Musicians Famous Bassists from the United States

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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. (449 items)

1
Gene Simmons is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Gene Simmons age 68 Gene Simmons is an Israeli-born American rock bass guitarist, singer-songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, actor, and television personality. Known by his stage persona The Demon, he is the ...more

2
Jared Leto is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Jared Leto age 46 Jared Leto is an American actor, singer, songwriter, and director. After starting his career with television appearances in the early 1990s, Leto achieved recognition for his role as Jordan ...more

3
Trent Reznor is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Trent Reznor age 52 Michael Trent Reznor, known professionally as Trent Reznor, is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer. As a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, he has led the industrial ...more

4
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Brian Wilson age 75 Brian Douglas Wilson is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer best known for being the multi-tasking leader and co-founder of the rock band the Beach Boys.

5
Dee Dee Ramone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Dee Dee Ramone Died at 51 (1951-2002) Douglas Glenn Colvin, known professionally as Dee Dee Ramone, was a German-American songwriter and musician, best known as founding member, songwriter and bassist for punk rock band the Ramones. ...more

6
Pete Wentz is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Pete Wentz age 38 Peter Lewis Kingston "Pete" Wentz III, known professionally as Pete Wentz, is an American musician best known for being the bassist, primary lyricist and backing vocalist for the ...more

7
Peter Steele is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Peter Steele Died at 48 (1962-2010) Peter Thomas Ratajczyk, better known by his stage name Peter Steele, was the lead singer, bassist, and composer for the gothic metal band Type O Negative. Before forming Type O Negative, he had ...more

8
Arthur Kane is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Arthur Kane Died at 55 (1949-2004) Arthur Harold Kane Jr. 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 Dolls in 1971 and remained an ...more

9
Randy Jackson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Randy Jackson age 61 Randall Darius "Randy" Jackson is an American bassist, former television music competition judge, singer, record producer, entrepreneur and television personality. He is best known ...more

10
Mike Starr is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Mike Starr Died at 45 (1966-2011) Michael Christopher "Mike" Starr was an American musician, best known as the original bassist in Alice in Chains, which he played with from the band's formation in 1987 until 1993.

11
Eddie Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Eddie Van Halen age 63 Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen is a Dutch-born American musician, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, keyboardist and co-founder of the hard rock band ...more

12
Nikki Sixx is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Nikki Sixx age 59 Nikki Sixx is an American musician, songwriter, radio host, and photographer, best known as the co-founder, bassist, and primary songwriter of the band Mötley Crüe. Prior to forming ...more

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13
Joe Escalante is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Joe Escalante age 55 Joseph Patrick "Joe" Escalante is an American musician, record label owner, radio host, film and music video director, and amateur matador, as well as a former television executive and ...more

14
Patrick Stump is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Patrick Stump age 33 Patrick Martin Stumph, known professionally as Patrick Vaughn Stump, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, actor and music critic, best known as the lead vocalist, ...more

15
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Charles Mingus Died at 57 (1922-1979) Charles Mingus Jr. was a highly influential American jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader. Mingus's compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop and drew heavily from black ...more

16
Hank Williams III is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Hank Williams III age 45 Shelton Hank Williams, also known as Hank Williams III and Hank 3, is an American musician, singer and multi-instrumentalist. In addition to his honky tonk recordings, Williams' style alternates ...more

17
Mark Stoermer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Mark Stoermer age 40 Mark August Stoermer is an American musician, producer and singer-songwriter best known for being the bassist for alternative rock band The Killers. In 2011, he released his debut solo album ...more

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18
Meshell Ndegeocello is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Meshell Ndegeocello age 49 Meshell Ndegeocello is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, bassist, and vocalist. Her music incorporates a wide variety of influences, including funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, reggae and rock. ...more

19
Krist Novoselic is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Krist Novoselic age 52 Krist Anthony Novoselic is an American rock musician. He was the bassist and co-founder of the grunge band Nirvana. After Nirvana disbanded following the death of singer Kurt Cobain, Novoselic ...more

20
Phil Lesh is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Phil Lesh age 78 Phillip Chapman Lesh 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 in 1995, Lesh ...more

21
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Cliff Burton Died at 24 (1962-1986) Clifford Lee Burton was an American musician, best known as the bass guitarist for the American thrash metal band Metallica. Burton joined Metallica in 1982 and performed on the band's first ...more

22
Chuck Panozzo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Chuck Panozzo age 69 Charles Salvatore "Chuck" Panozzo is an American musician best known as the bass player for the rock band Styx. A longtime member of Styx, he founded the group with his fraternal twin ...more

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23
Michael Steele is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Michael Steele age 62 Michael Steele is an American bassist, guitarist, songwriter, and singer. She was a member of The Bangles and The Runaways, along with other bands.

