In addition to being the godmother of punk, Patti smith is also an acclaimed poet and award-winning author. So it’s no surprise that Smith is the singer with the largest vocabulary, according to a new study that ranks 200 different musical artists based on their song lyrics.
Word.Tips, which conducted the study, found that Smith uses 217 unique words for every 1,000 words appearing in his songs.
At # 2 is the legendary singer / songwriter Joni mitchell, with 199. Other veteran artists ranked in the top 20 include the late Doors leader Jim Morrison at # 4, with 177; To free and Bad company singer Paul Rodgers at No. 12, with 151; Eagles‘ Don henley at # 17, with 149; Freddie mercury at # 18, with 148; and Gregg Allman at # 20, with 144.
Perhaps surprisingly, Bob dylan, the singer-songwriter considered by many to be one of the greatest word creators in the music world, was number 44 on the list with 130 unique words per 1,000 – tied with David Bowie.
However, Dylan is at the top of a separate list ranking the artists who have used the most unique words in their entire careers. According to the study, he has 12,285 different words in his songs. Prince is second on the count, with 11,430; Elton john is third, with 9,467; Lou reed‘s fourth, with 8,979; and Bruce springsteen is fifth, with 8,862.
The artists in the study come from Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” list and Spotify’s 100 Most Listed Modern Stars list, according to Kworb.net.
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