Music

The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska 

Ranker Music
Updated April 9, 2019 811 votes 72 voters 3.6k views 100 items

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

Here are the best artists and bands from Nebraska who have come from every genre imaginable. Rock, ragtime, blues, jazz, county, and more have come out of small towns all around the state. These bands have gone on to influence acts from all over the United States. For example, Saddle Creek Records, which is based out of Omaha, has produced such acts as Cursive, Bright Eyes, and The Faint. One of the city's most popular rock bands to have formed in the area was The Chevrons, which was an incredibly popular band in the country throughout the 1960s. 

The town of Lincoln has always had a great music scene because it's first and foremost a university town. Another important musical landmark in the state is the Zoo Bar. The bar celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2008, and the club even has a song named after it. In 1995, James Harman wrote a song based on his experiences at the venue titled "Everybody's Rockin' (At The Zoo Bar)." Other popular Nebraska artists include JoJo Siwa, Emily Kinney, 311, and VOTA, formerly known as Casting Pearls.

This list of the most famous Nebraska musical artists covers bands and singers from all over the state. From Fremont to Omaha, you will find all of the most popular acts covered here. Vote for the artists you get excited about most.

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

Albums: 311, From Chaos, Evolver, Universal Pulse, Don't Tread on Me, + more

311 (pronounced "three-eleven") is an American rock band from Omaha, Nebraska. The band was formed in 1988 by vocalist and guitarist Nick Hexum, lead guitarist Jim Watson (a member ...more

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2
Bright Eyes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Albums: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground, Fevers and Mirrors, + more

Bright Eyes was an American indie rock band founded by singer-songwriter and guitarist Conor Oberst. It consisted of Oberst, multi-instrumentalist and producer Mike Mogis, trumpet and piano ...more

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3
The Faint is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Albums: Danse Macabre, Media, Wet From Birth, Blank-Wave Arcade, Fasciinatiion, + more

The Faint is an American indie rock band. Formed in Omaha, Nebraska, the band consists of Todd Fink, Graham Ulicny, Dapose and Clark Baechle. The Faint was originally known as Norman Bailer and ...more

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4
The Good Life is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Albums: Novena on a Nocturne, Album of the Year, Black Out, Help Wanted Nights, Lovers Need Lawyers EP, + more

The Good Life is an indie rock band on Saddle Creek records. Started as a solo project of Cursive's frontman Tim Kasher, The Good Life quickly grew to become its own established group. The ...more
5
Matthew Sweet is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Genre: Grunge, Pop rock & Power pop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Girlfriend, In Reverse, 100% Fun, Altered Beast, Inside, + more

Sidney Matthew Sweet (born October 6, 1964) is an American rock singer-songwriter and musician. Part of the burgeoning music scene in Athens, Georgia, during the 1980s before gaining commercial ...more

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6
Emily Kinney is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Albums: Expired Love, Blue Toothbrush

Emily Rebecca Kinney is an American actress and recording artist. She is best known for her role as Beth Greene in the AMC television series The Walking Dead and for playing Emily on The Big C.

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7
Pigeon John is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Genre: Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop & Christian hip hop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister, Pigeon John Sings the Blues!, Pigeon John Is Clueless, Pigeon John and the Summertime Pool Party, Featuring Pigeon John 2, + more

John Kenneth Dust (born John Kenneth Dunkin: November 30, 1972), better known by the stage name Pigeon John, is an American rapper based in Los Angeles, California. He is a former member of L.A. ...more

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8
Patricia Barber is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Genre: Smooth jazz, Post-bop & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Nightclub, The Premonition Years: 1994-2002, Modern Cool, The Cole Porter Mix, Café Blue, + more

Patricia Barber (born November 8, 1955) is an American jazz and blues singer, pianist, songwriter, and bandleader. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 in the Creative Arts – Music ...more

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9
Cellador is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Albums: Enter Deception, Leaving All Behind

Cellador is a power metal band based out of Denver, Colorado. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, the band was founded in 2003 by Chris Petersen, the band's primary songwriter, as a direct contrast ...more

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10
Danielle Ate the Sandwic... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Genre: Folk music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Like a King, Two Bedroom Apartment, Bad Romance, On the Planet Earth, If I Die Young, + more

Danielle Anderson, known by her stage name Danielle Ate the Sandwich, is a singer-songwriter from Grant, Nebraska. Anderson has released four independent albums starting with her self-titled ...more
11
Mike Mogis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Genre: Folk music, Emo & Alternative country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Fault in Our Stars, Stuck in Love

