I enjoy music, even more so good music with clever, enlightening or insightful lyrics. I think that is hard to accomplish. I admire all the more performers who write their own songs. I’ll over look lack of technical abilities or singing skills when I think the performer has something worthwhile to say.
My favorite C&W - Folk singer-song writers would include Guy Clark, Hoyt Axton, Kris Kristofferson, Leo Kottke, Richie Havens, Rosanne Cash, Stephen Foster and Townes Van Zandt.
On the Rock-Pop side my list would include Anita Baker, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, John Hiatt, John Prine, Laura Nyro, Melissa Manchester, Norah Jones, Phoebe Snow, Randy Newman, Ray Charles and Van Morrison.
On the Gospel side I would rank Twila Paris above all other contemporary hymn writers. When Twila Paris writes it is as if Moses speaks. It is Inspired, with the capital "I".
Who did I neglect to mention? Is there such a thing as a great Jazz or Blues lyricist? Let me look; All of my top tier jazz lyricists are long gone. Cole Porter, Billie Holiday, Burt Bacharach, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, Richard Rogers, Jerome Kern. All the finest, those who wrote the Great American Songbook are gone forever.