Music
63.2k voters

The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Updated May 2, 2020 898.2k votes 63.2k voters 3.6m views383 items

List RulesBest 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!  

 

Photo:
...more
  • Soundgarden1
    9,158
    5,354

    Soundgarden

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsSuperunknown, Badmotorfinger, Down on the Upside, Louder Than Love, Black Hole Sun

    Spotify buy button

    More Soundgarden 

    #19 of 84 The Best Dadrock Bands That Are Totally Worth Your Time#15 of 93 The Best Opening Act You've Ever Seen

  • Alice in Chains2
    9,459
    5,740

    Alice in Chains

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsDirt, Alice in Chains, Facelift, Jar of Flies, Black Gives Way to Blue

    Amazon buy button

    More Alice in Chains 

    The Best Alice In Chains Songs of All Time#13 of 47 The Greatest Artists Who Have Never Won a Grammy

  • Nirvana3
    13,906
    8,437

    Nirvana

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsNevermind, In Utero, MTV Unplugged in New York, Bleach, Heart‐Shaped Box

    Amazon buy button

    More Nirvana 

    Behind The Scenes Of Nirvana's Timeless 'MTV Unplugged' Performance#53 of 461 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

  • Pearl Jam4
    11,287
    7,543

    Pearl Jam

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsTen, Vs., Vitalogy, Binaural, No Code

    Amazon buy button

    More Pearl Jam 

    The Best Pearl Jam Songs of All TimeThe Tragic Story Of Pearl Jam's Deadly Roskilde Show

  • Foo Fighters5
    8,909
    5,933

    Foo Fighters

    Alternative rock, Post-grunge

    AlbumsWasting Light, The Colour and the Shape, Foo Fighters, One by One, There Is Nothing Left to Lose

    Amazon buy button

    More Foo Fighters 

    The Best Foo Fighters Songs of All Time#25 of 355 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers6
    11,289
    7,516

    Red Hot Chili Peppers

    Alternative Rock, Funk Metal

    AlbumsCalifornication, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Stadium Arcadium, Mother's Milk, By the Way

    Amazon buy button

    More Red Hot Chili Peppers 

    The Best Red Hot Chili Peppers SongsThe Best Bands Like Red Hot Chili Peppers

  • Rage Against the Machine7
    8,137
    4,820

    Rage Against the Machine

    Crossover thrash, Nu metal

    AlbumsRage Against the Machine, Evil Empire, The Battle of Los Angeles, Renegades, Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium

    Amazon buy button

    More Rage Against the Machine 

    The Best Rage Against The Machine Songs#179 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

  • Stone Temple Pilots8
    7,618
    5,031

    Stone Temple Pilots

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsPurple, Core, Tiny Music… Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop, №4, Interstate Love Song

    Amazon buy button

    More Stone Temple Pilots 

    The Best Stone Temple Pilots Songs#54 of 392 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time

  • Metallica9
    8,440
    5,695

    Metallica

    Thrash metal, Rock music

    AlbumsMaster of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica, …and Justice for All, Kill 'Em All

    Amazon buy button

    More Metallica 

    The Best Metallica Songs of All TimeFascinating Facts From The Making Of Metallica's 'Master Of Puppets'

  • Beastie Boys10
    6,857
    4,688

    Beastie Boys

    Hip hop music, Pop punk

    AlbumsPaul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Hello Nasty

    Amazon buy button

    More Beastie Boys 

    The Best Beastie Boys Songs#45 of 66 The Strangest Opening Act Bookings Ever

  • Green Day11
    9,351
    7,210

    Green Day

    Pop punk, Rock music

    AlbumsAmerican Idiot, Dookie, 21st Century Breakdown, ¡Dos!, Insomniac

    Amazon buy button

    More Green Day 

    The Best Green Day Songs of All Time#68 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • Tool12
    6,377
    4,783

    Tool

    Post-metal, Metal

    AlbumsÆnima, Lateralus, 10,000 Days, Undertow

    Amazon buy button

    More Tool 

    The Best Tool Albums of All-Time#14 of 37 The Best Bands Like Metallica

  • The Smashing Pumpkins13
    9,007
    6,901

    The Smashing Pumpkins

    Shoegazing, Gothic rock

    AlbumsSiamese Dream, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Oceania, Gish, Adore

