100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam

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Kenny Aronoff
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66. Kenny Aronoff

Best known as John Mellencamp's hard-bashing drummer from 1980 to 1996, Kenny Aronoff is fully capable of banging out flashy fills — let's not forget the tumble that leads into the bridge of "Jack and Diane." But he's equally at home sitting in the pocket and keeping a sturdy beat. "[As the drummer], I'm the employee," he told Esquire. "My job is to listen, learn, lead. And I understand I'm not the boss." With a sixth sense for what makes music pop and the patience to take direction, he's ended up as a go-to studio beatsmith for the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton, John Fogerty, Sting, the Smashing Pumpkins, Lady Gaga and tons more.

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