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The Top 20 Whitest Musicians of All Time: The Complete List

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Fri, May 25, 2012 at 5:00 AM
click to enlarge KATY BAUGH
  • Katy Baugh

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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 jazz, blues and soul or, even worse, a complete whitewashing of them. Without further ado, then, here are 20 performers who put the you-know-what in honky-tonk. -Ben Westhoff

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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

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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

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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

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