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The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

Updated April 19, 2019 1.3k votes 75 voters 4.0k 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.

  • 1
    Brad Paisley is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    43
    12

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Bill Withers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    28
    10

    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. (born July 4, 1938) is an American singer-songwriter and musician... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Kathy Mattea is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    23
    5

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Michael W. Smith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    28
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Hasil Adkins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    20
    6

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Byzantine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    19
    5

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Asleep at the Wheel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    20
    6

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 8
    'Little' Jimmy Dickens is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Johnny Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    18
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Bobaflex is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    17
    8

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Johnny Staats is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    13
    4

    Johnny Staats

    Bluegrass
    Johnny Staats is a bluegrass mandolin, guitar and violin player, born and raised in West... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Johnnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    17
    9

    Johnnie Johnson

    Chicago blues, Jazz

    AlbumsBlue 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,... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Frankie Yankovic and his Yanks is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Hazel Dickens is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    16
    7

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 15
    The Lilly Brothers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Blind Joe Hill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    Blind Joe Hill (January 7, 1931 – November 1998) was an American blues singer, guitarist,... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Seven Day Jesus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    12
    4

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Daniel Johnston is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    15
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    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    The Black Twig Pickers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    15
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    The Black Twig Pickers

    Old-time music

    AlbumsRough Carpenters, Glory In The Meeting House, North Folk Flyer, A Valentine for Jack Rose, Ironto Special

    The Black Twig Pickers is an Appalachian old-time band consisting of Mike Gangloff on... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    John Corbett is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    John Joseph Corbett (born May 9, 1961) is an American actor and country music singer. He is... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Jeff Stevens is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    12
    5

    Jeff Stevens

    Country
    Jeffery David Stevens (born June 15, 1959 in Alum Creek, West Virginia) is an American country... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Hawkshaw Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    13
    8

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Elbern Alkire is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    12
    6

    Elbern Alkire

    Elbern H. "Eddie" Alkire (December 6, 1907 – January 25, 1981) was America's most recognized... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    DJ Cheese is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    13
    9

    DJ Cheese

    Hip hop music
    DJ Cheese (born Robert Cheese) was the Second World Champion of the DMC World DJ Championships... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Karma to Burn is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From West Virginia
    14
    13

    Karma to Burn

    Desert rock, Instrumental rock

    AlbumsKarma to Burn, Wild, Wonderful Purgatory, Almost Heathen, Appalachian Incantation

    Karma to Burn, sometimes known as K2B, is a desert rock/stoner rock band from Morgantown, West... more on Wikipedia
Bands/MusiciansMusicWest Virginia