Music

The Best Musical Artists From Iowa 

Ranker Music
Updated April 12, 2019 1k votes 204 voters 7.5k views 100 items

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

Here are the best artists and bands from Iowa. When most people think of Iowa, their first thoughts turn to farms and corn. However, once you get past all the farms, you will find a vibrant music scene that has produced some of the most influential artists in modern America. Many musicians who are now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame came out of Iowa, including The Everly Brothers, Art Farmer, and Bix Beiderbeck. This list of the most famous Iowa musical artists has acts from all walks of life and from pretty much every musical genre conceivable. 

One of the most interesting developments to come out of Iowa is the emergence of heavy metal bands. Slipknot is originally from Des Moines, and they even named one of their albums Iowa. On the much lighter side of rock and roll, Nate Ruess, who is the lead singer of the band FUN, was born in Iowa City. 

Iowa also has the distinction of being the location where Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens were taking off from on their ill-fated flight. They performed their last gig at the Surf Ballroom. Other popular Iowa artists include Corey Taylor, Julia Michaels, Emily West, and Stone Sour.

It is up to you to decide who the best musical artists from Iowa are. Vote for your favorites, so they can climb to the top of the list. 

list ordered by
1
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa

Albums: Slipknot, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), Iowa, 9.0: Live, Wait and Bleed, + more

Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. Formed in September 1995, the group was founded by percussionist Shawn Crahan and bassist Paul Gray. After several line-up changes ...more

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The Most Metal Stories About The Members Of Slipknot #1,496 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #12 of 454 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time

2
Corey Taylor is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Nu metal, Thrash metal & Groove metal; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Seven Rings in Hand: Sonic and the Secret Rings Original Sound Track, I'm Not Jesus, X-M@$, London Calling

Corey Todd Taylor (born December 8, 1973) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and author. He is known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the bands Slipknot and Stone Sour.Taylor and Jim ...more

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The Man Behind The Mask: Stories From Corey Taylor's Childhood #210 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #758 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

3
Stone Sour is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa

Albums: Come What(ever) May, Through Glass, House of Gold & Bones – Part 2, Stone Sour, House of Gold & Bones – Part 1, + more

Stone Sour is an American rock band formed in Des Moines, Iowa in 1992, performing for five years, before disbanding in 1997. They reunited in 2000 and since 2006, the group has consisted of ...more

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The Best Stone Sour Albums of All Time #1,728 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #115 of 454 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time

4
The Everly Brothers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa

Albums: Christmas With The Everly Brothers, The Everly Brothers Sing Great Country Hits, It's Everly Time, Born Yesterday, All-Time Original Hits, + more

The Everly Brothers were an American country-influenced rock and roll duo, known for steel-string acoustic guitar playing and close harmony singing. Consisting of Isaac Donald "Don" ...more

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The Best Everly Brothers Albums of All Time #43 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #137 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

5
Jim Root is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Nu metal, Heavy metal & Post-grunge; Nationality: United States of America
James Donald Root (born October 2, 1971), also known by his number #4, is an American musician, songwriter, and guitarist. He is one of two guitarists for the American heavy metal band Slipknot, ...more

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#111 of 229 The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams #90 of 101 The Best Musical Artists From Nevada #356 of 432 Famous Tall Men Over 6'2

6
Glenn Miller is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa

Albums: A Christmas Concert, Past Perfect, Songbook, The Real Glenn Miller, Legends, + more

Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – disappeared December 15, 1944) was an American big-band trombonist, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was the best-selling recording ...more

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#90 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #157 of 620 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time #440 of 2,444 The Most Influential People of All Time

7
Paul Gray is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Pop punk, Nu metal & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America
Paul Dedrick Gray (April 8, 1972 – May 24, 2010) also known as the Pig or by his number #2, was an American musician best known as the former bassist, backing vocalist, songwriter and one of the ...more
8
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Instrumental rock, Heavy metal & Pop rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Mr Eliminator, Checkered Flag, Surfer's Choice, Summer Surf, The Phantom Surfers & Dick Dale, + more

Richard Anthony Monsour (Arabic: ريتشارد أنتوني منصور‎; May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019), known professionally as Dick Dale, was an American rock guitarist. He was a pioneer of surf music, drawing ...more

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#235 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #99 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Timelisted on Straight Edge Celebrities

9
Sid Wilson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Hip hop music, Dubstep & Nu metal; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Abunaii Sounds - Tataku on Your Atama, The New Leader, Sound Assault, Live at Konkrete Jungle New York City, Full Metal Scratch-It, + more

Sidney George Wilson (born March 15, 1978) , also known as TheDJ, DJ Starscream, #0 (or 0), is an American DJ, keyboardist, rapper and pianist, best known as the turntablist of the Grammy ...more
10
Tommy Bolin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music & Jazz fusion; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Teaser, 1420 Beachwood Drive: The California Rehearsals, Part 2, Private Eyes, Moxy, + more

