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List of Famous Bands from Chicago

Updated June 14, 2019 388.5k 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. 
  • Kanye West1

    Kanye West

    Hip hop
    Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record...  more
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    The Best Kanye West Albums of All-TimeThe Best Songs Feat. Kanye West

  • The Smashing Pumpkins2

    The Smashing Pumpkins

    Shoegazing, Gothic rock
    The Smashing Pumpkins (or Smashing Pumpkins) are an American alternative rock band from...  more
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    The Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs of All Time#6 of 179 The Best Bands That Are Named After Foods

  • Chicago3


    Ballad, Ska
    Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, calling themselves the...  more
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    #50 of 219 The Top Pop Artists of the 1960s#24 of 50 The Best Singing Drummers

  • Sam Cooke4

    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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    Rising Soul Singer Sam Cooke Perished Under Mysterious Circumstances In 1964 And The Case Is Still Unsolved#279 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • Disturbed5


    Nu metal, Rock music
    Disturbed is an American heavy metal band from Chicago, formed in 1994. The band includes...  more
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    #25 of 392 The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands Of All Time#294 of 461 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

  • Jennifer Hudson6

    Jennifer Hudson

    Pop music, Contemporary R&B
    Jennifer Kate Hudson (born September 12, 1981) is an American singer and actress. She rose to...  more
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  • Muddy Waters7

    Muddy Waters

    Blues-rock, Chicago blues
    McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), known professionally as Muddy Waters, ...  more
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    The Best Muddy Waters Albums of All Time#170 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists

  • Common8


    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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    The Best Common Songs#70 of 191 The Greatest Black Actors in Film History

  • Wilco9


    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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    #249 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands#684 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • R. Kelly10

    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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  • Rise Against11

    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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    The Best Rise Against Songs of All Time#30 of 44 Punk Bands with the Best Lyrics

  • Lupe Fiasco12

    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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    The Best Songs Feat. Lupe Fiasco#33 of 191 The Best New School Rappers

  • Anastacia13


    Blue-eyed soul, Disco
    Anastacia Lyn Newkirk (; born September 17, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter, producer...  more
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    #157 of 271 The Sexiest Musical Artists of All Time#69 of 94 The Best Singers Who Only Need to Go By One Name

  • Earth, Wind & Fire14

    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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    #116 of 265 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees#339 of 816 These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

  • Fall Out Boy15

    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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    The Best Bands Like Fall Out Boy#13 of 23 The Best Band Name Origin Stories

  • Ministry16


    Doom metal, New Wave
    Ministry is an American industrial metal band founded by lead singer Al Jourgensen in 1981....  more
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    #228 of 355 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame#133 of 389 The Best Punk Bands Of All Time

  • Survivor17


    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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    #231 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands#89 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

  • Kaskade18


    Dubstep, Lounge Music
    Ryan Gary Raddon (born February 25, 1971), better known by his stage name Kaskade, is an...  more
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  • Resurrection Band19

    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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    #136 of 162 1970s Christian Pop Artists#60 of 121 The Best '90s Christian Bands & Artists

  • Richard Marx20

    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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    #87 of 196 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time#120 of 185 The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

  • Donny Hathaway21

    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#170 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

  • Mavis Staples22

    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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    #180 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#40 of 73 The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers

  • Veruca Salt23

    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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    #41 of 151 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever#126 of 158 The Best Female Rock Singers

  • Andrew Bird24

    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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    The Best Andrew Bird Albums of All Time#119 of 254 The Best Bands With Animal Names

  • Twista25


    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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    #66 of 235 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time#62 of 136 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s