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Readers Poll: Ten Best Post-Band Solo Artists

Your picks include Paul McCartney, Morrissey and Sting

readers poll

Kevin Mazur/WireImage; Petra Mafalda/LatinContent/Getty Images; M. Caulfield/WireImage

Jack White released Blunderbuss, his first album as a solo artist, to great acclaim and commercial success last week. Having success as a solo artist after becoming a star with a band is never a given: the bargain bins overflow with unwanted LPs by That Guy Who Used to Be in That Band. We asked you to name your favorite post-band solo artists, and made this Top 10 list from the results. Click through to see your picks.

Listen to our Spotify playlist of best post-band solo artists:

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6. John Lennon

John Lennon's achievements as a solo artist will always be vastly overshadowed by his staggering body of work as a member of the Beatles, but he did many great and interesting things on his own. "Imagine," his signature solo number, is easily one of his finest moments as a songwriter and as a vocalist.

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5. Neil Young

Neil Young has been a solo artist for so long that it's actually pretty easy to forget that he broke into the business as a member of Buffalo Springfield. Young has frequently collaborated with other bands since, but he's such a distinct presence that his name is always left in the billing.

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4. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was a profoundly talented kid and led his elder siblings in the Jackson 5 to many, many hits back in the Sixties and Seventies. It was all just prologue for his career as an adult, in which he changed the sound and style of pop with his blockbuster aesthetics.

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3. Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel helped set the template for prog- and art-rock as a member of Genesis, but he became an unlikely pop star on his own. His 1977 hit "Solsbury Hill" bridged the gap in his career, bringing him closer to the colorful pop of smashes like "Sledgehammer" and "In Your Eyes."

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2. Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton began his career in three iconic bands – the Yardbirds, Cream and Derek and the Dominos – but managed to go on to even greater success as a solo act with hits like "Wonderful Tonight," "Cocaine" and "Tears in Heaven."

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1. Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney's solo work may not be equal to that of his music with the Beatles, but that doesn't keep it from being truly impressive on its own terms. McCartney's solo catalog is full of rock classics and oddball experiments with electronic music and pop standards.

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