Music

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

Best of SNL
853 votes 37 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 (alternately Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) were an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. Formed in 1976, the band originally comprised Tom Petty ...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 Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (, BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry ...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, (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo ...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
Declan Patrick MacManus, OBE (born 25 August 1954), better known by his stage name Elvis Costello, is an English pop/rock musician, singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, author, ...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 (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as bass player for the Beatles. His ...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 (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New ...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 were an Irish rock band formed in Limerick, Ireland in 1989 by lead singer Niall Quinn, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler. Quinn was replaced as ...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
Ann Lennox OBE (born 25 December 1954) 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 ( im-BROO-lee-ə, Italian: [imˈbruʎʎa]; born 4 February 1975) is an Australian-British singer-songwriter, model and actress. In the early 1990s, she played Beth Brennan in ...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 drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist/backing vocalist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe. One of ...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 Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was the lead singer 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 is an American rock band formed in 1987 in Tempe, Arizona. They rose to prominence following the 1992 release of their first major label album, New Miserable Experience, and the ...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 (pronounced "in excess") were an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. The band's founding members were bassist Garry Gary ...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 (known informally as "The Oils") are an Australian rock band composed of Peter Garrett (vocals, harmonica), Rob Hirst (drums), Jim Moginie (guitar, keyboard), Martin ...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 formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1970. The group consists of Steven Tyler (vocals, keyboards), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums), ...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 was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil (both of whom are the only members to appear ...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 (born December 31, 1959) is an American musician, best known as the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter in The Replacements, one of the seminal alternative rock bands of ...more
24
Garbage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL In The '90s
Pop music, Trip hop, Rock music
Garbage is an American rock band formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1993. The band consists of Scottish musician and lead singer Shirley Manson and American musicians Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, ...more
25
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 25 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 formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh ...more