87 voters

The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island

Updated October 23, 2019 1.2k votes 87 voters 4.3k views75 items

List RulesOnly artists born or raised in Rhode Island or bands formed in Rhode Island.

Here are the best artists and bands from Rhode Island. The land of pristine shorelines and historic landmarks also has a richly vibrant music scene centered around Providence. The city became particularly famous around the 1990s when noise rock began to take hold in the public's consciousness. It is also home to various music festivals, such as the Newport Folk and Newport Jazz festivals, where bands from all over the United States gather to treat locals to a day of fun, good vibes, and the best musical artists from Rhode Island. 

It is hard to pin down a definitive sound of the region. Some bands like The Dear Hunter play more progressive rock that has a variety of styles while The Low Anthem is more experimental in its styling. The same variety can be seen in the singers that come out of the Ocean State. Billy Gilman is a country artist who made his way up the ranks on The Voice while Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has released several solo albums. Other popular Rhode Island artists include Sage Francis, Velvet Crush, and Daughters.

Regardless of what music you like best, there is something for everyone in Rhode Island. These are the most famous Rhode Island musical artists, but there are plenty of other smaller acts that play regularly around the state. Vote for your favorites.

  • Velvet Crush1

    Velvet Crush

    Rock music, Power pop

    AlbumsIn the Presence of Greatness, Free Expression, Melody Freaks, Stereo Blues, Rock Concert

    Velvet Crush is a power pop band from Rhode Island that achieved prominence in indie-rock...  more
  • John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band2

    John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band

    Heartland rock, Rock music

    AlbumsEddie & The Cruisers, Tough All Over, Roadhouse, Eddie and the Cruisers II, Eddie and the Cruisers: The Unreleased Tapes

    John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band is an American rock band from Rhode Island which began...  more

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  • Jeffrey Osborne3

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsStay with Me Tonight, Emotional, Don't Stop, Music Is Life, Jeffrey Osborne

    Jeffrey Linton Osborne (born March 9, 1948) is an American Grammy–nominated singer–songwriter,...  more
  • Scott Hamilton4

    AlbumsLate Night Christmas Eve, Swing Brothers, Just You, Just Me, No Bass Hit

    Scott Hamilton (born September 12, 1954) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist associated with...  more
  • The Dear Hunter5

    The Dear Hunter

    Rock music, Experimental rock

    AlbumsAct II: The Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading, Act III: Life and Death, Dear Ms. Leading, Act I: The Lake South

    The Dear Hunter is a progressive rock band originating in Providence, Rhode Island. It began...  more
  • Billy Gilman6

    Billy Gilman

    Pop music, Acoustic music

    AlbumsDare to Dream, One Voice, Classic Christmas, Billy Gilman, Everything and More

    William Wendell Gilman III (born May 24, 1988) is an American singer. Starting as a young...  more
  • Bobby Hackett7

    Bobby Hackett

    Swing music, Big band

    AlbumsThe Chronological Classics: Bobby Hackett 1948-1954, Rendezvous, What a Wonderful World, Bobby Hackett Plays Henry Mancini / Bobby Hackett Plays Bert Kaempfert, A String of Pearls

    Robert Leo Hackett (January 31, 1915 – June 7, 1976) was an American jazz musician who played...  more
  • Deer Tick8

    Deer Tick

    Rock music, Alternative country

    AlbumsDivine Providence, War Elephant, Negativity, The Black Dirt Sessions, Born on Flag Day

    Deer Tick is an American alternative rock band from Providence, Rhode Island composed of...  more

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  • Lightning Bolt9

    Lightning Bolt

    Noise rock, New Prog

    AlbumsWonderful Rainbow, Hypermagic Mountain, Ride the Skies, Lightning Bolt, Earthly Delights

    Lightning Bolt is an American noise rock duo from Providence, Rhode Island, composed of Brian...  more
  • Sage Francis10

    Sage Francis

    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop

    AlbumsPersonal Journals, A Healthy Distrust, Dead Poet Live Album, Human the Death Dance, Sickly Business

