The Best Black Rock Bands

Over 5.8K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Black Rock Bands
Voting Rules
Either the band is majority Black or has a clear leader who is (a la Phil Lynott). Solo artists (Jimi) OK. Rock only, no R&B.

A list of the best Black rock bands including a few afro-punk and Black alternative bands. While Black rock musicians and afro-punks might only be a minority within the United States, remember that in other regions such as South America and Africa, they're the majority. The real irony though of Black rock is that rock itself is derived from rock 'n' roll, which in turn was derived from African American jazz and blues. One could argue then that Black rock forms a direct line back to rock's true origins. The African American rock bands on this list are some of the best out there - in any genre.

What is the best Black rock band? What are the names of some Black rock bands? This list mostly contains famous Black rock bands, if you have a favorite that isn't listed, add them and vote up your favorites!

Most divisive: Ice-T
Ranked by
  • Jimi Hendrix
    1,973 votes

    Revolutionizing the electric guitar with unparalleled virtuosity and innovative techniques, this legendary musician became synonymous with psychedelic rock, transcending racial barriers, and propelling the genre into the mainstream. From jaw-dropping solos to mind-bending feedback manipulation, his talents continuously blurred the lines between technicality and creativity, leaving an indelible mark on both pop culture and the music world. Despite a tragically short career, his distinctive sound and unforgettable stage presence have immortalized him as one of the most iconic rock artists of all time.

  • Prince
    1,461 votes

    Exuding sexuality and mystique, this enigmatic singer-songwriter captivated audiences with a dynamic blend of funk, R&B, and rock that transcended norms and defied categorization. A consummate musician, he played multiple instruments with dazzling proficiency, while his stunning vocal range and magnetic stage presence enraptured fans across the globe. With a prolific and diverse discography that cemented his status as a pop culture icon, his untimely death left an unfillable void in the musical landscape.

  • Chuck Berry
    1,184 votes

    Commonly referred to as the "father of rock and roll," this trailblazing guitarist popularized rhythm and blues in the 1950s, wielding power chords and melodic solos that laid the groundwork for future generations. Beloved for his duck walk and swaggering charisma, his infectious tunes and poetic lyrics chronicled American life and youth culture like never before. As an influential figure whose innovations helped shape the course of modern music, his impact on the evolution of rock remains unparalleled.

  • Living Colour
    1,458 votes

    Fusing hard rock with an eclectic mix of genres, this groundbreaking quartet challenged racial stereotypes and shattered expectations within the predominantly white 1980s rock scene. Showcasing virtuosic musicianship and thought-provoking lyrics, their powerful sound tackled issues like racism, gentrification, and political corruption. With a dedicated following and multiple awards under their belt, they remain a testimony to the limitless possibilities of rock music.

  • Little Richard

    No stranger to controversy, this flamboyant piano prodigy pushed boundaries with a wild onstage persona and a soulful fusion of gospel, R&B, and rock. His electrifying performances, unparalleled showmanship, and groundbreaking songs laid the foundation for rock and roll, inspiring countless artists who followed in his footsteps. Though he faced significant roadblocks due to both race and sexuality, his indomitable spirit and influential contributions stand testament to his status as a rock legend.

  • Pioneering a funk-rock fusion that blended elements of psychedelic rock, soul, and rhythm and blues, this racially diverse ensemble broke barriers both musically and socially. Led by a visionary frontman who crafted a sound that was groovy, political, and unmistakably original, the group's innovative arrangements and genre-defying style paved the way for future generations of artists. With tremendous influence on the evolution of popular music, their afro-centric vibrations continue to resonate.