Music is cool, but that doesn't necessarily mean that all musicians are cool. Elvis Costello is woefully uncool (Which, in a way, kind of actually makes him cool), while the King, Elvis Aaron Presley, is pretty much the sheer definition of cool, so what gives? Well, I'll break it down like this. If the artist had a "I don't give a f**k" attitude and sang the way they damn well pleased, then that makes them cool. They didn't necessarily have to be good singers or even have great songs. As long as they performed their music the way they wanted, then that gives them their cool factor. So, without further ado...the top ten coolest musicians to ever walk the planet. Who do you think was the coolest?
10. Chuck D
When Chuck D told you to fight the power, you believed it. Rapping in front of the militant, dancing, S1W, didn't hurt, either. Chuck D just oozed cool, and fury. That's a pretty badass combination.
9. Michael Jackson
Okay, I know Michael Jackson spent a lot of his career as a certified weirdo, but there was a time when nobody was cooler than MJ. His moments of coolness now outweigh his moments of weirdness ever since he died. Oh, and then there's this:
Only MJ could stand on a stage for about a minute and not say a word and still be so cool.
8. ZZ Top
Kicking tunes, great voices, sunglasses, and those beards, those beautiful, beautiful beards. To be a cool musician, you don't have to be a good looking person, you just have to look good being a person, and all three members of ZZ Top do that, even the beardless drummer (Who is ironically named Frank Beard).
7. John Coltrane
Coltrane used to be on the junk, and his music sounded like it. Either it was frenetic and explosive, or somber and reflective. More so than Miles Davis who said he was the birth of the cool, John Coltrane actually was cool. And then he got clean.
6. Exene Cervenka
Exene from the L.A. band, X, is really cool because she knew she couldn't sing, and still decided to be the lead singer of the group anyway. She also married the bassist of the group, got divorced from him, and still sang lead, even discussing her marriage in some of their songs. Now that's badass.
5. Kurt Cobain
If there was ever a musician who didn't care about being a celebrity, it was Kurt Cobain. In fact, being a celebrity undoubtedly added to his stress, and thus, his drug use, which undoubtedly led to his suicide. He spoke to an entire generation and popularized flannel shirts. And oh yeah, his music was actually really good, too. How could he not be on this list?
4. Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons without the make-up is a total asshole. But with the make-up, he's a rock god. Pretty much the face of KISS, his tongue is legendary, and you know he's used it on countless females. Even with platform shoes, he's still incredibly awesome. Rock on.
3. Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash was a country musician who didn't care what you thought.He had a, "If you don't like my music, f**k you" attitude. Johnny Cash was the kind of guy who would say he had Native American blood in him and even record a Native American album (Even though he wasn't Native American), just because he wanted to. Oh, and he also performed for convicts in a prison and released an album of it. If that's not cool, I don't know what is.
2. Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley was the kind of guy who could "borrow" rock and roll from black people and make it look like he created it. Not only that, but he even looked good doing it. Nobody could shake their hips like Elvis, but it was the man he was outside the music that was the coolest. He befriended the Beatles only to say that he thought they were bad for America to President Nixon. I mean, who does that? :) He also got incredibly fat in his later years, and while many people ridicule Elvis in this period, he didn't care. He still dressed up and sang his heart out, sweating up a storm and all. Elvis was, and will always be, the king of rock and roll, and nobody can take that away from him. Nobody.
1. James Brown
Hit me! James Brown is the coolest musician of all time. The godfather of soul, James Brown just knew how to bring the house down. His coolest moment ever, and definitely the coolest moment in all of music, is when, drenched in sweat, James Brown would feign being tired and take a knee while his back-up singers would drape a cape over his shoulders. And what James Brown do? He would miraculously got up and continued singing, giving it his all. It's hammy, it's ridiculous, and it's wonderful, making James Brown the coolest musician of all time. Now, who do you think is the coolest?