Music

The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana 

Ranker Music
Updated March 5, 2020 1.5k votes 169 voters 6.6k views 102 items

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

Here are the best artists and bands from Louisiana. The Pelican State is one of the most important states as far as music in the United States. Everyone associates the state with jazz, and in fact, the genre had a major development in New Orleans. However, the state can actually be divided into three distinct musical regions. The northern part of the state has more in common with the rest of the rural south than with New Orleans. The southern part of Louisiana is home to Old French music, otherwise known as Cajun music. It has a rich history and has launched the careers of plenty of acts. Some of the most famous musical artists from Louisiana came out nearly 100 years ago while some are fairly new. Either way, they have all drawn influence from the diverse region they were born or grew up in. 

Some popular Louisiana artists include Britney Spears, Lil Wayne, Harry Connick, Jr., and Jared Leto.

Once you learn the history of the state, it is easy to see why famous musical artists from Louisiana there are. In the 19th century, there was a great mixture of cultures coalescing in one area. A combination of Afro-Caribbean, African, Spanish, and French musical tastes grew into the music we know today as jazz. New Orleans also has a great love of opera. Read through this list, and vote for the Louisiana musicians and singers you think are the best of all time. 

list ordered by
1
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Swing music, Traditional pop music & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, American Freedom, C'est si bon, Louis Armstrong and King Oliver, Porgy & Bess, + more

Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist and occasional actor who was one of the most influential ...more

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The Best Louis Armstrong Albums of All Time #19 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #16 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

2
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Hip hop, Trap & Pop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, Tha Carter, Tha Carter IV, I Am Not a Human Being, + more

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (born September 27, 1982), known professionally as Lil Wayne, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record executive, entrepreneur, and actor. His career began in ...more

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The Best Lil Wayne Songs of All Time #9 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Timelisted on The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

3
Fats Domino is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: New Orleans rhythm and blues, Rock music & Boogie-woogie; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Here Comes... Fats Domino, This Is Fats, Essential Hits and Early Recordings, This Is Fats / Rock and Rollin’ With Fats Domino, Blueberry Hill, + more

Antoine "Fats" Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017) was an American pianist and singer-songwriter. One of the pioneers of rock and roll music, Domino sold more than 65 ...more

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#200 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #352 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #162 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

4
Britney Spears is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Pop, Contemporary R&B & Electronica; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: ...Baby One More Time, Blackout, Oops!...I Did It Again, Femme Fatale, In the Zone, + more

Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress. Born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, she appeared in stage ...more

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#FreeBritney? What It Means And Why Britney Spears Fans Believe She Is Being Held Against Her Will #14 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #255 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

5
Aaron Neville is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Rhythm and blues and Soul music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Aaron Neville's Soulful Christmas, Warm Your Heart, Believe, To Make Me Who I Am, The Tattooed Heart, + more

Aaron Joseph Neville (born January 24, 1941) is an American R&B and soul vocalist and musician. He has had four platinum albums and four Top 10 hits in the United States, including three ...more

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The Best Aaron Neville Albums of All Time #182 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #201 of 367 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

6
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Gospel music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Christmas Songs, Amazing Grace, Silent Night: Songs for Christmas, Christmas With Mahalia, Live at Newport 1958, + more

Mahalia Jackson ( mə-HAY-lee-ə; October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972) was an American gospel singer. Possessing a contralto voice, she was referred to as "The Queen of Gospel". She ...more

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#108 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #428 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #255 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

7
Wynton Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Classical music, Post-bop & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Majesty of the Blues, Crescent City Christmas Card, Christmas Jazz Jam, Citi Movement (Griot New York), The Marciac Suite, + more

Wynton Learson Marsalis (born October 18, 1961) is an American virtuoso trumpeter, composer, teacher, and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has promoted classical and jazz music, ...more

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#4 of 177 The Greatest Trumpeters of All Time #2 of 62 The Best Trumpeters in the World #7 of 47 The Best Saxophonists in the World

8
Jerry Lee Lewis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Rock music, Rockabilly & Honky-tonk; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Rockin' My Life Away, Great Balls of Fire, Mean Old Man, Last Man Standing Live, Last Man Standing, + more

Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He has been described as "rock & roll's first ...more

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#159 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #558 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #177 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

9
Master P is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Hip hop music, Gangsta rap & Southern hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Ghetto D (bonus disc), MP Da Last Don, Make Em Say Uhh!, Only God Can Judge Me, Ghetto Postage, + more

Percy Robert Miller (born April 29, 1970), also known by his stage name Master P, is an American rapper, actor, businessman, record producer, philanthropist, and former basketball player. He is ...more

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The Best Master P Songs of All Time #129 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #116 of 183 The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band

10
Harry Connick, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Jazz-funk, Swing music & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: What a Night! A Christmas Album, When My Heart Finds Christmas, Blue Light, Red Light, When Harry Met Sally..., + more

Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Jr. (born September 11, 1967) is a Grammy and Emmy-award winning American singer, composer, actor, and television host. He has sold over 28 million albums worldwide. ...more

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#416 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #38 of 146 The Best Hallmark Channel Actors #645 of 2,003 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

11
Allen Toussaint is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Rhythm and blues, Jazz & Blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: From a Whisper to a Scream, Connected, Life, Love and Faith, A New Orleans Christmas, + more

Allen Toussaint (; January 14, 1938 – November 10, 2015) was an American musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer, who was an influential figure in New Orleans rhythm and blues from ...more

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#260 of 277 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees #129 of 221 The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time

12
Phil Anselmo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Glam metal, Doom metal & Heavy metal; Nationality: United States of America
Philip Hansen Anselmo (born June 30, 1968) is an American heavy metal musician who is best known as the lead vocalist for Pantera, Down, and Superjoint Ritual. He is also the owner of Housecore ...more

