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The Best Musical Artists From New York

Updated April 13, 2020 9.2k votes 699 voters 23.4k views116 items

List RulesOnly 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. 

  • 1
    The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    184
    110

    The Notorious B.I.G.

    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop

    AlbumsReady to Die, Life After Death, Born Again, Duets: The Final Chapter, Greatest Hits

    Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), known professionally as The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    194
    120

    Billy Joel

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

    AlbumsThe Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street, Glass Houses, An Innocent Man

    William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    Ramones is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    179
    113

    Ramones

    Pop punk, Rock music

    AlbumsRamones, Rocket to Russia, End of the Century, Ramones Mania, Loud

    The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 4
    Lady Gaga is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    175
    114

    Lady Gaga

    Pop, Dance

    AlbumsThe Fame, Born This Way, Just Dance, The Edge of Glory, The Fame Monster

    Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    Jay-Z is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    183
    124

    Jay-Z

    Hip hop

    AlbumsWatch the Throne, The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life

    Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z),... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 6
    Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    193
    133

    Talking Heads

    New Wave, Rock music

    AlbumsStop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music, More Songs About Buildings and Food, Sand in the Vaseline: Popular Favorites

    Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    Blondie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    99
    56

    Blondie

    Hip hop music, Pop punk

    AlbumsParallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie, Eat to the Beat, The Platinum Collection

    Blondie is an American rock band founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. ... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 8
    Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    88
    47

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Ballad, Swing music

    AlbumsCôte d'Azur Concerts on Verve, Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas, Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas, The Stockholm Concert, Porgy & Bess

    Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an African-American jazz singer... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 9
    Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    137
    92

    Beastie Boys

    Hip hop music, Pop punk

    AlbumsPaul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Hello Nasty

    The Beastie Boys were an American hip hop group from New York City formed in 1981. The group... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 10
    Kiss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    106
    67

    Kiss

    Glam metal, Rock music

    AlbumsDestroyer, Icon, Revenge, Love Gun, Crazy Nights

    Kiss (often stylized as KIϟϟ) is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    114
    75

    The Velvet Underground

    Noise rock, Blues-rock

    AlbumsThe Velvet Underground & Nico, Loaded, The Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat, Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground Featuring Nico

    The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in 1964 in New York City by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 12
    Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    126
    87

    Alicia Keys

    Hip hop music, Pop music

    AlbumsRemixed & Unplugged in A minor, As I Am, Unplugged, Girl On Fire, The Diary of Alicia Keys

    Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), known professionally as Alicia Keys, is an ... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    Wu-Tang Clan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    102
    65

    Wu-Tang Clan

    Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop

    AlbumsEnter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Wu-Tang Forever, 8 Diagrams, The W, The Swarm

    Wu-Tang Clan is an American hip hop group formed in the New York City borough of Staten Island... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    123
    86

    Simon and Garfunkel

    Pop music, Worldbeat

    AlbumsBridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, Bookends, The Graduate, The Concert in Central Park

    Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 15
    Run–DMC is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    98
    63

    Run–DMC

    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

    AlbumsRaising Hell, Run-D.M.C., King of Rock, Down With the King, Tougher Than Leather

    Run-DMC was an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York, founded in 1981 by Joseph... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 16
    Nas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    90
    57

    Nas

    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

    AlbumsIllmatic, Life Is Good, Untitled Nas album, It Was Written, Stillmatic

    Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known as Nas, is an American rapper, songwriter, record... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    Carole King is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    87
    54

    Carole King

    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul

    AlbumsTapestry, Wrap Around Joy, Music, Love Makes the World, Colour of Your Dreams

    Carole King (born Carol Joan Klein, February 9, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter who has... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 18
    The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    108
    75

    The Strokes

    Garage rock, Power pop

    AlbumsIs This It, Room on Fire, First Impressions of Earth, Angles, Reptilia

    The Strokes are an American rock band formed in New York City in 1998, consisting of Julian... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 19
    Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    90
    58

    Lou Reed

    Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul

    AlbumsTransformer, Berlin, New York, Rock 'n' Roll Animal, Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground Featuring Nico

    Lewis Allan Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 20
    Johnny Thunders & the Heartbre is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    60
    28

    Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsL.A.M.F. The Lost '77 Mixes, So Alone, Down to Kill, Too Much Junkie Business, L.A.M.F.

    The Heartbreakers, also known as Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers to distinguish them... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 21
    Television is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    104
    72

    Television

    Art rock, Art punk

    AlbumsMarquee Moon, Television, Adventure, Live at the Old Waldorf, This Case Is Closed

    Television is an American rock band, formed in New York City in 1973 and considered... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 22
    Neil Diamond is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    63
    37

    Neil Diamond

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsThe Christmas Album Volume II, Hot August Night, The Christmas Album, The Jazz Singer, Home Before Dark

    Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 23
    Lana Del Rey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    70
    50

    Lana Del Rey

    Alternative pop, Rock

    AlbumsBorn to Die, Paradise, Lana Del Rey, Die for Me, Kill Kill

    Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, known by her stage name Lana Del Rey, is an American... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 24
    50 Cent is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    72
    52

    50 Cent

    Hip hop music, Gangsta rap

    AlbumsGet Rich or Die Tryin', Get Rich or Die Tryin' / The Massacre, Street King Immortal, Power of the Dollar, Before I Self Destruct

    Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), known professionally as 50 Cent, is an American... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 25
    Richard Hell & The Voidoids is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From New York
    55
    35

    Richard Hell & The Voidoids

    Rock music, Punk rock

    AlbumsDestiny Street, Funhunt: Live at CBGB's & Max's, Time, The Kid With the Replaceable Head, Blank Generation

    Richard Hell and the Voidoids were an American punk rock band, formed in New York City in 1976... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
Bands/MusiciansMusicNew Yorktop 100