Music

The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina 

Ranker Music
Updated May 10, 2019 1.1k votes 123 voters 5.3k views 101 items

List Rules Only artists born or raised in South Carolina or bands formed in South Carolina.

Here are the best artists and bands from South Carolina. Particularly known for its influences in the bluegrass, country, R&B, rock, and jazz genres, the Palmetto State has produced a number of memorable acts over the decades. It is also the birthplace of beach music, so if you have ever boogied while hanging out with your friends on the shoreline, then you can thank South Carolina. The best musical artists from South Carolina come from all over the state, but they have all entertained audiences with their talent. 

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, was born in Barnwell but later moved to Georgia when he was still a child. South Carolina is also the state where Hootie & the Blowfish. Singer Darius Rucker and lead guitarist Mark Bryan met when they attended the University of South Carolina. Many bands have similar stories, and some other big bands that got their start in the state include Band of Horses, Crossfade, and The Marshall Tucker Band. Other popular South Carolina artists include Eartha Kitt, Jeezy, Carolina Liar, and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty.

Have you ever thought about who the most famous musical artists from South Carolina are? You will definitely see some big names on this list that come from a range of decades. After you read through them, vote for the singers and bands you like best. 

list ordered by
1
Darius Rucker is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Rock music, Rhythm and blues & Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Charleston, SC 1966, Back to Then, True Believers, Learn to Live, + more

Darius Carlos Rucker (born May 13, 1966) is an American singer and songwriter. He first gained fame as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, which he ...more

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2
Hootie & the Blowfis... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Albums: Cracked Rear View, Hootie & the Blowfish, Fairweather Johnson, Musical Chairs, Kootchypop, + more

"Hootie" is a nickname for the following people: Hootie Ingram (born 1933), former Clemson University head football coach William "Hootie" Johnson (born 1931), former ...more

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The Best Hootie & The Blowfish Albums of All-Time #756 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #212 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

3
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Hip hop music, Doo-wop & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Live at the Apollo, Star Time, Funky Christmas, Santa's Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You, + more

James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of ...more

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The Best James Brown Albums of All Time #108 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #533 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

4
The Marshall Tucker Band... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Albums: Carolina Christmas, Where We All Belong, Beyond the Horizon, The Marshall Tucker Band, Searchin' for a Rainbow, + more

The Marshall Tucker Band is an American rock band from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Noted for incorporating blues, country and jazz into its eclectic sound, The Marshall Tucker Band helped ...more

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The Best Marshall Tucker Band Albums of All Time #180 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #941 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

5
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Torch song, Cabaret & Vocal jazz; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: That Bad Eartha, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, Purr-fect: Greatest Hits, I Love Men, Purrfect: The Ultimate Collection, + more

Eartha Kitt (born Eartha Mae Keith, January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008) was an American singer, actress, dancer, comedian, activist, author, and songwriter known for her highly distinctive ...more

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#143 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #140 of 200 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely #66 of 229 The Greatest Black Actresses of All Time

6
Chubby Checker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Rock music and Rock and roll; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Best of Chubby Checker: Cameo Parkway 1959-1963, You Just Don't Know (What You Did to Me) / Two Hearts, Rosie / Lazy Elsie Molly, 20 Twistin' Hits, Limbo Rock / Let's Limbo Some More, + more

Chubby Checker (born Ernest Evans; October 3, 1941) is an American rock 'n roll singer and dancer. He is widely known for popularising many dance styles including the twist dance style, with his ...more

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#84 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #234 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #96 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands

7
Band of Horses is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Albums: Everything All the Time, Cease to Begin, Mirage Rock, Tour EP, Infinite Arms, + more

Band of Horses is an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle by Ben Bridwell. The band has released five studio albums, the most successful of which is 2010's Grammy-nominated Infinite ...more

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8
Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz & Bebop; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Night in Tunisia, The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big Four, Jazz at Massey Hall, Sonny Side Up, Giants of Jazz, + more

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (; October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer.Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, ...more

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The Best Dizzy Gillespie Albums of All Time #365 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #1,183 of 2,043 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

9
Toro y Moi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Toro y Moi Genre: Indie pop, Synthpop & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Anything in Return, June 2009, Underneath the Pine, Causers of This, FACT Mix 219: Toro y Moi, + more

Chaz Bear (born Chazwick Bradley Bundick; November 7, 1986), known professionally as Toro y Moi, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and graphic designer. His music has taken on ...more
10
Jeezy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Hip hop music, Gangsta rap & Pop rap; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, The Inspiration, The Recession, Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, Hood Politics, + more

Jay Wayne Jenkins (born September 28, 1977), known professionally as Jeezy (formerly Young Jeezy), is an American rapper and actor. Signed to Def Jam Recordings since 2004, his major label debut ...more

