27. Mark Knopfler
Dire Straits founder and solo artist Mark Knopfler emerged at a time when guitar virtuosos were spurned by punks and New Wavers. Yet from the first stinging notes of "Sultans of Swing," Knopfler's roots-based approach and supple, burnished leads found almost universal appeal. A fingerpicker who favors Fender Stratocasters — a Knopfler-designed Strat was introduced in July as part of Fender's "Artist Series" — he's known for his rich tone, sinuous melodicism and rangy, fluid solos. "My sound is fingers on a Strat," he once said.