Music

The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated May 2, 2020 1M votes 60.9k voters 3.5M views 408 items

List Rules 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. If you're still feeling nostalgic, check out the best fictional '90s songs and the greatest one hit wonders of the '90s

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 names like the Backstreet Boys, take a moment now and give some of your favorite '90s music artists some love! Who are the most famous '90s bands? Which '90s singers led their groups to become the among best of the decade?

Vote-Up your favorite '90s artists and make sure to add any of your favorites that we left out!  

 

list ordered by
1
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Nevermind, In Utero, MTV Unplugged in New York, Bleach, Heart‐Shaped Box, + more

More Nirvana 

Behind The Scenes Of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ #55 of 466 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers #8 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

2
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Superunknown, Badmotorfinger, Down on the Upside, Louder Than Love, Black Hole Sun, + more

More Soundgarden 

#55 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #42 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands #59 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

3
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s
4
Red Hot Chili Peppers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Californication, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Stadium Arcadium, Mother's Milk, By the Way, + more

More Red Hot Chili Peppers 

The Best Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs #60 of 466 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers #28 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

5
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s
6
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Wasting Light, The Colour and the Shape, Foo Fighters, One by One, There Is Nothing Left to Lose, + more

More Foo Fighters 

The Best Foo Fighters Songs of All Time #33 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #40 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

7
Rage Against the Machine... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Rage Against the Machine, Evil Empire, The Battle of Los Angeles, Renegades, Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, + more

More Rage Against the Machine 

The Best Rage Against The Machine Albums of All Time #158 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #177 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

8
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica, …and Justice for All, Kill 'Em All, + more

More Metallica 

The Best Metallica Songs of All Time #10 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands #26 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

9
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Purple, Core, Tiny Music… Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop, №4, Interstate Love Song, + more

More Stone Temple Pilots 

The Best Stone Temple Pilots Songs #74 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands #129 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

10
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Hello Nasty, + more

More Beastie Boys 

The Best Beastie Boys Songs The Best Beastie Boys Albums of All Time #129 of 604 The Most Hipster Bands

11
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s
12
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: American Idiot, Dookie, 21st Century Breakdown, ¡Dos!, Insomniac, + more

More Green Day 

The Best Green Day Songs of All Time #63 of 466 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers #46 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

13
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s
14
Tool is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Ænima, Lateralus, 10, 000 Days, Undertow, + more

More Tool 

The Best Tool Albums of All-Time #269 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #79 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

15
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s
16
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Pinkerton, Weezer, Weezer, Weezer, Raditude, + more

More Weezer 

#90 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #60 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands #249 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

17
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s
Genre: Rock music, Psychedelic pop & Electronic music; Nationality: United Kingdom

Albums: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane, "Heroes", + more

More David Bowie 

David Bowie and His Mysterious Connections to the Occult and Paganism #4 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #17 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

18
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s
tankerdrew180 added

Albums: Toxicity, Hypnotize, Mezmerize, System of a Down, Steal This Album!, + more

More System of a Down 

The Best System Of A Down Songs of All Time #256 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #99 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

19
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Sublime: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, 40oz. to Freedom, Sublime Acoustic: Bradley Nowell & Friends, Robbin' the Hood, Second-Hand Smoke, + more

More Sublime 

#198 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands #384 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #442 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

20
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Definitely Maybe, Don’t Believe the Truth, Dig Out Your Soul, Be Here Now, + more

More Oasis 

The Best Oasis Songs of All Time #271 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Famelisted on The Best English Boy Bands

21
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People, Out of Time, Reckoning, + more

More R.E.M. 

#19 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands #48 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #720 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

22
The Offspring is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s
23
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s
Genre: Hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show, Infinite, Recovery, + more

More Eminem 

The Best Eminem Songs of All Time #601 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #242 of 285 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

24
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock, The Razors Edge, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, + more

More AC/DC 

The Best AC/DC Songs of All Time #7 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bandslisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

25
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Albums: Enema of the State, Dude Ranch, blink-182, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, Cheshire Cat, + more

More Blink-182 

The Best Blink-182 Albums of All-Time #124 of 466 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers #281 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands