9. Jack White
After starting things off with a bang at the beginning of the '90s, rock didn't have much to be proud of by the end of the decade. As much as grunge may have set the world on fire with acts like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, giving way to the nu metal movement and the pop punk explosion left no real room for any straight up rock and roll to enter the mix any time soon. Fans were more into songs about moping about pain, but it took a kid from Detroit to help all of us get over ourselves.
Which is strange because what Jack White brought to the table with the White Stripes is a fairly basic setup. With his "sister" Meg, half of the band's discography is just Jack raising hell on his guitar while Meg keeps time, which could get pretty monotonous after a while. Jack was always looking for new sounds though, and most of his genius comes from the way he's able to interpret the blues that he was raised on and turn it into some of the most ramshackle rock and roll tunes ever made like on Black Math and Fell In Love With a Girl.
In the wake of the Stripes reaching the top of the world, Jack had an entire subgenre at his feet as well, with bands like the Strokes taking a back to basics approach to their sound as well. Then again, Jack's position as the renegade guitar player just taught us a lesson about what makes a good rock star. You don't need to play a million notes per second...all you need is a couple of chords and a lot of passion.