Music

The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska  

Ranker Music
637 votes 41 voters 1.3k 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
James Valentine is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock
James Burgon Valentine (born October 5, 1978) is an American musician and songwriter. He is the lead guitarist for the pop rock band Maroon 5.
2
Boxcar Willie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Gospel music, Country
Lecil Travis Martin (September 1, 1931 – April 12, 1999), whose stage name was Boxcar Willie, was an American country music singer-songwriter and Air Force personnel sergeant, who sang in the ...more
3
Sparkle Moore is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Rockabilly
Sparkle Moore (born Barbara Morgan on November 6, 1936 in Omaha, Nebraska, United States) is an American rockabilly singer who was influential as a pioneer of female rockabilly. Her name arose ...more
4
Lullaby for the Working Class is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Lullaby for the Working Class Indie rock
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
5
Shelter Belt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Shelter Belt Pop rock
Shelter Belt is a pop band from Omaha, Nebraska who are eclectic in style and use a wide array of instruments. They are known to switch instruments during shows. They are also known for their ...more
6
Zager and Evans is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Rock music
Zager and Evans was a Lincoln, Nebraska, rock-pop duo of the late 1960s and early 1970s named after its two members, Denny Zager and Rick Evans. They are best known for their 1969 hit single ...more
7
311 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Rock music, Rap metal, Reggae fusion
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
8
Bright Eyes is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Indie pop, Folk music, Emo
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
9
Pigeon John is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Christian hip hop
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
10
Danielle Ate the Sandwich is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Folk music
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
The Good Life is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Rock music, Folk rock, Indie rock
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
12
Emily Kinney is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
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.
13
The Faint is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
New Wave, Dance-punk, Synth rock
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
14
Cellador is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Power metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal
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
15
Patricia Barber is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Smooth jazz, Post-bop, Jazz
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
16
Ann Ronell is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
Matthew Sweet is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Grunge, Pop rock, Power pop
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
18
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal is a five-piece American Soul/Funk/R&B band based out of Lincoln, Nebraska. The band is led by Josh Hoyer on keyboards/vocals, with Benjamin Kushner on guitar, ...more
19
Eagle*Seagull is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Eagle*Seagull Indie, Indie rock
Eagle Seagull was an American indie rock band from Lincoln, Nebraska, United States that singer/songwriter Eli Mardock formed in 2004.
20
The Buggs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
The Buggs were a short-lived tribute band of the mid-1960s, inspired by The Beatles craze. The Buggs' only album, The Beetle Beat, released in March 1964, consisted of covers of Beatles songs ...more
21
Jack & Jack is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Jack & Jack Hip hop music
Jack & Jack are an American pop-rap duo from Omaha, Nebraska, consisting of Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky, who are now based in Los Angeles, California. After success via the social media ...more
22
Square is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Square Pop music, Rock music, Jazz fusion
Square was a short-lived musical trio from Lincoln, Nebraska who moved to Southern California in early 2000. It was composed of Sean Beste on vocals and keyboards, James Valentine on guitar, and ...more
23
Grasshopper Takeover is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Grasshopper Takeover Rock music
Grasshopper Takeover were a band from Omaha, Nebraska, United States. They were formed in December 1995. Its members were Bob Boyce, Curtis Grubb, James McMann, and they were later joined by ...more
24
Haywood-Wakefield Band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Haywood-Wakefield Band
Haywood-Wakefield Band is one of the longest running and most popular rock and roll bands from Nebraska. Considered by many to be one of the most influential bands of the state, ...more
25
Jamie Pressnall is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
Jamie Pressnall
Jamie Lynn Pressnall (née Williams; born 13 March 1976) is a musician from Omaha, Nebraska and is a member of the band Tilly and the Wall. She was also in a band with Clark Baechle, Neely ...more