Bands / Musicians Who Is The Most Famous Band From Every State?  

Ann Casano
7.5k votes 987 voters 16.6k views 50 items

List Rules Vote up the bands who best represent their home states.

There is no shortage of incredible music in the United States. Pretty much every part of the country has produced a slew of fantastic artists, so it can sometimes be hard to remember the most famous band from every state.

Some of the most recognizable music groups are forever tied to the region from which they came. Can anyone mention the Seattle grunge sound of the 1990s without bringing up Nirvana? Is it even possible to separate Motown, based out of Michigan, from The Temptations? However, some US states and their famous bands aren't so instantly forthcoming. New Jersey has Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, but also Bon Jovi. In California, fans have to pick between The Grateful Dead, The Beach Boys, The Eagles, The Doors, and Metallica. The competition is fierce in large, densely populated states, but one band usually manages to rise above the rest in terms of notoriety. 

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Nirvana — Washington Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

It's impossible to discuss the Seattle grunge scene of the '90s without bringing up Nirvana. The power trio formed in the late 1980s out of Aberdeen, WA. They made three studio albums together and achieved enormous mainstream success off of hits such as "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Lithium."

 

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Prince and the Revolution — Minnesota

Prince put together his signature band, Prince and the Revolution, in his much-loved birthplace of Minneapolis, MN in 1983. The funk rock stylings of the group led to two studio albums and two movie soundtracks. Their biggest success came in 1984 with the Grammy award winning record Purple Rain.

 

 

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Aerosmith — Massachusetts Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

Aerosmith, AKA The Bad Boys of Boston, formed in Boston, MA in 1970. They went on to become one of the most storied bands in rock history, and have sold over 150 million albums to date. From these albums came 21 Billboard Top 40 hits, including "Dream On," "Walk This Way," and "Janie's Got a Gun." 

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Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers — Florida Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers came out of Gainesville, FL in 1976. The rock band is known for several radio hits such as "American Girl," "Refugee," and "Mary Jane's Last Dance."

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Johnny Cash And The Tennessee Three — Tennessee Rock music, Rock and roll, Country

Legendary country singer Johnny Cash formed his band, The Tennessee Three, in Memphis, TN in the mid-1950s. The band played with Cash for over two decades, and produced hits such as "I Walk the Line" and "Folsom Prison Blues."

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Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band — New Jersey Rock music

Bruce Springsteen and New Jersey go hand in hand. The Boss selected the members of his band from clubs around the Garden State, and paid special attention to the esteemed music scene of 1970s Asbury Park. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers went on to record several of the most popular albums in rock history, including Born to Run, The River, and Born in the USA. 

 

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ZZ Top — Texas Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

The bearded rockers got their start in 1969 in Houston, TX. ZZ Top found mainstream success in the 1980s with mega-hits like "Legs," "Gimme All Your Lovin'," and "Sharp Dressed Man."

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Alabama — Alabama Country pop, Pop music, Rock music

You know a band has love for their home state when the two share a name. Alabama was one of the most successful bands of the 1980s with 27 number one hits. The southern boys were able to take their country roots and achieve crossover mainstream success to the tune of over 70 million album sales.

 

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Talking Heads — Rhode Island New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

While Talking Heads will forever be associated with the legendary NYC new wave punk scene of the 1970s, that's not where the band got their start. David Byrne, Christ Frantz, and Tina Weymouth met while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. The band found immediate success with their debut album Talking Heads: 77, which featured the hit single "Psycho Killer."

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George Thorogood & The Destroyers — Delaware Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Heartland rock

George Thorogood & The Destroyers performed their first gig together at The University of Delaware in 1973. The group went on to make over 20 albums and sell 15 million records internationally on the strength of their hits "Bad to the Bone" and "I Drink Alone."

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Hootie & The Blowfish — South Carolina Jangle pop, Heartland rock, Rock music

Hootie & the Blowfish met when the members were freshmen at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. Darius Rucker and the gang found immediate success with the release of their debut album, Cracked Rear View, in 1994. The album sold over 16 million copies worldwide and featured four hit singles: "Hold My Hand," "Let Her Cry," "Only Wanna Be with You," and "Time."

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The Jackson 5 — Indiana Bubblegum pop, Motown Sound, Disco

Brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael formed The Jackson 5 out of Gary, IN in the mid-1960s. They quickly became one of the signature acts of the Motown sound and had four number one singles, including "ABC" and "I Want You Back."

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Dave Matthews Band — Virginia Rock music, World music, Acoustic music

The Dave Matthews Band formed out of Charlottesville, VA in the early 1990s. The jam band's first album, Under the Table and Dreaming, produced the radio hits "What Would You Say," "Satellite," and "Ants Marching." Known for their impressive live shows, DMB continues to be one of the biggest concert draws in the US.

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Nine Inch Nails — Ohio Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

Frontman Trent Razor founded the gritty industrial band Nine Inch Nails out of Cleveland, OH in the late 1980s. The Grammy award winning band achieved mainstream success in 1994 with their concept album The Downward Spiral.

