Music

The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s  

Best of SNL
850 votes 36 voters 165 items

List Rules Vote up the bands and musicians who did the best job as musical guests on SNL from 1990 through 1999.

The 1990s were a period of transition and change for Saturday Night Live, but they carried through and started the new millennium strong.  Even with over two dozen bands and musicians appearing multiple times, there were just over 160 different musical guests in the '90s.  If you can't remember everybody who played on the show, then refresh your memory with this list of the bands who played on SNL from 1990 through 1999, ranked from best SNL '90s musical guests to worst SNL '90s musical guests.

Setting a record for the most times playing for SNL in a decade, musician Sting performed on SNL four times between 1990 and 1999, even doing double duty as guest and host in 1991. Close behind were acts such as R.E.M., Mariah Carey, Smashing Pumpkins, and Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers. Regular musical guest Eminem even made his first appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1999.

Just like the seasons and episodes themselves, the Saturday Night Live musical guests of the 1990s range from great to grueling. Vote up the bands and musicians who did the best job as musical guests on SNL in the '90s.

list ordered by
1
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. In 1976, the band's original lineup was Tom Petty as the primary vocalist and guitar player, Mike Campbell as ...more
2
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music
David Bowie is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. He is also a painter and collector of fine art. Bowie has been a major figure in the ...more
3
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as ...more
4
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock
Elvis Costello is an English singer-songwriter. He began his career as part of London's pub rock scene in the early 1970s and later became associated with the first wave of the British punk and ...more
5
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock
Sir James Paul McCartney MBE is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the ...more
6
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was ...more
7
The Cranberries is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Jangle pop, New Wave, Rock music
The Cranberries are an Irish rock band who formed in Limerick in 1990. The band consists of vocalist Dolores O'Riordan, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler. ...more
8
Annie Lennox is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Pop music
Annie Lennox, OBE, born Ann Lennox, is a Scottish singer, songwriter, political activist and philanthropist. After achieving moderate success in the late 1970s as part of the new wave band The ...more
9
Rollins Band is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Noise rock, Punk blues, Rock music
Rollins Band was an American rock band led by singer and songwriter Henry Rollins. They are best known for the songs "Low Self Opinion" and "Liar", which both earned heavy ...more
10
Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock
The Pretenders are an English-American rock band formed in Hereford, England, in March 1978. The original band comprised initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde, James Honeyman-Scott, Pete ...more
11
Natalie Imbruglia is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock
Natalie Jane Imbruglia is an Australian singer/songwriter, model and actress. In the early 1990s, she played Beth Brennan in the Australian soap opera Neighbours. Three years after leaving the ...more
12
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock
R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular ...more
13
Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Blues-rock, Heartland rock, Rock music
Thomas Earl "Tom" Petty is an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He is best known as the lead vocalist of Tom Petty and the ...more
14
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Alternative rock, Post-grunge
Foo Fighters is an American rock band, formed in Seattle in 1994. It was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the death of Kurt Cobain and the resulting ...more
15
Gin Blossoms is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Jangle pop, Pop punk, Pop music
Gin Blossoms are an American rock band formed in 1987 in Tempe, Arizona. They first came to notice with the song "Hey Jealousy" from their first major label album, New Miserable ...more
16
INXS is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock
INXS was an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. They began playing covers in Western Australian pubs and clubs occasionally mixed with some ...more
17
Midnight Oil is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Rock music, Alternative rock, Progressive rock
Midnight Oil were an Australian rock band originally performing as Farm from 1972 with drummer Rob Hirst, bass guitarist Andrew James and keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie. While ...more
18
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music
Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band." Their style, which is rooted in ...more
19
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal
Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron ...more
20
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock
Nirvana was an American grunge band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, ...more
21
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge
Pearl Jam is an American rock band, formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has comprised Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. The ...more
22
Bruce Hornsby & The Range is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Bruce Hornsby & The Range was a music band.
23
Paul Westerberg is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Alternative rock, Punk rock
Paul Harold Westerberg is an American musician, best known as the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter in The Replacements, one of the seminal alternative rock bands of the 1980s. He launched a ...more
24
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music
Bon Jovi is an American rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey. Formed in 1983, Bon Jovi consists of lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi, pianist and keyboard player David Bryan, and drummer ...more
25
Faith No More is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1981. The band was originally named Faith No Man. Billy Gould, Roddy Bottum and Mike Bordin are the longest ...more