22. Jack White—The White Stripes
He was obviously the whole point of the White Stripes, even if Meg was the coolest thing about the Detroit-based band. The first thing that jumps out on any White Stripes album is Jack’s yelping lead vocals and the second is his guitar playing; an always confident mixture of pounding rhythms and sliding leads. At their best, the White Stripes recalled the best of British invasion rock like the early Stones and the Yardbirds but so what, right? A million bands do that. The difference is that White had actually done his homework, going straight to the source to learn the songs and handiwork of the likes of Robert Johnson, Son House and Blind Willie McTell. One imagines no other band that went on to play the MTV Video Music Awards began this century touring a cover of the traditional blues “Boll Weevil” that it never released on record.