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This is a list of atheists in music. It documents atheists who have composed and/or performed music. Living persons in this list include those whose non-religiosity is relevant to their notable activities and public life, and who have publicly identified themselves as atheists.
Henry Burstow (1826-1916): English shoemaker, singer and bellringer from Horsham, Sussex, best known for his vast repertoire of songs, many of which were collected in the folksong revival of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924): Italian composer, pianist, teacher of piano and composition, and conductor.
Kim Deal (1961-): American singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the bassist and backup vocalist of the alternative rock band the Pixies, and the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for The Breeders.
James Mercer (1970-): American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and musician, best known as the founder, vocalist, lead singer-songwriter, and sole remaining original member of the indie rock group The Shins.
Tim Minchin (1975-): British-Australian comedian, actor, and musician. Many of his songs and beat poems involve Tim's thoughts on his own atheism and organised religion.
Jerry Wexler (1917-2008): American music journalist and producer, regarded as one of the major record industry players behind music from the 1950s through the 1980s, coiner of the term rhythm and blues.
^Spirituality, Halo or HoaxArchived 29 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine - Javedakhtar.com, Spirituality, Halo or Hoax, 26 February 2005. "There are certain things that I would like to make very clear at the very outset. Don't get carried away by my name - Javed Akhtar. I am not revealing a secret, I am saying something that I have said many times, in writing or on TV, in public...I am an atheist, I have no religious beliefs. And obviously I don't believe in spirituality of some kind. Some kind."
^Ryan Kohls: "I was wondering, is there a spiritual or religious side to Steve Albini?" Steve Albini: "No, not at all. I'm an atheist. You could say that I'm agnostic, but that's just a certain kind of atheist (laughs). An atheist is someone who lacks a belief in a supernatural, and that's me. I can't say with absolute certainty that there is nothing beyond the material world, but there's no reason for me to think there is. If I were a gambling man I would put all my money on there not being anything other than this universe." Ryan Kohls, Steve Albini, 3 June 2011.
^Booth, David (9 May 2018). "Phil Anselmo: Unscarred". Andivero. Retrieved 2020. I stand hard by my anti-theist views. I'm a staunch atheist. I wear it as no front or identity. It's just my personal belief.
^'"We're dealing with religious zealots. I mean, they're so far behind the equal as it is and it's not like they...no one's ever coming up to us, as individuals, and asking about our individual viewpoints, because in our band, believe it or not, though I am a staunch atheist, there are variation on that theme that go through our band" Bad Religion Talk 'True North' and Religious Views (Part 1 of 2)
^"Jack Black: On Music, Mayhem And Murder". NPR. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 2012. I don't have any real spirituality in my life - I'm kind of an atheist - but when music can take me to the highest heights, it's almost like a spiritual feeling. It fills that void for me.
^"The Pearl Fishers - Georges Bizet". Virginia Opera. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 2012. At the end of the first year he was asked to submit a religious work as his required composition. As a self-described atheist, Bizet felt uneasy and hypocritical writing a religious piece. Instead, he submitted a comic opera. Publicly, the committee accepted, acknowledging his musical talent.
^Martin Cooper (1938). Georges Bizet. Oxford University Press. p. 48. ISBN0781294908. As the second part of his letter shows, he was too much of an artist--too firm a believer in the mysteriousness of the greatest things in the world--to be an atheist: and like the Voltaire of whom he wrote from Rome so admiringly, it is the church that he attacks rather than religion, although like Voltaire he does not always manage to keep the distinction clear in his writing.
^SLpeter (11 December 2015). "Thumbs up for Paul Brady". Senior Times. Dublin: S&L Promotions. Retrieved 2020. God? What does that mean? [...] To me there isn't some person 'up there'. Everybody is God and God is everybody. I'm a bit hard on religion. I think religion has passed its usefulness in this century. Anywhere I look around I see it doing more harm than good.
^When asked "Do you still consider yourself an atheist?" Brock replies "Pretty much, but there are things that make me think...I'm 100 percent on the whole Christianity thing being a crock of shit..." A V ClubArchived 2 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
^R.E.M. interview disc, "Shiny Chatty People" conducted on 23 June 1985, for England's Piccadilly Radio "If we all found God tomorrow and wanted to do a gospel show, we would do it. I never will - I'm an atheist"
^"Geoffrey Burgon [...] has declined a generous Hollywood offer to write the music for award-winning John Carpenter's remake of The Thing, a 1950s horror film. An atheist with a remarkable feel for "church" music, Burgon tells me that time prevents his crossing the Atlantic; he is busy writing two operas [...]" Peter Watson, 'The Times Diary', The Times, 12 January 1982; p. 8; Issue 61129; col C.