Michael Riley "Mike" Mogis (born May 16, 1974) is an American producer/engineer and multi-instrumentalist who, along with his brother A.J. Mogis, founded Presto! Recording Studios ...more
12
Elliott Smith is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Genre: Indie pop, Folk rock & Acoustic music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: From a Basement on the Hill, XO, Figure 8, Either/Or, Elliott Smith, + more

Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska, raised primarily in ...more

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13
Ruth Etting is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Albums: America's Sweetheart of Song, Ten Cents a Dance, Out in the Cold Again / What About Me, You Don't Like It - Not Much / I'm Nobody's Baby, Exactly Like You / It Happened in Monterey, + more

Ruth Etting (November 23, 1897 – September 24, 1978) was an American singing star and actress of the 1920s and 1930s, who had over 60 hit recordings and worked in stage, radio, and film. Known ...more
14
Cursive is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Albums: The Ugly Organ, Domestica, The Difference Between Houses and Homes (Lost Songs and Loose Ends 1995-2001), Happy Hollow, Mama, + more

Cursive is an American indie rock band from Omaha, Nebraska, on 15 Passenger Records, Saddle Creek Records, and Big Scary Monsters (UK). Described as emo-tinged post-hardcore, Cursive came to ...more

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15
Commander Venus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Albums: The Uneventful Vacation, Do You Feel at Home?, Drip / Commander Venus

Commander Venus was an American emo band from Omaha, Nebraska. Fronted by Conor Oberst and Tim Kasher, the band also included Todd Fink and Matt Bowen of The Faint, Ben Armstrong of Head of ...more
16
Todd Fink is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Todd Fink
Todd Fink (born Todd Baechle, pronounced "BECK-lee") March 3, 1974 from Omaha, Nebraska is the lead singer of the band The Faint. He attended Omaha's Westside High School. Baechle was ...more
17
Ann Ronell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Ann Rosenblatt, known as Ann Ronell (December 25, 1905 — December 25, 1993) was an American composer and lyricist. She was best known for the standards "Willow Weep for Me" (1932) and ...more
18
Lullaby for the Working ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Lullaby for the Working Class

Albums: Blanket Warm, Song, I Never Even Asked For Light, Consolation

Lullaby for the Working Class was an indie folk rock band from Lincoln, Nebraska, active from the mid-to-late 1990s. Fronted by Omaha, Nebraska singer-songwriter Ted Stevens, the group also ...more
19
Matty Lewis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Genre: Pop punk and Punk rock; Nationality: United States of America
Matty Lewis is the rhythm guitarist and co-lead singer of Zebrahead, and is a native of Papillion, Nebraska. Lewis took up playing the guitar and writing songs at age 12.
20
Preston Love is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Preston Love
Preston Haines Love (April 26, 1921, Omaha, Nebraska – February 12, 2004, Omaha, Nebraska) was a renowned alto saxophonist, bandleader and songwriter from Omaha, Nebraska.
21
Bill Lee is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Bill Lee (August 21, 1916 – November 15, 1980) was an American playback singer who provided a voice or singing voice in many films, for actors in musicals and for many Disney characters. He was ...more
22
Conor Oberst is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Genre: Indie pop, Emo & Folk rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Soundtrack to My Movie, Conor Oberst, Water, Here's to Special Treatment, One of My Kind, + more

Conor Mullen Oberst (born February 15, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter best known for his work in Bright Eyes. He has also played in several other bands, including Desaparecidos, The ...more

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23
Mannheim Steamroller is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Mannheim Steamroller

Albums: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Live, Christmas, Christmas Celebration, Halloween 2: Creatures Collection, Halloween, + more

Mannheim Steamroller is an American music group, founded by Chip Davis, that is known primarily for its series of Fresh Aire albums, which blend classical music and rock, and for its modern ...more
24
For Against is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Albums: Shelf Life, Mason's California Lunchroom, Apeture, December, Coalesced, + more

For Against are a United States post-punk/dream pop band from Lincoln, Nebraska. Despite numerous lineup shuffles and some periods of dormancy, the band has produced material steadily from its ...more
25
JoJo Siwa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Joelle Joanie "JoJo" Siwa (born May 19, 2003) is an American dancer, singer, actress, and YouTube personality. She is known for appearing for two seasons on Dance Moms along with her ...more

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