The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Over 600 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts
Voting 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.

Ranked by
  • Aerosmith
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music
    245 votes
    • Albums: Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation, Aerosmith, Get a Grip

    Commonly referred to as "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band," Aerosmith laid the groundwork for hard rock and heavy metal bands around the world. Originating from Boston in 1970, the quintessential rock stars' groundbreaking fusion of blues-based rock and rebellious swagger has led them to sell over 150 million records worldwide. Steven Tyler's unmistakable voice and Joe Perry's masterful guitar work have spawned countless hits, ensuring Aerosmith maintains their prominence as one of Massachusetts' most influential musical exports.

  • Boston
    Hard rock, Progressive rock, Arena rock
    205 votes
    • Albums: Boston, Greatest Hits, Third Stage, Don't Look Back, Walk On

    Emanating from the very heart of its namesake city, Boston burst onto the rock scene in the mid-1970s with their innovative sound that seamlessly blended heavy guitar riffs and melodic hooks. Led by founder Tom Scholz, their self-titled debut album would go on to become one of the best-selling albums of all-time, asserting their status as musical titans in Massachusetts and beyond. With hits like "More Than a Feeling" and "Peace of Mind," their music continues to resonate with fans young and old, solidifying their legacy as one of the most iconic rock acts from the Bay State.

  • The Cars
    Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave
    179 votes
    • Albums: Candy-O, The Cars, Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology, Heartbeat City, Panorama

    Formed in Boston in the late '70s, The Cars revolutionized new wave rock with their captivating blend of punk, synth-pop, and infectious melodies. Frontman Ric Ocasek and his bandmates quickly gained a massive following for their innovative sound and arresting aesthetic. Their timeless classics such as "Just What I Needed" and "Drive" continue to be celebrated today, earning The Cars an indelible place in Massachusetts music history.

  • Pixies
    Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise
    181 votes
    • Albums: Doolittle, Surfer Rosa, Bossanova, Trompe le Monde, Come On Pilgrim

    Emerging from the underground rock scene in the late '80s, the Pixies gained international acclaim for their distinctive, dynamic sound that fused elements of surf rock, punk, and indie pop. Hailing from Boston, the quartet's legendary status stems from their innovative songwriting style, marked by enigmatic lyrics and unconventional song structures. Their undeniable impact on alternative rock has influenced countless bands and solidified their position as essential figures in the Massachusetts music scene.

  • Dropkick Murphys
    Celtic rock, Celtic punk, Folk rock
    181 votes
    • Albums: The Warrior's Code, Unity, The Singles Collection, Volume 2: 1998-2004, Mob Mentality

    Since their inception in 1996, the Dropkick Murphys have come to symbolize the gritty, working-class spirit of their hometown, Boston. The Celtic punk outfit's raucous live shows and anthemic songs celebrate Irish-American culture, providing a distinct sound that resonates with fans across the globe. With their unmistakable energy and fierce dedication to their roots, the Dropkick Murphys have earned a well-deserved place among Massachusetts' most beloved musical acts.

  • Donna Summer
    New Wave, Disco, Pop music
    133 votes
    • Albums: Bad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits, Donna Summer, Once Upon a Time...

    Hailing from Boston, Donna Summer rose to fame as the undisputed "Queen of Disco" in the 1970s. Her sultry vocals, combined with cutting-edge production techniques, helped redefine dance music and catapult the genre into the mainstream. Her chart-topping hits continue to influence countless artists, reaffirming her status as an iconic figure in the annals of Massachusetts music history.