There are artists that almost everyone loves, or at least greatly respects, and there are popular artists that are widely loathed by the music intelligentsia. There are also lots of bands that lots of people think are pretty good, while others think are just OK, or visa versa.
When I was posting my top 500 songs of the 1970s list for the first time, I got to thinking about the most contentious artists. These are artists that almost nobody thinks are kind of OK. Most people think these artists are absolutely wonderful or absolute rubbish (or at least grossly overrated).
I don't have a very good metric for these rankings. I tried to think of one. Loosely, I was imagining equally vociferous arguments in favor or against these artists' greatness. In some cases, the vociferousness of the feelings pushed artists up the ranking more than the balance of the opinions.
10. Grateful Dead
7. Fleetwood Mac
6. Barbara Streisand
3. The Cure
2. Bob Dylan
1. Billy Joel
I've failed to make the case for any of these 10. I think it's a good list if it's self-evident that a lot of people love or hate all of these artists. If it's not self-evident, I should have made better choices.