Lyrically, Beck's stuff on Odeley was sick smart. I'd also add Paul Simon and Tom Waits for lyrics. Theo, props on Gilmour for his beautiful phrasing on guitar...he hits licks and subtleties that one cannot imagine being played any other way.
@Sit: Yes, this is a bit silly. It's difficult to have an opinion about someone's "intelligence" based on their artistic expression.
I agree that Leonard Cohen is a bright man. Very well spoken and thoughtful. I add him to my list. :)
I have issue with Curt Cobain, too. It's important to remember that he left family, fans, wife and child with his burden. A true intelligent and caring person would have been more thoughtful of himself and the people around him. Suicide is never a smart move, no matter who it is, and what they accomplish. :(
Inna : I m sure you have heard of that guy King David. His notiarity, I am sure will outlast that of Garth Brooks as well as Pink. Integellant enough to become king. As well as good enough with a slingshot to render the NRA irrelevant. Many many copys of his lyrics exist today and he has played before Kings as a juvinile.
Do you know an intellegant musician that can top that.
Tvad to answer your question, Is it necessary to bring religion into the discussion ? My answer and subsiquent question is ,...No... and Why did you? Your first proposition was not stated by the OP unless I read it wrong. Tvad please bring something to the table beside critique.