Music

The Best Musical Artists From New York  

Ranker Music
4.1k votes 372 voters 10.1k views 113 items

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

Here are the best artists and bands from New York. A mecca of great music, New York City has produced some of the most influential and famous bands and singers of all time. The city has fostered talents of artists in every genre conceivable. The city is the birthplace of disco, hip hop, doo wop, new wave, punk rock, and so much more. The city has given so much to the industry, and in the years to come, even more artists will join the ranks of the most famous musical artists from New York. 

If you browse through your playlists, then chances are very good you will come across some artists who got their start in the Empire State. Lady Gaga, the Beastie Boys, Alicia Keys, Neil Diamond, Vampire Weekend, and numerous other artists grew up in New York. On this list, you will find artists who were either born or raised in the state. Other popular New York artists include 50 Cent, The Strokes, and the Wu-Tang Clan.

New York City is on the same level as Los Angeles, Detroit, San Francisco, and Nashville as far as cities that have produced a great deal of the talent you hear on the radio today. This list of New York musical artists is just a sampling of the talent coming out of the state, so vote for your favorites now. 

list ordered by
1
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk
Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), ...more
2
Television is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Lom added Art rock, Art punk, Post-punk
Television is an American rock band, formed in New York City in 1973 and considered influential in the development of punk and alternative music. Television was a fixture of the 1970s New York ...more
3
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Pop punk, Rock music, Classic Punk
The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens in 1974. They are often cited as the first true punk rock group. Despite ...more
4
Johnny Thunders & the Heartbre... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Lom added Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Classic Punk
The Heartbreakers, also known as Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers to distinguish them from Tom Petty's band, also known as The Heartbreakers, were an American punk rock band, formed in New ...more
5
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music
Carole King (born Carol Joan Klein, February 9, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since 1958, initially as one of the staff songwriters at the Brill Building and later ...more
6
Richard Hell & The Voidoids is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Lom added Rock music, Punk rock
Richard Hell and the Voidoids were an American punk rock band, formed in New York City in 1976 and fronted by Richard Hell, a former member of the Neon Boys, Television and The Heartbreakers.
7
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first hit and signature song of the same ...more
8
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music
Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They are best known for achieving commercial and critical success in the ...more
9
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music
Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an African-American jazz singer sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her ...more
10
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul
Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), known professionally as Alicia Keys, is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. A classically-trained pianist, Keys was composing songs by age ...more
11
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music
The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in 1964 in New York City by singer/guitarist Lou Reed, multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Angus ...more
12
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Pop, Dance, Electronic
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is known for her unconventionality, provocative ...more
13
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave
Blondie is an American rock band founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band were pioneers in the early American new wave and punk scenes of the mid-late 1970s. Its first ...more
14
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop
The Beastie Boys were an American hip hop group from New York City formed in 1981. The group comprised Michael "Mike D" Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam "MCA" Yauch (vocals, ...more
15
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop
Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z), is an American rapper, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and record executive. Considered among ...more
16
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
Kiss (often stylized as KIϟϟ) is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint ...more
17
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock
The Strokes are an American rock band formed in New York City in 1998, consisting of Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond, Jr., Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti. Upon the ...more
18
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Omar A Lopez added Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop
Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), known professionally as The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or Biggie, was an American rapper. He is widely considered to be ...more
19
Wu-Tang Clan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop
Wu-Tang Clan is an American hip hop group formed in the New York City borough of Staten Island in 1992, originally composed of rapper-producer RZA and rappers GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, ...more
20
Run–DMC is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Hardcore hip hop
Run-DMC was an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York, founded in 1981 by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jason Mizell. Run-DMC is widely acknowledged as one of the most ...more
21
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music
Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper (born June 22, 1953) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and activist. Her career has spanned over 40 years. Her album She's So Unusual (1983) was the first ...more
22
Nas is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, East Coast hip hop
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known as Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is the son of jazz musician Olu Dara. Since 1994, Nas has released eight ...more
23
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word
Lewis Allan Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer, songwriter and poet. He was the lead guitarist, singer and principal songwriter for the rock band the Velvet ...more
24
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave
Sonic Youth was an American rock band based in New York City, formed in 1981. Founding members Thurston Moore (guitar, vocals), Kim Gordon (bass, vocals, guitar) and Lee Ranaldo (guitar, vocals) ...more
25
Lana Del Rey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Alternative pop, Rock
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, known by her stage name Lana Del Rey and former stage name "Lizzy Grant", is an American singer-songwriter. Del Rey started songwriting at the age of 18 and ...more