24
Mikey Welsh is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Mikey Welsh Died at 40 (1971-2011) Michael Edward "Mikey" Welsh was an American artist and musician, best known as the former bassist of Weezer. He played with Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo during Cuomo's time in Boston ...more

25
Esperanza Spalding is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Esperanza Spalding age 33 Esperanza Spalding is an American jazz bassist, cellist and singer, who draws upon many genres in her own compositions. She has won four Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Award for Best New ...more

26
Tim Commerford is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Tim Commerford age 50 Timothy Robert Commerford is an American musician, best known as the bassist and backing vocalist for the American rap metal band Rage Against the Machine and the now-defunct supergroup, ...more

27
Suzi Quatro is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Suzi Quatro age 67 Susan Kay "Suzi" Quatro is a British-based American singer-songwriter, bass guitar player, and actor. She was the first female bass player to become a major rock star breaking a ...more

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Aimee Mann is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Aimee Mann age 57 Aimee Mann is an American rock singer, singer-songwriter, bassist and guitarist.

29
Duff McKagan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Duff McKagan age 54 Michael Andrew "Duff" McKagan is an American musician and writer. He is best known for his twelve-year tenure as the bassist of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved ...more

30
Hunter Burgan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Hunter Burgan age 41 Hunter Lawrence Burgan is an American multi-instrumentalist. He is the third and current bass guitarist of AFI.

31
Epic Mazur is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Epic Mazur age 47 Epic Mazur is an American vocalist, rapper, and record producer. He is best known as a founder and frontman of Crazy Town.

32
Billy Sheehan is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Billy Sheehan age 65 William "Billy" Sheehan is an American bassist known for his work with Talas, Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big, Niacin, and The Winery Dogs. Sheehan has won the "Best Rock Bass ...more

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Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Buckethead age 48 Brian Patrick Carroll, better known by his stage name Buckethead, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked within many genres of music. He has released 157 studio ...more

34
Wayman Tisdale is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Wayman Tisdale Died at 45 (1964-2009) Wayman Lawrence Tisdale was an American professional basketball player in the NBA and a smooth jazz bass guitarist. A three-time All American at the University of Oklahoma, he was elected to the ...more

35
Mike Mills is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Mike Mills age 59 Michael Edward "Mike" Mills is an American multi-instrumentalist and composer who was a founding member of the alternative rock band R.E.M. Though known primarily as a bass guitarist, ...more

36
Kristen Pfaff is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Kristen Pfaff Died at 27 (1967-1994) Kristen Marie Pfaff was an American musician, best known as the bassist for alternative rock band Hole from 1993 to 1994. Prior to Hole, Pfaff also served as the bassist and backing vocalist for ...more

37
Tim McIlrath is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Tim McIlrath age 39 Timothy James "Tim" McIlrath is an American punk rock musician. He is the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, songwriter and co-founder of the American punk rock band Rise Against. McIlrath ...more

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Paul Gray is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Paul Gray Died at 38 (1972-2010) Paul Dedrick Gray, also known as The Pig or by his number #2, was an American musician, best known as the bassist and one of the founding members of the Grammy Award-winning metal band

39
James Genus is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
James Genus age 52 James Genus is an American jazz bassist. He plays both electric bass guitar and upright bass and currently plays in the Saturday Night Live Band. Genus has performed as a session musician and ...more

40
Chris Baio is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Chris Baio age 33 Christopher Baio is an American musician, best known for being the bassist for the New York City-based indie rock band Vampire Weekend.

41
Ernie Isley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Ernie Isley age 66 Ernest "Ernie" Isley is a member of the American musical ensemble, The Isley Brothers.

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Berry Oakley is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Berry Oakley Died at 24 (1948-1972) Raymond Berry Oakley III, was an American bassist and one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band.

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43
John Doe is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
John Doe age 64 John Doe is an American singer, songwriter, actor, poet, guitarist and bass player. Doe co-founded the much-praised LA punk band X, of which he is still an active member. His musical ...more

44
Les Claypool is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Les Claypool age 54 Leslie Edward "Les" Claypool is an American musician and writer, best known as the bassist and lead vocalist of the band Primus. Claypool's playing style on the electric bass mixes ...more

45
Marvin Isley is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Marvin Isley Died at 57 (1953-2010) Marvin Isley was the youngest member of the family music group the Isley Brothers and its bass guitarist. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Isley and his family moved to a home in Englewood, New ...more

46
Jared Followill is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Jared Followill age 31 Jared Followill is a member of the musical group Kings of Leon.

47
Kyle Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Kyle Eastwood age 49 Kyle Eastwood is an American jazz bass musician. He studied film at the University of Southern California for two years before embarking on a music career. After becoming a session player in the ...more

48
Charlie Haden is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Charlie Haden Died at 77 (1937-2014) Charles Edward "Charlie" Haden was an American jazz double bass player, bandleader, composer and educator known for his long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman, pianist Keith ...more

49
Bernard Edwards is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Bernard Edwards Died at 44 (1952-1996) Bernard Edwards was an American bass player, singer, songwriter and record producer, both as a member of the funk/disco band Chic and on his own projects.

50
Jonathan Jacob Walker is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Bassists from the United States
Jonathan Jacob Walker age 32 Jonathan Jacob Walker is an American musician. Formerly the bassist of Panic! at the Disco, Walker was also lead guitarist and occasional lead vocalist of The Young Veins, now on indefinite ...more