Music

The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia 

Ranker Music
Updated April 19, 2019 825 votes 69 voters 3.2k views 75 items

List Rules Only artists born or raised in West Virginia or bands formed in West Virginia.

Here are the best artists and bands from West Virginia. With a thriving music scene, the Mountain State has hosted numerous music festivals over the years, including All Good Music Festival, Heritage Music Blues Fest, and the West Virginia Independent Music Festival. Some amazing bands and singers got their start right here. From humble beginnings, the most famous musical artists from West Virginia have gone on to top the charts and earn acclaim all over the planet. 

Brad Paisley is one of the biggest names in country music right now. Before all that, he was just a kid growing up in Glen Dale. The state has produced a lot more than country artists. In fact, you will find artists from a breadth of genres on this list of West Virginia musical artists. Frankie Yankovich is one of the most influential polka musicians of all time, and Garland Wilson was one of the best jazz pianists of all time. You may get a little bit of culture shock as you go down this list and see all the artists who at one time called West Virginia home. Other popular West Virginia artists and groups include Michael W. Smith, Byzantine, Rozwell Kid, and Bill Withers.

Vote up the best West Virginia artists, and feel free to add any other musicians, rappers, singers, and bands with WV roots.

list ordered by
1
Brad Paisley is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Americana, Rock music & Country rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Wheelhouse, Brad Paisley Christmas, I'm Gonna Miss Her, Mud on the Tires, American Saturday Night, + more

Brad Douglas Paisley (born October 28, 1972) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Starting with his 1999 debut album Who Needs Pictures, he has released eleven studio albums and a ...more

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2
Bill Withers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Smooth soul, Pop music & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Menagerie, Still Bill, Just As I Am, 'Bout Love, Bill Withers: The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums, + more

William Harrison Withers Jr. (born July 4, 1938) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. He recorded several major hits, including ...more

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3
Kathy Mattea is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Bluegrass and Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Time Passes By, Good News, Lonesome Standard Time, Love Travels, Walking Away a Winner, + more

Kathleen Alice Mattea (born June 21, 1959) is an American country music and bluegrass singer. Active since 1984 as a recording artist, she has charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard ...more

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#147 of 784 The Best Singers of All Time #236 of 291 The Top Country Artists of All Time #48 of 158 The Top Female Country Singers

4
Michael W. Smith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Christian music, Pop music & Contemporary Christian music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Christmastime, It's a Wonderful Christmas, Christmas, The Big Picture, Healing Rain, + more

Michael Whitaker Smith (born October 7, 1957) is an American musician, who has charted in both contemporary Christian and mainstream charts. His biggest success in mainstream music was in 1991 ...more

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5
Asleep at the Wheel is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

Albums: Merry Texas Christmas, Y'all, Tribute to the music of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Live at Billy Bob's Texas, Still Swingin', + more

Asleep at the Wheel is an American country music group that was formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia, but is based in Austin, Texas. Altogether, they have won nine Grammy Awards since their 1970 ...more
6
Hasil Adkins is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

Albums: The Wild Man, Peanut Butter Rock and Roll, Out to Hunch, Look at That Caveman Go!!, Drinkin' My Life Away, + more

Hasil Adkins (April 29, 1937 – April 26, 2005) was an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His genres include rock and roll, country, blues and more commonly rockabilly, and ...more

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7
Byzantine is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

Albums: Oblivion Beckons, ...and They Shall Take Up Serpents, The Fundamental Component, Byzantine, Cradle Song, + more

Byzantine is a heavy metal band from Charleston, West Virginia, that was formed in 2000. As of March 2016, the band consists of front-man and co-founder Chris "OJ" Ojeda (rhythm guitar ...more
8
'Little' Jimmy Dickens ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Country Boy, Out Behind the Barn (disc 1), Comes Callin', Handle With Care, Take Me as I Am / Black Eyed Joes, + more

James Cecil Dickens (December 19, 1920 – January 2, 2015), better known by his stage name, Little Jimmy Dickens, was an American country music singer and songwriter famous for his humorous ...more

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9
Johnny Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Outlaw country, Honky-tonk & Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Take This Job and Shove It, The Soul & the Edge: The Best of Johnny Paycheck, Jukebox Charlie, Gospeltime "In My Fashion", Song & Dance Man, + more

Johnny Paycheck (born Donald Eugene Lytle; May 31, 1938 – February 19, 2003) was an American country music singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and Grand Ole Opry member notable for ...more

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10
Frankie Yankovic and his... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Frankie Yankovic and his Yanks

Albums: 48 Polka & Waltz Medley, Greatest Polka Hits, One More Time, Frankie Yankovic and His Yanks' Greatest Hits, The All Time Great Polkas, + more