Thomas Richard Bolin (August 1, 1951 – December 4, 1976) was an American guitarist and songwriter who played with Zephyr (from 1969 to 1971), James Gang (from 1973 to 1974), and Deep Purple ...more

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#412 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #269 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #163 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

11
Andy Williams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Pop music, Traditional pop music & Easy listening; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: We Need a Little Christmas, The Andy Williams Christmas Album, Moon River, Christmas Present, Music to Fall in Love By, + more

Howard Andrew Williams (December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012) was an American singer. He recorded 43 albums in his career, of which 15 have been gold-certified and three platinum-certified. He ...more

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#596 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #1,129 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timelisted on Twin Musicians

12
Craig Jones is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Nu metal, Thrash metal & Groove metal; Nationality: United States of America
Craig Michael Jones (born February 11, 1972), also known by his nickname "133", is an American heavy metal musician. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he is best known as the sampler and ...more
13
William Elliott Whitmore... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
William Elliott Whitmore

Albums: Ashes to Dust, Song of the Blackbird, Latitudes, Animals in the Dark, Untitled, + more

William Elliott Whitmore (born May 11, 1978) is an American blues, country, folk singer and musician. He plays roots-folk music that is often inspired by his life on his family farm in the hills ...more
14
C.W. McCall is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: American Spirit, The Real McCall An American Storyteller, Wolf Creek Pass, Roses for Mama, C. W. McCall & Co., + more

William Dale Fries Jr. (born November 15, 1928) is an American singer, activist and politician best known by his stage name C. W. McCall and for his truck-themed outlaw country songs. While most ...more

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#311 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #1,208 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #247 of 332 The Top Country Artists of All Time

15
Radio Moscow is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa

Albums: Brain Cycles, Radio Moscow, The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz, 3 & 3 Quarters, Magical Dirt

Radio Moscow is an American psychedelic rock band from Story City, Iowa. Formed in 2003 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Parker Griggs, the band currently features bassist Anthony Meier and ...more

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#90 of 160 The Best Blues Rock Bands and Artists #63 of 134 The Best Stoner Rock Bands

16
Chris Fehn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Nu metal, Metalcore & Heavy metal; Nationality: United States of America
Christopher Michael "Chris" Fehn (born February 24, 1973), or known by his number #3, is an American musician, best known as a former percussionist of the Grammy Award-winning heavy ...more
17
Julia Michaels is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Julia Carin Cavazos (born November 13, 1993), known by her stage name Julia Michaels, is an American singer and songwriter from Davenport, Iowa. She began performing as a teenager and later ...more
18
Maddie Poppe is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Madeline Mae "Maddie" Poppe is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and the season 16 winner of American Idol. She is a multi-instrumentalist playing the guitar, piano, and ...more
19
House of Large Sizes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
House of Large Sizes

Albums: My Ass-Kicking Life, Glass Cockpit, Heat Miser, House of Large Sizes, Not for Sale, + more

House of Large Sizes was an alternative rock band from Cedar Falls, Iowa, in the United States. They were made up of Dave Deibler, Barb Schlif and a number of different drummers over the years. ...more
20
Joey Jordison is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Horror punk, Doom metal & Glam metal; Nationality: United States of America
Nathan Jonas "Joey" Jordison (born April 26, 1975), is an American musician, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work as the former drummer and ...more

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#149 of 204 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time #12 of 77 The Best Metal Drummers of All Time #42 of 76 Famous People with Tinnitus

21
Nate Ruess is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Indie pop, Power pop & Alternative rock; Nationality: United States of America
Nathaniel Joseph "Nate" Ruess is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He is the lead vocalist of indie pop band Fun, and previously of The Format. As of 2015, he also performs ...more

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#314 of 398 The Best Frontmen in Rock #36 of 100 The Best Musical Artists From Arizona

22
Bo Ramsey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Bo Ramsey

Albums: Bo ramsey and the backsliders, In the Weeds

Bo Ramsey (born Robert Franklin Ramsey, 1951 in Burlington, Iowa, United States) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording producer.
23
Brian Bell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Pop punk, Rock music & Emo; Nationality: United States of America
Brian Lane Bell (born December 9, 1968) is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is best known as the rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and occasional lead vocalist of the ...more

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24
Greg Brown is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
Genre: Folk music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: In the Dark With You, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Friend of Mine, One More Goodnight Kiss, The Poet Game, + more

Greg Brown (born Gregory Dane Brown July 2, 1949) is an American folk musician from Iowa.
25
The Envy Corps is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Iowa
The Envy Corps

Albums: Soviet Reunion, It Culls You, Dwell, Rhinemaidens, I Will Write You Love Letters if You Ask Me To, + more

The Envy Corps are an American alternative rock band from Ames, Iowa. The band are known for their atmospheric-meets-pop sound, attracting comparisons to Radiohead, Doves, New Order, Dinosaur ...more