Music
97 voters

The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

Updated April 19, 2019 1.3k votes 97 voters 5.6k views75 items

List RulesOnly 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.

  • Bill Withers1
    41
    12

    Bill Withers

    Smooth soul, Pop music

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

    William Harrison Withers Jr. (July 4, 1938 – March 30, 2020) was an American singer-songwriter...  more

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  • Brad Paisley2
    46
    17

    Brad Paisley

    Americana, Rock music

    AlbumsWheelhouse, Brad Paisley Christmas, I'm Gonna Miss Her, Mud on the Tires, American Saturday Night

    Brad Douglas Paisley (born October 28, 1972) is an American country music singer and...  more

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  • Johnny Paycheck3
    22
    5

    Johnny Paycheck

    Outlaw country, Honky-tonk

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

    Johnny Paycheck (born Donald Eugene Lytle; May 31, 1938 – February 19, 2003) was an American...  more
  • Michael W. Smith4
    27
    13

    Michael W. Smith

    Christian music, Pop music

    AlbumsChristmastime, It's a Wonderful Christmas, Christmas, The Big Picture, Healing Rain

    Michael Whitaker Smith (born October 7, 1957) is an American musician, who has charted in both...  more

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  • Kathy Mattea5
    25
    10

    Kathy Mattea

    Bluegrass, Country

    AlbumsTime Passes By, Good News, Lonesome Standard Time, Love Travels, Walking Away a Winner

    Kathleen Alice Mattea (born June 21, 1959) is an American country music and bluegrass singer....  more

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  • Asleep at the Wheel6
    21
    8

    Asleep at the Wheel

    Country, Western swing

    AlbumsMerry Texas Christmas, Y'all, Tribute to the music of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Live at Billy Bob's Texas, Still Swingin'

    Asleep at the Wheel is an American country music group that was formed in Paw Paw, West...  more
  • Bobaflex7
    18
    7

    Bobaflex

    Nu metal, Rock music

    AlbumsGigantour 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...  more
  • Byzantine8
    18
    10

    Byzantine

    Thrash metal, Progressive metal

    AlbumsOblivion Beckons, ...and They Shall Take Up Serpents, The Fundamental Component, Byzantine, Cradle Song

    Byzantine is a heavy metal band from Charleston, West Virginia, that was formed in 2000. As of...  more
  • Frankie Yankovic and his Yanks9
    17
    9

    Frankie Yankovic and his Yanks

    Slovenian-style polka

    Albums48 Polka & Waltz Medley, Greatest Polka Hits, One More Time, Frankie Yankovic and His Yanks' Greatest Hits, The All Time Great Polkas

    Frank John "Frankie" Yankovic (July 28, 1915 – October 14, 1998) was an American accordion...  more
  • The Lilly Brothers10
    14
    6

    The Lilly Brothers

    Bluegrass

    AlbumsBluegrass at the Roots

    The Lilly Brothers, were bluegrass musicians born in Clear Creek, West Virginia. They have...  more
  • Hasil Adkins11
    20
    13

    Hasil Adkins

    Psychobilly, Rock n' Roll

    AlbumsThe Wild Man, Peanut Butter Rock and Roll, Out to Hunch, Look at That Caveman Go!!, Drinkin' My Life Away

    Hasil Adkins (April 29, 1937 – April 26, 2005) was an American singer-songwriter and...  more
  • Johnny Staats12
    13
    5

    Johnny Staats

    Bluegrass
    Johnny Staats is a bluegrass mandolin, guitar and violin player, born and raised in West...  more
  • John Corbett13
    John Joseph Corbett (born May 9, 1961) is an American actor and country music singer. He is...  more

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  • Daniel Johnston14
    15
    7

    Daniel Johnston

    Outsider music, Folk rock

    AlbumsYip/Jump Music, 1990, Hi, How Are You, The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered

    Daniel Dale Johnston (born January 22, 1961) is an American singer-songwriter and visual...  more

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  • Hawkshaw Hawkins15
    14
    7

    Hawkshaw Hawkins

    Honky-tonk, Country

    AlbumsI'm a Rattlesnakin' Daddy, 22 Greatest Hits, Hawk 1953-61 (disc 3)

    Harold Franklin Hawkins (December 22, 1921 – March 5, 1963), better known as Hawkshaw Hawkins,...  more
  • 'Little' Jimmy Dickens16

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

    James Cecil Dickens (December 19, 1920 – January 2, 2015), better known by his stage name,...  more
  • Steve Whiteman17
    Steve Whiteman is a member of the musical group Kix....  more
  • Elbern Alkire18
    12
    6

    Elbern Alkire

    Elbern H. "Eddie" Alkire (December 6, 1907 – January 25, 1981) was America's most recognized...  more
  • Seven Day Jesus19
    12
    8

    Seven Day Jesus

    Rock music, Christian rock

    AlbumsThe Hunger, Seven Day Jesus

    Seven Day Jesus was a Christian rock band formed in Huntington, West Virginia in 1994. The...  more

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  • Blind Joe Hill20
    Blind Joe Hill (January 7, 1931 – November 1998) was an American blues singer, guitarist,...  more
  • Jake E. Lee21
    8
    4

    Jake E. Lee

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    AlbumsA Fine Pink Mist, Retraced

    Jake E Lee (born Jakey Lou Williams, February 15, 1957) is an American guitarist signed to...  more

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    #103 of 639 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time#181 of 542 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

  • Larry Combs22
    Larry Combs is an American clarinetist. His principal teachers were Stanley Hasty at the...  more
  • French Carpenter23
    13
    11

    French Carpenter

    Old-time music
    David French Carpenter, born June 7, 1899 in Clay County, West Virginia died May 22, 1965, was...  more
  • Jeff Stevens24
    12
    10

    Jeff Stevens

    Country
    Jeffery David Stevens (born June 15, 1959 in Alum Creek, West Virginia) is an American country...  more
  • Hazel Dickens25
    16
    16

    Hazel Dickens

    Folk music, Bluegrass

    AlbumsA Few Old Memories, Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, Won't You Come & Sing for Me?, Hazel & Alice, Who's That Knocking?

    Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1925 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer,...  more

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