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The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All Time: 20-16

The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All Time: 20-16

See also:

*The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All-Time: 15-11

*The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All Time: 10-6

*Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All-Time: 5-1

*Top 20 Worst Bands of All Time

Considering that most all of today's popular music -- be it rock, pop, dance or rap -- sprang from genres pioneered by black musicians, being all Caucasian about your songs is to literally betray your roots. To qualify as one of our whitest musicians, then, requires more than a pasty complexion, it requires a near-total disregard for the jazz, blues and soul music that came before you or, even worse, a complete whitewashing of it. Without further ado, then, here are 20 performers who put the you-know-what in honky-tonk. -Ben Westhoff

20. Celine Dion

In 1997, the world had Titanic fever, and French-Canadian chanteuse

Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" was inescapable, especially on adult contemporary radio stations (aka where white people go to die). Dion's breast-beating rendition at the Academy Awards remains one of television's most disturbing moments, and her current residence at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas is proof that folks from all over the world have a near-insatiable appetite for bland fare. -Linda Leseman

The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All Time: 20-16

19. Pink Floyd

Somehow these moody Brits managed to scale the charts with "psychedelic" rock that was actually just sleepy electric folk dirges in disguise. Despite their perpetual poker faces and utterly sexless musicianship, their massive success set the stage for such gloomy paste-masters as Radiohead and Sigur Ros. It's incredible to think that Pink Floyd are named for two bluesmen. -Dan Weiss

The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All Time: 20-16

18. Weird Al Yankovic

While he grew up in Lynwood, it was a different Lynwood, a white Lynwood. "Weird" Al Yankovic listened the Dr. Demento Radio Show, worshipped Elton John, and made his first mixtape of parodies using an accordion. His first hit turned The Knack's "My Sharona" into "My Balogna," delighting proto-fanboys everywhere. Yes, Yankovic did a good job modeling a jheri curl in his parody of MJ's "Beat It" ("Eat It"), and we enjoyed "White & Nerdy," but that's, ironically, about as black as Alfred ever got. -Dennis Romero

 

The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All Time: 20-16

17. U2

U2 is the kind of band that now-middle-aged weekend warriors thought was "edgy" back in the '80s. That reality was, though, that even with their occasionally politically-charged lyrics, the music was about as challenging as the Olive Garden. In 1987, The Joshua Tree may have sounded like a fresh alternative to hair metal dominating radio at the time. But which is worse, Mötley Crüe's brand of hedonism of U2's penchant for taking themselves too seriously? -Linda Leseman

The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All Time: 20-16

16. Spoon

Spoon are often cited for helping to bring falsettos and R&B rhythms into the indie-rock fold, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a DJ blending their stiff tunes with Prince. No less an authority on whiteness than The New Yorker was aghast that they sound "even tidier live than on recordings." But what do you expect from a band who have written such booty-shakers as "The Fitted Shirt" and "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valenti"? -Dan Weiss

See also:

*The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All-Time: 15-11

*The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All Time: 10-6

*Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All-Time: 5-1

*Top 20 Worst Bands of All Time

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