    Paul William "Sage" Francis (born November 18, 1976) is an American independent underground...  more

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  • Belly11


    Jangle pop, Dream pop

    AlbumsKing, Star, Now They'll Sleep, Moon, Baby Silvertooth

    Belly was an alternative rock band formed in 1991 by former Throwing Muses members Tanya...  more

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  • ZOX12


    Ska, Rock music

    AlbumsThe Wait, Line in the Sand, The Rest, Space Monkey, Take Me Home

    ZOX is a band from Providence, Rhode Island that is self-described as "violin-laced...  more
  • Throwing Muses13

    Throwing Muses

    Alternative rock, Post-punk

    AlbumsThe Real Ramona, Hunkpapa, University, Purgatory/Paradise, Throwing Muses

    Throwing Muses is an alternative rock band formed in 1981 in Newport, Rhode Island, that...  more
  • Dicky Barrett14

    Dicky Barrett

    Ska punk, Punk rock
    Richard Michael Barrett (born June 22, 1964), better known as Dicky Barrett, is an American...  more
  • Kristin Hersh15

    Kristin Hersh

    Pop music, Folk music

    AlbumsLearn to Sing Like a Star, Strange Angels, Sky Motel, Hips and Makers, Murder

    Martha Kristin Hersh (born August 7, 1966) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and...  more

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  • The Low Anthem16

    The Low Anthem

    Folk rock, Alternative rock

    AlbumsWhat the Crow Brings, The Low Anthem, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, Smart Flesh

    The Low Anthem is an American indie folk band from Providence, Rhode Island, formed in 2006....  more

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  • Duke Robillard17

    Duke Robillard

    Blues-rock, Swing music

    AlbumsDuke`s Box, The Blues And More, New Blues for Modern Man, Duke's Blues, Explorer

    Michael John "Duke" Robillard (born October 4, 1948) is an American guitarist and singer. He...  more
  • Amazing Crowns18

    Amazing Crowns

    Psychobilly, Rockabilly

    AlbumsThe Amazing Royal Crowns, Payback Live, Royal, Do the Devil

    The Amazing Crowns are a rockabilly band that began in Providence, Rhode Island in 1993. It...  more
  • Angry Salad19

    Angry Salad

    Rock music, Pop rock

    AlbumsAngry Salad, The Guinea Pig EP, Bizarre Gardening Accident

    Angry Salad was an alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts. The band formed at Brown...  more
  • Fang Island20

    Fang Island

    Instrumental rock, Progressive rock

    AlbumsFang Island, Major, Day of the Great Leap, Sky Gardens, Daisy

    Fang Island is an American indie rock band formed in Providence, Rhode Island, and based in...  more
  • AraabMuzik21


    Hip hop music, Dubstep

    AlbumsElectronic Dream, Motion Picture, For Professional Use Only 2

    Abraham Orellana (born June 16, 1989), better known as his stage name AraabMuzik (stylized as...  more
  • Daughters22


    Noise rock, Mathcore

    AlbumsDaughters, Daughters, Canada Songs, Hell Songs, Daughters 7" EP

    Daughters is an American rock band formed in 2001 in Providence, Rhode Island after the demise...  more
  • Vital Remains23

    Vital Remains

    Black metal, Blackened death metal

    AlbumsDawn of the Apocalypse, Dechristianize, Let Us Pray, Icons of Evil, Forever Underground

    Vital Remains is an American death metal band from Providence, Rhode Island, formed in 1988....  more
  • Black Dice24

    Black Dice

    Noise rock, Electronic music

    AlbumsLoad Blown, Creature Comforts, Broken Ear Record, Mr. Impossible, Beaches & Canyons

    Black Dice is an American experimental music group currently based in Brooklyn, New York....  more
  • Six Finger Satellite25

    Six Finger Satellite

    Synthpop, Synth rock

    AlbumsThe Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird, Severe Exposure, Paranormalized, Law of Ruins, Half Control

    Six Finger Satellite are an American synthesizer-based post-hardcore band, based in...  more