The Best Funk Bands/Artists

Over 4.2K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Funk Bands/Artists

This funk bands list ranks the best funk artists and musicians by votes. This list of top funk groups let’s you see who funk fans think are the best funk bands of all time. Funk originated in the 1960s as a rhythmic, danceable form of music that blended elements soul, jazz and R&B. Emphasizing harmony and melody and having a nasty bass line, the best funk bands have fans from all walks of life dancing and grooving to their sound. Throughout the 70s and 80s funk music has only become more popular, even with its status as a niche genre. As time went on, funk artist evolved by incorporating elements of rock and electronic music into their sound. The best funk bands seamlessly unite fans from across different sexes, races, and nationalities behind their desire to lose themselves in the music, and yes, to dance.

So what are the best funk bands? Any list of funk bands must include the likes of George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, Teena Marie, Kool & the Gang, Herbie Hancock and the Isley Brothers. These funk bands are widely known as some of the best in all of funk music and with good reason. Their hip shaking rhythms and groovy sound remain extremely popular and have influenced an entire generation of musicians and fans.


That said, it's up to you to let us know what the best funk bands are. If you know funk music, feel free to chime in with your vote. This list answers the questions "who are the best funk bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest funk musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most famous funk bands that you might've heard of. 

Most divisive: Bruno Mars
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  • This iconic collective, led by the visionary George Clinton, revolutionized the sound of funk with their distinctive blend of psychedelic rock, soul, and jazz influences. Known for their elaborate stage shows and outrageous costumes, they captivated audiences worldwide and inspired countless musicians across various genres. Their innovative approach to songwriting and production techniques has left a lasting impact on popular music, solidifying their status as true pioneers in the world of funk.

  • Led by the enigmatic frontman Sly Stone, this groundbreaking group broke barriers with their diverse lineup and genre-defying sound that incorporated elements of soul, rock, and psychedelia. With an infectious energy that permeated their live performances and recordings alike, they played a crucial role in shaping the development of funk music throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Their socially conscious lyrics and tight grooves continue to be celebrated today as some of the most influential contributions to modern music.

  • George Clinton

    As the mastermind behind both Parliament and Funkadelic, this legendary musician has been at the forefront of funk since its inception. His unique ability to meld disparate musical elements into a cohesive whole has earned him widespread recognition as one of the most inventive producers of all time. With his unmistakable voice and unparalleled sense of groove, he remains an enduring force within the industry whose influence can be heard in countless contemporary artists.

  • Prince
    640 votes

    A true virtuoso whose unparalleled musicianship spanned multiple instruments, this enigmatic performer blended funk, rock, pop, and R&B into a unique sound that captivated audiences around the world. Known for his flamboyant stage presence and eclectic fashion sense, he became one of the most iconic figures in popular culture during the 1980s. His prolific output and unwavering dedication to artistic expression left an indelible mark on modern music history.

  • Isley Brothers

    Beginning as a vocal trio in the 1950s, this enduring family act has evolved over time to incorporate elements of rock, soul, and gospel into their unmistakable brand of funk. With an impressive career spanning six decades, they've consistently delivered memorable hits that showcase their exceptional musicianship and tight harmonies. Their ability to adapt and thrive across various musical eras is a testament to their immense talent and lasting influence on popular music.

  • Bootsy Collins

    As the flamboyant bassist for both James Brown's band and Parliament-Funkadelic, this larger-than-life character played a vital role in shaping the sound of funk throughout the 1970s. His innovative playing style—characterized by intricate slap bass techniques and heavy use of effects pedals—has influenced generations of musicians since. As a solo artist, he continued to push the boundaries of the genre with his unmistakable persona and undeniable talent.