The names you'll find here are musicians whose artistic ability - genius, in some cases - has dwarfed their limited commercial success. So don your white robes and join us as we count down the 20 gods of cult.
Meanwhile, head to NME.COM/video to hear NME writers discuss these artists - and don't forget to let us know your own personal cult heroes.
The musician's musician...
Born Steven John Hamper in 1959, Childish is an English artist, painter, author, poet, photographer, filmmaker, singer and guitarist.
He is loved by Graham Coxon: "I watched Thee Headcoats play at St John's Tavern [in Archway, London] in the mid-'90s. That was long before I met Billy – I think Thee Headcoats were coming to an end by the time I actually went to go talk to him.
"I said, 'Can I release a single on my label please?' and he went, 'Yeah, alright.' And that was it! I think Billy’s very popular among a lot of famous guitar players, from Eddie Vedder to Beck to Jack White. He's a bit of a musician's musician. It's because he likes to protect what needs to be protected – he's a cult musician because he's uncomfortable with the mainstream and sees it as fraudulent."
Download: Thee Headcoats – 'We Hate The Fuckin' NME'