^"At the Warped Tour 06 Fat Mike joined the bible study and clearly stated that he does not believe in a god."
^"Burstow was a fascinating man. A shoemaker by trade, he shared the radical and non-conformist attitudes of many who followed the gentle craft. His reading included Darwin and Lyle and he was a convinced atheist, this in spite of the fact that he was a well known church bell-ringer." Vic Gammon, Chairman of the Oral History Society, 'The Grand Conversation: Napoleon and British Popular Balladry', 26 March 1999 (accessed 2 May 2008).
^"Aside from his undisputed powers as composer, pianist and man of letters, Busoni was an enterprising (if sometimes erratic) conductor, a passionate bibliophile, a talented draughtsman and a bon vivant. Baptized into the Catholic church, he was at heart an atheist; a lucid commentator on world affairs, he remained politically uncommitted." Beaumont, Anthony: 'Busoni, Ferruccio (Dante Michelangelo Benvenuto)', Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (accessed 28 April 2008)
^"Chesnutt's contrary nature was forged in isolation, in the backwoods of Pine County, Georgia. Though he loved the closeness of nature, and was loved by friends and parents, he found himself "at odds with the Protestant power structure". "I had a revelation that I was an atheist at a very early age," he remembers, "and I bumped up with these fuckers my whole time there. Sometimes it felt great to be at war with them. But I knew I needed to go somewhere else." " Nick Hasted interviewing Chesnutt, 'The Dark Side of the Tune', The Independent (London), 4 April 2003, Features, p. 21.
^"Written, produced and recorded by Greydon Square, The Compton Effect fuses atheism, critical thinking, and rationality with hip hop to spread free-thought and education about the dangers of faith and religion. It's a giant step towards the enlightenment of urban culture's dependency on religious indoctrination. "This is music that transcends genres," says Greydon. "This is bigger than just hip hop, these are cultural issues that need to be addressed before humanity can safely take another evolutionary step. I am the minority of the minority, an African-American atheist, from a community that does not tolerate threats to the status quote unless it's based on religion. This album is the manifestation of the thought, research and education that has been used to free myself from the shackles of religion." " Atheist Rapper - African American Hip-Hop Artist Shatters Stereotype Tackling Age Old Theological Positions in Unique Form of RapArchived 5 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine', Greydon Square's website 25 January 2008; reposting an article from top40-charts.com 11 June 2007. (Accessed 23 June 2008.)
^"I wish I did believe in God. It would be a great relief to think, 'God'll take care of it. God'll put gas in the car tomorrow'" McCormick, Neil (23 March 2006), "I'm 45 and I'm Going Insane", The Daily Telegraph, London, retrieved 2011
^Jonny Craig stated in a video interview quote: "I personally am atheist, but I grew up Christian. If you believe there is a god or are religious, I'm all for it. But if you don't believe in a god, you shouldn't be prosecuted for it, but it also goes both ways." Hardtimes.ca 29 January 2009 (accessed on 3 February 2009).
^"In the Mass of Life (1904-05) Delius testified to his atheism. With Cassirer's assistance, he selected the words from Nietzsche's prose-poem Also sprach Zarathustra [...] In music that touches extreme poles of physical energy and rapt contemplation, Delius celebrates the human 'Will' and the 'Individual', and the 'Eternal Recurrence of Nature'." Diana McVeagh, 'Delius, Frederick Theodor Albert (1862-1934)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed 2 May 2008).
^"I have developed a spirituality which I suppose you could call metaphysics or science of mind - nothing to do with Scientology, I hasten to add. It's something that was developed by a guy called Ernest Holmes, and it's about the law of the universe, the law of attraction. It's all that stuff that's been popular on The Secret but there's far more to it than that. I'm an atheist but I've got a spirituality I can fall back on. I don't like religion because I see it as a bureaucracy of faith and I've never really been big on bureaucracy." Ian Dickson interviewed by Bridget McManus, "Back to where he once belonged", The Age (Australia), 2 August 2007 (accessed 22 May 2008).
