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The Best Musical Artists From Minnesota

Updated May 11, 2021 10.3k votes 1.1k voters 38.5k views129 items

List RulesOnly 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.

  • 1

    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsHighway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home

    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 celebrated...  more

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  • 2


    Hip hop music, Synthpop

    AlbumsPurple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999, Love Symbol Album, Around the World in a Day

    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 known...  more

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  • 3

    The Replacements

    Jangle pop, Pop punk

    AlbumsPleased to Meet Me, All Shook Down, Tim, Let It Be, All for Nothing/Nothing for All

    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 composed of...  more

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    #125 of 155 Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums#328 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

  • 4


    Pop rock, Power pop

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

    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, keyboards,...  more

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  • 5
    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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  • 6

    The Time

    Minneapolis sound

    AlbumsPandemonium, The Time, Ice Cream Castle, What Time Is It?, Condensate

    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 of...  more

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  • 7

    Trampled By Turtles

    Bluegrass, Alternative country

    AlbumsTrouble, Blue Sky and the Devil, Songs From a Ghost Town, Duluth, Wild Animals

    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
  • 8

    Hüsker Dü

    Alternative rock, Punk rock

    AlbumsZen Arcade, Flip Your Wig, Warehouse: Songs and Stories, Candy Apple Grey, New Day Rising

    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 Grant...  more

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  • 9

    Soul Asylum

    Grunge, Post-grunge

    AlbumsGrave Dancers Union, Let Your Dim Light Shine, And the Horse They Rode In On, Time's Incinerator, Made to Be Broken

    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 the...  more

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  • 10


    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

    AlbumsLucy 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

    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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  • 11

    The Revolution

    Rock music, Heavy metal

    AlbumsPurple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade - Music From The Motion Picture Under The Cherry Moon, When Doves Cry, Dream Factory

    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 rock...  more

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  • 12


    Alternative rock, Alternative country

    AlbumsHollywood Town Hall, Tomorrow the Green Grass, Sound of Lies, Music From the North Country, Smile

    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 who...  more

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  • 13

    Owl City

    Synthpop, New Wave

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

    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 project...  more

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  • 14

    The Andrews Sisters

    Girl group, Swing music

    AlbumsA Merry Christmas With Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, The Andrews Sisters Christmas, Andrews Sisters Meet Bing Crosby, Double Goldies, Memories of Yester Years

    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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  • 15

    Hippo Campus

    Indie rock, indie pop
    Hippo Campus is an indie rock band from St. Paul, Minnesota. They are signed to Grand Jury Records in the United States and Transgressive Records in the UK. The band has performed at South by...  more
  • 16


    Hip hop, Alternative hip hop
    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 hop...  more

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  • 17

    Gear Daddies

    Rock, Country

    AlbumsLet's Go Scare Al, Billy's Live Bait, Can't Have Nothin' Nice

  • 18

    The Suburbs

    New Wave, Punk rock

    AlbumsIn Combo, Credit in Heaven, Love is the Law, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Suburbs Have Left the Building

    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
  • 19

    The Trashmen

    Rock music, Garage rock

    AlbumsSurfin' Bird, Bird Call! The Twin City Stomp of The Trashmen, Live Bird '65 - '67, The Great Lost Trashmen Album!, Comic Book Collector

    The Trashmen are a rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1962. The group's original lineup was Tony Andreason on lead guitar and vocals, Dal Winslow on guitar and vocals, Steve Wahrer on...  more
  • 20

    Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

    Pop music, Rock music
    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 enjoyed great success...  more
  • 21

    Marcy Playground

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsMarcy Playground, Shapeshifter, Lunch, Recess & Detention, Zog BogBean – From the Marcy Playground

    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 Candy"....  more
  • 22

    Brother Ali

    Hip hop music, Rap music

    AlbumsShadows on the Sun, Us, Rites of Passage, The Undisputed Truth, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color

    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 hip...  more

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  • 23

    Babes in Toyland

    Riot grrrl, Grunge

    AlbumsCollector's Item, Fontanelle, Spanking Machine, Amusia, Nemesisters

    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 replaced...  more

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    #55 of 115 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever#174 of 369 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time

  • 24

    AlbumsMy Dinosaur Life, Even If It Kills Me, I Am the Movie, Commit This to Memory, Go

    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


    Indie rock, Slowcore

    AlbumsTrust, The Great Destroyer, Christmas, Things We Lost in the Fire, Secret Name

    Low is an American indie rock group from Duluth, Minnesota, formed in 1993. The group is composed of founding members Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals), joined by...  more

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    #342 of 543 The Best Indie Bands & Artists#49 of 85 The Best Drone Bands/Artists

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