Who Are the Happiest, Saddest & Angriest Music Artists of All Time?

Tags: Infographics

Is Kanye West as confident as he makes out? 

Were The Beatles really that happy? 

We've used IBM's revolutionary 'Watson' software to analyse the tones of thousands of songs across a huge amount of the world's most popular artists - from Elvis to Adele, and from Nirvana to Ariana Grande. 

Tone Analyser infographic

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Please include attribution to Superfi.co.uk with this graphic. High-res version and code for interactive (below) available on request. 


Music is often highly emotional. It's the artists that can connect with listeners in one way or another through emotion - quite often sadness, anger or joy - that do the most successfully. 

However, are the artists all they're made out to be? Are their songs really as emotional as they sound? Are they as sad or as happy as they're making out in their lyrics? We have proof thanks to state of the art analysis software from IBM that quite often they're not. 

For example, Kanye West is a fairly confident guy, right? Most people are familiar with the following meme: 

Kanye loves Kanye

However, upon analysis, Kanye's songs actually show he is highly fearful - not a trait common in highly confident people. 

The most joyful artist we analysed? Unsurprisingly, Frank Sinatra topped the bill, followed by Elvis, Taylor Swift and The Beatles. This shows the accuracy that the tool possesses. Furthermore, Nirvana were shown to have the highest levels of 'disgust' - befitting of their grungey attitude. 

The Beatles may show high levels of joy, but their happiness timeline is interesting. They got noticeably sadder when John met Yoko, and when Brian Epstein died. Coincedence? Their happiest song was found to be Lovely Rita, whilst their saddest song is While My Guitar Gently Weeps. This analysis will completely change how you listen to songs the next time your Hi-Fi system is playing music! 

More unsurprising stats show that Rihanna was one of the most extraverted artists that we analysed, although David Bowie wasn't as high as most would have thought! 

The happiest song of all time was found to be The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations. 

The saddest song was Roy Orbison - Crying. 

The angriest? Eminem - Kim. 

And the least confident...Kanye West - I Love Kanye, which was shown to be 0% confident. What?!

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