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Music

The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey 

Ranker Music
Updated March 11, 2020 12k votes 1.1k voters 27.7k views

List Rules Only artists born or raised in New Jersey or bands formed in New Jersey.

Here are the best artists and bands from New Jersey. Although it doesn't have an official state song, New Jersey has been the birthplace of many influential bands and singers. Surely one of them could have written a song by now that describes everything wonderful about the Garden State. When you see all of the notable musical artists from New Jersey, you will be so impressed at how one state could produce this kind of talent. 

One of New Jersey's greatest exports is Bruce Springsteen. The Boss rose to fame with such albums as Born in the U.S.A. and Born to Run. Springsteen was born in Long Branch, and even today, he takes up a permanent residence in Colts Neck. The state is also responsible for giving us the Queen of Soul, Whitney Houston, whose hits include "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and "Saving All My Love for You." Other popular New Jersey artists include Halsey, My Chemical Romance, Fugees, Bon Jovi, and the Jonas Brothers. 

Plenty of other artists got their start in NJ. This list of the most famous New Jersey musical artists has people who were either born or raised in the state. Let other readers know who you think the best artists from the state are by voting for your favorites. You will find top acts all throughout the list, so make sure to read thorugh it carefully. 

list ordered by
1
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Pop music, Dance-pop & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, Whitney Houston, My Love Is Your Love, I'm Your Baby Tonight, The Preacher's Wife: Original Soundtrack Album, + more

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and ...more

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The Best Whitney Houston Albums of All Time #1 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #3 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

2
Ricky Nelson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Rockabilly; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Rick Sings Nelson, Rudy the Fifth, The Rock 'n' Roll Era: Ricky Nelson: 1957-1972, Best of Ricky Nelson, The Lost '60s Recordings, + more

Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) was an American pop star, musician, and singer-songwriter. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television ...more

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The Best Ricky Nelson Albums of All Time #64 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #33 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

3
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Swing music, Big band & Piano blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Ella & Basie: On the Sunny Side of the Street, April in Paris, One O'Clock Jump, Basie, Satch & Josh... Again, + more

William James "Count" Basie (; August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the ...more

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The Best Count Basie Albums of All Time #1,109 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #173 of 469 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

4
The Shirelles is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: Tonight's the Night, Soulfully Yours, The Shirelles, The Definitive Collection, Will You Love Me Tomorrow / Boys, + more

The Shirelles were an American girl group notable for their rhythm and blues, doo-wop and soul music and gaining popularity in the early 1960s. They consisted of schoolmates Shirley Owens (later ...more

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#179 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #419 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #209 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

5
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road, Bon Jovi, 7800° Fahrenheit, + more

Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh ...more

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The Best Bon Jovi Songs of All Time #133 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #63 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

6
Kool & the Gang is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: Kool and the Gang, Get Down On It, Forever, All-Time Greatest Hits, Kool Funk Essentials 1970-1977, + more

Kool & the Gang are an American jazz, R&B, soul, funk and disco group, originally formed in 1964 as the Jazziacs based in Jersey City, New Jersey. They went through several musical ...more

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The Best Kool & The Gang Albums of All Time #46 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #353 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

7
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Christmas in Vienna II, The Best of Christmas in Vienna, Make Way for Dionne Warwick, The Definitive Collection, Friends in Love, + more

Marie Dionne Warwick (born December 12, 1940) is a six-time Grammy Award–winning singer, actress, television host, and former United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture ...more

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The Best Dionne Warwick Albums of All Time #273 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #40 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

8
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop & Neo soul; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, MTV Unplugged 2.0, Ms. Hill, Greatest Singles Collection, MTV Unplugged, + more

Lauryn Noelle Hill (born May 26, 1975) is an American singer, songwriter and rapper, known for being a member of Fugees, and for her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which won many ...more

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The Best Lauryn Hill Songs #51 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Everlisted on The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

9
Bruce Springsteen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Americana, Blues-rock & Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Born to Run, Born in the U.S.A., The Rising, Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River, + more

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949), nicknamed "The Boss", is an American singer-songwriter who is a solo artist and is the leader of the E Street Band. ...more

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The Best Bruce Springsteen Songs of All Time #78 of 266 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #111 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists

10
Eddie Rabbitt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
blackhat355 added Genre: Country pop, Pop music & Nashville sound; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Horizon, Ten Years Of Greatest Hits, Beatin' the Odds, I Wanna Dance with You, Rabbitt Trax, + more

Edward Thomas Rabbitt (November 27, 1941 – May 7, 1998) was an American singer and songwriter. His career began as a songwriter in the late 1960s, springboarding to a recording career after ...more

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#61 of 332 The Top Country Artists of All Time #56 of 320 The Best Bands With Animal Names #79 of 211 The Greatest Classic Country & Western Artists Of All-Time

11
Gloria Gaynor is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music & Disco; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: I Have a Right, Greatest Hits, I Will Survive: The 20th Anniversary Collection, Experience Gloria Gaynor, Best of Gloria Gaynor, + more

Gloria Gaynor (born September 7, 1947) is an American singer, best known for the disco era hits "I Will Survive" (Hot 100 number 1, 1979), "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Hot 100 ...more

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#98 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #175 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #433 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

12
Juice Newton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Juice, Greatest Hits, Can't Wait All Night, Take Heart, Juice Newton & Silver Spur, + more

