325 voters

The Best Musical Artists From Colorado

Updated June 20, 2021 3.1k votes 325 voters 13.6k views102 items

List RulesOnly artists born or raised in Colorado or bands formed in Colorado..

here are the best artists and bands from Colorado. The Centennial State has an incredibly active music scene, primarily centered around Denver. Bands from all over the world have traveled to play at historically significant venues. For example, Led Zeppelin's first North American performance ever was in Denver. Queen also entered the United States' consciousness in a big way by playing their first U.S. gig at the Regis Field House in Denver. While numerous artists have played in the state, Colorado is also responsible for fostering its own talent. There have been plenty of famous musical artists from Colorado who have made an impact on audiences in this country and beyond. 

John Denver lived in Aspen and had a profound love of Colorado for much of his life. In fact, he sang about the state numerous times in his music. To show their appreciation for Denver's music, state legislators awarded him the title of poet laureate. Some of the most popular Colorado artists include The Fray, OneRepublic, The Lumineers, and Earth, Wind & Fire. 

Of all the best musical artists from Colorado, which ones do you find yourself listening to time and time again? All of these artists were either born, raised, or formed here. Vote for your favorite musicians to make Colorado proud. 

  • 1

    John Denver

    Western music, Pop music

    AlbumsRocky Mountain Christmas, Christmas Like a Lullaby, A Christmas Together, Take Me Home, Country Roads

    Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, whose...  more

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  • 2

    Earth, Wind & Fire

    Disco, Rock music

    AlbumsThat's the Way of the World, Spirit, All 'n All, Gratitude, Open Our Eyes

    Earth, Wind & Fire is an American band that has spanned the musical genres of R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, rock, Latin, African and gospel. They are one of the most successful and critically...  more

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  • 3

    The Lumineers

    Americana, Folk rock

    AlbumsThe Lumineers, The Lumineers EP, Winter, Tracks from the Attic, Ho Hey

    The Lumineers are a folk rock band, based in Denver, Colorado. The two founding members and songwriters of the Lumineers are Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites. Josh Fraites, the brother of Jeremiah...  more

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  • 4

    The Fray

    Indie pop, Adult album alternative

    AlbumsHow to Save a Life, The Fray, How to Save a Life, Reason EP, Movement EP

    The Fray is an American rock band from Denver, Colorado. Formed in 2002 by schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King, they achieved success with the release of their debut album, How to Save a Life in...  more

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  • 5


    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsDreaming Out Loud, Waking Up, The Teen Idols: The Very Best Of, Native, Stop and Stare

    OneRepublic is an American pop rock band from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Formed in 2002 by Ryan Tedder and Zach Filkins, the band achieved commercial success on Myspace as an unsigned act. In late...  more

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  • 6

    AlbumsRiviera, Sister Sweetly, All the Love You Need, Strategem, Rocksteady

    Big Head Todd and the Monsters are a rock band formed in 1984 in Colorado. The band has released a number of albums since 1989 with their 1993 album Sister Sweetly going platinum in the United...  more
  • 7


    Rock music, Country rock

    AlbumsFirefall, Luna Sea, Clouds Across the Sun, Mirror Of The World, Undertow

    Firefall is a rock band that formed in Boulder, Colorado in 1974. It was founded by Rick Roberts, who had been in the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Jock Bartley, who had been Tommy Bolin's replacement...  more

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  • 8


    Rock music, Psychedelic rock

    AlbumsSugarloaf & Spaceship Earth: A Golden Classics Edition, Don't Call Us — We'll Call You, The Best of Sugarloaf, Sugarloaf, Nõ a Baj

    Sugarloaf was an American rock band in the 1970s. The band, which originated in Denver, Colorado, scored two Top 10 hits, with the singles "Green-Eyed Lady" and "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You"....  more
  • 9

    The String Cheese Incident

    Neo-psychedelia, Progressive bluegrass

    AlbumsOne Step Closer, Breathe, Untying the Not, 'Round the Wheel, Born on the Wrong Planet

    The String Cheese Incident (SCI) is an American band from Crested Butte and Telluride, Colorado, formed in 1993. The band is composed of Michael Kang (acoustic/electric mandolin, electric guitar, and...  more

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  • 10

    Nathaniel Rateliff

    Indie, Folk rock

    AlbumsLook It Here, In Memory of Loss

    Nathaniel Rateliff, formerly known as Nathaniel Rateliff and The Wheel is a 5-piece folk/rock/indie band from Denver, Colorado. Other members of the group include Joseph Pope III, Julie Davis, James...  more
  • 11


    Blues-rock, Jazz fusion

    AlbumsZephyr, Going Back to Colorado, Sunset Ride, Ciao

    Zephyr was a blues-based hard rock band formed in 1969 in Boulder, Colorado by guitarist Tommy Bolin, keyboardist John Faris, David Givens on bass guitar, Robbie Chamberlin on drums and Candy Givens...  more
  • 12

