960 voters

The Best Musical Artists From California

Updated December 1, 2020 14.9k votes 960 voters 32.5k views218 items

List RulesOnly 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.

  • The Beach Boys1

    The Beach Boys

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsPet Sounds, Surfin' USA, Ultimate Christmas, Endless Summer, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys

    The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band. Formed in 1961, they gained popularity for...  more
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  • Metallica2


    Thrash metal, Rock music

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

    Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by...  more
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  • The Doors3

    The Doors

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsThe Doors, L.A. Woman, Strange Days, Morrison Hotel, Light My Fire

    The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim...  more
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  • Guns N' Roses4

    Guns N' Roses

    Glam metal, Blues-rock

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

    Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band formed in Los Angeles, in 1985. The classic lineup...  more
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  • Red Hot Chili Peppers5

    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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  • Tupac Shakur6

    Tupac Shakur

    Hip hop music, Political hip hop

    AlbumsAll Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Still I Rise, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z...

    Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September...  more
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  • Snoop Dogg7

    Snoop Dogg

    Hip hop music, Pop music

    AlbumsDoggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Tha Last Meal, Snoop Dogg Presents Christmas in tha Dogg House, Welcome To The Dogg House

    Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971), known professionally as Snoop Dogg, is an...  more
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  • Green Day8

    Green Day

    Pop punk, Rock music

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

    Green Day is an American rock band formed in 1986 by lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe...  more
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  • The Eagles9

    The Eagles

    Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsTrying to Get to You / Please, Please, Kiss Them for Me / Ladies in the Sky

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  • Dr. Dre10

    Dr. Dre

    Hip hop music, Rap music

    AlbumsThe Chronic, 2001, Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang / Let Me Ride, California Love, The Chronicle: The Best of the Works...

    Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American...  more
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  • Van Halen11

    Van Halen

    Glam metal, Rock music

    AlbumsVan Halen, 1984, Diver Down, OU812, Van Halen II

    Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1972. Credited with...  more
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  • Kendrick Lamar12

    Albumsgood kid, m.A.A.d city, Section.80, Overly Dedicated, Memories Back Then

    Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper, songwriter, and record...  more
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  • Creedence Clearwater Revival13

    Creedence Clearwater Revival

    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul

    AlbumsGreen River, Cosmo's Factory, Willy and the Poor Boys, Bayou Country, Pendulum

    Creedence Clearwater Revival (often referred to as Creedence or CCR) was an American rock band...  more
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  • Sublime14


    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

    Sublime was an American ska punk band from Long Beach, California, formed in 1988. The band's...  more
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  • Journey15


    Rock music, Jazz fusion

    AlbumsEscape, Frontiers, Evolution, Journey, Departure

    Journey is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973, composed of former...  more
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  • Ice Cube16

    Ice Cube

    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

    AlbumsAmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, The Predator, Death Certificate, Lethal Injection, Laugh Now

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  • Blink-18217


    Pop punk, Rock music

    AlbumsEnema of the State, Dude Ranch, blink-182, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, Cheshire Cat

    Blink-182 is an American rock band formed in Poway, a suburb of San Diego, California in 1992....  more
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  • Linkin Park18

    Linkin Park

    Alternative rock, Hip hop

    AlbumsHybrid Theory, Living Things, Meteora, Minutes To Midnight, Burn It Down

    Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. The band's current lineup...  more
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  • No Doubt19

    No Doubt

    Pop punk, New Wave

    AlbumsTragic Kingdom, Rock Steady, Icon, Don't Speak, Everything in Time (B-Sides

    No Doubt is an American rock band from Anaheim, California, formed in 1986. Since 1989, the...  more
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  • The Byrds20

    The Byrds

    Jangle pop, Pop music

    AlbumsSweetheart of the Rodeo, Mr. Tambourine Man, Younger Than Yesterday, Turn! Turn! Turn!, Fifth Dimension

    The Byrds were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band...  more
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  • Weezer21


    Pop punk, Rock music

    AlbumsPinkerton, Weezer, Weezer, Weezer, Raditude

    Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1992. Since 2001, the...  more
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  • Rage Against the Machine22

    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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  • Grateful Dead23

    Grateful Dead

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsAmerican Beauty, Europe '72 (disc 1), Aoxomoxoa, Workingman's Dead, Terrapin Station

    The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band...  more
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  • The Offspring24

    The Offspring

    Pop punk, Ska punk

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

    The Offspring is an American rock band from Garden Grove, California, formed in 1984....  more
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  • Sly & the Family Stone25

    Sly & the Family Stone

    Psychedelic soul, Rock music

    AlbumsThere's a Riot Goin' On, Stand!, Greatest Hits, Fresh, Anthology

    Sly and the Family Stone was an American band from San Francisco. Active from 1966 to 1983, it...  more
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