” and everything in between)

(September 3, 2021).  Recently, the millennial singing/rapping sensation Lizzo sparked some controversy when she weighed in on a long-standing King/Queen of Pop debate.  The King part—Michael Jackson—was a no-brainer.

It was what followed that stirred the pot, specifically when the “Rumors” singer declared that Michael’s sister Janet Jackson – not Madonna – was the Queen of Pop.

Needless to say, Madge’s fans were not happy, with several of them suggesting that Lizzo lacked either perspective or historical knowledge.  The tweets that followed revealed some strong opinions on both sides of the argument, which when it boils down to it, is all these discussions really are: someone’s opinions. 

Still, the whole thing got the brass here at djrobblog—namely, yours truly—thinking about who actually is considered music royalty or who holds various related titles in the many different musical genres out there.

After some loose research and careful consideration of who really is worthy of such accolades, djrobblog compiled the following list of more than 100 members of the musical royalty, including the kings, queens, princes, princesses, lords, ladies, godfathers, godmothers, priests, priestesses, bosses and other such honorific title-holders in music.

They’re grouped largely by genre; e.g., rock, then soul, then pop, etc., so the order is not indicative of relative rank. Also, in some cases there are multiple title holders listed, for example there are five princesses of pop and at least three similar crowns given for R&B. This is largely because the named artists are believed to both individually and collectively hold those titles.

So scroll through and see if you agree—and feel free to provide comments at the bottom of the article or on any of the social media feeds where the article is posted. 

Now, let’s all rise for the…

King of Rock-n-Roll:  Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Queen of Rock-n-Roll: Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Architect of Rock-n-Roll: Little Richard

Little Richard

Father of Rock-n-Roll: Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry

World’s Greatest Band/Kings of the Charts: The Beatles

The Beatles

Greatest Rock-n-Roll Band: Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

Godfather (& King) of Soul: James Brown

James Brown

Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Empress of Soul: Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight

Godmother of Soul: Patti LaBelle

Patti Labelle

King of Soul: Otis Redding

Otis Redding

Prince of Soul: Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

Princess of Soul: Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

The High Priest of Soul: Ray Charles

Ray Charles

The High Priestess of Soul: Nina Simone

Nina Simone

Ivory Queen of Soul: Teena Marie

Teena Marie

White Queen of Soul: Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul: Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige

Princess of Hip-Hop/Soul: Ashanti

Ashanti

King of Pop: Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

His Royal Badness/His Purple Highness: Prince

Prince

1st Queen of Pop/Queen of Controversy: Madonna

Madonna

2nd Queen of Pop: Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

Modern-Day Queen of Pop/Queen Bey: Beyoncé

Beyoncé

Prince of Pop: Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

Princess of Pop: Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande

Princess of Pop: Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera

Princess of Pop: Katy Perry

Katy Perry

Princess (and newest Billionaire) of Pop: Rihanna

Rihanna

Princess of Pop: Brittany Spears

Britney Spears

Queen of R&B: Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

King of R&B: R. Kelly

R. Kelly

Second King of R&B: Usher

Usher

Wife-Anointed King of R&B: Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown

Godfather of R&B: Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson

Prince of R&B: Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Prince of R&B: Trey Songz

Trey Songz

Princess of R&B: Aaliyah (aka: Queen of Urban Pop)

Aaliyah

Princess of R&B: Monica

Monica

Princess of R&B: Brandy

Brandy

Queen of Divas: Whitney Houston (aka Queen of Ballads)

Whitney Houston

Mother of Divas: Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand

Father of Divas: Sylvester

Sylvester James

Queen/First Lady of Neo-Soul: Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu

King of Neo-Soul: D’Angelo

D’Angelo

King of Jazz: Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

Queen of Jazz: Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald

Mother of the Blues: Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey

Queen of the Blues: Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington

King of the Blues: B. B. King

B. B. King

Lady Day: Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

Queen of Gospel: Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson

Queen of Folk: Joan Baez

Joan Baez

King of Country: Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks

First King of Country: George Strait

George Strait

King of Outlaw Country: Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

Queen/First Lady of Country: Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Queen of Country: Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette

Queen of Country: Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

Queen of Country-Pop: Shania Twain

Shania Twain

Queen of Christmas/Queen of the Charts: Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

Queen of Comebacks/Goddess of Pop: Cher

Cher

Queen of Disco: Donna Summer

Donna Summer

First Queen of Disco: Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor

Kings of Disco: Bee Gees

The Bee Gees

Disco Royalty: Chic

Chic

Prime Minister of P-Funk: George Clinton

George Clinton

Queen of Funk: Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan

King of Punk Funk: Rick James

Rick James

Godfather of Punk: Joey Ramone

Joey Ramone

Godmother of Punk: Patti Smith

Patti Smith

Godfather of Shock Rock: Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Queen of Shock Rock: Wendy O. Williams

Wendy O. Williams

Godfather of Heavy Metal: Ozzy Osbourne (aka: Prince of Darkness)

Ozzy Osbourne

Unholy Trinity of Heavy Metal: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple

Top to bottom: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple

King of Glam Rock: David Bowie

David Bowie

Hip-Hop’s First Lady: Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

Queen of Hip-Hop: Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott

Queen of Hip-Hop/Queen Bee: Lil’ Kim

Lil’ Kim

Queen of Rap: Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

Godmother of Rap: Millie Jackson

Millie Jackson

Godfather of Rap: Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron

Rap God/King of Hip-Hop: Eminem

Eminem

King of Rap/King of the Charts: Jay-Z

Jay-Z

King of New York: The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G.

King of West Coast Rap: 2Pac

Tupac Shakur

King of Crunk: Lil Jon

Lil Jon

King of New Jack Swing: Teddy Riley

Teddy Riley

Queen of Latin Pop: Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estéfan

King of Latin Pop: Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Iglesias

Latin Music King: Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin

Latin Music Queen: Shakira

Shakira

Queen of Tejano Music: Selena

Selena Quintanilla

King of Reggaeton: Daddy Yankee

Daddy Yankee

King of Reggae: Bob Marley

Bob Marley

Godfather of House: Frankie Knuckles

Frankie Knuckles

Queen of Clubland: Martha Wash

Martha Wash

Queen of Drag: RuPaul

RuPaul

The Boss (Female): Diana Ross

Diana Ross

The Boss (Male): Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

The Professor: Neil Peart (of Rush)

Neil Peart

Guitar God: Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & The Big Bopper

Top to bottom: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & The Big Bopper

Chairman of the Board: Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra

King of Soundtracks: Kenny Loggins

Kenny Loggins

Kings of Boy Bands (hits): Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men

Kings of Boy Bands (sales): Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys

Queens of Girl Groups (hits): The Supremes

The Supremes

Queens or Girl Groups (sales): TLC

TLC

Kings of K-Pop: BTS

BTS

Queens of K-Pop: Blackpink

Blackpink

King of Yacht Rock: Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald

King of Parody: “Weird Al” Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic

And we’ll end it on that note.

So what do YOU think?  That’s a lot of music royalty right there—some serious, some tongue-in-cheek, some widely recognized, and almost all based on opinions. And we’ve probably left out many more.

Feel free to post your opinions about the list in the comment section below or in any of the social media feeds where this article is posted.

DJRob

DJRob

DJRob (he/him/his) is a freelance music blogger from somewhere on the East Coast who covers R&B, hip-hop, pop and rock genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff!  You can follow him on Twitter at @djrobblog.

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