 

 

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The Temptations — Michigan Doo-wop, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

Detroit is the birthplace of Motown, and there was no bigger Motown act than the R&B vocal group The Temptations. The Grammy award winners helped to define the sound of a generation with hits like "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone."

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Kansas — Kansas Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

Formed in the 1970s out of Topeka, KS, the prog-rock band produced eight gold albums. Their songs "Dust in the Wind" and "Carry On Wayward Son" are classic rock radio staples and Billboard chart-toppers.

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Chicago — Illinois Ballad, Ska, Rock music

Chicago came out of Chicago, IL in the mid-1960s. The ballad-generating soft-rockers are one of the best-selling bands of all time. Chicago has sold over 100 million records worldwide and has managed to land 20 top ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

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Evanescence — Arkansas Rock music, Gothic metal, Alternative rock

Singer Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody formed the Christian-turned-goth band Evanescence in Little Rock, AR in the mid-1990s. Their Grammy winning debut album, Fallen, sold 17 million copies.

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The Killers — Nevada Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

Indie rockers The Killers partnered up in 2001 in Las Vegas, NV. The band has sold over 22 million albums worldwide on the strength of their radio-friendly pop songs "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me."

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Simon And Garfunkel — New York Pop music, Worldbeat, Rock music

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met in Queens, NY in the 1950s. At the time of their first encounter, both of the now-acclaimed musicians were in elementary school. They learned to make beautiful harmonies together and became one of the best-selling duos in musical history with hits like "Mrs. Robinson" and "The Sound of Silence."

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The Everly Brothers — Iowa Christian music, Rock music, Rockabilly

Don and Phil Everly grew up in Shenandoah, IA. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame brothers had 35 Billboard top 100 singles, including "Bye Bye Love" and "All I Have to Do Is Dream."

 

 

 

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Poison — Pennsylvania Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

Bret Michaels and the boys from Poison got their start in Mechanicsburg, PA in 1983. The notorious hair band has sold over 45 million records and has 10 top 40 Billboard hits, including "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and "Nothin' but a Good Time."

 

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Violent Femmes — Wisconsin Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

Violent Femmes got their start in Milwaukee, WI in 1980. The folk-punk trio catapulted to immediate success with their 1983 self-titled album that featured their biggest hit, "Blister in the Sun."

 

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3 Doors Down — Mississippi Nu metal, Rock music, Acoustic music

3 Doors Down began in the mid-1990s in Escatawpa, MS. The post-grunge alt-rockers reached the top of the charts with their very first single, "Kryptonite," in 2000. Surprisingly, the band was one of the few acts willing to perform at President Trump's inauguration in 2017.  

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Grateful Dead — California Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

Perhaps no band defines the California hippie culture of the 1960s and '70s better than the San Francisco based Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia and company basically invented the concept of the jam band, and went on to influence groups like Phish and the Dave Matthews Band. Even after the death of Garcia in 1995, the band managed to maintain its popularity, in part thanks to the fan base's incessant need to collect bootleg concert tapes (and later mp3s). 

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311 — Nebraska Rock music, Rap metal, Reggae fusion

Reggae rockers 311 formed out of Omaha, NE in the late 1980s. Their biggest mainstream success was their self-titled 1995 album, which produced the mega-hits "Down" and "All Mixed Up."

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The Black Crowes — Georgia Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

The Black Crowes formed in Marietta, GA in the mid-1980s. Led by the Robinson brothers, the band blended their own brand of blues with southern rock to create several chart topping 1990s hits such as "She Talks to Angels" and "Jealous Again."

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Phish — Vermont Rock music, Neo-psychedelia, Jazz fusion

The founding members of Phish met while they were students at the University of Vermont in 1983. The jam band follows in the footsteps of acts like the Grateful Dead, and has legions of fans that follow them around the country. 

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The Carpenters — Connecticut Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music

The brother and sister duo from New Haven, CT helped to define the soft rock era of the 1970s. The Grammy and Oscar winners comprised one of the best-selling groups of all time with over 90 million records sold. They topped the charts with songs like "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun."

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Ike & Tina Turner — Missouri Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

Husband and wife duo Ike and Tina Turner formed out of St. Louis, MO in the early 1960s. The Grammy winning R&B group topped the charts with songs like "A Fool in Love" and "Proud Mary."

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My Morning Jacket — Kentucky Heartland rock, Rock music, Country rock

My Morning Jacket came out of Louisville, KY in the late 1990s. The band adeptly mixes their home state flavor of blue grass with indie jam band rock. The band initially garnered acclaim for their epic live sets, and even played a four-hour-long set at Bonnaroo 2008. The set went from midnight until four in the morning, and it poured rain the entire time. 

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Good Charlotte — Maryland Pop punk, Rock music, Dance-punk

Led by brothers Joel and Benji Madden, Good Charlotte formed out of Waldorf, MD in 1995. They found mainstream success with their 2002 sophomore album The Young and the Hopeless, on the strength of the hit singles "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and "Girls & Boys." 

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Portugal. The Man — Alaska Garage rock, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

Portugal. The Man hails from Wasilla, AK. In 2018, they won a Grammy award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their song "Feel It Still." The band has played at some prestigious music festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.

