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List of Famous Bands from Chicago

Updated June 14, 2019 391.5k views365 items

List of Chicago musicians, listed by their level of fame. This Chicago musicians list includes both Chicago bands and solo artists. All famous Chicago bands are included, as well as many Chicago musicians of underground status. Chicago is famous for many styles of music. The Windy City has a deep and rich history of amazing blues and jazz. In the past couple of decades, Chicago became known for it's alternative rock and pop punk scene while also producing some of the most influential rappers of all time.This list of Chicago musical artists includes examples from practically every genre. Rappers, singers, DJs, rock bands, and indie groups are all included on this list. All-time great artists like Sam Cooke and Muddy Waters are listed along with new pillars of Chicago music like Kanye West and Wilco. 

You can rank all of these bands, from Kanye West to The Smashing Pumpkins.

If you're wondering, "What bands are from Chicago?" or "What is a list of Chicago bands?" then this list will answer your questions. 
  • 1

    Kanye West

    Hip hop
    Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record...  more

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  • 2

    The Smashing Pumpkins

    Shoegazing, Gothic rock
    The Smashing Pumpkins (or Smashing Pumpkins) are an American alternative rock band from...  more

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  • 3


    Ballad, Ska
    Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, calling themselves the...  more

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    #47 of 219 The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s#2 of 54 The Best Bands Named After Cities

  • 4

    Sam Cooke

    Pop music, Rhythm and blues
    Samuel Cook (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an...  more

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  • 5


    Nu metal, Rock music
    Disturbed is an American heavy metal band from Chicago, formed in 1994. The band includes...  more

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    #26 of 392 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time#743 of 1,019 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

  • 6

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B
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  • 7

    Muddy Waters

    Blues-rock, Chicago blues
    McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), known professionally as Muddy Waters, ...  more

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  • 8


    Hip hop music, Jazz rap
    Lonnie Corant Jaman Shuka Rashid Lynn (born March 13, 1972), better known by his stage name...  more

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  • 9


    Rock music, Experimental rock
    Wilco is an American alternative rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. The band was formed in...  more

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    #698 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time#256 of 383 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

  • 10

    R. Kelly

    Hip hop music, Neo soul
    Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967)[8] is an American singer, songwriter, record...  more

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  • 11

    Rise Against

    Melodic hardcore, Alternative rock
    Rise Against is an American punk rock band from Chicago. The group's current line-up comprises...  more

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  • 12

    Lupe Fiasco

    Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop
    Wasalu Muhammad Jaco (born February 16, 1982), better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco (...  more

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  • 13


    Blue-eyed soul, Disco
    Anastacia Lyn Newkirk (; born September 17, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter, producer...  more

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  • 14

    Earth, Wind & Fire

    Disco, Rock music
    Earth, Wind & Fire is an American band that has spanned the musical genres of R&B, soul, funk,...  more

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  • 15

    Fall Out Boy

    Pop punk, Alternative rock
    Fall Out Boy is an American rock band formed in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, in...  more

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  • 16


    Doom metal, New Wave
    Ministry is an American industrial metal band founded by lead singer Al Jourgensen in 1981....  more

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    #249 of 359 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame#132 of 389 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time

  • 17


    Melodic Rock, Rock music
    Survivor is an American rock band formed in Chicago in 1978 by Jim Peterik and Frankie...  more

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    #90 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s#232 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

  • 18


    Dubstep, Lounge Music
    Ryan Gary Raddon (born February 25, 1971), better known by his stage name Kaskade, is an...  more

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  • 19

    Resurrection Band

    Blues-rock, New Wave
    Resurrection Band, also known as Rez Band or REZ, was a Christian rock band formed in 1972....  more

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  • 20

    Richard Marx

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music
    Richard Noel Marx (born September 16, 1963) is an American adult contemporary and pop/rock...  more

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  • 21

    Donny Hathaway

    Blues-rock, Pop music
    Donny Edward Hathaway (October 1, 1945 – January 13, 1979) was an American soul singer,...  more

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    #581 of 739 The Best Singers Of All Time#544 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • 22

    Mavis Staples

    Rhythm and blues, Soul music
    Mavis Staples (born July 10, 1939) is an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress,...  more

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    #174 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#110 of 181 The Best Female Musicians of All Time

  • 23

    Veruca Salt

    Grunge, Power pop
    Veruca Salt is an American alternative rock band founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1993 by...  more

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    #47 of 151 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever#127 of 158 The Best Female Rock Singers

  • 24

    Andrew Bird

    Swing music, Folk rock
    Andrew Wegman Bird (born July 11, 1973) is an American indie rock multi-instrumentalist,...  more

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  • 25


    Hip hop music, Midwest hip hop
    Carl Terrell Mitchell (born November 27, 1973), better known by his stage name Twista...  more

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    #68 of 238 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time#61 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s