    Amazon buy button

    More The Smashing Pumpkins 

    The Best Smashing Pumpkins Albums, Ranked#15 of 15 Bands Whose Whole Thing Is Hating Each Other

  • Nine Inch Nails14
    6,588
    5,053

    Nine Inch Nails

    Dark ambient, Industrial metal

    AlbumsThe Downward Spiral, The Fragile, With Teeth, Pretty Hate Machine, Year Zero

    Amazon buy button

    More Nine Inch Nails 

    Behind The Scenes, ‘The Downward Spiral’ Was A Chronicle Of Trent Reznor’s Depression#82 of 139 Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums

  • Guns N' Roses15
    7,061
    5,505

    Guns N' Roses

    Glam metal, Blues-rock

    AlbumsAppetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I, Chinese Democracy, Use Your Illusion II

    Amazon buy button

    More Guns N' Roses 

    Wild, Over-The-Top Stories From The Making Of Guns N' Roses' 'Appetite for Destruction'At Their Peaks, Guns N' Roses And Nirvana Hated Each Other - But They Found Common Ground In Rock

  • Sublime16
    5,041
    3,854

    Sublime

    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

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

    Amazon buy button

    More Sublime 

    #24 of 110 The Best Musical Trios Of All-Time#74 of 95 The Best Trios Of All Time

  • Weezer17
    6,288
    5,244

    Weezer

    Pop punk, Rock music

    AlbumsPinkerton, Weezer, Weezer, Weezer, Raditude

    Amazon buy button

    More Weezer 

    #267 of 559 The Most Hipster Bands#43 of 66 The Greatest Rock Band Logos of All Time

  • The Offspring18
    5,555
    4,284

    The Offspring

    Pop punk, Ska punk

    AlbumsSmash, Americana, The Offspring, Hit That, Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)

    Amazon buy button

    More The Offspring 

    The Best Offspring Albums of All Time#59 of 389 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time

  • Oasis19
    7,437
    6,264

    Oasis

    Rock music, Britpop

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

    Amazon buy button

    More Oasis 

    The Best Oasis Songs of All Time#3 of 25 The Best English Boy Bands

  • AC/DC20
    3,313
    2,479

    AC/DC

    Blues-rock, Boogie rock

    AlbumsBack in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock, The Razors Edge, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

    Amazon buy button

    More AC/DC 

    The Best AC/DC Songs of All Time#5 of 23 The Best Band Name Origin Stories

  • R.E.M.21
    6,751
    5,650

    R.E.M.

    Jangle pop, Alternative rock

    AlbumsMurmur, Green, Automatic for the People, Out of Time, Reckoning

    Amazon buy button

    More R.E.M. 

    #82 of 816 These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time#192 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

  • System of a Down22
    3,140
    2,316

    System of a Down

    Nu metal, Progressive metal

    AlbumsToxicity, Hypnotize, Mezmerize, System of a Down, Steal This Album!

    Amazon buy button

    More System of a Down 

    The Best System Of A Down Songs of All Time#5 of 79 The Best Political Musicians

  • The Cranberries23
    4,727
    3,763

    The Cranberries

    Jangle pop, New Wave

    AlbumsEverybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? / No Need to Argue, Bury the Hatchet

    Spotify buy button

    More The Cranberries 

    The Best Cranberries Albums of All Time#46 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

  • David Bowie24
    4,345
    3,566

    David Bowie

    Rock music, Psychedelic pop

    AlbumsThe Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane, "Heroes"

    Amazon buy button

    More David Bowie 

    David Bowie and His Mysterious Connections to the Occult and Paganism#630 of 1,017 The Best Actors in Film History

  • Eminem25
    5,918
    5,165

    Eminem

    Hip hop

    AlbumsThe Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show, Infinite, Recovery

    Spotify buy button

    More Eminem 

    12 Messed Up Facts About Eminem's Troubled UpbringingAll The Ways 8 Mile Is Radically Different From Eminem's Actual Life