Music

The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota 

Ranker Music
Updated October 29, 2019 2.8k votes 364 voters 10.2k views 107 items

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

Here are the best artists and bands from Minnesota. Although the state is known for its cold climate, all the talent that has come out of the Land of 10,000 Lakes makes Minnesota look red hot. Plenty of Minnesota musical artists have made names for themselves around the world, while others are local favorites that play to Minnesotans all the time. 

Prince, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, was born in Minneapolis. He went through many names over the last few decades, but the quality of his music always remained consistently high. A lot of other great acts were born or raised in Minnesota. Hip hop acts like Brother Ali got their start here as well as rock bands like Soul Asylum and The Replacements. Minneapolis is a wonderfully diverse city, so it is no surprise to see a diverse range of artists have come out of it. 

As you read through this list of Minnesota musical artists, you may be surprised to see some of your favorites coming out of the North Star State. Vote up the best Minnesota artists, and feel free to add any other musicians, rappers, singers, and bands with Minnesota roots.

list ordered by
1
Prince is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota
Genre: Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999, Love Symbol Album, Around the World in a Day, + more

Labels: Universal Records, Paisley Park Records, Arista Records, Warner Bros. Records, NPG Records, + more

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker. With a career spanning four decades, Prince was ...more

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#19 of 714 The Best Rock Vocalists #20 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time The Best Prince Songs of All Time

2
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota
Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, + more

Labels: Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Island Records, Asylum Records, Columbia

Bob Dylan (born May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. Much of his most ...more

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#64 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #106 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time The Best Bob Dylan Songs

3
Lizzo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota
Melissa Jefferson (born April 27, 1988), better known by her stage name Lizzo, is an American alternative hip hop artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a founding member of indie hip ...more

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#9 of 120 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like #19 of 95 The Most Influential Women of 2019 The Best Lizzo Songs, Ranked

4
The Replacements is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Pleased to Meet Me, All Shook Down, Tim, Let It Be, All for Nothing/Nothing for All, + more

Labels: Sire Records, Twin/Tone Records

The Replacements were an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1979. Initially a punk rock band, they are considered one of the pioneers of alternative rock. The band was ...more

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#598 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #94 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

5
Atmosphere is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Lucy Ford: The Atmosphere EP's, God Loves Ugly, You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having, To All My Friends, Blood Makes the Blade Holy: The Atmosphere EP's, + more

Labels: Epitaph Records, Warner Music Group, Rhymesayers Entertainment

Atmosphere is an American hip hop duo from Minneapolis, Minnesota, consisting of rapper Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ/producer Ant (Anthony Davis). Since its formation in 1996, the group has released ...more

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#1,134 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #58 of 127 The Best Hip Hop Groups of All Time

6
Soul Asylum is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Grave Dancers Union, Let Your Dim Light Shine, And the Horse They Rode In On, Time's Incinerator, Made to Be Broken, + more

Labels: 429 Records, A&M Records, Legacy Recordings, Twin/Tone Records, Columbia

Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band that formed in 1981, and officially in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1983. The band originally formed in 1981 under the name Loud Fast Rules, with ...more

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#581 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #430 of 2,218 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #134 of 411 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

7
Hüsker Dü is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Zen Arcade, Flip Your Wig, Warehouse: Songs and Stories, Candy Apple Grey, New Day Rising, + more

Labels: SST Records, Alternative Tentacles, Warner Bros. Records, New Alliance Records

Hüsker Dü was an American rock band formed in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1979. The band's continual members were guitarist/vocalist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton, and drummer/vocalist ...more

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#747 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #87 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

8
Trampled By Turtles is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Trouble, Blue Sky and the Devil, Songs From a Ghost Town, Duluth, Wild Animals, + more

Trampled By Turtles is an American bluegrass/folk-rock band from Duluth, Minnesota. They have released eight full albums, three of which have reached US Billboard chart number one spots. Their ...more
9
Semisonic is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Pleasure, Feeling Strangely Fine, All About Chemistry, Great Divide, 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Semisonic, + more

Labels: MCA Records, Music Corporation of America

Semisonic is an American alternative rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1995. The band has three members: Dan Wilson (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), John Munson (bass guitar, ...more
10
Owl City is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Ocean Eyes, Maybe I'm Dreaming, Of June, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, The Midsummer Station, + more

Labels: Universal Republic Records, Republic Records

Owl City is an American electronica project created in 2007 in Owatonna, Minnesota; it is one of several projects by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Adam Young. Young created the ...more
11
Jayhawks is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Hollywood Town Hall, Tomorrow the Green Grass, Sound of Lies, Music From the North Country, Smile, + more

Labels: Rounder Records, American Recordings, Twin/Tone Records

The Jayhawks are an American alternative country and country rock band that emerged from the Twin Cities music scene during the mid-1980s. Their country rock sound was influential on many bands ...more
12
Judy Garland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Christmas Through the Years, America's Treasure, The Judy Garland Story, The Judy Garland Show - Fly Me to the Moon (disc 5), The Best of the Decca Years, + more

Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American actress, singer, dancer, and vaudevillian. During a career that spanned 45 years, she attained international ...more

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#61 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Time The Best Judy Garland Movieslisted on Famous Left Handed People

13
Brother Ali is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota
Genre: Hip hop music, Rap music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Shadows on the Sun, Us, Rites of Passage, The Undisputed Truth, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, + more

Labels: Warner Music Group, Rhymesayers Entertainment

Ali Douglas Newman (born Jason Douglas Newman, July 30, 1977), better known by his stage name Brother Ali, is an American rapper, community activist, and member of the Rhymesayers Entertainment ...more

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#1,306 of 2,218 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #753 of 854 These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time The Best Brother Ali Songs

14
The Time is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Pandemonium, The Time, Ice Cream Castle, What Time Is It?, Condensate, + more

The Time, also known as Morris Day and the Time and The Original 7ven, is an American musical group that was created in Minneapolis in 1981 by Prince. Their work has been a part of the formation ...more
15
The Revolution is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade - Music From The Motion Picture Under The Cherry Moon, When Doves Cry, Dream Factory, + more

Labels: Paisley Park Records, Warner Bros. Records

The Revolution was an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1979 by Prince. Although widely associated with rock music, the band's sound incorporated pop, funk, R&B and hard ...more

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#32 of 350 The Greatest American Rock Bands #9 of 23 All The Arroyo Seco Weekend Acts We Saw, Ranked

16
The Suburbs is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: In Combo, Credit in Heaven, Love is the Law, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Suburbs Have Left the Building, + more

Labels: A&M Records, PolyGram, Twin/Tone Records

The Suburbs are an alternative punk rock/funk/new wave band from Minneapolis, Minnesota that was popular in the late 1970s through the 1980s. The band frequently headlined at Minneapolis's most ...more

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#1,552 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #454 of 674 The Best Alternative Bands/Artists

17
The Andrews Sisters is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota
Genre: Girl group, Swing music, Boogie-woogie; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: A Merry Christmas With Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, The Andrews Sisters Christmas, Andrews Sisters Meet Bing Crosby, Double Goldies, Memories of Yester Years, + more

The Andrews Sisters were an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967), ...more

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#1,441 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #40 of 519 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #63 of 81 The Best Trios Of All Time

18
Marcy Playground is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Marcy Playground, Shapeshifter, Lunch, Recess & Detention, Zog BogBean – From the Marcy Playground, + more

Labels: Capitol Records

Marcy Playground is an American alternative rock band consisting of three members: John Wozniak, Dylan Keefe, and Shlomi Lavie. The band is best known for their 1997 hit "Sex and
19
Sugar is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Copper Blue, Besides, Beaster, File Under: Easy Listening, If I Can't Change Your Mind, + more

Labels: Creation Records, Rykodisc

Sugar was an American alternative rock band of the early 1990s. Formed in 1992, they were led by the singer and guitarist Bob Mould, alongside bassist David Barbe and drummer Malcolm Travis.
20
Morris Day is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota
Genre: Hip hop music, New Wave, Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Daydreaming, Color of Success, It's About Time, Guaranteed, The Oak Tree, + more

Labels: Hollywood Records, Paisley Park Records, Reprise Records, Warner Bros. Records

Morris E. Day (born December 13, 1957) is an American musician, composer, and actor. He is best known as the lead singer of The Time.
21
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewi... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota
Genre: Pop music, Rock music, Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America
James Samuel "Jimmy Jam" Harris III (born June 6, 1959) and Terry Steven Lewis (born November 24, 1956) are an American R&B/pop songwriting and record production team. They have ...more
22
Dessa Darling is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota
Genre: Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Underground hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: A Badly Broken Code, Parts of Speech, False Hopes, Call Off Your Ghost, Castor, + more

Labels: Doomtree

Dessa Wander (born Margret Wander, May 23, 1981), better known by her stage name Dessa, is an American rapper, singer, writer, and former record executive. She is a member of the indie hip hop ...more
23
Babes in Toyland is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Collector's Item, Fontanelle, Spanking Machine, Amusia, Nemesisters, + more

Labels: Strange Fruit Records, Southern Records, Reprise Records, Twin/Tone Records

Babes in Toyland is an American punk rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1987. The band was formed by Oregon native Kat Bjelland, with Lori Barbero and Michelle Leon, who was later ...more

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#81 of 156 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever #170 of 389 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time #35 of 73 The Best Grunge Bands

24
Motion City Soundtrack ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: My Dinosaur Life, Even If It Kills Me, I Am the Movie, Commit This to Memory, Go, + more

Labels: Epitaph Records, Columbia

Motion City Soundtrack is an American rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota, formed in 1997. The band consists of founding members Justin Pierre and Joshua Cain, along with keyboardist and moog ...more
25
Son Volt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Albums: Okemah and the Melody of Riot, Trace, Straightaways, Wide Swing Tremolo, The Search, + more

Labels: Legacy Recordings, Warner Bros. Records

Son Volt is an American alternative rock and alternative country band, formed by Jay Farrar in 1994 after the breakup of Uncle Tupelo.