^DiFranco described her religious beliefs, saying " I'm not a religious person myself. I'm an atheist. I think religion serves a lot of different purposes in people's lives, and I can recognize the value of that, you know, the value of ceremony, the value of community, or even just having a forum to get together and talk about ideas, about morals--that's a cool concept."DiFranco quote
^" "Southern life really was God-fearing. Granny Ditto was a strict Pentecostal, with hair down to her knees. I said in an interview not long ago that I didn't believe in God, and people called my mother saying, 'How do you feel about Beth being an atheist?'" She realised she was gay when she was only five years old. "I loved the sound of women's voices, not those of guys. I would pray because I didn't want to go to hell." She's not joking; her eyes fill with tears. "In my teens, my motor skills quit, I was shaking all the time." Did her pubic hair really turn white? "Yes. In fact, it's still half white!" A revelation about her atheism, at 19, saved Ditto from her fate. "I realised that every 2,000 years, there's a religion that happens to rule, and Christianity is just today's religion," she says." Jane Bussman interviewing Ditto, 'Queen Beth', The Sunday Times (London), 4 February 2007, Features; Style; p. 10.
^"The ecumenical echoes are no accident. Eno describes himself as an "evangelical atheist, and has spoken of his intent to create a space in which one could have "secular spiritual experiences"." James Flint, 'This 'art for airports' is merely screen deep', The Daily Telegraph, 2 February 2007, Features: Film on Friday, p. 32.
^"For meg har aldri opprøret vært greia. Det har heller handlet om en slags ateistisk vind-i-håret-frihet og kritikk av organisert religion."Nytid retrieved
15 January 2008
^"God doesn't exist, it's a fairy tale, heaven and hell isn't real. Fear of hell and the promise of heaven is not a good reason for choosing to do the right over the wrong thing. We shouldn't need these things to make the decision that killing others, or raping children is wrong. In my mind, the god idea should be eradicated from this world if we expect to survive. There is a mountain of debate on this topic and an even greater ocean of information available to support it. All you have to do is look. Open your eyes, do some research." 
^Lamberts, Patrick (27 August 2013). "Aviv Geffen (Blackfield): "Ik ben bereid om voor Israël en mijn muziek te sterven"". lflmagazine.nl (in Dutch). Amsterdam, Netherlands. Retrieved 2016. Ik ben Joods, maar honderd procent atheïst. Religies en goden drijven mensen uiteen; muziek brengt mensen nader tot elkaar. Muziek is daarom mijn god (I'm Jewish, but one hundred percent atheist. Religions and gods drive people apart; Music brings people together. Music is therefore my god)
^"Rock-Idol Ian Gillan über Corona, Erfolg und Versäumnisse: «Die Erde würde uns Menschen keine Sekunde vermissen»" [Rock idol Ian Gillan about Corona, success, and failures: «Earth would not miss us humans for one second»]. Blick.ch (in German). The World News. 26 July 2020. Retrieved 2020. Ich glaube nur an die Natur. Sie ist gnadenlos, sie bittet um keinen Gefallen. Sie schenkt uns Menschen eine Plattform, um zu leben. Aber was wir mit unserem Leben anstellen, ist allein unsere Sache. Unser Planet käme problemlos ohne uns Menschen aus. Er würde uns keine Sekunde vermissen. Daher glaube ich nicht, dass es irgendeinen höheren Sinn hat, dass wir hier sind. [I only believe in nature. It is merciless, it asks no favour. It gives us humans a platform to live. But what we do with our lives is up to us. Our planet could easily do without us humans. It would not miss us for one second. Therefore, I do not believe there is any higher purpose that we are here.]
^From Newsday, published 30 March 2006: "I'm an atheist, and I don't have any belief in an afterlife..."
^"The theme of the new album - those Pink Floyd habits die hard - is mortality. One song, 'This Heaven', reflects Gilmour's atheism. 'There is an element of contended resignation in that song. It extols the virtues of living in the moment and accepting your mortality. Perhaps the closest I will get to immortality will be through Dark Side of the Moon. I think that record will go on being played for a while yet.' " Nigel Farndale interviewing Gilmour, 'Still on the dark side', The Sunday Telegraph (London), 28 May 2006, Section Seven, p. 8.
^"There was more to Godin than a love of music, however. A militant atheist, a conscientious objector who argued his way out of national service, a vegetarian from the age of 14, a campaigner against cruelty to animals and cinema censorship, he abhorred violence and believed in fairness in all areas of human conduct." Richard Williams, 'Obituary: Dave Godin', The Guardian, 20 October 2004, p. 27.
^Robert Simon, Percy Grainger: The Pictoral Biography, p. 122
^"The first single off the album, The One I Love (released as a download this week), is a strange beast, an uplifting anthem about the last thoughts of a dying soldier. "We live imagined lives - it's all in our heads and they can just vanish, they can be changed utterly by something completely beyond our control. Obviously on the field of battle you're far more likely to encounter some shard of metal but even walking down the street it can all come to an abrupt end. "I don't believe in God but ultimately I think death will have no dominion. My dad seemed to play a trick, he didn't want to show us all the emotional pain he was going through, having to let everything go, and he sort of disappeared in a kind of magical way, somehow managing to say how brilliant his life had been even though he knew he was about to lose it. "Obviously not everyone is given that luxury, so I don't want to start painting some sort of crass picture of happy dying people. It can be very hard to find a thread of hope but there is always one there. So I just imagined this person celebrating the fact that they have actually been loved, and it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." " Neil McCormick interviewing Gray, 'A new shade of Gray', The Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2005, Art, p. 4.
