338 voters

The Best Musical Artists From Massachusetts

Updated April 8, 2019 4.4k votes 338 voters 13.7k views100 items

List RulesOnly 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.

  • The Cars1

    The Cars

    Bubblegum pop, Synthpop

    AlbumsCandy-O, The Cars, Just What I Needed: The Cars Anthology, Heartbeat City, Panorama

    The Cars were an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s....  more

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  • Aerosmith2


    Glam metal, Blues-rock

    AlbumsToys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation, Aerosmith, Get a Grip

    Aerosmith is an American rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1970. The group...  more

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  • Boston3


    Classic rock, Rock music

    AlbumsBoston, Greatest Hits, Third Stage, Don't Look Back, Walk On

    Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, which had its most notable...  more

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  • Pixies4


    Experimental rock, Grunge

    AlbumsDoolittle, Surfer Rosa, Bossanova, Trompe le Monde, Come On Pilgrim

    The Pixies are an American rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986. The group...  more

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  • James Taylor5

    James Taylor

    Blues-rock, Disco

    AlbumsSweet Baby James, A Christmas Album, James Taylor at Christmas, Never Die Young, Hourglass

    James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A...  more

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  • Dropkick Murphys6

    Dropkick Murphys

    Celtic rock, Celtic punk

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

    Dropkick Murphys are an American Celtic punk band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1996....  more

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  • Donna Summer7

    Donna Summer

    New Wave, Disco

    AlbumsBad Girls, Christmas Spirit, The Summer Collection: Greatest Hits, Donna Summer, Once Upon a Time...

    LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), widely known by her stage name based...  more

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  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones8

    The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

    Noise rock, Ska punk

    AlbumsLet's Face It, Question the Answers, Live From the Middle East, Pay Attention, More Noise and Other Disturbances

    The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (informally referred to as The Bosstones) is an American ska punk...  more

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  • Rob Zombie9

    Rob Zombie

    Horror punk, Noise rock

    AlbumsThe Sinister Urge, Past, Present & Future, Hellbilly Deluxe, American Made Music to Strip By

    Rob Zombie (born Robert Bartleh Cummings; January 12, 1965) is an American musician and...  more

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  • Joyner Lucas10
    Gary Maurice "Joyner" Lucas, Jr. (born August 17, 1988) is an American rapper, singer,...  more

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  • The Lemonheads11

    The Lemonheads

    Alternative rock, Punk rock

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

    The Lemonheads are an American alternative rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986...  more

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  • Godsmack12


    Nu metal, Groove metal

    AlbumsFaceless, IV, Awake, All Wound Up…, Godsmack

    Godsmack is an American rock band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is...  more

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  • They Might Be Giants13

    They Might Be Giants

    Experimental rock, Children's music

    AlbumsFlood, Apollo 18, John Henry, Join Us, O Tannenbaum

    They Might Be Giants is an American alternative rock band formed in 1982 by John Flansburgh...  more

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    #132 of 355 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame#1377 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • New Edition14

    New Edition

    Hip hop music, Old-school hip hop

    AlbumsChristmas All Over the World, Candy Girl, Heart Break, Home Again, New Edition

    New Edition is an R&B and pop group formed in Boston in 1978. The group reached its height of...  more

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  • New Kids on the Block15

    New Kids on the Block

    Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop

    AlbumsMerry, Merry Christmas, Face the Music, Hangin' Tough, Step by Step

    New Kids on the Block (also initialized as NKOTB) is an American boy band from Dorchester,...  more

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  • Extreme16


    Glam metal, Blues-rock

    AlbumsIII Sides to Every Story, Pornograffitti, Extreme, Take Us Alive, Waiting for the Punchline

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    #580 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time#43 of 156 The Best Hair Metal Bands Of All Time

  • Killswitch Engage17

    Killswitch Engage

    Progressive metal, Metalcore

    AlbumsAlive or Just Breathing, The End of Heartache, As Daylight Dies, Killswitch Engage, (Set This) World Ablaze

    Killswitch Engage is an American metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1999...  more

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  • Staind18


    Nu metal, Heavy metal

    AlbumsChapter V, 14 Shades of Grey, Break the Cycle, Fade, Tormented

    Staind ( STAYND) is an American alternative rock band formed in 1995. The original lineup...  more

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    #138 of 392 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time#344 of 541 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time

  • Peter Wolf19

    Peter Wolf

    Blue-eyed soul, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsLong Line, Come as You Are, Midnight Souvenirs, Sleepless, Fool's Parade

    Peter Wolf (born Peter W. Blankfield, March 7, 1946) is an American musician best known as the...  more


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  • The Breeders20

    The Breeders

    Alternative rock, Indie rock

    AlbumsLast Splash, Pod, Title TK, Mountain Battles, Climbing the Sun

    The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1990 by Kim Deal of the Pixies...  more

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  • Yo-Yo Ma21

    Yo-Yo Ma

    Classical music

    AlbumsAround 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

    Yo-Yo Ma (born October 7, 1955) is a Chinese-American cellist. Born in Paris, he spent his...  more

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  • Letters to Cleo22

    Letters to Cleo

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsGo!, Wholesale Meats and Fish, Aurora Gory Alice, Sister, From Boston Massachusetts

    Letters to Cleo was an alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, best known for the...  more
  • Ice Nine Kills23

    Ice Nine Kills

    Pop punk, Emo

    AlbumsThe Predator Becomes the Prey, Safe Is Just a Shadow, Last Chance to Make Amends, The Burning

    Ice Nine Kills is an American metalcore band from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in its...  more

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  • Passion Pit24

    Passion Pit

    Indie pop, Synthpop

    AlbumsGossamer, Manners, Chunk of Change, Sleepyhead / Better Things, The Reeling (Remixes)

    Passion Pit is an American indietronica band from Cambridge, Massachusetts, formed in 2007....  more

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  • Bell Biv DeVoe25

    Bell Biv DeVoe

    Hip hop music, Pop music

    Albums20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Bell Biv DeVoe, Poison, WBBD - Bootcity! The Remix Album, BBD, Greatest Hits

    Bell Biv DeVoe is an American music group that branched off from New Edition. It consists of...  more