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The Best Musical Artists From Ohio

Updated September 30, 2021 30.3k votes 2.6k voters 20.2k views137 items

List RulesOnly 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.

  • 1
    Stride, Jazz

    AlbumsThe Tatum Group Masterpieces, The Discovery of Jazz, The Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Volume 3, Body and Soul

    Arthur Tatum Jr. (, October 13, 1909 – November 5, 1956) was an American jazz pianist. Tatum grew up in Toledo, Ohio, where he began playing professionally and had his own radio program, rebroadcast...  more

    #2 of 157 The Greatest Pianists Ever#1 of 164 The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time#1 of 145 The Greatest Pianists of All Time

  • 2
    Traditional pop music, Big band

    AlbumsThe Doris Day Christmas Album, Young Man With a Horn, Cuttin' Capers / Bright & Shiny, Sentimental Journey / Latin for Lovers, The Complete Standard Transcriptions

    Doris Day (born April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019) was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist. She began her career as a big band singer in 1939, achieving commercial success in 1945...  more

    The Best Doris Day Albums of All Time#60 of 349 The Best Actresses In Film History#45 of 188 The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)

  • 3
    Swing music, Traditional pop music

    AlbumsChristmas With the Rat Pack, Dino / You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me, A Winter Romance, Christmas With Dean Martin, Christmas With Dino

    Dino Paul Crocetti (June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995), known famously as Dean Martin, was an American singer, actor and comedian. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the...  more

    The Best Dean Martin Albums of All Time#252 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History#125 of 391 The 100+ Funniest People Of All Time

  • 4
    cjxdigital addedAdult contemporary music, Quiet storm

    AlbumsRapture, Christmas Fantasy, Giving You the Best That I Got, Compositions, A Night of Rapture: Live

    Anita Denise Baker (born January 26, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter. Starting her career in the late 1970s with the funk band Chapter 8, Baker released her first solo album, The Songstress,...  more

    The Best Anita Baker Albums of All Time#61 of 297 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years#315 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

  • 5
    cjxdigital addedPop music, Cabaret

    AlbumsIn Person, The Swingin's Mutual!, A Nancy Wilson Christmas, Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley, Today

    Nancy Sue Wilson (February 20, 1937 – December 13, 2018) was an American singer whose career spanned over five decades, from the mid–1950s until her retirement in the early–2010s. She was notable for...  more

    #114 of 500 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#149 of 656 The Best Singers Of All Time#274 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

  • 6
    Traditional pop music

    AlbumsThe Power of Two, Hopeless Romantics, Pure Gershwin, Michael & George - Feinstein Sings Gershwin, Change of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn

    Michael Jay Feinstein (born September 7, 1956) is an American singer, pianist, and music revivalist. He is an interpreter of, and an anthropologist and archivist for, the repertoire known as the...  more
  • 7
    Adult contemporary music, New Age music

    AlbumsValentine, Simple Things, Picture This, Home, Destiny

    Jim Brickman (born November 20, 1961) is an American songwriter and pianist of pop music, as well as a radio show host. Brickman has earned six Gold and Platinum albums. He is known for his solo...  more
  • 8
    cjxdigital addedR&B

    AlbumsBack Stabbers, Family Reunion, Message in the Music

  • 9
    Bob Hamden addedHip hop music, Gangsta rap

    AlbumsBlack Flag, Lace Up, Half Naked & Almost Famous, Invincible, Wild Boy

    Colson Baker (born April 22, 1990), known professionally as Machine Gun Kelly (abbreviated as MGK), is an American rapper and actor from Cleveland, Ohio. MGK embarked on a musical career as a...  more

    The Best Songs Feat. Machine Gun Kelly#1585 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time#58 of 138 The Best Young Rappers And New School Rappers

  • 10
    cjxdigital addedDisco, Pop music

    AlbumsWild Cherry, Super Hits, I Love My Music, Electrified Funk, Only the Wild Survive

    Wild Cherry was an American funk rock band best known for their song "Play That Funky Music". ...  more
  • 11
    cjxdigital addedAlternative rock, Indie rock

    AlbumsLast Splash, Pod, Title TK, Mountain Battles, Climbing the Sun

    The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1990 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. The band has experienced a number of lineup changes; Kim Deal has been...  more

    #63 of 115 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever#638 of 1,681 The Best Rock Bands Of All Time#321 of 476 The Most Hipster Bands