^"Mark Greenway - Napalm Death". MetalCovenant.com (published 22 April 2009). 13 April 2009. Retrieved 2016. I am definitely an atheist! I don't believe in anything spiritual, or ethereal. I have found no basis for what most accept as their reality.
^"But, as Araya said, Slayer has always been plagued with controversy. Band members have been accused of satanism, racism and enticing fans to violence and suicide. But they've said they are not satanists, racist or riot-mongers, although the lyrics to some of their songs do explicitly depict war, terrorism and serial killings. For the record, King, Hanneman and Lombardo are atheists and Araya was raised Catholic. And both Araya and Lombardo are of Hispanic descent." Scott Iwasaki, "Grammy nominee Slayer will bring thrash-metal sound to Saltair". Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City), 26 January 2007.
^"Standouts in the first half included "Frozen Moment" and a recent, vehemently anti-war and anti-religion, epic, "The Death of God". This he prefaced with an atheist polemic that drew cheers from some but resolute silence from others. He also did the notorious ditty "Watford Gap", a much more focused attack, this time on 1970s motorway food." Simon Hardeman reviewing a Harper performance at London's 100 Club, The Independent (London), 24 January 2006, Features, p. 43.
^"Paul Heaton, frontman of the hugely successful Beautiful South and founder member of the iconic 1980s band the Housemartins, discusses the inspiration behind his lyrics, speaks candidly about his atheist views and reviews a TV exclusive demo from his first ever band Tools Down." TRILT: 'Faith and Music, ITV1 (various regions), Monday 30 Oct 6, 00:15 (50 mins)' (accessed 22 May 2008).
^"People are amazed that a German Jewish atheist would be supposedly the world's expert on gospel music." Anthony Heilbut interviewed by Barney Hoskyns, 'The gospel according to Anthony', The Independent (London), 24 June 1996, Arts; p. 26.
^Setnyk, Jason (16 September 2017). "Interview with Slayer and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt". Theseeker.ca. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 2018. Q: In your songwriting, do you consider some of your lyrics as being atheist or anti-Christian? Gary Holt: Both. I am an atheist, and I am anti-Christian, [...]
^"There's a Lot Of People I Don't Like". 5 June 2011. ...religion to me is a crock of shit. The god? The devil? There's no god, there's no devil [...] I'm too much of a skeptic - if there's god, show me god so I can believe it. When I was young, I was brought up a Mormon by my grandparents, and I asked too many questions on things like god and Jesus that they couldn't deliver.
^"George Hrab is an atheist in the Christmas City, a performer more famous globally than in his hometown and his "day job" is drumming for a funk band." Heller-Labelle, Greg (30 July 2008), "Hrab: Skeptic 'a geek at heart'", The Bethlehem Press, p. A5
^"M?a glagolskaja". Retrieved 2012. During his adult life Janá?ek was an atheist and distanced himself from the church Nevertheless religion features frequently in his work, not always in a positive light; as an emotional crutch (in the despairing pleas of the characters in Jen?fa or Kát'a Kabanová) or in a more humorous light (the alcoholic, lustful Priest in The Cunning Little Vixen). The composer once described organised religion as 'concentrated death.
^Jansen, Steve. "Answer to question regarding religious beliefs". Sleepyard. Tumblr. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 2016. I am an atheist...It's hard to say exactly when I was identifiably one but probably around the age of 20 as I'd not given it much thought before then. The more I looked at society and understood what religion was doing, the more it became apparent to me that the 'god' concept was a hindrance and very flawed indeed. I felt we are smart enough not to need these concepts when what some people might need is a support system to fill the void they are feeling in life. Teach the value of life without creating a diversion from the source. It's somewhat akin to making a child believe gifts came from Father Christmas. Deviating purpose, responsibility and humanity is all 'gods' achieve. Dump them and a better people may evolve.
^"Interview with Heri Joensen of TYR". 15 May 2011. Yeah, I'm an Atheist definitely. Or more like an anti-theist. I'm not just convinced there is no God, I'm thrilled there is no evidence.
