The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

459k votes 28k voters 2.5M views 508 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Best musical acts who were active in the 1990s, judged on the quality of their '90s projects ONLY.

Take a big whiff- "mmmbop", it smells like the '90s in here! An incredibly eclectic decade for music, the 1990s saw the rise in popularity of new genres and sounds never heard before (and rarely heard better). Bands of the '90s created a unique sound and catchy lyrics in a way that captured the enthusiasm and disillusionment of the era. The '90s bands and solo artists that populate this list cover all musical categories.

From the East Coast/West Coast rap wars, to the grunge era, to low-fi garage rock, to '90s rock bands, the Lilith Fair sound, and the teen pop takeover - 1990s music was rich with experimentation and style. Where else but in the MTV in your head can you find top artists like Nirvana, Wu-Tang Clan, No Doubt, A Tribe Called Quest, Oasis, Bikini Kill and Britney Spears in one place? Whether you were a fan of 90s alternative bands like Blind Melon, you were more dark and brooding and loved grunge music, or you couldn't get enough of popular, mainstream pop like the Backstreet Boys, take a moment now and give some of your favorite '90s music artists some love! 

Vote-Up your favorite '90s artists and make sure to add any of your favorites that we left out!  
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  1. 1
    + 7,727
    - 4,066

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock See The Best Nirvana Songs

    ;
  2. 2
    + 5,745
    - 3,887


    Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge See The Best Pearl Jam Song

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  3. 3
    + 6,026
    - 3,700


    Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music See The Best Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs

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  4. 4
    + 4,381
    - 3,629


    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog See The Best Radiohead Songs

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  5. 5
    + 4,592
    - 3,495


    Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock See The Best The Smashing Pumpkins Songs

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  6. 6
    + 4,685
    - 3,640


    Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock See The Best Green Day Songs

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  7. 7
    + 4,273
    - 3,209


    Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge See The Best Foo Fighters Songs

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  8. 8
    + 3,887
    - 3,062


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal See The Best Alice in Chains Songs

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  9. 9
    + 3,580
    - 2,887
    Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal See The Best Soundgarden Songs

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  10. 10
    + 3,416
    - 3,210
    R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock See The Best R.E.M. Songs

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  11. 11
    + 3,079
    - 2,820


    Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia See The Best Stone Temple Pilots Songs

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  12. 12
    + 3,694
    - 2,937


    Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop See The Best Rage Against the Machine Songs

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  13. 13
    + 3,570
    - 3,419


    Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock See The Best Oasis Songs

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  14. 14
    + 3,784
    - 3,185
    Metallica is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal See The Best Metallica Songs

    ;
  15. 15
    + 3,032
    - 2,909


    Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock See The Best Weezer Songs

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  16. 16
    + 2,986
    - 2,895


    Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music See The Best Nine Inch Nails Songs

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  17. 17
    + 3,571
    - 3,200
    Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music See The Best Guns N' Roses Songs

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  18. 18
    + 2,923
    - 2,818
    Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Beastie Boys Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop See The Best Beastie Boys Songs

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  19. 19
    + 2,639
    - 3,121


    Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music See The Best No Doubt Songs

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  20. 20
    + 2,640
    - 3,540
    U2 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

    often listed
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock See The Best U2 Songs

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  21. 21
    + 2,773
    - 2,758


    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal See The Best Tool Songs

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  22. 22
    + 2,400
    - 2,468
    Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Aerosmith Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music See The Best Aerosmith Songs

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  23. 23
    + 2,136
    - 2,629
    Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Michael Jackson Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music

  24. 24
    + 2,524
    - 2,321
    Eminem is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Hip hop music, Horrorcore, Hardcore hip hop See The Best Eminem Songs

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1,905
    - 1,984
    Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Beck Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap See The Best Beck Songs

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  26. 26
    + 2,629
    - 2,636


    Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music See The Best The Offspring Songs

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  27. 27
    + 2,189
    - 2,185


    Jangle pop, New Wave, Rock music

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  28. 28
    + 2,228
    - 2,496
    Alanis Morissette is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Alanis Morissette Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

  29. 29
    + 2,147
    - 1,623
    David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

  30. 30
    + 2,326
    - 1,965
    Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Blink-182 Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

  31. 31
    + 2,210
    - 2,509
    Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Whitney Houston Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

  32. 32
    + 2,533
    - 2,646
    Madonna is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Madonna Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music

  33. 33
    + 2,391
    - 2,157


    Rock music, World music, Acoustic music

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,476
    - 1,644

    often listed
    Pop music, Trip hop, Rock music

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  35. 35
    + 1,445
    - 961
    The Cure is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

    added by ChrisBateman
    The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

  36. 36
    + 2,378
    - 2,488

    often listed
    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1,380
    - 1,105
    Bush is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

    ranked low on reranks
    Bush Grunge, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

  38. 38
    + 1,870
    - 2,419
    Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Tupac Shakur Hip hop music, Political hip hop, Gangsta rap

  39. 39
    + 584
    - 280

    ranked low on reranks & added by tankerdrew180
    Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

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  40. 40
    + 1,449
    - 1,487
    Blur is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Blur Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

  41. 41
    + 1,607
    - 1,651


    Alternative hip hop, Dance-pop, Jazz

    ;
  42. 42
    + 1,610
    - 1,341


    Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

    ;
  43. 43
    + 2,126
    - 2,709
    Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mariah Carey Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

  44. 44
    + 994
    - 663

    added by Ranker Comics
    Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1,113
    - 608
    AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

    ranked low on reranks
    AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

  46. 46
    + 1,558
    - 1,521
    Goo Goo Dolls is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s


    Goo Goo Dolls Jangle pop, Classic rock, Heartland rock

  47. 47
    + 1,549
    - 1,240


    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

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  48. 48
    + 1,451
    - 1,403


    Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

    ;
  49. 49
    + 1,281
    - 1,417


    Glam metal, Industrial metal, Rock music

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1,236
    - 996


    Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock

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509 +

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