Adele and Beyoncé voted top music legends of the future with half of the British public choosing Adele (50 per cent) as the artist who will stand the test of time.

David Bowie Britons’ most popular music legend (65 per cent).

Raw talent wins as over two thirds of Brits (69 per cent) think good singing and song writing is key to staying relevant in the music industry.

Adele continues to cement her music idol status this year as a new study released today names her the top music legend of the future by half of the nation (50 per cent).  The study by Mastercard celebrates its headline sponsorship of this Wednesday’s BRIT Awards and uncovers who the British public consider to be ultimate music legends, and what it takes to stand the test of time in the music industry.

Following the Grammy’s this year, Adele leads again, closely followed by Beyoncé (32 per cent), an artist she is familiar sharing the stage with. Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga and Robbie Williams were also predicted to stand the test of time and be listened to for years to come. Rihanna, nominated for this year’s International Female Solo Artist Award, also came in the top 10.

The top music legends of the future:

  1. Adele (50 per cent)
  2. Beyoncé (32 per cent)
  3. Ed Sheeran (28 per cent)
  4. Lady Gaga (27 per cent)
  5. Robbie Williams (24 per cent)
  6. Coldplay (20 per cent)
  7. Rihanna (12 per cent)
  8. Taylor Swift (9 per cent)
  9. Justin Timberlake (9 per cent)
  10. Bruno Mars (8 per cent)

The research celebrates Mastercard’s Priceless Side of Music campaign, which highlights the effects music has on us and the emotions it can trigger.

Despite the rise of talent shows, video sharing platforms and social media, it seems raw talent still stands the test of time for musicians to be remembered in years from now – with David Bowie, The Beatles and Queen topping the list of artists deemed to be the most legendary musicians, and are still as relevant today as they were when they first found fame. Over two thirds of Britons (69 per cent) consider a great singing voice and song writing skills (60 per cent) as key to staying relevant in the music industry. This is compared to just 13 per cent of the nation saying being photogenic and having a large social media following is important (12 per cent).

Britons’ top music legends:

  1. David Bowie (65 per cent)
  2. The Beatles (61 per cent)
  3. Queen (59 per cent)
  4. Elvis Presley (58 per cent)
  5. Michael Jackson (58 per cent)
  6. Bob Marley (41 per cent)
  7. Elton John (33 per cent)
  8. Prince (33 per cent)
  9. Madonna (29 per cent)
  10. Stevie Wonder (27 per cent)

When asked what makes a music legend,  a unique sound (63 per cent), being inspirational (54 per cent) and having influenced other musicians (52 per cent) were named top, while having a rebellious streak (15 per cent) or being part of a political or cultural movement (15 per cent) were voted least important.

Interestingly the research reveals whilst strong female role models like Adele and Beyoncé top the predicted music legends of the future, the music legends better known for their past musical achievements are predominantly male artists and bands.

Charlie Andrew, BRIT Award British Producer of the Year 2016, comments:  “As a music producer, having an ear for the right hooks in songs or finding lyrics that really connect with people are key.  The research shows just that – although these artists’ performance styles may differ, their music talent and ability to connect with an audience is timeless. This is something the current generation of predicted music icons all have in common with their predecessors.”

Nicola Grant, Head of Marketing for UK and Ireland at Mastercard, comments: “The artists Britons think will be legendary in future, such as Ed Sheeran, Adele, and Beyoncé all possess the same vital traits which have made artists like David Bowie and The Beatles global successes; singing and songwriting is clearly a timeless art and speaks for itself. People connect with that – it’s the priceless side of music.”

To celebrate Mastercard’s headline sponsorship of the BRIT Awards, Britain’s most prestigious music award ceremony, and the nation’s love for music, Mastercard is launching a BRITs listening booth in Covent Garden on Monday 20th February and Tuesday 21st February. It will also be at the BRIT Awards on Wednesday 22nd February giving music lovers an immersive music experience to listen to their favourite artists.

Celebrating its 19th year of headline sponsorship, Mastercard launched its Priceless Surprises campaign last week with Robbie Williams. To find out more, visit