    The Astronauts

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsRarities, Competition Coupe / Surfin' With The Astronauts, Go...Go...Go!!! / For You From Us, Down the Line / Travelin' Men, Movin'

    The Astronauts were an American rock and roll band, who had a minor hit in 1963 with "Baja" and remained successful for several years, especially in Japan. They have been described as being, "along...  more
  • 13


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

    AlbumsDon't Trust Me, Want, 3OH!3, Omens, Streets of Gold

    3OH!3 is an American electronic music duo from Boulder, Colorado, made up of Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte. They are best known for their single "Don't Trust Me" from their album Want, which...  more


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  • 14


    Alternative hip hop, Political hip hop

    AlbumsFight with Tools, The Circle in the Square, Platypus, Survival Story, Onomatopoeia

    The Flobots are a rock and hip hop musical band from Denver, Colorado, formed in 2000 by Jamie Laurie. Flobots found mainstream success with their major label debut Fight with Tools, featuring the...  more

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  • 15

    The Samples

    Rock music, Folk music

    AlbumsUnderwater People, The Last Drag, No Room, The Samples, Outpost

    The Samples is a band formed in Boulder, Colorado in early 1987. The band's name came from the members' early sustenance of food samples from the local King Soopers grocery store. The music has been...  more
  • 16

    Ronnie Montrose

    Blues-rock, Instrumental rock

    AlbumsMusic from Here, Bearings, Open Fire, The Speed of Sound, Mean

    Ronald Douglas Montrose (November 29, 1947 – March 3, 2012) was an American rock guitarist, who led the bands Montrose (1973-77 & 1987) and Gamma (1979-83 & 2000) and also performed and did session...  more

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  • 17


    Dark cabaret, Gypsy punk

    AlbumsHow It Ends, SuperMelodrama, Una Volta, A Mad & Faithful Telling, 100 Lovers

    DeVotchKa is a four-piece multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble. They take their name from the Russian word devochka (девочка), meaning "girl". Based in Denver, Colorado, the quartet is made up of...  more

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  • 18
    Randolph Severn "Trey" Parker III (born October 19, 1969) is an American animator, director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and composer. He is known for co-creating South Park (1997–) and...  more

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  • 19

    The Wood Brothers

    Americana, Folk music

    AlbumsThe Muse, Ways Not to Lose, 2006-08-06: Waterslide, Newport Folk Festival, Newport

    The Wood Brothers are an Americana and blues band, and consist of real brothers Chris and Oliver Wood, as well as multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix. From early in their childhood in Boulder, Colorado,...  more
  • 20

    Leftover Salmon

    Rock music, Cajun music

    AlbumsO' Cracker Where Art Thou?, Euphoria, The Nashville Sessions, Bridges to Bert, Aquatic Hitchhiker

    Leftover Salmon is an American jam band from Boulder, Colorado, formed in 1989. The band's music is a blend of bluegrass, rock, country, and Cajun/Zydeco....  more
  • 21

    The Fluid

    Garage rock, Grunge

    AlbumsPurplemetalflakemusic, Glue, Candy / Molly’s Lips, Tin Top Toy / Tomorrow

    The Fluid was an American rock band from Denver, formed in 1984 who disbanded in 1993, but reconvened in 2008....  more
  • 22

    16 Horsepower

    Folk music, Neofolk

    AlbumsOlden, Sackcloth 'n' Ashes, Secret South, Low Estate, Folklore

    16 Horsepower was an American alternative country music group based in Denver, Colorado. Their music often invoked religious imagery dealing with conflict, redemption, punishment, and guilt through...  more

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  • 23

    The Apples in Stereo

    Indie pop, Garage rock

    AlbumsTone Soul Evolution, Fun Trick Noisemaker, New Magnetic Wonder, Her Wallpaper Reverie, Velocity of Sound

    The Apples in Stereo, styled as The Apples in stereo, are an American rock band associated with Elephant Six Collective, a group of bands also including Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control,...  more

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  • 24

    Hot Rize

    Folk music, Progressive bluegrass

    AlbumsTraditional Ties, Radio Boogie, Untold Stories, Hot Rize, Take It Home

    Hot Rize is a bluegrass band that rose to prominence in the early 1980s. Established in 1978, Hot Rize has appeared on national radio and TV shows, and has toured most of the United States, as well...  more

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  • 25

    Slim Cessna's Auto Club

    Alternative country, Gothabilly

    AlbumsCipher, Always Say Please and Thank You, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, The Blovdy Tenent Trvth Peace, American Country Music Changed Her Life

    Slim Cessna's Auto Club is an American country music band, originally formed in 1992 in Denver, Colorado. The constant in the band has been Slim Cessna, formerly a member of The Denver Gentlemen...  more