Rolling Stone names Bob Dylan greatest songwriter

Bob Dylan edged out Paul McCartney in being crowned the best of Rolling Stone's top 100 songwriters.

Canadians Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young crack top 20

Bob Dylan was the last musical guest on The Late Show with David Letterman, on May 19, 2015. (Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via The Associated Press)

It turns out Bob Dylan is the greatest songwriter of all time, at least according to Rolling Stone magazine.

The magazine recently released its list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time, and put Dylan at number one, referring to his "vision" of American popular music as "transformative."

Musicians close to the top of the list include Paul McCartney in the number two spot, followed by John Lennon. Rounding out the top five are Chuck Berry and Smokey Robinson.

A few Canadians cracked the top 20 — Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young  — taking 9th, 16th and 17th place, respectively.

Joni Mitchell is recovering from an aneurysm that sent the folk singer to the hospital in March. (Max Morse/Reuters )

"She unfurled starkly personal lyrics that pushed beyond 'confessional' songwriting towards an almost confrontational intimacy and rawness," the magazine wrote about Mitchell.

"At 80, he's still our greatest living late-night poet," the magazine wrote about Cohen.

Rolling Stone praised Young's "creakingly lovely acoustic ballads and torrential rockers."

In picking Dylan as the top songwriter, Rolling Stone said, "No one set the bar higher, or had greater impact."

Dylan wrote such classics as Blowin' in the Wind, Like a Rolling Stone, Knockin' on Heaven's Door and The Times They are A-Changin'.

His most recently released album is this year's Sinatra-inspired Shadows in the Night.


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