Music

The Best Musical Artists From New York  

Ranker Music
2.9k votes 238 voters 7k views 111 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. 

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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, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. Other musicians ...more
2
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music
The Velvet Underground was an American rock band, active between 1964 and 1973, formed in New York City by Lou Reed and John Cale. Although they had little commercial success at the time, the ...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 band to define the punk rock sound. ...more
4
Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music
Ella Jane Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and ...more
6
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 6 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, better known by his stage names The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie or Biggie Smalls, was an American rapper. Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York ...more
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 "Billy" Joel is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973, Joel has become the sixth ...more
8
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop
Beastie Boys were an American hip hop band from New York City, formed in 1981. For the majority of its career, the group consisted of Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "MCA" ...more
9
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 10 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 was a pioneer in the early American new wave and punk scenes of the mid-1970s. Its first two ...more
11
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave
Sonic Youth was an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1981. Their most recent lineup consisted of Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley and Mark Ibold. In their ...more
12
Wu-Tang Clan is listed (or ranked) 12 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 from Staten Island, New York City. Members include RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta
13
Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop music, East Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap
Shawn Corey Carter, known by his stage name Jay Z, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in ...more
14
Santana is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Rock music
Santana is a Latin rock band, founded in San Francisco during the late 1960s by Carlos Santana as a vehicle for his compositions and guitar style. The band first came to widespread public ...more
15
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Pop music
Carole King is a Grammy Award-winning New York born composer and singer-songwriter. Her career began in the 1960s when King, along with her then husband Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen ...more
16
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word
Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. After serving as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, his solo career ...more
17
Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Pop music, Rock music, Electronic music
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
18
New York Dolls is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Rock music, Protopunk, Glam punk
The New York Dolls are an American hard rock band formed in New York City in 1971. Along with the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, they were one of the first bands in the early punk rock ...more
19
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music
Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper is an American singer, songwriter, actress. Lauper has sold over 50 million albums and 20 million singles. She has won awards at the Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, the New ...more
20
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul
Alicia Augello Cook, known by the pseudonym Alicia Keys, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record ...more
21
Interpol is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Alternative rock, Indie rock, Post-punk revival
Interpol is an American rock band from New York City. Formed in 1997, the band's original line-up consisted of Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler, Carlos Dengler and Greg Drudy. Drudy left the band in ...more
22
Run–DMC is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Pat Benatar is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
New Wave, Rock music, Heavy metal
Patricia Mae Andrzejewski, known professionally as Pat Benatar, is an American singer-songwriter and four-time Grammy Award winner. She is a mezzo-soprano. She has had considerable commercial ...more
24
Foreigner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock
Foreigner is a British-American rock band, originally formed in 1976 by veteran English musician Mick Jones and fellow Briton and ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald along with American vocalist ...more
25
Sammy Davis, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
Samuel George "Sammy" Davis Jr., was an American entertainer. Primarily a dancer and singer, he was also an actor of stage and screen, musician, and impressionist, noted for his ...more