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June 6, 2012 1:20 PM | By Sean Plummer
Twenty musicians who’ve pushed the envelope

Rebellious and innovative, these artists changed the music landscape



Madonna, Miles Davis (© CP)
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There are certain key figures in modern music who have constantly pushed against the expectations of their genre and perhaps, more importantly, expectations of themselves. Jazz giants like John Coltrane, Cab Calloway, and Miles Davis have all challenged themselves to expand definitions of jazz, as have artists from every genre. Here is a rundown of some of the most important musical innovators in recent memory.

17Comments
Jul 9, 2012 7:19AM
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Where's Bob Dylan?? No one stretched the boundaries of popular songwriting or challenged their audience more than Dylan, ever.
Jul 4, 2012 11:46AM
Jul 9, 2012 6:43PM
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Not everyone has the same taste and I suppose we need to respect that. I agree wholeheartedly that Prince deserves a spot on this list. He is the biggest risk-taker, musical genius and electric, soul-thumping performer of all time. Willing to walk away from lucrative music deals with money-hungry and soul-sapping music labels, this man stands by his principles and creative endeavours.
Jul 9, 2012 12:51PM
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Where is Michael Jackson?He changed the format of music as we know it!!
Jul 9, 2012 9:20PM
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Madonna is not one of the greats though.
Jul 9, 2012 9:18PM
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What, no Amy Winehouse??  She was crazy talented, wrote all that great music, and her voice was like no other.  Some of the singers on here really admired her too.  Gone too soon.  Glad to see Kate Bush on here though.
Jul 21, 2012 4:58PM
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Davis, Cobain, Madonna, Parsons. That's good.

 

Joan Jett and Peter Gabriel. That's bad.

 

No James Brown, however, is downright ignorant.

 

Jul 22, 2012 4:15PM
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totally agree with leafiness...jimmy hendrix pushed the boundaries...so did janis...

madonna was only about the money...no substance...

Jul 21, 2012 3:26PM
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Lists like this are always going to get people arguing. The obvious problem to me is who was missed - there's no excuse for leaving out Jimi Hendrix, who was a true guitar innovator and has influenced single every rock guitarist since the 60s. Radiohead, or at least Thom Yorke, should've been in there too. I would've left out Madonna, who's primary skill is self -promotion, and Joan Jett. Much as I'm fond of Joan and her music, I don't really see what was all that innovative about her style - she was influenced by Suzi Quatro, so why not list Quatro as the real innovator?
Jul 9, 2012 6:55PM
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but apart from the beatles how many of them pushed the actual boundaries of music

 

you people are so concentrated on the sizzle you forget about the steak

 

has anyone ever listened to a madonna album and said gee that really pushs the boundaries of music

 

i would say radiohead pushed the boundaries of music

Jul 22, 2012 12:24PM
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Plummer yur an idiot, who really needs to to learn his music. Kurt Cobain would be rolling in his grave if he knew you referref to him as part of the hair metal. His music was and is grunge, even better known "Seattle Grunge" not hair metal.
Jun 27, 2012 6:17AM
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MARILYN MANSON. hahahahaaha I knew you'd be far too fearful, close minded and completely ignorant to mention his name as well. He is the most "controversial" rock star of ALL time! Thumb down all you want but you know it's true!
Jul 9, 2012 9:11PM
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What about Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin? Syd Barret and The Stones and Led Zeppelin. The Sex Pistols. Madonna is only famous because she appeared with the advent of MTV, musically, forget about it.
Jun 27, 2012 7:27AM
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someone called M. Manson a rock Star..please don't be foolish enough to call him anything more than an "it" on legs who's goth-ways make him look like a 60's creature-feature reject?..Madonna always rules..Elvis was the best ever, and those of us who lived when he did know this to be true. david bowie was a queen of acid rock, the Beatles have always been overrated, except for Lennon, Prince was nothing more than a freak, and we need alot more female rockers in music today and less pop stars the country bimbettes..nuff said.
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