^"'Atheist or believer?' 'Atheist.'" , The Mind's Construction Quarterly, (accessed 4 May 2008)
^ abShell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles, Flo and Eddie, and Frank Zappa, etc. Hal Leonard Corporation. 2013. ISBN9781480342934. I was an atheist. Zappa was atheist.
^" For someone who doesn't believe in God, Paul Kelly spends a lot of time thinking about Him. Religion runs like a river through the 53-year-old singer-songwriter's enormous body of work. "I'm probably as puzzled by it as the people who ask [me about it]," he says, acknowledging that his Catholic upbringing provided him with "some familiarity with the Bible". " Lisa Dabscheck interviewing Kelly, The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), 25 September 2008, The Sydney Magazine, p. 124.
^Hamalian, Leo (1980). As others see us: the Armenian image in literature. New York: Ararat Press. p. 46. ISBN978-0933706170. Aram Khachaturian ... Besides his being an atheist, his Armenian descent...
^"You've never shied away from attacking organized religion in your songs--directly and unapologetically--and Christ Illusion cranks up the heat. But then we often arrive at a 'Hail Satan' conclusion, which seems a little strange. Are you talking about the Christian devil?" "Actually on "Cult" ["Beware the cult of purity / Infectious imbecility / I've made my choice / 666"] the line "666" was going to be "Atheist", to get that point across about how I really feel. But it doesn't make for a good song. Kids love screaming "666." [laughs] Interview: Kerry King of Slayer, ArtistDirect.com, 7 August 2007 (accessed 27 February 2009).
^"And in the end, there is no Old School vs. New School. There is just an alliance forged in steel, in blood, in fully tattooed leather-clad splendour, waiting to disrupt the staid confines of middle North America. 'I'm not religious', explains King. 'I'm an atheist. It's cool to be into God, that's America's nature, but they aren't happy until you convert. You agree with me or you don't." Shawn Jam Hill interviewing King, "Pumped for a great night of thrashing", Ottawa Citizen, 8 February 2007, Section: Arts, The Metalhead; p. E1.
^"Slayer makes Marilyn Manson look like Mickey Mouse. Just look at Slayer's Grammy-winning album Christ Illusion, the sixth track of which is listed as '666'. But that does not mean Slayer worships Satan. 'I'm not a religious person. I think religion is the silliest thing on the planet,' King said. 'I'm an atheist, but atheism doesn't sell.'" Tom Netherland, "Thrashing into town", Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia), 15 February 2007, Section: Weekend, p. F-13.
^"as an atheist, 'I [Johnson] couldn't reconcile myself to the idea that Haile Selassie was God.'" 'I did my own thing', Guardian Books, 8 March 2008 (accessed 31 March 2008)
^"Then when you get into the overall song writing of Queensrÿche they were very much ahead of their time, but Maiden were my first and then Queensrÿche, and then I got really into Stryper. Even though I am an atheist, I just loved Michael Sweet's singing and his scream, not forgetting the guitar harmonies. They were just a really great band with great songs. After that it was Helloween, Testament, and I was also a big fan of Dokken. Fates Warning were also great, and these are the bands that I still listen to today that I very much love. " Penny Black Music 2013, Interview with Todd La Torre
^Bunko, Anthony (2010). Hugh Laurie: The Biography. London: John Blake Publishing. ISBN978-1-84358-641-8. I admire the music, buildings and ethics of religion but I come unstuck on the God thing. I don't believe in God, but I have this idea that if there were a God, or destiny of some kind looking down on us, that if he saw you taking anything for granted he'd take it away.
^"Losing my faith was very gradual. [...] And then I started thinking, 'Well, what if it's just people trying to personify life? To personify the fact that there is matter, and that there is a universe? If there is a God, that's it. God doesn't have a brain, God doesn't think, God is just existence.' And when you get to that point, you realise, if that's what God is, then there's no such thing. [...] I didn't like it [the Atheist Bus Campaign's slogan] at first - I thought it was too nice. I wanted to say, 'There's no God, so forget it! You're living in a dream world!' But then it made sense to me, because probability is one of the things I really believe in, in a scientific sense. It's quite healthy to have an open mind." Simon Le Bon, 'Losing My Faith', in Ariane Sherine (ed.), The Atheist's Guide to Christmas, Harper Collins 2009, ISBN978-0-00-732261-9.
^Warren Allen Smith (2002). "Tom Lehrer". Celebrities in hell. chelCpress. p. 72. ISBN9781569802144. He responded: No one is more dangerous than someone who thinks he has The Truth. To be an atheist is almost as arrogant as to be a fundamentalist. But then again, I can get pretty arrogant.
