Music

The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina  

Ranker Music
810 votes 69 voters 1.7k 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
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Country
Darius Carlos Rucker is an American musician. He first gained fame as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, which he founded in ...more
2
Hootie & the Blowfish is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Jangle pop, Heartland rock, Rock music
Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band that formed in 1986 at the University of South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, and Jim Sonefeld. As of July 2010, the band ...more
3
James Brown is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Hip hop music, Doo-wop, Pop music
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
4
Arthur Smith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Arthur Smith was an American musician, songwriter, and producer of records, as well as a radio and TV host for decades. Smith produced radio and TV shows; The Arthur Smith Show was the first ...more
5
The Marshall Tucker Band is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Rock music, Country rock, Rock and roll
The Marshall Tucker Band is an American Southern rock/country rock band originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina. The band's blend of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, country, and gospel helped ...more
6
Band of Horses is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Rock music, Alternative country, Indie rock
Band of Horses, originally known briefly as Horses, is an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle by Ben Bridwell. The band has released four studio albums, the most successful of which is ...more
7
Eartha Kitt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Torch song, Cabaret, Vocal jazz
Eartha Mae Kitt was an American actress, singer, cabaret star, dancer, stand-up comedienne, activist and voice artist, known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 recordings of ...more
8
Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz, Bebop
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer. AllMusic's Scott Yanow wrote, "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz ...more
9
Chubby Checker is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Rock music, Rock and roll
Chubby Checker is an American singer-songwriter. He is widely known for popularizing the twist dance style, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard's R&B hit "The Twist". In ...more
10
Jump, Little Children is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Indie rock, Baroque pop
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
11
Angie Stone is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Alternative hip hop, Neo soul, Contemporary R&B
Angie Stone is an American soul/neo soul singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has been nominated for three Grammy Awards. Stone has been most successful on the R&B charts, ...more
12
Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones is listed (or ranked) 12 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.
13
Toro y Moi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Toro y Moi Indie pop, Synthpop, Pop music
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
14
The Explorers Club is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
The Explorers Club Pop rock, Rock and roll, Surf music
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
15
Rob Thomas is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music
Robert Kelly "Rob" Thomas is an American singer and songwriter. He is the primary songwriter and lead singer of the band Matchbox Twenty. Thomas also records and performs as a solo ...more
16
Carolina Liar is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock
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.
17
Crossfade is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Rock music, Heavy metal, Post-grunge
Crossfade is an American rock band from Columbia, South Carolina. Their current members are Ed Sloan on lead vocals and guitar, Les Hall on lead guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals, and Mitch ...more
18
Young Jeezy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Hip hop music, Gangsta rap, Pop rap
Jay Wayne Jenkins, better known by his stage name Young Jeezy or simply Jeezy, is an American hip hop recording artist from Atlanta, Georgia. He is the de facto leader of Southern hip hop group ...more
19
Alphonse Mouzon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Kozmigroov, Jazz fusion, Post-bop
Alphonse Mouzon is a well-known jazz-fusion drummer and percussionist, and the owner of Tenacious Records, a label that primarily releases Mouzon's recordings. He also composes, arranges and ...more
20
Assfactor 4 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Screamo, Punk rock, Hardcore punk
Assfactor 4 was a hardcore punk band from Columbia, South Carolina formed by two members of Tonka and two members of Unherd. They formed in the fall of 1992 and broke up in late 1997. Assfactor ...more
21
Marshall Chapman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Rock music, Rock and roll, Country
Marshall Chapman is an actor.
22
Nickolas Ashford is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Nickolas Ashford was one half of the husband and wife songwriting team Ashford & Simpson.
23
Pete Minger is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Pete Minger
Pete Minger, born George Allen Minger, was a bebop-based trumpeter. He also played flugelhorn. He came from a musical family with his mother and grandmother playing piano at church. His brother ...more
24
Trey Lorenz is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Contemporary R&B
Trey Lorenz is an American singer and songwriter. He was born in Florence, South Carolina and is a graduate of Wilson High School.
25
Lil Ru is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina
Hip hop music
Sylvester Samuels better known by his stage name Lil Ru, is an American rapper from Columbia, South Carolina currently signed to Def Jam Recordings. His debut album, 21 & Up was released on ...more