368 voters

The Best Musical Artists From Iowa

Updated April 12, 2019 3.5k votes 368 voters 13.2k views100 items

List RulesOnly 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. 

  • 1


    Nu metal, Groove metal
    Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. Formed in September 1995, the...  more

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  • 2

    Stone Sour

    Nu metal, Rock music
    Stone Sour is an American rock band formed in Des Moines, Iowa in 1992, performing for five...  more

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  • 3

    Corey Taylor

    Nu metal, Thrash metal
    Corey Todd Taylor (born December 8, 1973) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and author....  more

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  • 4

    The Everly Brothers

    Christian music, Rock music
    The Everly Brothers were an American country-influenced rock and roll duo, known for...  more

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  • 5

    Jim Root

    Nu metal, Heavy metal
    James Donald Root (born October 2, 1971), also known by his number #4, is an American...  more
  • 6

    Paul Gray

    Pop punk, Nu metal
    Paul Dedrick Gray (April 8, 1972 – May 24, 2010) also known as the Pig or by his number #2,...  more
  • 7

    Glenn Miller

    Swing music, Big band
    Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – disappeared December 15, 1944) was an American big-band...  more

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  • 8

    Dick Dale

    Instrumental rock, Heavy metal
    Richard Anthony Monsour (Arabic: ريتشارد أنتوني منصور‎; May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019), known...  more

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  • 9

    William Elliott Whitmore

    Folk music, Alternative country
    William Elliott Whitmore (born May 11, 1978) is an American blues, country, folk singer and...  more
  • 10

    Tommy Bolin

    Blues-rock, Rock music
    Thomas Richard Bolin (August 1, 1951 – December 4, 1976) was an American guitarist and...  more

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  • 11

    Joey Jordison

    Horror punk, Doom metal
    Nathan Jonas "Joey" Jordison (born April 26, 1975), is an American musician, songwriter,...  more

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  • 12

    Isaac James

    Rock music, Rock and roll
    Isaac James is an American rock band with roots based in both Kansas City, Missouri and Des...  more
  • 13

    Craig Jones

    Nu metal, Thrash metal
    Craig Michael Jones (born February 11, 1972), also known by his nickname "133", is an American...  more
  • 14

    Sid Wilson

    Hip hop music, Dubstep
    Sidney George Wilson (born March 15, 1978) , also known as TheDJ, DJ Starscream, #0 (or 0), is...  more
  • 15

    Andy Williams

    Pop music, Traditional pop music
    Howard Andrew Williams (December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012) was an American singer. He...  more

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  • 16

    Chris Fehn

    Nu metal, Metalcore
    Christopher Michael "Chris" Fehn (born February 24, 1973), or known by his number #3, is an...  more
  • 17

    Julia Michaels

    Pop, Dance
    Julia Carin Cavazos (born November 13, 1993), known by her stage name Julia Michaels, is an...  more
  • 18
    William Dale Fries Jr. (born November 15, 1928) is an American singer, activist and politician...  more

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  • 19

    Bix Beiderbecke

    White jazz, Jazz
    Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz...  more

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  • 20

    Radio Moscow

    Blues-rock, Garage rock
    Radio Moscow is an American psychedelic rock band from Story City, Iowa. Formed in 2003 by...  more

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  • 21
    Madeline Mae "Maddie" Poppe is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and the season 16...  more
  • 22

    Greg Brown

    Folk music
    Greg Brown (born Gregory Dane Brown July 2, 1949) is an American folk musician from Iowa....  more
  • 23

    Nate Ruess

    Indie pop, Power pop
    Nathaniel Joseph "Nate" Ruess is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He is the lead...  more
  • 24

    Simon Estes

    Simon Estes (born March 2, 1938) is an operatic bass-baritone of African-American descent who...  more
  • 25

    House of Large Sizes

    House of Large Sizes was an alternative rock band from Cedar Falls, Iowa, in the United...  more