^Ligeti declared himself not religious. György Ligeti & Eckhard Roelcke (2003). "Träumen Sie in Farbe?" György Ligeti im Gespräch mit Eckhard Roelcke. Paul Zsolnay Verlag. ISBN3552052283.
^"I was the only one at that school who was certain that gay people are equal. It was a really Christian school, almost like a sect. It just provoked me and made me more secure in myself because I could see it was crazy. That's why I write so much about God. I never believed in God. I just love the philosophy." Ida Maria interviewed by Jacqui Swift, The Sun (England), 18 July 2008.
^"Opposed to pedantry, he spoke extravagantly of the power of emotive discipline--not a popular cause among strait-laced Melburnians; he expounded his socialist theories and declared his atheism." Maureen Thérèse Radic: 'Marshall-Hall, George William Louis (1862-1915)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition (accessed 16 July 2008).
^Interviewing Davies, Ivan Hewett wrote: "An avant-gardist who uses ancient Christian chants, an atheist who's written pieces entitled Antichrist and Revelation and Fall - clearly there are tensions beneath that carefully controlled surface." 'A Life on the Edge', The Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2005, Features, p. 015.
^On his website's FAQ sectionArchived 3 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine Andy said: "I guess because of my look in the November 2006 YouTube videos, many people came to assume that I am Muslim. Well, I am not Muslim. I am actually an atheist. As a side note, I believe in anyone's right to believe in what they want and kindly ask the same. So please don't message me trying to convert me to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or anything else"
^Interviewed by Nigel Farndale, Melly said: "I don't understand people panicking about death. It's inevitable. I'm an atheist; you'd think it would make it worse, but it doesn't. I've done quite a lot in the world, not necessarily of great significance, but I have done it." The Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2005, Features section, p. 023.
^"Bob was arguing the point but Dick was having none of it. 'Look, I'm telling you. There'll be no fucking religion - not Christian, not Jewish, not Muslim. Nothing. For God's sake, man - you were born Jewish, which makes your religion money, doesn't it? So stick with it, for Christ's sake. I'm giving you 20 million bucks - it's like baptising you, like sending you to heaven. So what are you fucking moaning about? You want 20 million bucks from us? Well, you gotta do what we tell you. And what we're telling you is... No Torah! No Bible! No Koran! No Jesus! No God! No Allah! No fucking religion. It's going in the contract.' As a devout atheist, I could hardly object, though it seemed tough that a contract should include such specific restrictions." Simon Napier-Bell, 'The life and crimes of the music biz', The Observer (England), 20 January 2008, Observer Music Magazine, p. 41.
^"Singer and atheist Alice Nutter, a Jewish student and an Anglican businessman each join a Muslim family in Bradford to experience Ramadan first hand, and through some hard conversations get a unique view of what it's like to be a Muslim in contemporary Britain." TRILT: 'Fast Friends, BBC1, Sunday 14 November 4, 23:45 (35 mins)' (accessed 22 May 2008).
^Ross Russell (1996). Bird Lives!: The High Life And Hard Times Of Charlie (yardbird) Parker. Da Capo Press. p. 361. ISBN9780306806797. A confirmed atheist, he had not been inside a church in years.
^"Basically I don't believe in God." From an interview with Partridge in The Limelight Annual, 1987 (Accessed 26 August 2007)
^Harlow Robinson (2002). Sergei Prokofiev: a biography. Northeastern University Press. p. 425. ISBN978-1-55553-517-9. Prokofiev had always been a stubborn atheist; his first marriage to Lina was not performed in a church.
^Izrail? Vladimirovi? Nest?ev (1960). Prokofiev. Stanford University Press. p. 2. ISBN9780804705851. However, until the end of his life he remained a confirmed atheist, with a hatred for the gentry and the arrogance of the nobility, and a respect for the peasantry.
^"The Bible made me an atheist." Marc Riley in response to the question "A book that changed me...", 'My Secret Life', The Independent (London), 22 May 2004, Features, p. 7.
^Simon Alexander Morrison (2002). Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement. University of California Press. pp. 116-117. ISBN9780520927261. That task was accomplished by another prominent artist of the Silver Age, the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who was a positivist, not an idealist, and who feuded with his Symbolist colleagues. Moreover, he was an atheist who complained to his friends that institutionalized religion had become corrupt and hypocritical, since, in his estimation, doctrine promoted exclusion.
^Rodgers' biographer William G Hyland states: "That Richard Rodgers would recall, at the very beginning of his memoirs, his great-grandmother's death and its religious significance for his family suggests his need to justify his own religious alienation. Richard became an atheist, and as a parent he resisted religious instruction for his children. According to his wife, Dorothy, he felt that religion was based on "fear" and contributed to "feelings of guilt." " Richard Rodgers, Yale University Press 1998, ISBN0-300-07115-9. Chapter 1 at The New York Times Books (accessed 30 April 2008).
