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The Most Overplayed Musicians of All Time


Like a lot of other musicians on this list, it's not that Metallica is terrible by any stretch of the imagination. We're just sick of hearing them. 

If you tune into any rock radio station in the country, there's a good chance you'll hear "Master of Puppets" or "Enter Sandman" blaring from your speakers. For any DJs out there, there is classic rock outside of Metallica. 

(Photo by J. Shearer/WireImage)


Everybody hurts...when R.E.M. comes on the radio. This American rock band had no shortage of time on the airwaves when they were at their peak, or even now when they're long past their expiration date. 

R.E.M. allegedly released 15 albums, but most people only remember the same three, annoying songs by them. And for better or worse, they're one of the best-selling bands of all time. 

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The Beatles

The Beatles are still to this day considered one of the best bands of all time, so is it really surprising that their music is some of the most overplayed of all time as well? Unfortunately for the Fab Four, familiarity breeds contempt. 

And unfortunately for us, the Beatles were wildly successful at all stages of their career. Whether they were a saccharine boy band or a bunch of drug-using hippies, they've got plenty of overrated music for people of all styles and tastes. 

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It's bad enough that Beyonce is overplayed and overrated. But what really makes it worse are her blind fans who act like she's the greatest musician to ever grace the earth. 

Unfortunately, I have bad news for the Beyhive--Beyonce isn't even the best pop musician of the last 10 years, much less all time. Kate Bush was busy claiming that title while Beyonce was still a fetus. 

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Justin Bieber

Music is subjective, but in the case of Justin Bieber are we all okay with just declaring him objectively bad? I think an exception should be made in this case. 

From his humble beginnings as a Canadian tween sensation to his current life as a grown man still acting like a tween, there has never been a shortage of Justin Bieber on the airwaves. Maybe it's time for an embargo. 

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Madonna is basically synonymous with the 1980s at this point, so there's not much we can do. But things didn't have to be this way. 

Sure, the Queen of Pop put out some great hits during her heyday. We're just confused why every "Best of the 80s" playlist or album seems to be 95% Madonna. 

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Kansas is a unique entry on this list. Because the world needs less Kansas and more...Kansas? 

Listen, my wayward son, you can carry on any way you like, but you're never going to convince me that the stadium rock anthems of late Kansas are more worthy of airtime than their debut LP, which just so happened to be a prog rock masterpiece. It was all downhill for Kansas from there, but people seem to forget that the band existed long before "Dust in the Wind." 

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The Korean boy band BTS is overplayed and overrated. How do I know? Because I've never heard a song by them, and yet I can't seem to escape people talking about them. 

I'm sure that they aren't any more obnoxious than every other boy band in the world, but that's not saying much. No musician needs to be an omnipresent global phenomenon. 

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Katy Perry

Everyone in the world seems to be over Katy Perry, and yet we can't seem to get rid of her. I'm sure we'll have her bland singles shoved down our throats for years to come. 

Obviously Perry doesn't write her own songs--why in the world would one of the most famous musicians in the world need to do that? But she's clearly bad at choosing which songs to perform, considering every one of them is supposed to be an inspiring anthem that leaves us more sleepy than empowered. 

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The Steve Miller Band

When "The Joker" comes on, everyone's a Steve Miller Band fan. Unfortunately, that's the only of their songs that ever seems to come on. 

While being a space cowboy or a gangster of love sounds pretty fun, it all starts to sound pretty obnoxious after you've heard it at karaoke for the fourth time tonight. 

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Rush was a wildly successful and talented prog rock band, and like most rock legends, their most famous singles get played to death on classic rock stations across the country. Thankfully, DJs have a pretty deep list of Rush singles to pull from. 

But even though that's the case, they all get overplayed eventually. After the 50th time of hearing "Closer to the Heart", the idea of loving your fellow man and working for the common good starts to seem like a really stupid idea. 

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Cardi B

Cardi B is currently having a moment in 2020, but hopefully that will blow over soon. Because her new single was overplayed the moment the first person hit the play button. 

If you're not familiar with her new, disgusting single, "WAP", count yourself lucky. If, unfortunately, you do know what I'm talking about, then I don't need to tell you it would probably be best for humanity if she disappeared forever. 

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I'm afraid I'm about to break more than a few hearts, but here we go. Queen's music is overplayed--but it gets even worse. Queen themselves are gimmicky and overrated. 

They weren't operatic superstars. They weren't master songwriters. They were writing boring rock songs for people who (mistakenly) thought they were smarter than everyone else. 

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Vampire Weekend

Here's a life lesson for you, free of charge. If the obnoxious woman with a Harry Potter tattoo in your office thinks a band is cool, they are no longer indie darlings. They are--at the very least--overplayed, but they're also probably terrible, as is the case with Vampire Weekend. 

The world was bad enough when people independently had opinions about the Oxford comma, but things just got so much worse once VW released their single about it. You couldn't escape it then, and sometimes we still have nightmares about it. 

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David Bowie

David Bowie's fashion sense was more interesting than his music. Which is fine--except for the fact that, even after his death, you can't seem to escape his music. 

He never did anything actively bad, but that makes it even more obnoxious that tons of people list him as their favorite musician. Even being the worst of the worst is preferrable to being meh. 

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Lil Nas X

I suppose Billy Ray Cyrus is just as guilty as Lil Nas for this one. And you probably already know what we're gonna talk about--the 2019 nightmare song, "Old Town Road."

The song managed to fuse the worlds of country and rap, which would have been impressive if the rapper had fused the best parts of the two genres instead of the worst. But as terrible as it was, the song climbed to the top of the charts, where it, unfortunately, did not plunge to its death. 

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Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is a country icon, but if I have to hear "Jolene" one more time, things aren't going to be pretty. I guess you can't blame her for being too popular, though. 

Even though the history books might regard her as a pioneer for women in country music, all the things she's lauded for (like her prolific songwriting) had been done for years by other country women, like Bobbie Gentry. 

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Panic at the Disco

Even if you weren't an obnoxious teenager yourself in the 2000s, you probably ran into at least one who couldn't shut up about Panic at the Disco. And they were famous for all the wrong reasons. 

Look, I get it, the band is made up of young, attractive men--who needs the music, really? Let's just be honest about that and drop the charade that anyone actually wants to listen to them as opposed to look at them. 

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U2's wild popularity might be a little more bearable if the band didn't seem so completely in love with themselves and their music. We're looking at you, Bono! 

The band has been around for decades and has had more than their fair share of air time. And to make matters worse, in 2014, they forced their new album, Songs of Innocence, on literally everyone with an iTunes account. 

(photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin tragically died young, and while she definitely made waves in rock and roll, her short life makes her legendary status that more puzzling. 

Joplin only released three solo albums during her life--with a fourth being released after her death. That's a pretty small output for someone considered legendary and who still gets plenty of play decades after her death. 

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