10. Guido D'Arezzo
Simply put, the writings of Guido D'Arezzo (above) laid the foundations for Western music. This medieval theorist of the 11th century was the dude responsible for inventing the notation we still use today. In other words, without him we wouldn't have sheet music. Oh yeah, and you know that mnemonic "do-re-mi-fa-so-la-te-do"? He invented that too. -Chris Walker
9. Robert Johnson
According to folklore, Robert Johnson made a deal with the Devil in order to gain mastery of the guitar. Hell, no matter how he got it, the Mississippian has influenced pretty much every rock musician you love. Keith Richards said he was as good as the blues can get, Eric Clapton called him the most important blues musician that ever lived, and he's considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Supposedly poisoned at the age of 27 in 1938, he never lived to enjoy public recognition nor commercial success. -Rebecca Haithcoat
8. Bob Dylan
Raised Robert Zimmerman in Hibbing, Minnesota, Bob Dylan spent a year at the University of Minnesota and joined the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. Then he did a bunch of other stuff, and nowadays performs at minor league baseball stadiums in medium-sized towns around the country. -Ben Westhoff
7. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
You know those stupid bumper stickers parents put on their cars to brag about their honor student children? Well, Mozart started writing classical compositions at age four. He performed publicly at the Salzburg University a year later. And at seven he picked up a violin and sight-read an entire piece with complete accuracy, without having ever had a violin lesson. Wolfgang Amadeus was a true child prodigy. And this is without mentioning -- you know -- that he went on to become one of the most highly regarded classical composers ever. -Chris Walker
6. Elvis Presley
Elvis didn't like being called a hero, nor did he enjoy the "king of rock 'n roll" moniker. Teased as a child in Tupelo, Mississippi, he became a loner, learning to play the guitar and finding inspiration in black gospel music and Memphis' bustling Beale Street blues scene. He became a leading figure in the emerging genre of rock, and eventually the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music. But he never fully shook off the shyness of his youth, and celebrity ultimately proved a fatal curse. (See also: "It's 2012. Is Elvis Still Sexy? God Yes.") -Rebecca Haithcoat
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