^Brian Rees (1999). Camille Saint-Saëns: a life. Chatto & Windus. p. 73. ISBN9781856197731. (Baumann constantly emphasises the spiritual content of Saint-Saëns's music despite the composer's emphatic atheist views of later years.)
^Richard Benefield, ed. (2003). Motets for One Voice: The Organ-accompanied Solo Motet in Nineteenth-century France, Volume 36. A-R Editions, Inc. p. xx. ISBN9780895795274. An avowed atheist, Saint-Saëns's uncompromisingly rigid standards and austere musical tastes, as well as his outspoken views on church music, often placed him at odds with the clergy.
^"To these he brought the disciplines that had stood him in such good stead in music, most particularly the rejection of traditional beliefs unsupported by hard evidence. This also lay behind his own atheism." Andrew Lamb, 'Sams, Eric Sydney Charles (1926-2004)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edition, Oxford University Press, January 2008 (accessed 6 May 2008).
^"How many times have religions of the world been damaged by some discovery or other only to move the goalposts and carry on as before as though nothing had happened? They gave Gallileo a hard time for saying the world was round... somehow God seems to have forgotten to tell his 'flock' about our planet revolving round the sun and all that. Then there was the theory of evolution - the teaching about which in schools was fought against in a courtroom in the USA and is still disbelieved by a majority of Americans, incredibly. There's also no mention of dinosaurs in the bible either. Perhaps it's not inspired by an all knowing being after all and is, after all, just a cracking good work of fiction? No - I'm afraid none of that faith thing holds any water for me." Warren Allen Smith, Celebrities in Hell, pages 26-27.
^In Laurel Fay's biography Shostakovich: A Life (pp. 263), she writes: When asked if he believed in God, his reply was swift and firm: "No, and I am very sorry about it."
^"Q&A: Labi Siffre". New Humanist. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 2018. I've always been an atheist. I've never had religious belief. Pre-teens, I assumed God was in the same make-believe category as Father Christmas; a game of pretend between children and grown-ups.
^Warren Allen Smith (2002). "Smith, Robert James". Celebrities in Hell. chelCpress. pp. 106-107. ISBN9781569802144. During a 1992 press conference, Smith told one reporter, "I don't believe in God. I wish I did." Similarly in The Face (1989), Smith said, "I used to lay myself open to visions of God, but I never had any. I come from a religious family, and there have been moments when I've felt the oneness of things, but they never last, they fade away, leaving me with the belief that it's only fear that drives people to religion. And I don't think I'm ever going to wake up and know that I was wrong."
^"When I was in junior high, I sang in the school chorus. We had a Christmas concert every year in which we sang Christmas songs, both secular and religious. Being the rebellious atheist I am, I would roll my eyes at the Jesus songs. When we did the song 'Oh Holy Night', I got all my friends in the choir to sing the words 'shining' and 'pining' in a diving, stretched-out descending note--kind of like a barbershop quartet would--and in the middle bridge, we would fall on our knees during the line 'fall on your knees' and drop out of sight. But when we actually performed the concert, we didn't want to humiliate the music teacher, so we did it the correct way. It reminds me that I've always been an instigator and ringleader. And even though I was the little atheist, I still love that song and the melody." Donita Sparks, 'Joyful NoiseArchived 29 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine', OC Weekly, 24 December 2004. (Print version: Section: Music, p. 22; online version accessed 27 February 2009.)
^Explained in an interview with @ARTISTdirect: "I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. I was asked to believe in him when I was in this bad place. I couldn't understand why I needed a god or, in my opinion, something that doesn't exist." 
^"Thomas flatly denies the work is being shocking for its own sake. The gay, atheist fan of Judge Judy and Wife Swap is pleasant, polite and 44 [...]" King of the high sleazeArchived 30 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine, The Australian, 7 March 2009 (accessed 9 March 2009).
^"I've always been an atheist. We grew up in a village and I was like 'I'm not joining the Christian Youth Club'. Believing something that's unprovable is not how my mind works." Tracey Thorn, 'G2: Pieces of me: Tracey Thorn, Singer', The Guardian, 23 July 2007, Features pages, p. 14.
^"He then went as a boarder to Stamford grammar school, Lincolnshire, where he was much happier, though still a notorious character largely on account of his now fully developed atheism. [...] He was cremated on January 15 at Hanworth crematorium, at an explicitly non-religious service." Geraint Lewis, 'Tippett, Sir Michael Kemp (1905-1998)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed 6 May 2008).
