The fascinating list contains everything from Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil to the rise of Napster - but what's Number One?...

KURT COBAIN's suicide is the most significant event in the turbulent history of rock, as voted by the top writers and staff at NME.COM.

We have compiled a list of the 100 most earth-shaking events which made popular music the sensational multi-faceted beast it is in 2001.

Other notorious events feature highly: Bowie retiring Ziggy, Elvis Presley's hip-swivelling and Jarvis Cocker's stage invasion during Michael Jackson's Brit Awards performance jostle for position in the fascinating list. Click back later today to see the full rundown - each entry is accompanied by a piece explaining why it merits a place in our hall of infamy.

The Rolling Stones prove to be the ultimate bad boys of rock, with the most entries by a single band (four). But it's evidently not just the stars behaviour that profoundly affects the music psyche.

In at Number Seven, and proving that rock n roll is more alive, kicking and interactive than its ever been, is the rise of Internet music-swapping system Napster, taking pride of place despite only appearing within the last 18 months.

The breakdown by decade for the list shows that rock is as era-defining now as ever with 3% of entries in the 00s, 27% in the 90s, 20% in the 80s, 22% in the 70s, 19% in the 60s, 8% in the 50s and 1% in the 30s.

Below is the list:

1. Kurt Cobain's death
2. The Sex Pistols swear on TV
3. Dylan goes electric
4. The KLF's art terrorism at the Brits 1992
5. The deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls
6. The birth of acid house
7. Napster
8. The Manic Street Preachers' Richey carves 4 Real' into his arm
9. Berry Gordy founds Motown
10. James Brown at Harlem Apollo
11. Bowie retires Ziggy Stardust
12. Run DMC and Aerosmith in the first rap/rock crossover
13. 'Rapper's Delight' - hip hop's breakthrough record
14. Woody Guthrie's guitar bearing the legend: "This Machine Kills Fascists"
15. The Wu-Tang Clan's Ol' Dirty Bastard goes on the run
16. Cover shot of The Clash's 'London Calling' album
17. The Beastie Boys' audience riots in Liverpool
18. Public Enemy release 'Fight The Power'
19. M/A/R/R/S reach Number One with 'Pump Up The Volume'
20. Elvis shocks America with his gyrating hips
21. Jerry Lee Lewis is banned from Britain
22. U2 and Ash get together to try to bring peace to Northern Ireland
23. John Lennon claims that The Beatles are bigger than Jesus
24. The Stones' Jagger and Richards are arrested
25. New Order release Blue Monday'
26. The Dead Kennedys ridicule San Francisco's rock aristocracy at a local awards ceremony
27. 2 Live Crew get done for obscenity
28. Syd Barrett loses his mind
29. Charles Manson hears The Beatles' 'White Album'
30. Phil Spector revolutionises production techniques
31. The Jesus And Mary Chain incite a riot at a London gig
32. Michael Jackson moonwalks
33. Gene Vincent introduces leather boots and booze to rock'n'roll
34. The Battle of Britpop (Oasis vs Blur)
35. Robert Johnson sells his soul to the Devil
36. Method Man/Mary J Blige team up in the first hip hop/soul crossover
37. The Rolling Stones at Altamont
38. The BBC ban Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Relax'
39. George Michael outs himself on video
40. The Smiths' first tour
41. Serge Gainsbourg tells Whitney Houston that he'd "like to fuck" her on a French chat show
42. The first Velvet Underground gig after meeting Andy Warhol
43. The utter debauchery of New York's Studio 54 nightclub
44. Super Furry Animals' 'The Man Don't Give A Fuck' single
45. The death of Buddy Holly
46. The Prodigy's Firestarter' video
47. Boy George introduces sexual ambiguity to the nation on 'Top Of The Pops'
48. Jarvis Cocker waggles his behind at Michael Jackson at the 1996 Brit Awards
49. The Castlemorton rave, 1992
50. The Stooges' chaotic/disastrous/debauched 1973 tour
51. The release of 'This Is Spinal Tap'
52. Elvis' 'Comeback Special'
53. Lee Perry burns down his Black Ark studio
54. Oasis threaten to burn down King Tut's Wah Wah Hut if they don't get to play there
55. Radiohead at Glastonbury, 1997
56. The release of Primal Scream's 'Screamadelica'
57. Bob Marley & The Wailers' legendary gig at London Lyceum
58. The release of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On'
59. The Beatles play Shea Stadium
60. Kraftwerk use robots onstage
61. The Rolling Stones' 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' video
62. NME invents the UK singles chart
63. Riots at Blackboard Jungle' movie
64. The Beatles release 'Sgt Pepper's...'
65. Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off a bat
66. The Jam split
67. Pulp at Glastonbury, 1995
68. The Up In Smoke tour, featuring Eminem and Dr Dre
69. Charlton Heston's speech to Time Warner shareholders, following the release of Ice-T's 'Cop Killer'
70. Jimi Hendrix plays the Monterey Pop Festival
71. Crosby Stills Nash &Young record 'Ohio'
72. The Stone Roses at Spike Island
73. Bob Dylan makes 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' 'video'
74. Eminem appears with a horde of fake Eminems at the MTV Awards
75. Pink Floyd's Technicolor Dream 24-hour rave
76. The release of The Specials' 'Ghost Town' single
77. The kidnapping of Gram Parsons' corpse
78. NME's Shaun Ryder On E cover
79. The first Glastonbury festival
80. Police and travellers trade blows at the Battle Of The Beanfield
81. Link Wray loses a lung and invents punk!
82. Dexys Midnight Runners kidnap their own mastertapes
83. The formation of Led Zeppelin
84. Jim Morrison arrested for indecent exposure
85. Sid Vicious performing 'My Way'
86. MC5 swear and get dropped
87. Roky Erickson of the 13th Floor Elevators invents psychedelia and loses his mind
88. Brian Wilson loses his marbles
89. The release of Lou Reed's 'Metal Machine Music' LP
90. The 'Bohemian Rhapsody' bit in `Wayne's World'
91. Belle And Sebastian win a Brit award
92. The unveiling of George Clinton's Mothership
93. The Woodstock '99 riot
94. My Bloody Valentine almost bankrupt Creation
95. The Verve's video for Bitter Sweet Symphony'
96. Neil Young sued for not sounding like Neil Young
97. Keith Richards' "Who the fuck is Mick Jagger?" T-shirt
98. John Fogerty sued for sounding like Creedence Clearwater Revival
99. The existence of two Fleetwood Macs during the early '70s
100. George Jones' lawnmower

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