Music

The Best Musical Artists From Indiana  

Ranker Music
615 votes 77 voters 1.8k views 100 items

List Rules Only artists born or raised in Indiana or bands formed in Indiana.

Here are the best artists and bands from Indiana. Some of the biggest musical acts of all time came out of Indiana. The state has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the music industry. Indiana was one of the first states where jazz really started to become popular outside of Louisiana. Several record companies, including Vee-Jay Records and Gennett Records, are based out of the state, so numerous country, blues, and jazz albums have been made right here. It may be tough to decide who the best musical artists from Indiana are, but you should be up for the task. 

None other than the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was born in Indiana. Along with the rest of The Jackson 5, the entire Jackson family has created a string of hits over the decades. However, they are not the only big names that used to call Indiana home. John Mellencamp, Axl Rose, and Babyface were also either born or raised in the Hoosier State. While they have all made different types of music over the years, they have all made their fellow Hoosiers proud. Other popular Indiana artists include David Lee Roth, Freddie Gibbs, The Ataris, and Jeremy Camp.

This list has the most famous Indiana musical artists of all time. Now is your chance to vote for your favorites and show Hoosiers some love. 

list ordered by
1
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Motown Sound, Rock music, Electronic music
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal ...more
2
John Mellencamp is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Americana, Heartland rock, Rock music
John J Mellencamp, also known as John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American rock singer-songwriter, musician, painter and occasional actor known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock ...more
3
The Jackson 5 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Bubblegum pop, Motown Sound, Disco
The Jackson 5 are an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Formed in 1964 under the name The Jackson Brothers, the founding members were Jackie, Tito, and Jermaine. Marlon and ...more
4
Mick Mars is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
Mick Mars is the guitarist for American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe.
5
David Lee Roth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock
David Lee Roth is an American rock vocalist, songwriter, actor, author, and former radio personality. In 2007, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Roth is best known as the ...more
6
J. J. Johnson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Third stream, Hard bop, Jazz
James Louis "J. J." Johnson was an American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger. He was sometimes credited as Jay Jay Johnson. Johnson was one of the first trombonists to embrace ...more
7
Leroy Carr is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Chicago blues, Piedmont blues
Leroy Carr was an American blues singer, songwriter and pianist who developed a laid-back, crooning technique and whose popularity and style influenced such artists as Nat King Cole and Ray ...more
8
Dottie Rambo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Christian music, Southern Gospel
Dottie Rambo was an American gospel singer and songwriter. She was a Grammy and multiple Dove Award-winning artist. Rambo, along with husband Buck and daughter Reba, formed the award-winning ...more
9
Axl Rose is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Heavy metal, Hard rock
W. Axl Rose is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He is the lead vocalist and only remaining original member of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. Due to his powerful and wide vocal ...more
10
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music
Janet Damita Jo Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate ...more
11
Hoagy Carmichael is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Popular music, Musical
Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael was an American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for composing the music for "Stardust", "Georgia on ...more
12
Scatman Crothers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Benjamin Sherman "Scatman" Crothers was an American actor, singer, dancer and musician known for his work as Louie the Garbage Man on the TV show Chico and the Man, and as Dick ...more
13
Babyface is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds is an American R&B musician, singer–songwriter and record producer. He has written and produced over 26 No. 1 R&B hits throughout his career. He has
14
The Four Freshmen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Barbershop music, Traditional pop music, Jazz
The Four Freshmen is an American male vocal band quartet that blends open-harmonic jazz arrangements with the big band vocal group sounds of The Modernaires, The Pied Pipers, and The Mel-Tones, ...more
15
David Baker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
David Nathaniel Baker Jr. is an American symphonic jazz composer at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Baker attended Crispus ...more
16
Sylvia is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Pop music, Nashville sound, Country
Sylvia Jane Kirby, known simply by her first name Sylvia during the 1980s, is an American country music and country pop singer and songwriter. Some original source books have her birth name as ...more
17
Denny Jiosa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Jazz, Blues
Denny Jiosa is a United States jazz/blues guitarist/composer who has received four Grammy nominations for his recording engineering work. Jiosa was born in Huntington, Indiana. He began playing ...more
18
The Rivieras is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
The Rivieras Rock music, Garage rock, Frat rock
The Rivieras were a rock and roll group formed in the early 1960s in South Bend, Indiana, United States. They are best known for their hit "California Sun", written by Henry Glover.
19
Eddie Condon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Albert Edwin Condon, better known as Eddie Condon, was a jazz banjoist, guitarist, and bandleader. A leading figure in the so-called "Chicago school" of early Dixieland, he also played ...more
20
Rich Mullins is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Christian music, Contemporary Christian music
Richard Wayne "Rich" Mullins was an American contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter born in Richmond, Indiana. Mullins was best known for his worship songs "Awesome ...more
21
Freddie Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz
Frederick Dewayne "Freddie" Hubbard was an American jazz trumpeter. He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post-bop styles from the early 1960s and on. His ...more
22
Gloria Gaither is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Gloria Gaither Christian music
Gloria Gaither is a Christian songwriter, author, speaker, editor, and academic. She is the wife of Bill Gaither and together they have written more than 700 songs. She performed, traveled and ...more
23
Bill Gaither is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Christian music, Contemporary Christian music
William J. "Bill" Gaither is an American singer and songwriter of southern gospel and Contemporary Christian music. Besides having written numerous popular Christian songs with his ...more
24
Year of Desolation is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal
Year of Desolation is an American metal band formed in Indiana in 2001. They are influenced by classic rock and heavy metal, and have undergone an overwhelming number of line-up changes. They ...more
25
Murder by Death is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Indiana
Alternative rock, Alternative country, Indie folk
Murder by Death is an American five-piece indie rock band from Bloomington, Indiana. Their name is derived from the 1976 Robert Moore film of the same name.