Bands/Musicians The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia  

Ranker Music
527 votes 27 voters 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
17 3
Brad Paisley is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Americana, Rock music, Country rock
Brad Douglas Paisley is an American country music singer-songwriter and musician. Starting with his 1999 debut album, Who Needs Pictures, he has released 10 studio albums and a Christmas ...more
2
13 5
Michael W. Smith is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Christian music, Pop music, Contemporary Christian music
Michael Whitaker Smith is an American contemporary Christian musician, who has charted primarily in the contemporary Christian and occasionally in the mainstream charts. His biggest success in ...more
3
8 3
Kathy Mattea is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Bluegrass, Country
Kathleen Alice "Kathy" Mattea is an American country music and bluegrass performer who often brings folk, Celtic and traditional country sounds to her music. Active since 1983 as a ...more
4
9 4
Asleep at the Wheel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Country, Western swing
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
5
6 2
Johnny Staats is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Bluegrass
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
6
8 5
Frankie Yankovic and His Yanks is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Frankie Yankovic and His Yanks Slovenian-style polka
7
6 3
Hasil Adkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Psychobilly, Rock n' Roll, Rock music
Hasil Adkins was an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His genres include rock and roll, country, blues and more commonly rockabilly. He generally performed as a one-man band, ...more
8
6 3
Elbern Alkire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Elbern Alkire
Elbern H. "Eddie" Alkire was America's most recognized performer, teacher, and innovator of the twentieth-century Hawaiian guitar. Born and raised in rural West Virginia Alkire ...more
9
6 3
Blind Joe Hill is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Blind Joe Hill was an American blues singer, guitarist, harmonica player and drummer. A one-man band, he was born Joseph Hill in Dunbar, West Virginia, United States. He played in the styles of ...more
10
6 3
The Lilly Brothers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
The Lilly Brothers Bluegrass
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
11
5 2
Byzantine is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal
Byzantine is a heavy metal band from Charleston, West Virginia that formed in 2000. The band consists of frontman and co-founder Chris "OJ" Ojeda, Brian Henderson, Matt Wolfe and Sean ...more
12
8 6
Johnnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Chicago blues, Jazz
Johnnie Johnson was an American pianist and blues musician. His work with Chuck Berry led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
13
7 5
Hazel Dickens is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Folk music, Bluegrass
Hazel Jane Dickens was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her ...more
14
6 4
Bobaflex is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Nu metal, Rock music, Post-grunge
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
6 4
Hawkshaw Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Honky-tonk, Country
Harold Franklin Hawkins, better known as Hawkshaw Hawkins, was an American country music singer popular from the 1950s into the early 60s known for his rich, smooth vocals and music drawn from ...more
16
5 3
Jeff Stevens is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Jeff Stevens Country
Jeffery David "Jeff" Stevens is an American country music singer, songwriter and record producer. He recorded two albums on Atlantic America Records with his brother Warren Stevens and ...more
17
4 2
Seven Day Jesus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Rock music, Christian rock
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.
18
8 7
French Carpenter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
French Carpenter Old-time music
David French Carpenter, born June 7, 1899 in Clay County, West Virginia died May 22, 1965, was a noted West Virginia mountaineer Old time fiddle player. He is listed by the Library of Congress ...more
19
6 5
John Corbett is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
John Joseph Corbett, Jr. is an American actor and country music singer. He is best known for playing Chris Stevens on Northern Exposure from 1990 to 1995. He also played the leading male role ...more
20
6 5
Bill Withers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Smooth soul, Pop music, Rhythm and blues
William Harrison "Bill" Withers, Jr. is an American singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. He recorded a number of major hits including ...more
21
6 5
Larry Combs is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Larry Combs is an American clarinetist. His principal teachers were Stanley Hasty at the Eastman School of Music and Leon Russianoff in New York. He played clarinet with the New Orleans Symphony ...more
22
6 5
Curly Ray Cline is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Curly Ray Cline Old-time music, Bluegrass
Curly Ray Cline was an American bluegrass fiddler from West Virginia known for his work with the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers and Ralph Stanley.
23
2 1
Rachel Proctor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Country
Rachel Christine Proctor is an American country music artist. Before signing to a record deal, she co-wrote Martina McBride's 2002 single "Where Would You Be". By 2003, Proctor had ...more
24
7 7
Zao is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Experimental rock, Metalcore, Melodic hardcore
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
25
6 6
'Little' Jimmy Dickens is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
Country
James Cecil Dickens, better known as Little Jimmy Dickens, was an American country music singer famous for his humorous novelty songs, his small size, 4'11", and his rhinestone-studded ...more