Bands/Musicians The Best Musical Artists From Kansas  

Ranker Music
617 votes 32 voters 100 items

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

Here are the best artists and bands from Kansas. Often regarded as the heartland of America, it is easy to see why so many homegrown country and blues artists got their start in the state. Kansas has a vibrant music scene, including the Country Stampede Music Festival, which is one of the biggest festivals in the entire country. It is also home to the Walnut Valley Festival where people from all over the United States gather to enjoy some of the finest bluegrass groups playing today. They get to see some of the best musical artists from Kansas and around the Midwest. 

Country acts, like Martina McBride, define the area so well. However, there are still plenty of rock acts that have come out of the area. The band Kansas naturally got their start in the Sunflower State, along with bands, like The Midnight Ghost Train, Youngblood Supercult, and Split Lip Rayfield. Other popular Kansas artists include Janelle Monaé, Jennifer Knapp, Banshee, and Melissa Etheridge.

Are any of these acts your favorite? Perhaps you will find something you jam out to all the time in the list below. Either way, make sure you vote for your favorites so that everyone knows who the most famous Kansas musical artists are. 

list ordered by
1
13 2
Kansas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock
Kansas is an American rock band that became popular in the 1970s initially on album-oriented rock charts and later with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the ...more
2
11 3
Martina McBride is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Adult contemporary music, Country pop, Country
Martina Mariea Schiff, known professionally as Martina McBride, is an American country music singer, songwriter, and record producer. She is known for her soprano singing range and her country ...more
3
12 4
Diane Bish is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Diane Joyce Bish is an American organist and composer as well as executive producer of the Joy of Music television series. As a concert organist, she performs frequently at recitals throughout ...more
4
12 4
Melissa Etheridge is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music
Melissa Lou Etheridge is an American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Her self-titled debut album was released in 1988 and became an underground hit. The album peaked at #22 on ...more
5
8 1
Phil Ehart is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Rock music, Progressive rock
Phillip W. Ehart is the drummer in the progressive rock band Kansas. He and Rich Williams are the only two members who have appeared on every Kansas album. Though his songwriting contributions ...more
6
9 3
Eden Ahbez is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Eden Ahbez Exotica
George Alexander Aberle, known as eden ahbez, was an American songwriter and recording artist of the 1940s to 1960s, whose lifestyle in California was influential on the hippie movement. He was ...more
7
9 3
XV is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Alternative hip hop
Donavan LaMond Johnson better known by his stage name XV is an American rapper, singer and songwriter from Wichita, Kansas. He first gained major attention after the release of his twelfth ...more
8
11 5
The Esoteric is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Rock music, Mathcore, Experimental rock
The Esoteric is a hardcore/rock band founded in 1996 from Lawrence, Kansas. They are currently signed to Prosthetic Records. Following several self-produced EPs, the band's debut full-length, ...more
9
7 2
The Midnight Ghost Train is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
The Midnight Ghost Train Stoner rock
The Midnight Ghost Train is an American rock band from Topeka, Kansas. The band’s line-up consists of Steve Moss, Brandon Burghart, and Mike Boyne. The trio has been categorized as hard rock, ...more
10
9 4
Split Lip Rayfield is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Bluegrass, Alternative country, Country
Split Lip Rayfield is a vocal and acoustic instrumental group from Wichita, Kansas. Though they are sometimes classified as a bluegrass, alt-country, or cowpunk band, their music draws on a wide ...more
11
6 2
Ultimate Fakebook is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Emo, Power pop, Alternative rock
Ultimate Fakebook is a 3-piece power pop band from Manhattan, KS. They released three full-length albums—Electric Kissing Parties, This Will Be Laughing Week, and Open up and Say Awesome. ...more
12
5 1
Butterglory is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Indie pop, Indie rock, Lo-fi music
Butterglory is an American indie-rock band from Lawrence, Kansas. Contemporaries of indie rock groups like Pavement and Archers of Loaf, the band helped explore similar musical territories and ...more
13
4 0
Abandon Kansas is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Contemporary Christian music, Christian rock
Abandon Kansas is an American alternative rock band originating from Wichita, Kansas.
14
8 5
Origin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Technical death metal, Deathgrind, Brutal death metal
Origin is an American death metal band from Topeka, Kansas, founded in 1998. They have been recognized by music critics and metal fans alike for combining a harsh sound with a high level of ...more
15
7 4
Vivian Vance is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Vivian Vance was an American television and theater actress and singer. Vance is best known for her role as Ethel Mertz, sidekick to Lucille Ball on the American television sitcom I Love Lucy, ...more
16
6 3
Chris Burnett is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Marching band, Third stream, Swing music
Chris Burnett is an American saxophone player, composer, veteran of US military jazz bands and band leader. Born in Olathe, Kansas, Burnett's family moved relatively frequently during his early ...more
17
6 3
Joyce DiDonato is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Joyce DiDonato is an American operatic lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano notable for her interpretations of the works of Handel, Mozart, and Rossini. She has performed with many of the world's ...more
18
6 3
Youngblood Supercult is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Blues rock
Youngblood Supercult is an American stoner rock band from Topeka, Kansas. The band’s line-up consists of Bailey Smith (guitar), David Merrill (vocals), Weston Alford (drums), and Brad Morris ...more
19
6 3
Nathan Davis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Jazz
Nathan Davis is an American hard bop jazz multi-instrumentalist who plays the tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet and flute. Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Davis is probably best ...more
20
5 2
The Appleseed Cast is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Shoegazing, Rock music, Emo
The Appleseed Cast is an American indie rock band based in Lawrence, Kansas, composed of singer/guitarist Christopher Crisci, bassist Nathan Whitman, guitarist Taylor Holenbeck and drummer ...more
21
4 1
Rory Lee Feek is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Rory Lee Feek Country
Rory Lee Feek is an American country music singer and songwriter. In his career, he has written singles for Clay Walker, Blake Shelton, Tracy Byrd and other artists. He and his wife, Joey Martin ...more
22
4 1
Randy Sparks is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Randy Sparks Folk music
Randy Sparks is a musician, singer-songwriter and founder of The New Christy Minstrels and The Back Porch Majority. Sparks grew up in Oakland, California and attended the University of ...more
23
4 1
Mates of State is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Indie pop, Progressive rock, Indie rock
Mates of State are an American indie pop duo, active since 1997. The group consists of the husband-and-wife team of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel. During the course of the duo's career, which ...more
24
3 0
Dawayne Bailey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Pop music, Rock music
Dawayne Bailey is an American guitarist who has toured and recorded with Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, Véronique Sanson, and Chicago. Bailey was born and raised in Manhattan, ...more
25
3 0
Stan Kenton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Kansas
Swing music, Jazz, West Coast jazz
Stanley Newcomb "Stan" Kenton was a pianist, composer, and arranger who led an innovative, influential, and often controversial American jazz orchestra. In later years he was active as