Discover the musical treasures that the great state of Arizona has in store! This state has been a breeding ground for some of the most talented musicians, songwriters, and even actors across various genres.
From the soulful rhythms of R&B to the twangs of country, and from the electric beats of rock to the smooth croons of jazz, Arizona’s music scene is brimming with exceptional talent.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the 20 famous musicians that this vibrant state has in store:
1. Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks is a singer-songwriter who is best known for her work as the lead vocalist of Fleetwood Mac. Nicks’ solo career has also been highly successful, with hits such as “Edge of Seventeen” and “Stand Back.”
She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, in 1998 as a member of Fleetwood Mac and again in 2019 as a solo artist.
2. Michelle Branch
Michelle Branch is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. She first rose to fame with her hit single “Everywhere” in 2001 and went on to release successful albums such as “The Spirit Room” and “Hotel Paper.”
Branch has also collaborated with other musicians, such as Santana and the Wreckers, and won a Grammy Award.
3. Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is a singer who is known for his theatrical live performances and music that blends rock and shock elements. Cooper’s hits include “School’s Out,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and “Poison.”
He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has also appeared in films such as “Wayne’s World” and “Dark Shadows.”
4. Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks is a singer and actress who rose to fame as the winner of “American Idol Season 6” in 2007.
Her debut single, “Tattoo,” was a hit, and she went on to release successful albums such as “Battlefield” and “Right Here Right Now.” Sparks has also acted in films such as “Sparkle” and on teen sitcoms such as “The Suite Life on Deck.”
5. Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World is a rock band. Their breakthrough album, “Bleed American,” was released in 2001 and included the hit singles “The Middle” and “Sweetness.”
Jimmy Eat World has released several other successful albums, including “Futures” and “Integrity Blues,” and has toured extensively. The band has been credited with helping to popularize the emo and pop punk genres.
6. Joe Jonas
Famed as a member of the pop-rock band Jonas Brothers, Joe Jonas is a singer, songwriter, and actor. With the band, he released hits including “Burnin’ Up,” “S.O.S,” and “Lovebug.”
Jonas has also released solo music and acted in films such as “Camp Rock” and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.”
7. Gin Blossoms
Gin Blossoms is an alternative rock band. In 1992, Gin Blossoms released their breakthrough album, “New Miserable Experience,” which featured hit singles like “Hey Jealousy” and “Found Out About You.”
Although the band has undergone several changes in its lineup over the years, they have continued to release albums and tour extensively.
8. Jessi Colter
Jessi Colter is a singer and songwriter who is known for her contributions to the outlaw country music genre. Colter’s hits include “I’m Not Lisa” and “What’s Happened to Blue Eyes.”
She has also collaborated with other musicians, such as her husband Waylon Jennings, and released several successful albums.
9. Chester Bennington
As the frontman of the rock band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington was a singer and songwriter. The band’s hits include “In the End,” “Numb,” and “Crawling.”
Bennington also fronted the bands Dead by Sunrise and Stone Temple Pilots and was known for his powerful vocals and emotional performances.
Bennington achieved great success with his band Linkin Park, winning two Grammy Awards and other notable accolades. With over 100 million units sold worldwide, Linkin Park became one of the most popular rock bands of their era.
10. Bret Michaels
Bret Michaels is a singer-songwriter and musician. He is became popular for being the lead vocalist of the band Poison, whose hits include “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Talk Dirty to Me.”
Michaels has also released solo music and appeared on reality TV shows such as “Rock of Love” and “Celebrity Apprentice 3.”
11. Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus was a jazz musician, composer, and bandleader. He is considered one of the most important figures in 20th-century jazz and is known for his complex compositions and innovative style.
Mingus released several acclaimed albums, including “Mingus Ah Um” and “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady,” and collaborated with other jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Dizzy Gillespie.
12. Sun City Girls
Sun City Girls was an experimental rock band whose music incorporated elements of free jazz, psychedelia, and world music and was known for its unconventional approach.
Sun City Girls released over 50 albums, which includes “Torch of The Mystics,” “Grotto of Miracles,” and “Dawn of The Devi” and toured extensively before disbanding in 2007.
13. Linda Ronstadt
Linda Ronstadt is a singer-songwriter and actress who is known for her versatile vocals and wide-ranging musical style. Ronstadt’s hits include “You’re No Good,” “Blue Bayou,” and “When Will I Be Loved.” She has won 11 Grammy Awards and has sold over 100 million units worldwide.
Ronstadt has also acted in films such as “The Pirates of Penzance” and on Broadway in “The Pirates of Penzance” and “La Bohème.”
14. The Maine
The Maine is an alternative rock band whose music incorporates elements of pop and emo and is known for its catchy hooks and relatable lyrics.
The Maine’s hits include “Inside of You,” “Into Your Arms,” and “Everything I Ask For.” The band has released several successful albums and is remembered for their pop tunes which are fun to listen to.
15. Marty Robbins
Marty Robbins was a singer-songwriter, and actor who is famed for his contributions to the country music genre. Robbins’ hits include “El Paso,” “Big Iron,” and “Devil Woman.”
He won two Grammy Awards and was inducted into various halls of fame. Robbins also acted in films such as “Buffalo Gun” and “Road to Nashville.”
16. Dierks Bentley
Dierks Bentley is a country singer and songwriter. He has released several successful albums, including “Modern Day Drifter” and “Black,” and his hits include “What Was I Thinkin’,” “Come a Little Closer,” and “Drunk on a Plane.”
Bentley has won numerous awards, including multiple Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Awards.
Calexico is an indie rock band from Tucson, Arizona. The band’s music incorporates elements of Tex-Mex, Americana, and indie rock and is known for its cinematic soundscapes.
Calexico has released several acclaimed albums, including “The Black Light” and “Feast of Wire,” and has collaborated with other musicians such as Iron & Wine and Neko Case.
18. Meat Puppets
Meat Puppets is a rock band whose music incorporates elements of punk, country, and psychedelic rock. Meat Puppets has released several successful albums, including “Meat Puppets II” and “Too High to Die,” and has influenced other musicians such as Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.
19. CeCe Peniston
CeCe Peniston is a singer-songwriter and actress who is popular for her contributions to the dance and R&B music genres. Peniston’s hits include “Finally,” “We Got a Love Thang,” and “Keep on Walkin’.”
She has won a Billboard Music Awards and multiple ASCAP Awards. Her fame began with her status as a former beauty queen before she became known as a singer.
20. The Format
The Format was an indie band that formed in 2001. The band’s music is known for its catchy hooks and upbeat melodies and incorporates elements of indie rock, punk and folk music. The Format’s hits include “The First Single (You Know Me),” “She Doesn’t Get It,” and “The Compromise.”
Legendary musicians from the state of Arizona have produced great music across various genres. From the thunderous rock anthems of Alice Cooper and Stevie Nicks, to the soulful country sounds of Marty Robbins and Dierks Bentley, and the indie-rock stylings of Calexico and The Format, Arizona’s music scene boasts an impressive range of talent you’ll surely can’t get enough of.
Michelle Branch Featured Image (Top-Left) by: Alaina Buzas, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Alice Cooper Featured Image (Top-Right) by: Biha, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Joe Jonas Featured Image (Bottom-Left) by: Ted Eytan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Chester Bennington Featured Image (Bottom-Right) by: Drew de F Fawkes, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons