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    Rhyme Report

    Published on September 8th, 2021 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


    Pop Smoke and Juice Wrld Dominate the List of Most Popular Deceased Musicians, Ahead of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, David Bowie

    • Pop Smoke, an American Hip-Hop artist, tops the list of the world’s favourite deceased music artists with 31,470,650 monthly listeners on Spotify and 6.45 million YouTube subscribers. 
    • The most streamed song for a deceased musician goes to Swedish DJ Avicii for his hit ‘Wake Me Up’ which has more than two billion views on YouTube. 
    • Household names such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and David Bowie appear in the top ten list but do not make top three.

    Pop Smoke, an American Hip-Hop artist, who died last year aged 21 due to gun violence, tops the list of the world’s favourite deceased solo music artists. 

    According to a new study by gambling community hub Casino Grounds, he has a whopping 31,470,650 monthly listeners on popular streaming platform Spotify, as well as 6.45 million YouTube subscribers. This means he beats out household names such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and David Bowie who all place below him in the Top 10 most listened to deceased artists.

    In second place is another Hip-Hop artist, Juice WRLD, with 29,814,443 monthly Spotify listeners and 8.94 million YouTube subscribers. He was only 20 years old when he died of an opioid overdose, sharing the position as the youngest star to make the list along with XXXTENTACTION who was also 20 when he died, and appears lower down in the top ten. 

    Juice WRLD takes the crown for most streamed song on Spotify by a deceased artist with 1.7 BN listens for ‘Lucid Dreams”.

    Swedish electronic DJ Avicii rounds out the top three with 28,271,942 monthly Spotify listeners. He can also claim the title of the most streamed song by a deceased musician for his hit ‘Wake Me Up’ which has been viewed more than two billion times on YouTube. His official account has an impressive 19.3 million YouTube subscribers.

    Michael Jackson is next in fourth place with 26,774,240 monthly Spotify listeners.  He has 22.4 million YouTube subscribers, the second highest number for a deceased musician on the video streaming platform.  

    Position five is taken by previously mentioned Hip-Hop star XXXTENTACTION, who has 26,067,676 Spotify listeners each month. He has 33.6 million YouTube subscribers, taking top position on YouTube for largest fanbase of a deceased artist. 

    Whitney Houston is in sixth place, making her the first and only woman in the top ten most popular deceased musicians. She has 19,690,998 monthly Spotify listeners and 6.33 million YouTube subscribers. 

    American rapper Mac Miller is in spot seven with 16,493,939 monthly Spotify listeners and 3.65 million YouTube subscribers.

    The list is mostly dominated by Americans with David Bowie the only Brit in the top ten. The Pop icon has 15,589,440 monthly Spotify listeners and 1.23 million YouTube subscribers. His most popular song is Heroes with 286,335,971 listens on Spotify.

    Ther final two positions in the top ten are taken by two 90s American Hip-Hop legends. The Notorious BIG is in position 9 with 14,665,401 monthly Spotify listeners and 2.77 million YouTube subscribers. The final spot in the top ten goes to 2pac, who has 14,461,060 monthly Spotify listeners and 5.08 million YouTube subscribers.

    Commenting on the study, a spokesperson for Casino Grounds said: “The artists in this list brought so much joy to millions of fans around the world during their lives, and after their deaths shocked and devastated so many, it’s heart-warming to see how their music lives on.”

    Casinogrounds.com is the leading online gambling community, which promotes safe and responsible practise and discussions around gambling.

    Top Ten Most Popular Deceased Musicians  


    Monthly Spotify 


    YouTube Subscribers

    Most Popular Song on Spotify 

    Most Popular Song on YouTube



    1. Pop Smoke

    31, 470 650

    6.45 M

    683, 698 600 – For The Night

    309 M –For TheNight

    Hip- Hop 


    2. Juice WRLD

    29, 814 443

    8.94 M 

    1.7 BN – Lucid Dreams

    732, 281 688 – Lucid Dreams 



    3. Avicii

    28, 271 942 

    19.3 M


     – Wake Me Up

    2 BN 

    – Wake Me Up



    4. Michael Jackson

    26, 774 240

    22.4 M 

    934, 633 122

    Billie Jean 

    1 BN Smooth Criminal 




    26, 067 676 

    33.6 M 

    1.5 BN Jocelyn Flores

    1 BN




    6. Whitney Houston

    19, 690 998 

    6.33 M 

    675, 173 322 –  

    I Wanna Dance WithSomebody 

    1,1 BN I Will Always Love You 



    7. Mac Miller

    16, 493 939

    3.65 M 

    353, 992 415 – 

    Self Care 

    310 M – Self care



    8. David Bowie

    15, 589 440 

    1.23 M 

    286, 335 971 – Heroes 

    158 M – 




    9. Notorious BIG

    14, 665 401

    2.77 M 

    571, 855 503 – Hypnotize 

    407 M – Juicy 



    10. 2Pac

    14, 461 060 

    5.08 M 

    433, 493 076 AmbitionzAs A Ridah 

    455 M

     Hit EmUp (Dirty)



    Data sourced from Spotify and YouTube w/c 23 August 2021

    About the Author

    Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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