The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

458k votes 28k voters 2.5M views 512 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
    + 7,723
    - 4,062

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

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  2. 2
    + 6,025
    - 3,697


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

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  3. 3
    + 5,743
    - 3,883


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

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  4. 4
    + 4,377
    - 3,627


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

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  5. 5
    + 4,589
    - 3,494


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

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  6. 6
    + 4,682
    - 3,638


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

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  7. 7
    + 4,272
    - 3,207


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

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  8. 8
    + 3,885
    - 3,060


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

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  9. 9
    + 3,579
    - 2,885
    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
    + 3,414
    - 3,208
    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
    - 2,818


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

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  12. 12
    + 3,693
    - 2,935


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

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  13. 13
    + 3,569
    - 3,416


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

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  14. 14
    + 3,783
    - 3,183
    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

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  15. 15
    + 3,031
    - 2,908


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

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  16. 16
    + 2,985
    - 2,893


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

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  17. 17
    + 3,571
    - 3,198
    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
    + 2,921
    - 2,817


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

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  19. 19
    + 2,638
    - 3,119


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

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  20. 20
    + 2,639
    - 3,539
    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
    - 2,757


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

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  22. 22
    + 2,399
    - 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
    + 2,134
    - 2,628

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

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  24. 24
    + 2,522
    - 2,320
    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

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  25. 25
    + 1,903
    - 1,983


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

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  26. 26
    + 2,628
    - 2,635


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

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  27. 27
    + 2,187
    - 2,185


    Jangle pop, New Wave, Rock music

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  28. 28
    + 2,226
    - 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
    - 1,621
    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
    - 1,963
    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
    + 2,208
    - 2,508
    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
    + 2,532
    - 2,645
    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
    - 2,154


    Rock music, World music, Acoustic music

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,475
    - 1,643

    often listed
    Pop music, Trip hop, Rock music

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  35. 35
    + 1,444
    - 960
    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
    + 1,868
    - 2,418

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

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  37. 37
    + 2,377
    - 2,487


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

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  38. 38
    + 1,380
    - 1,103
    Bush is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

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

  39. 39
    + 584
    - 278

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

    ;
  40. 40
    + 1,447
    - 1,486
    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
    + 1,606
    - 1,650


    Alternative hip hop, Dance-pop, Jazz

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  42. 42
    + 1,610
    - 1,339


    Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

    ;
  43. 43
    + 993
    - 662

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

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  44. 44
    + 1,113
    - 606
    AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

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

  45. 45
    + 1,558
    - 1,520


    Jangle pop, Classic rock, Heartland rock

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1,549
    - 1,239


    Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1,450
    - 1,402


    Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

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  48. 48
    + 1,281
    - 1,416


    Glam metal, Industrial metal, Rock music

    ;
  49. 49
    + 1,236
    - 994


    Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock

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  50. 50
    + 2,124
    - 2,708
    Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 50 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

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