Charles Hardin Holley (known professionally as Buddy Holly; September 7, 1936 - February 3, 1959) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, and a pioneer of rock and roll. His works influenced contemporary and later musicians, notably the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Costello. Holly exerted a profound influence on popular music and set the template for the standard rock and roll band: two guitars, bass, and drums. He was one of the first in the genre to write, produce, and perform his own songs. He managed to bridge the racial divide that marked music in America. Holly has been described as â€œthe single most influential creative force in early rock and roll.â€ In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Holly number 13 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.