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Famous Bassists from the United States

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Updated October 13, 2018 4.6k views 448 items

List of notable or famous bassists from the United States, with bios and photos, including the top bassists born in the United States and even some popular bassists who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American bassists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These bassists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known bassist from the United States is included when available.

This list has a variety of people in it, from Eddie Van Halen to Gene Simmons.

This historic bassists from the United States list can help answer the questions "Who are some American bassists of note?" and "Who are the most famous bassists from the United States?" These prominent bassists of the United States may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected American bassists.

Use this list of renowned American bassists to discover some new bassists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (448 items)
1
Gene Simmons is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 69

Birthplace: Tirat Carmel, Israel

Gene Klein (born Chaim Witz on August 25, 1949), known professionally as Gene Simmons, is an Israeli-American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, actor, author, and ...more

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2
Jared Leto is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 47

Birthplace: Bossier City, Louisiana, United States of America

Jared Joseph Leto (; born December 26, 1971) is an American actor, singer, songwriter, and director. After starting his career with television appearances in the early 1990s, Leto achieved ...more

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3
Trent Reznor is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 53

Birthplace: Mercer, Pennsylvania

Michael Trent Reznor (born May 17, 1965) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the ...more

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4
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 76

Birthplace: Inglewood, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer who co-founded the Beach Boys. After signing with Capitol Records in 1962, Wilson wrote ...more

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5
Dee Dee Ramone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Dec. at 51 (1951-2002)

Birthplace: Fort Lee, Virginia, United States of America

Douglas Glenn Colvin (September 18, 1951 – June 5, 2002), known professionally as Dee Dee Ramone, was an American musician, singer and songwriter best known as founding member, songwriter, ...more

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#123 of 222 Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album #38 of 76 The Best Rock Bass Player of the 1970s

6
Pete Wentz is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 39

Birthplace: Wilmette, Illinois, United States of America

Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III (born June 5, 1979) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and record executive. He is best known for being the bassist, lyricist, and backing vocalist for ...more

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#269 of 299 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #261 of 266 The Greatest Male Celebrity Role Modelslisted on Straight Edge Celebrities

7
Peter Steele is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Dec. at 48 (1962-2010)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Petrus Thomas Ratajczyk (January 4, 1962 – April 14, 2010), known professionally as Peter Steele, was the lead singer, bassist and composer for the gothic metal band Type O Negative. Before ...more

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#340 of 714 The Best Rock Vocalists #811 of 926 People We Wish Were Still Alive

8
Arthur Kane is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Dec. at 55 (1949-2004)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Arthur Harold Kane Jr. (February 3, 1949 – July 13, 2004) was a musician best known as the bass guitarist for the pioneering glam rock band the New York Dolls. Kane was a founding member of the ...more

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9
Randy Jackson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 62

Birthplace: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States of America

Randall Darius Jackson (born June 23, 1956) is an American bassist, singer, record producer, entrepreneur, and television personality. Jackson began his career in the 1980s as a session musician ...more

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10
Mike Starr is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Dec. at 45 (1966-2011)

Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

Michael Christopher Starr (April 4, 1966 – March 8, 2011) was an American musician best known as the original bassist for the rock band Alice in Chains, which he played with from the band's ...more

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11
Eddie Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 64

Birthplace: Nijmegen, Kingdom of the Netherlands

Edward Lodewijk Van Halen (born January 26, 1955) is a Dutch-American musician, songwriter, and producer. He is the main songwriter and founder—with brother and drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist ...more

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#85 of 224 The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time #71 of 206 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Timelisted on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time

12
Nikki Sixx is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 60

Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States of America

Nikki Sixx (born Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr.; December 11, 1958) is an American musician, songwriter, radio host, and photographer, best known as the co-founder, bassist, and primary ...more

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#194 of 299 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #15 of 206 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

13
Joe Escalante is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 56

Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States of America

Joseph Patrick "Joe" Escalante (born January 30, 1963) is an American television writer, musician, radio host, film and music video director, amateur torero, and former television ...more
14
Patrick Stump is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 34

Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States of America

Patrick Martin Stumph (born April 27, 1984), known professionally as Patrick Vaughn Stump, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor and film composer. He is the lead ...more

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15
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Dec. at 57 (1922-1979)

Birthplace: Nogales, Arizona, United States of America

Charles Mingus Jr. (April 22, 1922 – January 5, 1979) was an American jazz double bassist, pianist, composer and bandleader. A major proponent of collective improvisation, he is considered to be ...more

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#83 of 188 The All-Time Best Rock Bassists #1,626 of 2,830 The Most Influential People of All Time

16
Hank Williams III is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 46

Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America

Shelton Hank Williams (born December 12, 1972), known as Hank Williams III and Hank 3, is an American musician, singer and multi-instrumentalist, known for his dark style of country music. ...more

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17
Mark Stoermer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 41

Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States of America

Mark August Stoermer (born June 28, 1977) is an American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the bass guitarist and occasional rhythm guitarist for the rock band The Killers, with whom ...more
18
Meshell Ndegeocello is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 50

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Michelle Lynn Johnson, better known as Meshell Ndegeocello (; born August 29, 1968), is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, and bassist. She has gone by the name Meshell Suhaila Bashir-Shakur ...more

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19
Krist Novoselic is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 53

Birthplace: Compton, California, United States of America

Krist Anthony Novoselic (; Croatian: Krist Novoselić; born May 16, 1965) is an American musician and political activist, best known as the bassist and a founding member of the grunge band ...more

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20
Phil Lesh is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Phil Lesh Age: 78

Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States of America

Philip Chapman Lesh (born March 15, 1940) is a musician and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, with whom he played bass guitar throughout their 30-year career. After the band's disbanding ...more

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21
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Dec. at 24 (1962-1986)

Birthplace: Castro Valley, California, United States of America

Clifford Lee Burton (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) was an American musician and songwriter, best known as the bass guitarist for the American band Metallica from December 1982 until ...more

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22
Chuck Panozzo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 70

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Charles Salvatore "Chuck" Panozzo (born September 20, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American musician best known as the bass player for the rock band Styx. A longtime member of ...more

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23
Michael Steele is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 63

Birthplace: Pasadena, California, United States of America

Michael Steele (born Susan Nancy Thomas on June 2, 1955) is an American bassist, guitarist, songwriter, and singer, best known as the bass player for the Bangles. Under the name Micki Steele, ...more
24
Mikey Welsh is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Dec. at 40 (1971-2011)

Birthplace: Syracuse, New York, United States of America

Michael Edward "Mikey" Welsh (April 20, 1971 – October 8, 2011) was an American artist and musician who played bass with the rock band Weezer. He played with Weezer frontman Rivers ...more
25
Esperanza Spalding is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Age: 34

Birthplace: Portland, Oregon

Esperanza Emily Spalding (born October 18, 1984) is an American jazz bassist and singer. Spalding was raised in Portland, Oregon, and was a musical prodigy, playing violin in the Chamber Music ...more

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