Music
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The Best Musical Artists From Washington

Updated April 11, 2020 5.0k votes 314 voters 6.7k views102 items

List RulesOnly artists born or raised in Washington or bands formed in Washington.

Here are the best artists and bands from Washington. Seattle, the largest city in the state, is known as the birthplace of grunge, which dominated the music industry in the 1990s. Numerous artists in a variety of genres, including hip-hop, folk, punk, and indie music have also come out of the Evergreen State. Although Seattle gets most of the love, plenty of noteworthy acts have also come out of Tacoma and Olympia. You will find the best musical artists from Washington on this list, ranging across decades. 

All your favorite grunge artists come from this state. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and more got their start performing in local clubs before dominating radio stations around the globe. However, the state has much more to offer than grunge. Before Sir Mix-a-Lot sang about how much he loved big butts, he was just your average kid in Auburn who loved hip-hop. These artists barely scratch the surface of all the great Washington musical artists. 

Do you like wearing flannel, or do you prefer listening to sick beats over the biggest boombox possible? This list has all of the most popular musical artists who have come out of Washington. Vote up the best Washington artists, and feel free to add any other famous musicians, rappers, singers, and bands with Pacific Northwest roots.

  • 1
    Jimi Hendrix
    143
    44

    Jimi Hendrix

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsFirst Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection, Live at the Fillmore East, Live at Woodstock

    James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Soundgarden
    118
    44

    Soundgarden

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsSuperunknown, Badmotorfinger, Down on the Upside, Louder Than Love, Black Hole Sun

    Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Alice in Chains
    122
    49

    Alice in Chains

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsDirt, Alice in Chains, Facelift, Jar of Flies, Black Gives Way to Blue

    Alice in Chains (often abbreviated as AIC) is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Nirvana
    140
    67

    Nirvana

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsNevermind, In Utero, MTV Unplugged in New York, Bleach, Heart‐Shaped Box

    Nirvana was an American grunge band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Pearl Jam
    118
    53

    Pearl Jam

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsTen, Vs., Vitalogy, Binaural, No Code

    Pearl Jam is an American rock band, formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Heart
    105
    44

    Heart

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsDreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Heart, These Dreams: Greatest Hits, Bebe Le Strange

    Heart is a rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Foo Fighters
    108
    47

    Foo Fighters

    Alternative rock, Post-grunge

    AlbumsWasting Light, The Colour and the Shape, Foo Fighters, One by One, There Is Nothing Left to Lose

    Foo Fighters is an American rock band, formed in Seattle in 1994. It was founded by Nirvana... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Mad Season
    53
    15

    Mad Season

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsAbove, River of Deceit, Live, I Don't Know Anything, Long Gone Day

    Mad Season can refer to: Mad Season (band) Mad Season (album), an album by the band Matchbox... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Temple of the Dog
    71
    32

    Temple of the Dog

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsTemple of the Dog, Hunger Strike, Say Hello 2 Heaven

    Temple of the Dog was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. It was... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Screaming Trees
    64
    27

    Screaming Trees

    Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

    AlbumsDust, Uncle Anesthesia, Other Worlds, Sweet Oblivion, Buzz Factory

    Screaming Trees was an American rock band formed in Ellensburg, Washington in 1985 by vocalist... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Bing Crosby
    76
    41

    Bing Crosby

    Traditional pop music, Easy listening

    AlbumsMerry Christmas, Bing Crosby's Christmas Classics, White Christmas, Christmas, Christmas With Bing Crosby

    Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby Jr. (; May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) was an American singer and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Melvins
    54
    27

    Melvins

    Doom metal, Noise rock

    AlbumsPrick, Houdini, Stag, Stoner Witch, Bullhead

    Melvins are an American rock band whose early work was key to the development of both grunge... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Queensrÿche
    52
    26

    Queensrÿche

    Progressive metal, Rock music

    AlbumsOperation: Mindcrime, Empire, Promised Land, American Soldier, Operation: Mindcrime II

    Queensrÿche is an American heavy metal band. It formed in 1980 in Bellevue, Washington, out... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Candlebox
    46
    20

    Candlebox

    Rock music, Grunge

    AlbumsCandlebox, Lucy, Love Stories & Other Musings, Into the Sun, Happy Pills

    Candlebox is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington. Since its formation in 1990, the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Modest Mouse
    69
    44

    Modest Mouse

    Indie pop, Garage rock

    AlbumsThe Moon & Antarctica, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, The Lonesome Crowded West, Ocean Breathes Salty

    Modest Mouse is an American rock band formed in 1992 in Issaquah, Washington and currently... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Mother Love Bone
    43
    19

    Mother Love Bone

    Glam metal, Rock music

    AlbumsApple, Mother Love Bone, Shine, Hallucinogenic Recipe, Shine On

    Mother Love Bone was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    The Presidents of the United States of America

    AlbumsThe Presidents of the United States of America, These Are the Good Times People, Freaked Out and Small, Froggystyle, Love Everybody

    The Presidents of the United States of America (occasionally referred to as PUSA, The... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Kenny Loggins
    57
    36

    Kenny Loggins

    Blue-eyed soul, Pop music

    AlbumsDecember, Footloose, Celebrate Me Home, Whenever I Call You Friend, Keep the Fire

    Kenneth Clark Loggins (born January 7, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Mudhoney
    48
    28

    Mudhoney

    Punk blues, Garage punk

    AlbumsSuperfuzz Bigmuff, Since We've Become Translucent, Piece of Cake, Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, Mudhoney

    Mudhoney are an American alternative rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988.... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Macklemore
    76
    61

    Macklemore

    Alternative hip hop, Pop

    AlbumsThe Heist, The VS. Redux, The Language of My World, Open Your Eyes, Same Love

    Benjamin Hammond Haggerty (born June 19, 1983), known by his stage name Macklemore (... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Band of Horses
    45
    27

    Band of Horses

    Rock music, Alternative country

    AlbumsEverything All the Time, Cease to Begin, Mirage Rock, Tour EP, Infinite Arms

    Band of Horses is an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle by Ben Bridwell. The band... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Death Cab for Cutie
    60
    44

    Death Cab for Cutie

    Indie pop, Emo

    AlbumsPlans, Narrow Stairs, Transatlanticism, We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes, iTunes Originals – Death Cab for Cutie

    Death Cab for Cutie is an American alternative rock band, formed in Bellingham, WA, in 1997.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    The Ventures
    30
    13

    The Ventures

    Rock music, Instrumental rock

    AlbumsWalk Don't Run, (The) Ventures in Space, The Ventures’ Christmas Album, Walk - Don’t Run: The Best of The Ventures, Greatest Hits [1980]

    The Ventures are an American instrumental rock band formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Green River
    24
    8

    Green River

    Noise rock, Rock music

    AlbumsDry as a Bone/Rehab Doll, Come on Down, Rehab Doll, Dry As a Bone, Together We'll Never

    Green River was an American rock band from Seattle, Washington. Although the band had little... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Fleet Foxes
    50
    39

    Fleet Foxes

    Indie pop, Folk music

    AlbumsHelplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes (EP), Fleet Foxes, Sun Giant, Helplessness Blues / Grown Ocean

    Fleet Foxes is a Grammy-nominated American indie folk band that was formed in Seattle,... more on Wikipedia

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