 

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OneRepublic — Colorado

OneRepublic formed out of Colorado Springs, CO in 2002. Their song "Apologize" (from their 2007 debut album Dreaming Out Loud) earned the group a Grammy nomination, and the single topped the charts in several countries. 

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The Flaming Lips — Oklahoma Rock music, Space rock, Psychedelic pop

The Flaming Lips got their start in Norman, OK in 1983. The Grammy award winning indie band found their greatest success in 1993 off the strength of their hit single, "She Don't Use Jelly."

 

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Modest Mouse — Oregon Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock

Modest Mouse may have gotten their start in Washington in the early 1990s, but the band is officially stationed in Oregon. Modest Mouse found mainstream breakout success with their 2000 album The Moon & Antarctica.

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Ben Folds Five — North Carolina Pop music, Piano rock, Power pop

The piano-driven rockers Ben Folds Five got their start in Chapel Hill, NC in 1993. The trio found mainstream success with their 1997 radio hit "Brick" off of their second album Whatever and Ever Amen.

 

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The Neville Brothers — Louisiana New Orleans rhythm and blues, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

Brothers Art, Charles, Aaron, and Cyril formed The Neville Brothers in the mid-1970s out of their hometown of New Orleans, LA. The smooth, Grammy winning R&B quartet recorded ten studio albums before disbanding in 2012. 

 

 

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The Shins — New Mexico Indie pop, Folk rock, Dream pop

Lead singer James Mercer started The Shins in 1996 in Albuquerque, NM. The indie band received its fair share of mainstream success following Zach Braff's 2004 movie Garden State. There is a scene in the movie when Andrew (Braff) asks Sam (Natalie Portman) what she's listening to. She replies, "The Shins. You gotta hear this one song, it will change your life, I swear."

 

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Meat Puppets — Arizona Grunge, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

Meat Puppets formed in the early 1980s out of Phoenix, AZ. Led by the Kirkwood brothers, the band has an eclectic sound that blends punk, rock, and a twang of country. They received a taste of mainstream success in 1993 when the Kirkwoods joined Nirvana onstage during their crucial MTV Unplugged gig and performed an acoustic set that included their song "Lake of Fire."

 

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Pepper — Hawaii Pop music, Ska punk, Ska

The reggae rock trio took shape in Hawaii in the mid-1990s. They found some mainstream success with their 2002 sophomore album Kona Town and the single "Give It Up."

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The Osmonds — Utah Blue-eyed soul, Disco, Pop music

The Osmonds — four Mormon brothers from Salt Lake City, UT — introduced themselves to American audiences on The Andy Williams Show in 1962. The biggest Osmond success came from brother and sister Donny and Marie, who formed one of the biggest musical acts of the 1970s.

 

 

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Asleep At The Wheel — West Virginia Country, Western swing

Asleep at the Wheel got their start in Paw Paw, WV in 1970. The country group went on to win nine Grammy awards and land 20 songs on the Billboard country chart.

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Indigenous — South Dakota Blues-rock, Rock music

The all-family affair of Indigenous — originally two brothers, a sister, and a cousin — formed in Marty, SD in the late 1990s on the Yankton Sioux Reservation. Their song "Now That You're Gone" went to #22 on the Billboard rock chart, which made the blues group the first Native American band to reach that level of mainstream success.

 

 

 

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Built to Spill — Idaho Indie rock

Doug Martsch and his rotating band formed in Boise, ID in the early 1990s. The indie rock group has released eight albums, and played on the Lollapalooza tour in 1995.

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Bobby Vee And The Strangers — North Dakota Pop music

Before Bobby Vee of Fargo, ND became a teen pop idol and radio hit-maker, his name was associated with tragedy. In 1959, Vee and his band (at the time called The Shadows) performed together for the first time after Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash. The trio was scheduled to perform at a venue in Moorhead, MN, but when tragedy struck, Vee and his band stepped up to fill in. 

 

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The Shaggs — New Hampshire Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

The trio of sisters — Dot, Betty, and Helen — formed The Shaggs out of Freemont, NH in 1968. The group had a reputation for not being able to play their instruments very well, and only released one studio album, 1969's Philosophy of the World. The album failed to find an audience, but received its share of cult attention after Frank Zappa claimed to love it.

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Rustic Overtones — Maine Ska, Rock music, Jazz

The Rustic Overtones became a Portland, ME staple in the mid-1990s. The indie rockers have recorded eight albums, and their single "Hardest Way Possible" appeared on the soundtrack for the 2001 movie The Animal.

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Silkworm — Montana Indie rock

The indie rock group Silkworm got their start in Missoula, MT in the mid-1980s. They made 11 albums, but their biggest hit, "Nerves," came off of their 1996 album Firewater.

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Teenage Bottlerocket — Wyoming Pop punk, Punk rock

Twin brothers Ray and Brandon Carlisle founded the band Teenage Bottlerocket in Laramie, WY in 2000. The punk rock group recorded seven albums, and their biggest success came with their 2009 album They Came from the Shadows, which featured the song "Skate Or Die."