Aretha Franklin bumps Bob Dylan to top the Rolling Stone 500 greatest songs list

Publish Date
Thursday, 16 September 2021, 3:55PM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Rolling Stone has "Respect" for Aretha Franklin!

For the first time in 17 years, the publication has released an updated list of their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

After owning the number one spot since 2004, Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' has been bumped down to fourth place, in favour of Aretha Franklin's empowering anthem 'Respect.'

Taking second place is Public Enemy's 'Fight the Power', while third on the list is 'A Change is Gonna Come' by soul legend Sam Cooke.

Rounding out the top five is Nirvana's classic grunge track, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.'

In the last iteration of the list, 'Respect' was listed at number five behind 'Like a Rolling Stone,' John Lennon's 'Imagine,' Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' and The Rolling Stones' '(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction).'

To compile the new list, Rolling Stone polled over 250 artists and musicians, producers, critics and music industry figures - each of whom submitted their top 50 songs of all-time.

During the process, nearly 4,000 songs received votes from the committee.

In all, more than half the songs on the newly published list — 254, to be exact — differ from the 2004 tally.

The 2021 Rolling Stone top 10 greatest songs:

  1. Aretha Franklin - Respect
  2. Public Enemy - Fight the Power
  3. Sam Cooke - A Change is Gonna Come
  4. Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone
  5. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  6. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
  7. The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
  8. Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
  9. Fleetwood Mac - Dreams
  10. Outkast - Hey Ya!

The accolade comes three years after the iconic singer passed following a battle with cancer. She was 76.