Music

The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin  

Ranker Music
1k votes 88 voters 2.7k views 101 items

List Rules Only 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. 

list ordered by
1
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk
Violent Femmes are an American alternative rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, initially active from 1980 to 1987 and again from 1988 to 2009. As of 2013, they are active again. The band has ...more
2
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll
Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, ...more
3
Steve Miller is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music
Steven Haworth "Steve" Miller is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter who began his career in blues and blues rock and evolved to a more pop-oriented sound which, from the ...more
4
Bon Iver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Indie, Neo soul, Folk music
Bon Iver is an American indie folk band founded in 2007 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. Vernon released Bon Iver's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago independently in July 2007. The majority ...more
5
Garbage is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Pop music, Trip hop, Rock music
Garbage is an American-Scottish alternative rock band formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1993. The group consists of Scottish musician Shirley Manson and American musicians Duke Erikson, Steve ...more
6
BoDeans is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Heartland rock, Rock music, Alternative rock
BoDeans is a rock band formed in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1985, the band signed a contract with Slash Records and recorded their critically acclaimed debut album, Love & Hope & ...more
7
Al Jarreau is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
Alwin "Al" Lopez Jarreau is an American jazz singer.
8
Butch Vig is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock
Bryan David "Butch" Vig is an American musician and record producer, best known as the drummer and co-producer of the alternative rock band Garbage and the producer of diamond-selling ...more
9
Clyde Stubblefield is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Clyde Stubblefield is a drummer best known for his work with James Brown. Stubblefield's recordings with James Brown are considered to be some of the standard-bearers for funk drumming, ...more
10
Liberace is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Władziu Valentino Liberace, mononymously known as Liberace, was an American pianist and entertainer. A child prodigy and the first generation son of working class immigrants, Liberace's career ...more
11
Carl Allen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Carl Allen is an American jazz drummer. He has worked with a wide variety of musicians, including Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, George Coleman, Phil Woods, the Benny Green Trio, and Rickie Lee ...more
12
Woody Herman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Cool jazz, Swing music, Big band
Woodrow Charles "Woody" Herman was an American jazz clarinetist, alto and soprano saxophonist, singer, and big band leader. Leading various groups called "The Herd", Herman ...more
13
Cory Chisel and The Wandering ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons Folk music, Folk rock
Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons are an Americana, folk rock band that started in Appleton, Wisconsin. The band consists of Cory Chisel and Adriel Harris. Past members include Rick Setser, ...more
14
John Altenburgh is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
John Altenburgh Jazz, Blues
John Altenburgh is an American jazz and blues pianist, composer, arranger and producer who has made his home in Mosinee, Wisconsin. Altenburgh studied music at the University of ...more
15
Skylar Grey is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music
Holly Brook Hafermann, who goes by the stage name Skylar Grey, is an American singer and songwriter from Mazomanie, Wisconsin. In 2004, under the moniker Holly Brook, at the age of 17, she ...more
16
Pee Wee King is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Country
Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski, known professionally as Pee Wee King, was an American country music songwriter and recording artist best known for co-writing "The Tennessee Waltz".
17
Nathan Van Cleave is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Nathan Van Cleave
Van Cleave was a gifted composer and orchestrator for film, television, and radio. He usually used "Van" as his first name.
18
Viola Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Viola Smith
Viola Smith is an American drummer best known for her work in orchestras, swing bands, and popular music in the 1930s and 1940s. She was one of the first professional female drummers.
19
Bill Miller is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Bill Miller is a Native American singer/songwriter of Mohican heritage. He was born on the Stockbridge-Munsee reservation, near Shawano in northern Wisconsin. Miller's Mohican name is Fush-Ya ...more
20
The Robbs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
The Robbs
The Robbs were an American 1960s pop/rock band from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. They are best known for being the house band on Dick Clark's mid-1960s show Where The Action Is. They are also known ...more
21
The Promise Ring is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Indie pop, Rock music, Emo
The Promise Ring was an American emo band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They gained an underground cult following and are widely regarded as one of the pioneers of second wave emo. Formed in 1995, ...more
22
Maury Laws is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Maury Laws Film score
Maury Laws is an American television and film composer. In his teens, Laws performed in local country, jazz and dance bands as a singer and guitarist in his home state of North Carolina. His ...more
23
Ben Sidran is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Rock music, Jazz
Ben Hirsh Sidran is an American jazz and rock pianist, organist, vocalist and writer born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, noted for his work with the early Steve Miller Band.
24
Die Kreuzen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Rock music, Alternative rock, Post-hardcore
Die Kreuzen is a rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin formed in 1981. The name, which was taken from a German Bible, is grammatically incorrect German for "the crosses". The band ...more
25
The Frogs is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Wisconsin
Folk rock, Acoustic music, Pop folk
The Frogs were an American rock music band founded in 1980, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by brothers Jimmy and Dennis Flemion. The brothers mainly wrote and performed short, catchy pop songs, but ...more