Music
856 voters

The Best Musical Artists From New York

Updated April 13, 2020 10.7k votes 856 voters 29.5k 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. 

  • Jay-Z1
    233
    149

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Jay-Z 

    Every Athlete Signed To Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, Ranked#542 of 816 These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

  • The Notorious B.I.G.2
    217
    140

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More The Notorious B.I.G. 

    A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous Feud#3 of 235 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time

  • Billy Joel3
    227
    151

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Billy Joel 

    The Best Billy Joel Songs of All Time#9 of 136 Famous Accordionists

  • Ella Fitzgerald4
    108
    56

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Ella Fitzgerald 

    How Marilyn Monroe And Ella Fitzgerald's Friendship Gave Them Both Their Careers#408 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • Ramones5
    196
    131

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Ramones 

    Were The Ramones The Most Dysfunctional Band That Stayed Together?#89 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

  • Alicia Keys6
    158
    101

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Alicia Keys 

    The Best Songs Feat. Alicia Keys#9 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

  • Beastie Boys7
    158
    104

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Beastie Boys 

    The Best Beastie Boys Songs#42 of 66 The Strangest Opening Act Bookings Ever

  • Wu-Tang Clan8
    129
    78

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Wu-Tang Clan 

    The Best Wu-Tang Clan Songs#641 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • Lady Gaga9
    197
    139

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Lady Gaga 

    The Best Lady Gaga Songs of All Time#187 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

  • Talking Heads10
    203
    146

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Talking Heads 

    The Best Talking Heads Songs of All Time#60 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

  • Nas11
    115
    70

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Nas 

    The Best Nas Songs#2 of 236 The Best New York Rappers

  • Simon and Garfunkel12
    139
    93

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Simon and Garfunkel 

    The Best Simon And Garfunkel Songs#99 of 297 The Best Duos of All Time

  • The Velvet Underground13
    127
    83

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More The Velvet Underground 

    The Best Velvet Underground Songs#90 of 219 The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s

  • Blondie14
    111
    70

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Blondie 

    #11 of 151 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever#37 of 106 Which Bands Or Musicians Do You Most Want To See Before They (Or You) Kick The Bucket?

  • Kiss15
    124
    83

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Kiss 

    The Best KISS Songs of All Time#36 of 392 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time

  • The Strokes16
    124
    83

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More The Strokes 

    The Best Strokes Songs of All Time#399 of 541 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time

  • Run–DMC17
    110
    74

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Run–DMC 

    #1 of 104 The Best '80s Rappers#45 of 95 The Best Trios Of All Time

  • Lou Reed18
    99
    64

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Lou Reed 

    Wild Stories About The Insane Life Of Music Pioneer Lou Reed#199 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists

  • A Tribe Called Quest19
    71
    39

    A Tribe Called Quest

    Hip hop music, Jazz rap

    AlbumsThe Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, The Love Movement, Beats

    A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop collective formed in 1985 and originally composed...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More A Tribe Called Quest 

    The Best A Tribe Called Quest Albums of All Time#3 of 123 The Best Hip Hop Groups of All Time

  • 50 Cent20
    94
    62

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More 50 Cent 

    The Best 50 Cent Movies#194 of 271 The Sexiest Musical Artists of All Time

  • Carole King21
    90
    60

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Carole King 

    The Best Carole King Albums of All Time#37 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

  • Neil Diamond22
    73
    45

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Neil Diamond 

    The Best Neil Diamond Albums of All Time#32 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

  • Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers23
    60
    36

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More 

    #1065 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time#54 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

  • Television24
    102
    79

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Television 

    #79 of 221 Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album#144 of 169 What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

  • Lana Del Rey25
    82
    61

    Lana Del Rey

    Baroque pop, Dream pop

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

    Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1985), known by her stage name Lana Del Rey, is an...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Lana Del Rey 

    Lana Del Rey Is...#16 of 213 The Best Current Female Singers