Music

The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts 

Ranker Music
Updated April 8, 2019 2.1k votes 222 voters 7.7k views 100 items

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

Here are the best artists and bands from Massachusetts. This may come as a surprise to some of you, but the band Boston actually comes from Boston. That's only the tip of the iceberg when you're looking at all of the outstanding singers, bands, and rappers that have come out of Massachusetts. In particular, the state has seen a great presence of rock, folk, hip hop, and classical acts. Once you see for yourself the best musical artists from Massachusetts, you will be amazed at how one state has been so influential in the music industry. 

One of the bands that best encapsulates everything about the Boston attitude is Dropkick Murphys. In fact, the band's first live album was titled Live on St. Patrick's Day from Boston, MA. It does not get much more Irish than that. However, the city has launched the careers of more than just Celtic punk bands. Aerosmith, New Kids on the Block, and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch also came from the city. Other popular Massachusetts artists include Pixies, Meghan Trainor, Passion Pit, New Edition, and Godsmack. 

The most famous Massachusetts musical artists come from all over the state and not just Boston. They represent everything great about the state. If you're looking for some new playlists, then this list is the best place to start. Don't forget to vote for the acts you like best, and add other good Massachusetts artists missing from the list.

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

Albums: Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation, Aerosmith, Get a Grip, + more

Aerosmith is an American rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1970. The group consists of Steven Tyler (vocals, keyboards), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums), ...more

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Insane Stories From Aerosmith's Drug-Fueled Rise To The Top #22 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #22 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

2
Boston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Boston, Greatest Hits, Third Stage, Don't Look Back, Walk On, + more

Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, which had its most notable successes during the 1970s and 1980s. Centered on multi-instrumentalist founder and leader Tom Scholz, who ...more

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#1 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #103 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #52 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

3
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Candy-O, The Cars, Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology, Heartbeat City, Panorama, + more

The Cars were an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter Ric Ocasek; ...more

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#76 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #61 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #56 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

4
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Doolittle, Surfer Rosa, Bossanova, Trompe le Monde, Come On Pilgrim, + more

The Pixies are an American rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986. The group currently consists of founders Black Francis, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering. Co-founder Kim Deal left ...more

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The Best Pixies Albums of All-Time #243 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #276 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

5
Dropkick Murphys is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: The Warrior's Code, Unity, The Singles Collection, Volume 2: 1998-2004, Mob Mentality, + more

Dropkick Murphys are an American Celtic punk band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1996. The band was initially signed to independent punk record label Hellcat Records, releasing five albums ...more

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The Best Dropkick Murphys Albums of All Time #1,708 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #588 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

6
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts
Genre: Blues-rock, Disco & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Sweet Baby James, A Christmas Album, James Taylor at Christmas, Never Die Young, Hourglass, + more

James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one ...more

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The Best James Taylor Songs of All Time #87 of 269 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #483 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

7
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts
Genre: New Wave, Disco & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits, Donna Summer, Once Upon a Time..., + more

LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), widely known by her stage name based on her married name Donna Summer, was an American singer, songwriter and actress. She gained ...more

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The Best Donna Summer Albums of All Time #32 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #10 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

8
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts
Genre: Horror punk, Noise rock & Nu metal; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Sinister Urge, Past, Present & Future, Hellbilly Deluxe, American Made Music to Strip By, + more

Rob Zombie (born Robert Bartleh Cummings; January 12, 1965) is an American musician and filmmaker. He is a founding member of the heavy metal band White Zombie, releasing four studio albums with ...more

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An Inside Look At Rob Zombie And Marilyn Manson's Complicated Friendship #812 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #465 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

9
Godsmack is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Faceless, IV, Awake, All Wound Up…, Godsmack, + more

Godsmack is an American rock band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie ...more

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#795 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #649 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #366 of 1,062 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

10
The Mighty Mighty Bossto... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Let's Face It, Question the Answers, Live From the Middle East, Pay Attention, More Noise and Other Disturbances, + more

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (informally referred to as The Bosstones) is an American ska punk band from Boston, Massachusetts, formed in 1983. Since the band's inception, lead vocalist Dicky ...more

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#955 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #159 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s #134 of 390 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time

11
New Kids on the Block is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Merry, Merry Christmas, Face the Music, Hangin' Tough, Step by Step, + more

New Kids on the Block (also initialized as NKOTB) is an American boy band from Dorchester, Massachusetts. The band currently consists of brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, ...more

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The Best New Kids On The Block Songs #785 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #193 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

12
They Might Be Giants is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Flood, Apollo 18, John Henry, Join Us, O Tannenbaum, + more

They Might Be Giants is an American alternative rock band formed in 1982 by John Flansburgh and John Linnell. During TMBG's early years Flansburgh and Linnell frequently performed as a duo, ...more

