Bands/Musicians The Best Musical Artists From California  

Ranker Music
593 votes 31 voters 100 items

List Rules Only artists born or raised in California and groups formed in California.

Here are the best artists and bands from California. From the San Francisco Bay to the coast of San Diego, there is a lot to love about the Golden State. With almost 40 million residents, it is no surprise to see that California has produced some of the most influential singers and bands of all time. These are the most popular musical artists from California in every genre imaginable. 

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the best example of the California lifestyle. Anthony Kiedis, Flea, and the rest of the boys love California so much, they've written numerous songs about it. However, it is more than just rock that has come out of the state. The Bakersfield Sound is well-known around the globe, and country acts from Buck Owens to Merle Haggard have honed their styles in the heart of California. Home to West Coast hip hop, some of the greatest rappers of all time, like Tupac, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre, were either born or raised in Los Angeles. 

The most famous musical artists from California are on this list, and they have all impacted the world in some way. Which ones do you listen to regularly? Vote up the best California artists, and feel free to add any other musicians, rappers, singers, and bands with CA roots.

1
13 3
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock
Green Day is an American rock band formed in 1986. Green Day's members include Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool. Green Day was originally part of the punk scene at the DIY ...more

2
13 3
Linkin Park is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the ...more

3
10 1
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
Mötley Crüe is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, who were later joined by ...more

4
10 1
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music
Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band formed in Los Angeles, in 1985. The classic lineup as signed to Geffen Records in 1986 consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm ...more

5
10 1
The Eagles is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Rhythm and blues
The Eagles were a 1950s rhythm and blues vocal group from the Washington, D.C. area. They recorded the original version of "Tryin' to Get to You", better known through the versions by ...more

6
9 3
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
Van Halen is an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1974. From 1975 until 1985, the band comprised guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, ...more

7
11 5
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California. Metallica was formed in 1981 when vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield responded to an advertisement posted by drummer ...more

8
5 0
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock
Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1992 consisting of Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell, and Scott Shriner. The line-up has changed three times since its formation ...more

9
6 1
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap
Beck Hansen, known by the stage name Beck, is an American singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He rose to fame in the early 1990s with his lo-fi, sonically experimental style, ...more

10
8 3
Cher is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Hip hop music, Rock music, Dance-pop
Cher is an American singer, songwriter, actress, model, fashion designer, television host, comedian, dancer, businesswoman, philanthropist, author, film producer, director, and record producer. ...more

11
9 4
Dr. Dre is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Hip hop music, Rap music, Gangsta rap
Andre Romelle Young, known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American record producer, rapper and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. ...more

12
9 4
Red Hot Chili Peppers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other ...more

13
8 4
Buck Owens is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Bakersfield sound, Country
Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr., known professionally as Buck Owens, was an American musician, singer, songwriter and band leader who had 21 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country music charts with his band ...more

14
8 4
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop
The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band. Formed in 1961, they gained popularity for their close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a California youth culture of surfing, girls, and ...more

15
8 4
Merle Haggard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound, Country
Merle Ronald Haggard is an American country and Western song writer, singer, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the ...more

16
8 4
Katy Perry is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Christian music, Synthpop, Rock music
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, better known by her stage name Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter and occasional actress. She had limited exposure to secular music during her childhood and ...more

17
7 3
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk
Blink-182 is an American rock band formed in Poway, a suburb of San Diego, California in 1992. The band currently consists of bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker, while ...more

18
7 3
Tool is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal
Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1990, the group's line-up includes drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Since 1995, ...more

19
7 3
Miley Cyrus is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Adult contemporary music, Bubblegum pop, Synthpop
Miley Ray Cyrus is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Her father is country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. She held minor roles in the television series Doc and the film Big Fish in her ...more

20
5 1
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger. The band took its ...more

21
4 0
Creedence Clearwater Revival is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Swamp pop
Creedence Clearwater Revival was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, rhythm ...more

22
7 4
Journey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Pop rock
Journey is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973, composed of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch. The band has gone through several phases; its strongest ...more

23
7 4
Ice Cube is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop
O'Shea Jackson, Sr., better known by his stage name Ice Cube, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and filmmaker. He began his career as a member of the hip-hop group C.I.A. and later ...more

24
7 4
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Americana, Blues-rock, Swamp pop
John Cameron Fogerty is an American musician, songwriter, and guitarist, early in his career best known as the lead singer and lead guitarist for the band Creedence Clearwater Revival and later ...more

25
5 2
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From California
Hip hop music, Political hip hop, West Coast hip hop
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, better known as Kendrick Lamar, is an American hip hop recording artist from Compton, California. In 2004, Lamar signed to Carson-based independent record label, Top ...more