The Best Musical Artists From Ohio

Over 3.2K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Musical Artists From Ohio
Voting Rules
Only artists born or raised in Ohio or bands formed in Ohio.

Here are the best artists and bands from Ohio. Cleveland, Ohio is pretty much the rock capital of the United States as it is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame. Plenty of musicians who got their start in Ohio have been inducted into these prestigious organizations, including The Isley Brothers, The Moonglows, and Bobby Womack. However, these acts only scratch the surface of what Ohio has produced over the last century. Numerous famous musical artists from Ohio have gone on to dominate the music scene around the world. 

Any country fans will already know that Dwight Yoakam is originally from Columbus. Rock fans also have a claim to fame in the state. Some huge acts in the genre, such as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Twenty One Pilots were born and raised around Ohio. This isn't even getting into all the blues, pop, hip hop, and electronic acts that grew up around the Buckeye State. Other popular Ohio artists and groups include John Legend, Dave Grohl, Kid Cudi, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.

Vote up the best Ohio artists, and feel free to add any other musicians, rappers, singers, and bands with Ohio roots.

Most divisive: Dean Martin
Ranked by
  • Art Tatum

    Art Tatum

    Stride, Jazz
    459 votes
    • Albums: The Tatum Group Masterpieces, The Discovery of Jazz, The Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Volume 3, Body and Soul

    A true trailblazer in the world of jazz piano, Art Tatum's incredible technique and unmatched improvisational skills made him a legend during his lifetime. Born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1909, Tatum overcame blindness in one eye to become a virtuosic musician whose impact can still be felt today. With a playing style that combined lightning-fast tempos and complex harmonies, Tatum left audiences in awe and inspired countless musicians after him. His brilliant renditions of songs like "Tiger Rag" and "Tea for Two" remain essential listening for any jazz enthusiast.

  • Nine Inch Nails
    Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music
    231 votes
    • Albums: The Downward Spiral, The Fragile, With Teeth, Pretty Hate Machine, Year Zero

    Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Nine Inch Nails took the music world by storm in the late 1980s with their unique fusion of industrial sounds and emotional, introspective lyrics. Led by visionary frontman Trent Reznor, the band's boundary-pushing approach to songwriting and production has resulted in a slew of timeless albums, including the masterpiece The Downward Spiral. With an unrelenting drive for innovation, Nine Inch Nails continue to evolve their sound, solidifying their status as one of Ohio's most enduring and influential musical acts.

  • Dave Grohl
    Doom metal, Rock music, Grunge
    271 votes
    • Albums: Foo Fighters, Probot, Pocketwatch, Touch, Sign of Love

    A standout musician even among Ohio's finest, Dave Grohl was born in Warren and raised in Niles before making his mark as the drummer for iconic grunge band Nirvana. Following the tragic death of Kurt Cobain, Grohl could have easily faded into obscurity; instead, he formed Foo Fighters and became one of the most respected and influential rock musicians of all time. With a career spanning almost three decades and multiple projects, including his work with Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures, Grohl's remarkable legacy shows no signs of slowing down.

  • The Black Keys
    Garage rock, Blues rock, Punk blues
    203 votes
    • Albums: Rubber Factory, Attack & Release, Brothers, El Camino, The Big Come Up

    Akron-based blues-rock duo The Black Keys have been captivating fans with their gritty, lo-fi sound since the early 2000s. Comprised of Dan Auerbach on guitar and vocals and Patrick Carney on drums, the pair's undeniable chemistry and dedication to raw, authentic music-making have solidified their place as one of Ohio's most important bands. With a slew of critically acclaimed albums under their belt, including Brothers and El Camino, The Black Keys continue to push the limits of blues-rock and prove that they're anything but a flash in the pan.

  • Twenty One Pilots
    Alternative hip hop, Electropop, Indie Pop
    324 votes
    • Albums: Twenty One Pilots, Regional at Best, Vessel, Blurryface, Trench

    It's hard to imagine the modern music scene without the massive success of Twenty One Pilots. Formed in Columbus, Ohio, in 2009, the duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun quickly gained a loyal following with their genre-defying blend of alternative rock, pop, hip-hop, and electronica. Their energetic live performances and thought-provoking lyrics have resonated with fans across the globe, propelling them to international stardom with hits like "Stressed Out" and "Heathens." In a relatively short amount of time, Twenty One Pilots have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

  • Anita Baker
    Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz
    314 votes
    • Albums: Rapture, Christmas Fantasy, Giving You the Best That I Got, Compositions, A Night of Rapture: Live

    Born in Toledo and raised in Detroit, soulful R&B singer Anita Baker delivered some of the most unforgettable ballads of the 1980s and '90s. Possessing a mesmerizing contralto voice, Baker brought a new level of sophistication to the R&B genre, earning her numerous Grammy Awards and cementing her status as one of Ohio's most talented musical exports. Songs like "Sweet Love" and "Caught Up in the Rapture" showcase her emotional depth and undeniable vocal prowess, ensuring her music will continue to captivate audiences for generations to come.