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#100 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #1,373 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #761 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

13
New Edition is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Christmas All Over the World, Candy Girl, Heart Break, Home Again, New Edition, + more

New Edition is an R&B and pop group formed in Boston in 1978. The group reached its height of popularity during the 1980s. They were the progenitors of the boy band movement of the 1980s and ...more

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#1,097 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #73 of 278 The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time #175 of 545 The Greatest Pop Groups & Artists of All Time

14
Passion Pit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Gossamer, Manners, Chunk of Change, Sleepyhead / Better Things, The Reeling (Remixes), + more

Passion Pit is an American indietronica band from Cambridge, Massachusetts, formed in 2007. The band consists solely of Michael Angelakos. He is joined live by Jeff Apruzzese and Chris Hartz. ...more

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The Best Passion Pit Songs #1,578 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #43 of 604 The Most Hipster Bands

15
The Lemonheads is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: It's a Shame About Ray, Car Button Cloth, Mrs. Robinson & Being Around, If I Could Talk I'd Tell You, Hate Your Friends, + more

The Lemonheads are an American alternative rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986 by Evan Dando, Ben Deily, and Jesse Peretz. Dando has remained the band's only constant member. After ...more

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The Best Lemonheads Albums of All Time #1,016 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #251 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

16
Staind is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Chapter V, 14 Shades of Grey, Break the Cycle, Fade, Tormented, + more

Staind ( STAYND) is an American alternative rock band formed in 1995. The original lineup consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Aaron Lewis, lead guitarist Mike Mushok, bassist and ...more

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#735 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #304 of 620 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time #281 of 1,062 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

17
Joyner Lucas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts
Gary Maurice "Joyner" Lucas, Jr. (born August 17, 1988) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, poet, and actor from Worcester, Massachusetts. Lucas gained ...more

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#17 of 146 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers #989 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #32 of 266 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

18
Yo-Yo Ma is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: France

Albums: Around the World in 77 Minutes, Cello Sonatas, Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Music of John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma: 30 Years Outside the Box, Beyond the Horizons, + more

Yo-Yo Ma (born October 7, 1955) is a Chinese-American cellist. Born in Paris, he spent his schooling years in New York City and was a child prodigy, performing from the age of four and a half. ...more

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#1,915 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1 of 80 The Best Cellists in the World #1 of 84 The Greatest Cellists of All Time

19
Bo Burnham is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts
Genre: Satire and Comedy; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Bo Burnham, Bo Fo Sho, Words Words Words, What.

Robert Pickering "Bo" Burnham (born August 21, 1990) is an American comedian, musician, actor, filmmaker, director and poet. He began his performance career as a YouTuber in March ...more

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20
Letters to Cleo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Go!, Wholesale Meats and Fish, Aurora Gory Alice, Sister, From Boston Massachusetts, + more

Letters to Cleo was an alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, best known for the 1993 single "Here & Now", from their full-length debut album Aurora Gory Alice. The ...more

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#1,701 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #273 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s #564 of 676 The Best Alternative Bands/Artists

21
Meghan Trainor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts
Genre: R&B, Pop & Doo wop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Only 17, I'll Sing With You, All About That Bass, Title

Meghan Elizabeth Trainor (born December 22, 1993) is an American singer and songwriter. Trainor's work has been recognized with several awards and nominations, including a Grammy Award, Music ...more

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#57 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #258 of 410 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2020, Ranked #123 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

22
Killswitch Engage is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Alive or Just Breathing, The End of Heartache, As Daylight Dies, Killswitch Engage, (Set This) World Ablaze, + more

Killswitch Engage is an American metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1999 after the disbanding of Overcast and Aftershock. Killswitch Engage's current lineup consists of ...more

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The Best Killswitch Engage Albums of All Time #1,010 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,345 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

23
The Breeders is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Last Splash, Pod, Title TK, Mountain Battles, Climbing the Sun, + more

The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1990 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. The band has experienced a number of lineup changes; Kim Deal has ...more

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#654 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #407 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #515 of 604 The Most Hipster Bands

24
Gang Starr is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Albums: Hard to Earn, Daily Operation, Moment of Truth, Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr, Step in the Arena, + more

Gang Starr was an influential East Coast hip hop duo that consisted of the late MC Guru and the DJ/producer DJ Premier.

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The Best Gang Starr Songs #1,901 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #47 of 138 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s

25
Peter Wolf is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts
Peter Wolf Genre: Blue-eyed soul, Rhythm and blues & Rock and roll; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Long Line, Come as You Are, Midnight Souvenirs, Sleepless, Fool's Parade, + more

Peter Wolf (born Peter W. Blankfield, March 7, 1946) is an American musician best known as the lead vocalist of the J. Geils Band from 1967 to 1983 and for a successful solo career with writing ...more

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