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The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

Updated April 9, 2019 1.5k votes 84 voters 4.5k views100 items

List RulesOnly 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.

  • 1
    311 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    36
    13

    311

    Rock music, Rap metal

    Albums311, From Chaos, Evolver, Universal Pulse, Don't Tread on Me

    311 (pronounced "three-eleven") is an American rock band from Omaha, Nebraska. The band was... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Bright Eyes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    32
    9

    Bright Eyes

    Indie pop, Folk music

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

    Bright Eyes was an American indie rock band founded by singer-songwriter and guitarist Conor... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    The Faint is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    23
    5

    The Faint

    New Wave, Dance-punk

    AlbumsDanse Macabre, Media, Wet From Birth, Blank-Wave Arcade, Fasciinatiion

    The Faint is an American indie rock band. Formed in Omaha, Nebraska, the band consists of Todd... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Matthew Sweet is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    18
    0

    Matthew Sweet

    Grunge, Pop rock

    AlbumsGirlfriend, In Reverse, 100% Fun, Altered Beast, Inside

    Sidney Matthew Sweet (born October 6, 1964) is an American rock singer-songwriter and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    The Good Life is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    19
    2

    The Good Life

    Rock music, Folk rock

    AlbumsNovena on a Nocturne, Album of the Year, Black Out, Help Wanted Nights, Lovers Need Lawyers EP

    The Good Life is an indie rock band on Saddle Creek records. Started as a solo project of... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Emily Kinney is listed (or ranked) 6 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... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Mannheim Steamroller is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    16
    2

    Mannheim Steamroller

    New Age, New Age music

    AlbumsMannheim Steamroller Christmas Live, Christmas, Christmas Celebration, Halloween 2: Creatures Collection, Halloween

    Mannheim Steamroller is an American music group, founded by Chip Davis, that is known... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Pigeon John is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    16
    2

    Pigeon John

    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

    AlbumsPigeon 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

    John Kenneth Dust (born John Kenneth Dunkin: November 30, 1972), better known by the stage... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Elliott Smith is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    19
    6

    Elliott Smith

    Indie pop, Folk rock

    AlbumsFrom a Basement on the Hill, XO, Figure 8, Either/Or, Elliott Smith

    Steven Paul "Elliott" Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003) was an American singer,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Cursive is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    18
    6

    Cursive

    Emo, Alternative rock

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

    Cursive is an American indie rock band from Omaha, Nebraska, on 15 Passenger Records, Saddle... more on Wikipedia

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    #357 of 543 The Best Indie Bands & Artists#90 of 149 The Best Emo Bands

  • 11
    Commander Venus is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    17
    5

    Commander Venus

    Emo, Indie rock

    AlbumsThe 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... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Patricia Barber is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    18
    6

    Patricia Barber

    Smooth jazz, Post-bop

    AlbumsNightclub, The Premonition Years: 1994-2002, Modern Cool, The Cole Porter Mix, Café Blue

    Patricia Barber (born November 8, 1955) is an American jazz and blues singer, pianist,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Mike Mogis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    16
    4

    Mike Mogis

    Folk music, Emo

    AlbumsThe Fault in Our Stars, Stuck in Love

    Michael Riley "Mike" Mogis (born May 16, 1974) is an American producer/engineer and... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Cellador is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    17
    5

    Cellador

    Power metal, Heavy metal

    AlbumsEnter Deception, Leaving All Behind

    Cellador is a power metal band based out of Denver, Colorado. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Danielle Ate the Sandwich is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska

    AlbumsLike a King, Two Bedroom Apartment, Bad Romance, On the Planet Earth, If I Die Young

    Danielle Anderson, known by her stage name Danielle Ate the Sandwich, is a singer-songwriter... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Lullaby for the Working Class is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    12
    0

    Lullaby for the Working Class

    Indie rock

    AlbumsBlanket 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... more on Wikipedia
  • 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... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Ruth Etting is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    Ruth Etting (November 23, 1897 – September 24, 1978) was an American singing star and actress... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Preston Love is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    14
    4

    Preston Love

    Preston Haines Love (April 26, 1921, Omaha, Nebraska – February 12, 2004, Omaha, Nebraska) was... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Matty Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    14
    4

    Matty Lewis

    Pop punk, Punk rock
    Matty Lewis is the rhythm guitarist and co-lead singer of Zebrahead, and is a native of... more on Wikipedia
  • 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... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Boxcar Willie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    11
    0

    Boxcar Willie

    Gospel music, Country

    AlbumsChristmas With Boxcar Willie, King of the Road, The Boxcar Willie Collection, Not the Man I Used to Be, Last Train to Heaven

    Lecil Travis Martin (September 1, 1931 – April 12, 1999), whose stage name was Boxcar Willie,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    James Valentine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    11
    0

    James Valentine

    Pop music, Rock music
    James Burgon Valentine (born October 5, 1978) is an American musician and songwriter. He is... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Mike Mennard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    13
    5

    Mike Mennard

    Children's music
    Mike Mennard (born 1967 in Ft. Worth, Texas) is a children's recording artist based in... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Josh Rouse is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Nebraska
    16
    9

    Josh Rouse

    Pop music, Folk music

    Albums1972, Dressed Up Like Nebraska, Under Cold Blue Stars, Nashville, Home

    Josh Rouse (born March 9, 1972) is an American folk/roots pop singer-songwriter. Originally... more on Wikipedia

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