Frank John "Frankie" Yankovic (July 28, 1915 – October 14, 1998) was an American accordion player and polka musician. Known as "America's Polka King," Yankovic was considered ...more
11
Johnnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Chicago blues and Jazz; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Blue Hand Johnnie, Johnnie B. Bad, That'll Work, Johnnie Be Eighty! And Still Bad

Johnnie Clyde Johnson (July 8, 1924 – April 13, 2005) was an American pianist who played jazz, blues and rock and roll. His work with Chuck Berry led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall ...more
12
Johnny Staats is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Bluegrass; Nationality: United States of America
Johnny Staats is a bluegrass mandolin, guitar and violin player, born and raised in West Virginia. He has been featured on NBC's Today Show, in People Magazine, on the CBS Evening News and CNN, ...more

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#45 of 58 The Best Mandolinists in the World #136 of 167 The Best Bluegrass Bands and Artists

13
Hazel Dickens is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Folk music and Bluegrass; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: A Few Old Memories, Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, Won't You Come & Sing for Me?, Hazel & Alice, Who's That Knocking?, + more

Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1925 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing ...more

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14
Bobaflex is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

Albums: Gigantour 2005, Hell in My Heart, Apologize for Nothing, Tales From Dirt Town

Bobaflex is an American metal band from Point Pleasant, West Virginia. They were part of Gigantour in 2005 and Rock on the Range in 2008 and 2012.
15
Blind Joe Hill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Blind Joe Hill (January 7, 1931 – November 1998) was an American blues singer, guitarist, harmonica player and drummer. A one-man band, he was adopted and named Joseph Thomas Hill after being ...more
16
Daniel Johnston is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Outsider music, Folk rock & Alternative rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Yip/Jump Music, 1990, Hi, How Are You, The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered, + more

Daniel Dale Johnston (born January 22, 1961) is an American singer-songwriter and visual artist who is regarded as a significant figure in outsider, lo-fi, and alternative music scenes. Most of ...more

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17
The Lilly Brothers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
The Lilly Brothers

Albums: Bluegrass at the Roots

The Lilly Brothers, were bluegrass musicians born in Clear Creek, West Virginia. They have been credited with bringing bluegrass to New England and with influencing such future bluegrass artists ...more
18
Jeff Stevens is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Jeff Stevens
Jeffery David Stevens (born June 15, 1959 in Alum Creek, West Virginia) is an American country music singer, songwriter and record producer. He recorded two albums on Atlantic America Records ...more
19
Zao is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

Albums: Parade of Chaos, Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest, Liberate Te Ex Inferis, All Else Failed, The Funeral of God, + more

Zao is a metalcore band from Parkersburg, West Virginia. Founded in 1993, Zao has hosted several musicians and endured numerous roster changes to the point where no original members remain. ...more
20
Seven Day Jesus is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

Albums: The Hunger, Seven Day Jesus

Seven Day Jesus was a Christian rock band formed in Huntington, West Virginia in 1994. The group disbanded in 1998, and reunited for one concert in 2004.

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21
John Corbett is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

Albums: Leaving Nothin' Behind, John Corbett

John Joseph Corbett (born May 9, 1961) is an American actor and country music singer. He is known for his roles as Chris Stevens on CBS' Northern Exposure and as Aidan Shaw on HBO's Sex and the ...more

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22
Jake E. Lee is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Jake E. Lee Genre: Blues-rock, Rock music & Heavy metal; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: A Fine Pink Mist, Retraced

Jake E Lee (born Jakey Lou Williams, February 15, 1957) is an American guitarist signed to Frontiers Records. He is best known for playing with Ozzy Osbourne between 1982-1987 and later in ...more

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23
B. E. Taylor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Christian music, Pop rock & Christian rock; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: B. E. Taylor Christmas 2, B. E. Taylor Christmas, Love Never Fails, One Nation Under God, Love Won the Fight, + more

William Edward "B. E." Taylor (March 18, 1951 – August 7, 2016) was the lead singer of the pop rock band B. E. Taylor Group and a solo artist. The group's 1983 single, "Vitamin ...more
24
Elbern Alkire is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Elbern Alkire
Elbern H. "Eddie" Alkire (December 6, 1907 – January 25, 1981) was America's most recognized performer, teacher, and innovator of the twentieth-century Hawaiian guitar. Born and raised ...more
25
Larry Groce is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Genre: Folk music, Children's music & Country; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Children's Favorite Songs, Volume 1, Sing-A-Long, Children's Favorite Songs, Volume 4, + more

Larry Groce (born April 22, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and radio host. Since 1983, Groce has served as the host and artistic director of Mountain Stage, a two-hour live music radio ...more

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