Music
209 voters

The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin

Updated November 26, 2020 3.4k votes 209 voters 8.6k views100 items

List RulesOnly artists and groups born, established, or raised in Wisconsin.

Here are the best artists and bands from Wisconsin. Known as America's Dairyland, Wisconsin is home to some of the country's leading dairy producers, but the state is also known for fostering the growth of fantastic musical artists. From rock bands to pop stars and rappers to country music singers, there is certainly nothing cheesy about these notable musical artists from Wisconsin. 

Liberace, one of the most famous pianists of all time, was born and raised in West Allis. Hailing from Milwaukee, electropop band GGOOLLDD made a big impression with their debut EP titled $TANDARD$ in 2014. Other popular Wisconsin artists include Garbage, Violent Femmes, Bon Iver, and K Camp. 

Vote up your favorite bands, singers, composers, and rappers to let everyone know who the best Wisconsin musical acts are. 

  • Les Paul1
    99
    20

    Les Paul

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsChester & Lester, The Legend and the Legacy, Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played, Masters of the Guitar: Together, Guitar Monsters

    Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009), known as Les Paul, was an American...  more

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    #9 of 542 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time#18 of 639 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time

  • Steve Miller2
    78
    23

    Steve Miller

    Blues-rock, Heartland rock

    AlbumsCircle of Love, Born 2B Blue, Fly Like an Eagle

    Steven Haworth Miller (born October 5, 1943) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter,...  more

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    #202 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time#104 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists

  • Violent Femmes3
    84
    33

    Violent Femmes

    Alternative rock, Punk rock

    AlbumsViolent Femmes, Add It Up (1981–1993), Machine, Why Do Birds Sing?, Freak Magnet

    {{Infobox musical artist | name = Violent Femmes | image = Violent...  more

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    The Best Violent Femmes Albums of All Time#180 of 355 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • Bon Iver4
    91
    39

    Bon Iver

    Indie, Neo soul

    AlbumsFor Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Blood Bank

    Bon Iver () is an American indie folk band founded in 2006 by singer-songwriter Justin...  more

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    The Best Bon Iver Songs#537 of 816 These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

  • BoDeans5
    61
    16

    BoDeans

    Heartland rock, Rock music

    AlbumsGo Slow Down, Black and White, Still, Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams, Outside Looking In

    BoDeans is an American rock band. Formed in Waukesha, Wisconsin, BoDeans came to prominence in...  more
  • Al Jarreau6
    52
    12

    Al Jarreau

    Pop music, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsRicky Lawson & Friends: First Things 1st, Heart's Horizon, Al Jarreau sings Bill Withers, This Time, Breakin' Away

    Alwin Lopez Jarreau (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017) was an American singer and musician....  more

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    The Best Al Jarreau Albums of All Time#1444 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • John Altenburgh7
    59
    19

    John Altenburgh

    Jazz, Blues

    AlbumsOld City

    John Altenburgh (born John Altenburg, April 20, 1960, Wausau, Wisconsin, United States) is an...  more
  • Lyle Mays8
    45
    6

    Lyle Mays

    Jazz fusion, Jazz

    AlbumsThe Pat Metheny Group in Concert, As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls, Unity Village Concert, Fictionary

    Lyle David Mays (born November 27, 1953) is an American jazz pianist and composer best known...  more
  • Garbage9
    66
    25

    Garbage

    Pop music, Trip hop

    AlbumsGarbage, Version 2.0, Not Your Kind of People, Bleed Like Me, beautifulgarbage

    Garbage is an American rock band formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1993. The band consists of...  more

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    #15 of 151 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever#264 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

  • Woody Herman10
    45
    8

    Woody Herman

    Cool jazz, Swing music

    AlbumsHerd at Montreux, The Complete Capitol Recordings of Woody Herman, Quadromania Jazz Edition: Woody Herman: Saving Myself for You, Music for Tired Lovers, Big Bands: Woody Herman

    Woodrow Charles Herman (May 16, 1913 – October 29, 1987) was an American jazz clarinetist,...  more

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    #9 of 88 The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time#20 of 189 Famous People Buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

  • Butch Vig11
    43
    13

    Butch Vig

    Rock music, Grunge
    Bryan David "Butch" Vig (born August 2, 1955), nicknamed the Nevermind Man, is an American...  more
  • Clyde Stubblefield12
    Clyde Austin Stubblefield (April 18, 1943 – February 18, 2017) was an American drummer best...  more

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    #228 of 532 The Best Drummers Of All Time#3 of 25 The 25 Most Popular & Influential Black Drummers

  • Ben Sidran13
    36
    10

    Ben Sidran

    Rock music, Jazz

    AlbumsTell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison, The Essential: Groove Master Selection, Don't Let Go, Bop City, Too Hot to Touch

    Ben Hirsh Sidran (born August 14, 1943) is an American jazz and rock keyboardist, producer,...  more
  • Richard Davis14
    32
    10

    Richard Davis

    Richard Davis (born April 15, 1930) is an American jazz bassist. Among his best-known...  more
  • Matrix15
    30
    9

    Matrix

    Jazz fusion
    Matrix is a jazz fusion group from Appleton, Wisconsin, that started in 1974, noted for tight...  more
  • Liberace16
    Władziu Valentino Liberace (May 16, 1919 – February 4, 1987) was an American pianist, singer...  more

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    #118 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time#39 of 94 The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name

  • Carl Allen17
    Carl Allen (born April 25, 1961) is an American jazz drummer. Allen attended William Paterson...  more
  • Timbuk 318
    30
    10

    Timbuk 3

    New Wave, Rock music

    AlbumsGreetings From Timbuk 3, Big Shot in the Dark, A Hundred Lovers, Eden Alley, Edge of Allegiance

    Timbuk3 was an American post-punk band which released six original studio albums between 1986...  more
  • Viola Smith19
    31
    12

    Viola Smith

    Viola Smith is an American drummer best known for her work in orchestras, swing bands, and...  more
  • The Robbs20
    30
    10

    The Robbs

    The Robbs were an American 1960s pop/rock band from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. They are best known...  more
  • Bobby Hatfield21
    25
    5

    Bobby Hatfield

    Blue-eyed soul
    Robert Lee Hatfield (August 10, 1940 – November 5, 2003) was an American singer, best known as...  more

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    #261 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?#160 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

  • Justin Vernon22
    Justin DeYarmond Edison Vernon (born April 30, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more
  • Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons23
    34
    16

    Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons

    Folk music, Folk rock

    AlbumsCabin Ghosts, Old Believers, Death Won't Send a Letter

    Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons are an Americana, folk rock band that started in Appleton,...  more
  • Jerry Harrison24
    27
    9

    Jerry Harrison

    Indie pop, New Wave

    AlbumsCasual Gods, Walk on Water, The Red and the Black

    Jeremiah Griffin Harrison (born February 21, 1949) is an American songwriter, musician,...  more
  • Bill Miller25
    Bill Miller (born January 23, 1955) is a Native American singer/songwriter and artist of...  more