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The Best Songs Feat. Young Jeezy #134 of 255 The Greatest Rappers Of All Timelisted on The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

11
Aaron Tippin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Call of the Wild, Read Between the Lines, What This Country Needs, You've Got to Stand for Something, Tool Box, + more

Aaron Dupree Tippin (born July 3, 1958) is an American country music artist and record producer. Initially a songwriter for Acuff-Rose Music, he gained a recording contract with RCA Nashville in ...more

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#140 of 332 The Top Country Artists of All Time #114 of 214 The Best Male Country Singers of All Time #29 of 45 The Best Country Singers with Deep Voices

12
Crossfade is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Albums: Crossfade, Falling Away, We All Bleed, Cold, Colors

Crossfade is an American rock band originating from Columbia, South Carolina. Their current members are Ed Sloan on lead vocals and guitar, Les Hall on lead guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals, ...more
13
Edwin McCain is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Rock music, Alternative rock & Indie rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Misguided Roses, Messenger, The Austin Sessions, Honor Among Thieves, Far From Over, + more

Edwin McCain (born January 20, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. His songs "I'll Be" (1998) and "I Could Not Ask for More" (1999) were radio top-40 hits in ...more
14
Needtobreathe is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Albums: The Heat, Daylight, Rivers in the Wasteland, The Outsiders, Live Horses EP, + more

Needtobreathe is an American Christian rock band from Seneca, South Carolina. The band is composed of Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart, Seth Bolt and Josh Lovelace. They have released five studio ...more

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15
Jump, Little Children is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Albums: Vertigo, Magazine, The Licorice Tea Demos, Between the Dim and the Dark, Buzz, + more

Jump, Little Children was a band formed in 1991 in the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Known for their unique sound, energetic live performances, and willingness to interact with fans, ...more
16
Rob Thomas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: ...Something to Be, A New York Christmas, Cradlesong, ...Something More, This Is How a Heart Breaks, + more

Robert Kelly Thomas (born February 14, 1972) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead singer of alternative rock band Matchbox Twenty. ...more

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17
Peabo Bryson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Peabo Bryson Genre: Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Born To Love, A Whole New World, Through the Fire, Straight From the Heart, Anthology, + more

Peabo Bryson (born Robert Peapo Bryson; April 13, 1951, given name changed from "Peapo " to Peabo c. 1965) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, born in Greenville, South ...more

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18
Carolina Liar is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Albums: Coming to Terms, Wild Blessed Freedom, Drown

Carolina Liar is an American alternative rock band. Lead vocalist Chad Wolf is originally from Moncks Corner, South Carolina, but other members originate from Stockholm, Sweden.
19
Joe Bennett & The Sp... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones
The Sparkletones were an American rock and roll/rockabilly group from Spartanburg, South Carolina.
20
Lee Brice is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Hard 2 Love, Love Like Crazy, A Woman Like You, I Don't Dance (Single), Hard to Love, + more

Lee Brice (born Kenneth Mobley Brice, Jr., June 10, 1979) is an American country music singer and songwriter, signed to Curb Records. Brice has released four albums for the label: Love Like ...more

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21
Angie Stone is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Alternative hip hop, Neo soul & Contemporary R&B; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: A Gangster and a Gentleman, The Id, Instant Vintage, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 3: Streetsoul, + more

Angie Stone (born Angela Laverne Brown; December 18, 1961) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She rose to fame in the late 1970s as member of the hip hop trio The ...more

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22
The Explorers Club is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
The Explorers Club

Albums: Freedom Wind, Oblitus Sum Perpolire Clepsydras EP, The Explorers Club EP

The Explorers Club are a Pop rock band from the coast of South Carolina. They are a 6 man band whose debut album was released by Dead Oceans. The music of their first album is heavily influenced ...more
23
Stretch Arm Strong is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Albums: A Revolution Transmission, Rituals of Life, Compassion Fills the Void, Engage, Free at Last, + more

Stretch Arm Strong is a hardcore punk band from Chapin, South Carolina, and the flagship band for We Put Out Records. They have been active since 1992. Several of the band members are outspoken ...more
24
The Independents is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Albums: The Early Years: Demos 1993-1997, Eternal Bond, Back From the Grave, Do It Again, Stalker, + more

The Independents are a horror-punk/ska band from Florence, South Carolina, USA.
25
Iron & Wine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Genre: Folk music, Folk rock & Indie folk; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Shepherd's Dog, The Creek Drank the Cradle, Our Endless Numbered Days, Kiss Each Other Clean, In the Reins, + more

Iron () is a chemical element with symbol Fe (from Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal, that belongs to the first transition series and group 8 of the periodic table. It is by ...more

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