Kanye West and the 9 Other Biggest Egos in Music

Shawn Amos
Yahoo Music

Whether or not Kanye West is his generation's defining voice, and he has claimed, it's clear that he definitely has its biggest ego.

"I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice," he once said in an interview. "It's me settling into that position of just really accepting that it's one thing to say you want to do it and it's another thing to really end up being like Michael Jordan."

[Related: Kanye's "The College Dropout" Turns 10]

Then there was that time, via a since-deleted tweet, that he said he planned to "pick up where Steve Jobs left off." Or the time he dressed up like Jesus Christ on the cover of Rolling Stone. And of course, he complains loudly and publicly when he doesn't win awards.

Yes, we all remember when he bumrushed the stage at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, but that was just to protest Taylor Swift winning over Beyoncé. He did the same thing at the 2007 MTV Europe Music Awards when he lost to French duo Justice, running onstage and shouting, "If I don't win, the awards lose credibility!"

Drake, meanwhile, is catching up to Kanye in the ego stakes, complaining just as loudly when his own Rolling Stone cover gets bumped for a tribute to revered late actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

[Related: Call the #Wahmbulance: Twitter Destroys Drake for Rolling Stone-Philip Seymour Hoffman Slam]

But should it be any other way? Of course not. Rock 'n' roll is not about modesty. It's about being the loudest one in the room. If some stupid stuff gets said along the way, well, that's just the price of admission. Shoot the mouth off first, explain yourself later. Or don't. That's even better. Rock stars don't need to give any explanations.

Besides Kanye and Drake, here are the rest of the biggest egos in music history that round our top 10.

1. Bono

Any dude who can meet with world leaders one weekend and then have two 19-year olds sit on his lap the next has a big ego. Bono's life is dedicated to bigness. He sings big anthems, not songs. He's out to save rock 'n' roll and the world. He's not just a rock star; he's a messiah, at least to himself. And, yes, I'm a little jealous.

2. John Lennon

How huge was John Lennon's ego? He said his band was bigger than Jesus. What more proof do you need? By the way, this week the Vatican finally forgave Lennon for his 1966 diss. Those guys can hold a grudge.

3. Noel & Liam Gallagher

Oasis's brothers spent most of the '90s claiming they were the best band in the world and boasting how they saved British rock from ruin. They also spent a lot of time writing songs "inspired" by a lot of other British rock band. It takes a big ego to remake Beatles songs and call them your own.

4. Madonna

Madonna's ego is so big, she believes that she can actually stop time. The Material Girl is on a never-ending quest to be forever twentysomething. Her bionic limbs are the first step toward immortality. Her insistence on pretending to be the teen pop star of the moment is the second step. The third? It probably will have something to do with her next boy toy.

5. Terence Trent D'Arby

You might not remember this late-'80s nouveau R&B artist. He made a debut album in 1987 that many thought was brilliant, especially him. D'Arby liked it so much, he announced that he was going to be bigger than the Beatles. That's why you don't remember him. The Beatles saying they're bigger than Jesus? OK. Emerging R&B star saying he's bigger than the Beatles? Not OK.

6. Robbie Williams

He named his album "The Ego Has Landed." In reality, Williams's ego — and career — has landed everywhere but the U.S., where he remains largely a cult figure.

7. Gene Simmons

Is there anything Simmons won't slap a KISS logo on?

8. Axl Rose

Two words: "Chinese Democracy."

Follow Shawn Amos on Twitter