^"Yet the most striking and contentious song is Glory Hallelujah, described by Turner as "atheist gospel", is a stirring sing-a-long based around a chorus of "There is no God! So clap your hands together!" and is best described as a musical version of London's 2009 atheist bus adverts. "I know this will get a lot of attention, but I want to make it clear it is not an anti-religious song," he says. "It is an anti-theist song. I'm a big Richard Dawkins fan, but I wanted to write a joyous song, not a spiteful fuck-you song that says if you are a religious person, you are an idiot. I have no desire to offend anyone: in fact, I'm not even sure I'll play it at the show tonight because it is in the crypt of Liverpool cathedral." " Frank Turner: troubadour with a troubled past, The Guardian, Thursday 2 June 2011.
^"The last track - 'Glory Hallelujah' - is an atheist gospel song and the chorus involves the gospel choir singing, 'There is no God', but it is still a functioning church [where it was recorded]," he explained. "I was conducting it on a chair and I thought, 'If I'm wrong about this I'm really fucked'. There is no coming back from that kind of offence." Frank Turner chats about his 'atheist gospel song' at Great Escape, NME, 12 May 2011.
^Bonnie Gutsch. "Eddie Vedder". Freedom From Religion Foundation. At a July 22, 1998 Pearl Jam concert in Seattle's Memorial Stadium, Vedder said of the good weather, "I would thank God, but I don't believe in it."
^Verdi's second wife, Giuseppina Strepponi, wrote: "I exhaust myself in speaking to him about the marvels of the heavens, the earth, the sea, etc. It's a waste of breath! He laughs in my face and freezes me in the midst of my oratorical periods and my divine enthusiasm by saying 'you're all crazy,' and unfortunately he says it with good faith." (quoted in Verdi: A Biography by Mary Jane Phillips-Matz, 1993). Verdi was well-known as an unbeliever and there was no religious service when he died, by his own request: "[My funeral is to be without] any part of the customary formulae," Verdi wrote in his will (cited by F.T. Garibaldi in Giuseppe Verdi, 1903).
^"Please, God - I'm an atheist so maybe I shouldn't be asking God - but let Barack Obama finally win the Democratic nomination and elect a person who seems to be not just enormously intelligent but also deeply humane and seems to have an imagination." Roger Waters interviewed by Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain MusicArchived 29 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine, 25 April 2008 (accessed 10 June 2008).
^McGowan, Dale, ed. (2007). Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion. AMACOM. pp. 39-43, 257-264.
^"The music business held a curious appeal to a man who had hitherto dreamed only of becoming the Jewish John O'Hara - and whose fiction had been published in Story magazine. It was dominated by Jews, and therefore excluded from Wasp high culture. "I was determined to use all my wit and courage to confound the Christian tormenters," Wexler says, referring to the "immanent anti-Semitism that existed then and exists now. It's like Dr John says, 'I don't want no one hangin' no jacket on me'." He is, in fact, a confirmed atheist of many years' standing." Barney Hoskyns interviewing Wexler, 'Crossing the divide', The Independent (London), 30 May 1993, Sunday Review Pages, p. 10.
^"He is against pianists who express concentration by leaning their heads back with their eyes closed: "When you give a recital, God doesn't help you." (Wild claims to be an atheist largely for musical reasons, having at age ten asked his mother how there could be a God when the organist at their local church in Pittsburgh was so lousy.)" Leo Carey interviewing Wild, 'Wilding', The New Yorker, 11 August 2003 (accessed 10 June 2008).
^Prasad, Anil (2012). "Steven Wilson - Art as a mirror". Innerviews. Retrieved 2016. - Prasad: Are you an atheist? - Wilson: Yes. I guess I am in some ways your archetypal atheist. I think the whole myth of religion is absolutely absurd. I say this with the caveat that I understand it brings happiness to people who would otherwise be unhappy. There is comfort in it for people who would otherwise be tortured by their own existence and all that stuff. I appreciate those reasons and arguments, but at the end of the day, I'm afraid it's just a silly fairy tale that mankind has dreamed up because of our fear of death.
^Zbigniew Skowron, ed. (2001). Lutoslawski Studies. Oxford University Press. pp. 122-123. ISBN9780198166603. In accordance with his atheist views, Xenakis emphasizes the finality of death as the ultimate event of human life, and this is probably why wild shrieks and moans punctuate his score.
^Stephen Bullivant; Michael Ruse, eds. (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Oxford University Press. p. 722. ISBN978-0-19-964465-0. Of numerous atheist rock musicians, Frank Zappa ranks among the most outspoken.