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#302 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #145 of 397 The Best Frontmen in Rock #121 of 204 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

13
Jelly Roll Morton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Ragtime, Swing music & Jazz blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings, The King & Mister Jelly Lord, Quadromania Jazz Edition: Jelly Roll Morton: Sidewalk Blues, Library of Congress Recordings, Kansas City Stomp: The Library of Congress Recordings, + more

Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (October 20, 1890 – July 10, 1941), known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer who started his ...more

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14
Dr. John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: New Orleans rhythm and blues, Rock music & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Gris-Gris, Locked Down, Dr. John's Gumbo, Tribal, Television, + more

Malcolm John Rebennack Jr. (November 20, 1941 – June 6, 2019), better known by his stage name Dr. John, was an American singer and songwriter. His music combined blues, pop, jazz, boogie-woogie, ...more

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15
Gnarls Barkley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana

Albums: St. Elsewhere, The Odd Couple, Crazy, Smiley Faces, Run, + more

Gnarls Barkley is an American soul duo, composed of singer-songwriter CeeLo Green and producer Danger Mouse. They released their debut studio album, St. Elsewhere, in 2006. It contained their ...more
16
Big Freedia is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Big Freedia

Albums: Big Freedia Hitz Vol. 1, Scion A/V Presents Big Freedia

Freddie Ross is an American musician best known by the stage name Big Freedia and for work in the New Orleans genre of hip hop called bounce music. He has been credited with helping popularize ...more

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#102 of 146 The Best LGBTQ+ Musicians #16 of 21 Famous LGBTQ+ Rappers #13 of 14 Celebrities Who Live in New Orleans

17
Tim McGraw is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Planning Office added Genre: Country and Southern rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Live Like You Were Dying, Two Lanes of Freedom, Please Remember Me, Not a Moment Too Soon, Everywhere, + more

Samuel Timothy McGraw (born May 1, 1967) is an American country singer and actor. McGraw has released fifteen studio albums (eleven for Curb Records, three for Big Machine Records and one for ...more

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The Best Tim McGraw Songs #417 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #1,420 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

18
Birdman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Hip hop music, Gangsta rap & Hyphy; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Birdman, Fast Money, Like Father, Like Son, Pricele$$, + more

Bryan Christopher Williams (born Bryan Christopher Brooks; February 15, 1969), known by his stage name Birdman (also known as Baby), is an American rapper, record executive and entrepreneur. He ...more

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#596 of 1,062 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time #58 of 61 The Best Bands Named After Birds #13 of 28 The Best Rappers Named After Animals

19
Buddy Guy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Chicago blues, Electric blues & Blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Damn Right, I've Got the Blues, A Man & the Blues, Sweet Tea, Bring 'Em In, + more

George "Buddy" Guy (born July 30, 1936) is an American blues guitarist and singer. He is an exponent of Chicago blues and has influenced eminent guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi ...more

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The Best Buddy Guy Albums of All Time #358 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #1,050 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

20
Slim Harpo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Harmonica blues, Juke joint blues & Swamp blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Excello Singles Anthology, Slim Harpo Knew the Blues, I'm a King Bee, The Best of Slim Harpo, Rainin' in My Heart, + more

James Isaac Moore (January 11, 1924 – January 31, 1970), better known by his stage name Slim Harpo, was an American blues musician, a leading exponent of the swamp blues style, and "one of ...more
21
Irma Thomas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Rhythm and blues, Soul music & Gospel music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Time Is on My Side: The Best of Irma Thomas, Volume 1, Sing It!, Time Is on My Side, Sings, + more

Irma Thomas (born February 18, 1941) is an American singer from New Orleans. She is known as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans".Thomas is a contemporary of Aretha Franklin and Etta James, ...more

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#89 of 159 The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time #21 of 23 All The Arroyo Seco Weekend Acts We Saw, Ranked

22
Buckwheat Zydeco is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Rhythm and blues, Country, Zydeco; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Lay Your Burden Down, Choo Choo Boogaloo, 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Buckwheat Zydeco, On a Night Like This, Where There's Smoke There's Fire, + more

Stanley Joseph Dural, Jr. (November 14, 1947 – September 24, 2016), better known by his stage name Buckwheat Zydeco, was an American accordionist and zydeco musician. He was one of the few ...more
23
Huddie William Ledbetter... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Folk music, Folk & Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Nothing but the Blues: You Do Me Any Old Way, Where Did You Sleep Last Night: Lead Belly Legacy, Volume 1, Complete Blues: The Definitive Leadbelly, The Rough Guide to Blues Legends: Leadbelly, + more

Huddie William Ledbetter (; January 20, 1888 – December 6, 1949) better known as stage name Lead Belly was an American folk and blues singer, musician and songwriter notable for his strong ...more

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#934 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #24 of 252 The Best Blues Artists of All Time #394 of 526 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

24
Preservation Hall Jazz B... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana

Albums: Because of You, The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection, American Legacies, An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, St. Peter & 57th St., + more

Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a New Orleans jazz band founded in New Orleans by tuba player Allan Jaffe in the early 1960s. The band derives its name from Preservation Hall in the French ...more
25
Clifton Chenier is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Louisiana
Genre: Creole music, Cajun music & Swamp blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Louisiana Blues And Zydeco, Bon Ton Roulet! & More, Bayou Blues, Zydeco Sont Pas Sale, Bogalusa Boogie, + more

Clifton Chenier (June 25, 1925 – December 12, 1987), a Louisiana French-speaking native of Opelousas, Louisiana, was an eminent performer and recording artist of Zydeco, which arose from Cajun ...more