Fans asked to submit to the cable channel their Top 10 nominees of the greatest living rock hellraisers chose Richards, 61.
The final list is representative of both British and U.S. rockers with Richards followed by U.S. punk rocker and former stripper Courtney Love at No. 2.
Ozzy Osbourne ranks No. 3, followed by Babyshambles guitarist Pete Doherty, Shaun Ryder of Black Grape and the Happy Mondays, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee is No. 6, The Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten, Robbie Williams formerly of Take That, Welsh warbler Charlotte Church clocks in at No. 9 and the No. 10 spot is shared by Oasis' Gallagher brothers, Liam and Noel.
The VH1 survey was taken to promote next week's finale of the CBS talent contest, "Rock Star: INXS," during which a successor will be chosen to take the place of the Australian band's late singer, Michael Hutchence.