  • 12
    cjxdigital addedHip hop music, Electro

    AlbumsThe Many Facets of Roger, Unlimited!, Bridging the Gap, The Saga Continues..., The New Zapp IV U

    Zapp is an American funk band that emerged from Hamilton, Ohio, in 1977. Particularly influential in the electro subgenre of funk, Zapp served as partial inspiration toward the creation of the G-funk...  more
  • 13
    cjxdigital addedRhythm and blues, Funk

    AlbumsShot of Love, Fantastic Voyage, Galactic Grooves, Greatest Hits, Rough Riders

    Lakeside is a funk band, best known for their 1980 number one R&B hit, "Fantastic Voyage"....  more
  • 14
    cjxdigital addedDisco, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsCentral Heating, Too Hot to Handle, Candles, Current, Hot Property

    Heatwave is an international funk/disco band featuring Americans Johnnie Wilder, Jr. and Keith Wilder of Dayton, Ohio, Englishman Rod Temperton, Swiss Mario Mantese, Czechoslovak Ernest "Bilbo"...  more

    #90 of 152 The Best Soul Singers/Groups of All Time#27 of 113 The Best Disco Bands/Artists

  • 15
    cjxdigital addedDisco, Rock music

    AlbumsWanna Make Love / Sun-Power, Sun Power, Destination Sun, Eclipse, Wanna Make Love

    Sun is an R&B, soul, disco, and funk band that was formed in the mid-1970s and recorded prolifically for Capitol Records from 1976 to 1984. The band was founded by Byron Byrd in Dayton, Ohio, in...  more
  • 16
    cjxdigital addedHip hop music, Electro

    AlbumsCalifornia Love, The Many Facets of Roger, Unlimited!, Bridging the Gap, The Saga Continues...

    Roger Troutman (November 29, 1951 – April 25, 1999), also known mononymously as Roger, was an American singer, composer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and the founder of the band Zapp...  more
  • 17
    cjxdigital addedRhythm and blues, Funk

    AlbumsRiding High, Good Thang, Breakin' the Funk

    Faze-O was a late 1970s funk group based in Dayton, Ohio and produced by Clarence Satchell of the Ohio Players, and was the group's front band during many live performances. Their 1977 song, "Riding...  more
  • 18
    cjxdigital addedBlues Rock


  • 19
    cjxdigital addedSynthpunk, Noise rock

    AlbumsBonsai Superstar, Smack Bunny Baby, Electro-Shock for President, internationale, Hissing Prigs in Static Couture

    Brainiac was an American Indie rock band formed in 1992, and disbanded after the sudden death of lead singer Tim Taylor in 1997....  more
  • 20
    cjxdigital addedPop music, Contemporary R&B

    AlbumsHigher, Dancin' in the Key of Life, Feel so real, Steve Arrington's Hall Of Fame, Vol.1

    Stephen Ralph "Steve" Arrington (born March 5, 1956) is an American singer, songwriter, drummer, record producer, engineer and minister, who grew up in Dayton, Ohio....  more
  • 21
    cjxdigital addedRock music, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsI Still Have It, Already Missing You

    Edward Willis "Eddie" Levert (born June 16, 1942) is an American singer–songwriter and actor. Levert is best known as the lead vocalist of the group, The O'Jays....  more
  • 22
    cjxdigital addedPop music, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsAll The Way, Let's Get Smooth

    Calloway is an R&B duo of Cincinnati, Ohio brothers Reginald (born on January 23, 1955) and Vincent (born on January 5, 1957) Calloway. They had a major hit in 1990 with "I Wanna Be Rich"....  more
  • 23
    cjxdigital addedBlues, Soul


  • 24
    cjxdigital addedElectronic dance music, Contemporary R&B

    AlbumsAnthology, Send Your Love, A Little Love, Like I Like It, You and Me Tonight

    Aurra was an American 1980s soul group, which, at the time of its biggest success, was composed of Curt Jones and Starleana Young....  more

    #60 of 104 The Best Funk Bands/Artists#123 of 177 The Greatest R&B Artists of All Time

  • 25
    cjxdigital addedUrban contemporary, Dance-pop

    AlbumsFinally, I'm Movin' On, Thought 'Ya Knew, Music Is Our Way of Life, Colour of My Soul

    Cecilia Veronica "CeCe" Peniston (; born September 6, 1969) is an American recording artist and former beauty queen. In the early 1990s, she scored five number one hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot...  more
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List Rules: Only artists born or raised in Ohio or bands formed in Ohio.