The Smiths declared most important rock group of the last 50 years

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 17 2002 12:00 AM ET

British music magazine NME has declared angsty quartet the Smiths--fronted by gay icon Morrissey before the group broke up--as the most important rock group of the last 50 years, Reuters reports. Bands were assessed on the number of front covers, letters, and features they generated as well as end-of-year polls. Charting under the group on the NME list were the Beatles (in second), the Stone Roses (third), and David Bowie (fourth) as well as the Sex Pistols (fifth), Oasis (at sixth, the highest-ranking contemporary band), Eminem (40th), and Madonna (42nd).