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The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island

Updated October 23, 2019 1.1k votes 69 voters 3.1k 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.

  • 1
    Velvet Crush is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    20
    5

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 2
    The Dear Hunter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    21
    8

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    AraabMuzik is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    19
    8

    AraabMuzik

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Scott Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Jeffrey Osborne is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    17
    6

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 6
    John Cafferty & The Beaver Bro is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    15
    5

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Billy Gilman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    17
    8

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Bobby Hackett is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    13
    4

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Belly is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    17
    9

    Belly

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Grüvis Malt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    16
    8

    Grüvis Malt

    Progressive music, Hip hop music

    AlbumsSimon, ...With the Spirit of a Traffic Jam..., Maximum Unicorn, Sound Soldiers, Cromagnetic

    Grüvis Malt was an American six piece band founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1995. Grüvis... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Lightning Bolt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    12
    2

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    ZOX is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    16
    8

    ZOX

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Dicky Barrett is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    14
    6

    Dicky Barrett

    Ska punk, Punk rock
    Richard Michael Barrett (born June 22, 1964), better known as Dicky Barrett, is an American... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Kristin Hersh is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    13
    5

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    The Low Anthem is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    15
    8

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Angry Salad is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    14
    6

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Sage Francis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    18
    12

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Amazing Crowns is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    12
    4

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Throwing Muses is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    12
    5

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Six Finger Satellite is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    12
    5

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Fang Island is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    10
    4

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Daughters is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    12
    5

    Daughters

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Ted Leo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    11
    5

    Ted Leo

    Pop punk, Power pop
    Ted Leo is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is the frontman and... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Black Dice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    12
    6

    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.
  • 25
    Plan 9 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Rhode Island
    9
    4

    Plan 9

    Plan 9 is an American neo-psychedelic band from Rhode Island formed in 1979. The group was... more on Wikipedia
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