63.0k voters

The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

Updated May 2, 2020 942.2k votes 63.0k 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!  


  • Soundgarden1


    Rock music, Grunge

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

    Spotify buy button
  • Alice in Chains2

    Alice in Chains

    Rock music, Grunge

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

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  • Nirvana3


    Rock music, Grunge

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

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  • Foo Fighters4

    Foo Fighters

    Alternative rock, Post-grunge

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

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  • Pearl Jam5

    Pearl Jam

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsTen, Vs., Vitalogy, Binaural, No Code

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  • Red Hot Chili Peppers6

    Red Hot Chili Peppers

    Alternative Rock, Funk Metal

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

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  • Rage Against the Machine7

    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

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  • Stone Temple Pilots8

    Stone Temple Pilots

    Rock music, Grunge

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

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  • Metallica9


    Thrash metal, Rock music

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

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  • Beastie Boys10

    Beastie Boys

    Hip hop music, Pop punk

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

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  • Tool11


    Post-metal, Metal

    AlbumsÆnima, Lateralus, 10,000 Days, Undertow

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  • Green Day12

    Green Day

    Pop punk, Rock music

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

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  • Nine Inch Nails13

    Nine Inch Nails

    Dark ambient, Industrial metal

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

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  • Guns N' Roses14

    Guns N' Roses

    Glam metal, Blues-rock

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

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  • The Smashing Pumpkins15

    The Smashing Pumpkins

    Shoegazing, Gothic rock

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

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  • Sublime16


    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

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  • The Offspring17

    The Offspring

    Pop punk, Ska punk

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

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  • Weezer18


    Pop punk, Rock music

    AlbumsPinkerton, Weezer, Weezer, Weezer, Raditude

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  • AC/DC19


    Blues-rock, Boogie rock

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

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  • Oasis20


    Rock music, Britpop

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

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  • System of a Down21

    System of a Down

    Nu metal, Progressive metal

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

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  • R.E.M.22


    Jangle pop, Alternative rock

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

    Amazon buy button
  • The Cranberries23

    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
  • David Bowie24

    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"

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  • Eminem25


    Hip hop

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

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