Judy Kay "Juice" Newton (born February 18, 1952) is an American pop and country singer, songwriter, and musician. To date, Newton has received five Grammy Award nominations in the Pop ...more

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#221 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #344 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #183 of 332 The Top Country Artists of All Time

13
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Rock music, Folk music & Folk rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Graceland, Still Crazy After All These Years, So Beautiful or So What, Paul Simon, The Rhythm of the Saints, + more

Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's musical career has spanned seven decades with his fame and commercial success beginning as half of ...more

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The Best Paul Simon Solo Songs of All Time #2 of 266 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #15 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists

14
Sarah Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Cool jazz, Traditional pop music & Vocal jazz; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Giants of Jazz, Basie-Vaughan, How Long Has This Been Going On?, Misty, Brazilian Romance, + more

Sarah Lois Vaughan (March 27, 1924 – April 3, 1990) was an American jazz singer. Nicknamed "Sassy" and "The Divine One", she won four Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime ...more

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The Best Sarah Vaughan Albums of All Time #84 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #616 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

15
Donald Fagen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Rock music, Jazz fusion & Pop rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Nightfly, Kamakiriad, You Gotta Walk It Like You Talk It, Ricky Lawson & Friends: First Things 1st, Morph the Cat, + more

Donald Jay Fagen (born January 10, 1948) is an American musician best known as the co-founder, lead singer, co-songwriter, and keyboardist of the band Steely Dan, formed in the early ‘70s. He ...more

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#52 of 266 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #250 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #109 of 232 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

16
The Early November is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Planning Office added

Albums: For All of This, The Room's Too Cold, The Early November / I Am the Avalanche, The Mother, The Mechanic, + more

The Early November is an American rock band from New Jersey. The group formed in 1999 and signed with Drive-Thru Records in 2002. As of 2018, they have released two EPs: For All of This (2002) ...more

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#115 of 153 The Best Emo Bands #18 of 25 The Best Bands Like Taking Back Sunday

17
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: The Black Parade, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, Watchmen: Music From the Motion Picture, + more

My Chemical Romance was an American rock band from New Jersey, formed in 2001. The band consisted of lead vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, bassist Mikey Way and ...more

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The Best My Chemical Romance Songs #640 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #302 of 314 The Greatest American Rock Bands

18
Leathermouth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: Xo [Explicit]

Leathermouth was a hardcore band led by former My Chemical Romance rhythm guitarist Frank Iero. The band formed in 2007, and in January 2009 released their first album XO.
19
Saves the Day is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: Through Being Cool, Stay What You Are, In Reverie, Can't Slow Down, Sound the Alarm, + more

Saves the Day is an American rock band from Princeton, New Jersey, formed in 1997. The band currently consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Conley, guitarist Arun Bali, bassist Rodrigo ...more

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#1,507 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #287 of 390 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time #47 of 153 The Best Emo Bands

20
Catch 22 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: Keasbey Nights, Alone in a Crowd, Washed Up and Through the Ringer!, Permanent Revolution, Dinosaur Sounds, + more

Catch 22 was an American ska punk band from East Brunswick Township, New Jersey. The band was formed in 1996 by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tomas Kalnoky, who left the band in 1998 and later ...more

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#234 of 390 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time #37 of 66 The Best Bands Named After Books and Literary Characters #16 of 26 The Best Bands Like Sublime

21
Yo La Tengo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, Strange but True, Little Honda, The Sounds of the Sounds of Science, Electr‐O‐Pura, + more

Yo La Tengo (often abbreviated as YLT) is an American indie rock band formed in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1984. Since 1992, the lineup has consisted of Ira Kaplan (guitars, piano, vocals), Georgia ...more

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The Best Yo La Tengo Albums of All Time #1,523 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,074 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

22
Thursday is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: War All the Time, Full Collapse, Waiting, A City by the Light Divided, Five Stories Falling, + more

Thursday was an American post-hardcore band, formed in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1997. The band composed of Geoff Rickly, Tom Keeley, Steve Pedulla, Tim Payne, Andrew Everding, and Tucker ...more

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#1,834 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #38 of 125 The Best Screamo Bands of All Time #31 of 153 The Best Emo Bands

23
Elizabeth Gillies is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey
Genre: Experimental rock, Pop rock & Alternative rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Santa Baby

Elizabeth Egan Gillies (born July 26, 1993) is an American actress and singer. Her first television appearance was in The Black Donnellys (2007). From 2010 to 2013, she played Jade West in the ...more

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#309 of 410 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2020, Ranked #124 of 128 The Worst People in the History of Reality TV #163 of 181 Dreamcasting Celebrities We Want To See On The Masked Singer

24
Streetlight Manifesto is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: Somewhere in the Between, Everything Goes Numb, 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume One, Streetlight Manifesto Demo, Keasbey Nights, + more

Streetlight Manifesto is an American ska punk band from New Brunswick, New Jersey formed in 2002. They released their first album, Everything Goes Numb, which was distributed by Victory Records, ...more

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#366 of 620 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time #25 of 42 Punk Bands with the Best Lyrics #244 of 390 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time

25
The Smithereens is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New Jersey

Albums: 2011, Green Thoughts, Blown to Smithereens, A Date With The Smithereens, Especially for You, + more

The Smithereens are an American rock band from Carteret, New Jersey, United States. The group formed in 1980 with members Pat DiNizio (vocals & guitar), Jim Babjak (guitar & vocals), ...more

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#575 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #274 of 314 The Greatest American Rock Bands #286 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time