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 mouth almighty
Lydia Lunch is a spoken-word performance artist who has, at times, made GG Allin look like the kind of chap you'd take home for tea with your grandparents.
In New York in 1976, aged 17, she formed Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, an abrasive no-wave noise band who took punk's rudimentary three chords and ripped them apart with knives and beer bottles.
To this day she's a prolific performer and writer and gives possibly the best interviews of all time. Here's her take on Madonna, from 2008: "I think people like Madonna do everyone a fucking disservice, running round in a leotard at her fucking age, talking about nothing but fucking dancing."
Download: Teenage Jesus And The Jerks – 'Orphans'
The queen of no wave lets us eat cake
- Jun 23, 2009