20 Famous Musicians From California

California is home to some of the best and most iconic musicians in the world. From punk rockers The Doors to rap superstar Kendrick Lamar, this state has produced a diverse array of musical talent across multiple genres.

Their success has made them beloved by fans around the globe, and their songs have become timeless classics. 

Whether you’re a fan of pop, punk, rock, or soul, here is a list of famous musicians from California that only offer the best songs that we can all enjoy:

1. The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys are a legendary American rock band formed in the 1960s, known for their distinctive harmonies and upbeat surf music.

Their hits such as “Good Vibrations,” “California Girls,” and “Surfin’ USA” have become timeless classics and have made them one of the most successful bands of all time.

2. Billie Eilish

The singer who is famous for her songs like “Ocean Eyes,” “Bad Guy,” and “When the Party’s Over,” Billie Eilish, is an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame in 2015, and since then, she has become one of the most successful young musicians. 

She has since become one of the most successful young musicians and has won numerous awards, including seven Grammys, for her distinctive style and haunting vocals.

3. Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival, or CCR, is an American rock band from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Known for their bluesy, roots-rock sound, CCR had numerous hits, including “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Green River,” making them one of the most successful bands of their era.

4. Dr. Dre

A big name in the hip-hop genre, Dr. Dre is an American rapper, producer, and entrepreneur. He is best known as the founder of Death Row Records, which was responsible for introducing acts like Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and Eminem to the world. 

5. Van Halen

Van Halen is a legendary rock band from California that has made a huge impact on the music industry with its high-powered performances on stage.

They are known for their hard hitting riffs and upbeat songs, having sold over 10 million copies of their self-titled album and being one of the most successful rock bands.

6. Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg, the man behind the top hits “Gin and Juice” and “Drop it Like It’s Hot,” is a rapper who is widely known for his laid-back attitude and humor.

He has been honored with an American Music Award, an Emmy Award, and several Grammy nominations, solidifying his position as a top artist in the music industry.

7. Metallica

Metallica, the thrash metal band from Los Angeles, has earned its spot as one of the most influential metal bands of all time.

Their unique style of metal has become the foundation for today’s metal genres, with iconic albums like ‘Master of Puppets’ standing out among their best works. Metal fans can attest to Metallica’s immense talent and impact on the music world.

8. Katy Perry

Katy Perry is a pop singer born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She has become one of the biggest pop stars of her time and is known for her catchy hooks, instantly recognizable voice, and danceable beats. Some of her major hits are “Hot n’ Cold,” “I Kissed A Girl,” “California Gurls,” and “Teenage Dream.” 

With over six billion streams on Spotify and 143 million units sold worldwide, Katy Perry has shown why she is a pop icon. Her ability to be unique while still connecting with her fans has earned her numerous awards and recognition for her talent and creativity as a singer.

9. The Doors

The Doors were an American rock band that is remembered for their unique and energetic sound. Their music incorporated elements of psychedelia, blues, and rock, creating a distinctive blend that has made them one of the most iconic bands of the 60s and 70s.

Their most famous songs include “Light My Fire,” “Hello, I Love You,” and “Riders on the Storm.”

10. Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is a rapper and singer-songwriter who has achieved critical and commercial success with his albums such as ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city,’ ‘To Pimp a Butterfly,’ and ‘Damn.’

With a mix of samples, instrumentation, political commentary, and lyrical excellence, he has sold over 70 million units all over the US. He’s a great storyteller in the realm of music.

11. Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic is an American singer-songwriter and satirist who is considered one of the most creative and prolific musical parodists of all time. He is famous for writing and performing song parodies and musical style parodies of popular songs.His unique style has made him a cultural icon.

12. Beck

Beck David Hansen, or mostly known as just “Beck,” is a musician who is famous for his experimental music collage technique in music.

He is known for his innovative, genre-blending sound, and dynamic songwriting style. His songs and arrangements led him to win eight Grammy Awards.

13. Etta James

Etta James was an American blues, R&B and soul singer who rose to prominence in the 1950s and 60s with songs such as “At Last” and “I Just Want To Make Love To You”.

Her blend of blues, jazz, and gospel influences which she merged with a powerful, soulful voice made her one of the most extraordinary singers of her generation.

14. Cher

Being dubbed as the “Goddess of Pop,” Cher is a singer and actress who has had an impressive career spanning more than five decades. She is known for her bold and innovative fashion as well as her powerful and versatile singing voice.

Her hits include classics like “Believe” and “If I Could Turn Back Time,” and her strength as a performer has earned her multiple awards, including an Academy Award, a Grammy, and an Emmy.

15. Adam Levine

Adam Levine, the frontman of Maroon 5, has achieved immense success in the pop rock music industry. Other than his worldwide success with the band, Adam Levin also became a coach in the reality talent show “The Voice.”

Levine’s good looks and immense talent has also seen him venture into acting, appearing in films and television series.

16. Ice Cube

Ice Cube is an American rapper, actor, producer and filmmaker. He rose to fame as a member of West Coast hip hop group ‘N.W.A.’ and laid the groundwork for gangsta rap. He is one of the pioneers of West Coast rap and has gone on to use his influence to create groundbreaking albums and films. 

17. Omarion

Omarion is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor who rose to fame in the early 2000s as the lead singer of the boy band B2K. He has since launched a successful solo career with hits such as “Ice Box”, “Post To Be” and “Entourage”.

His music is a mix of R&B, hip hop and pop, creating a unique sound that has earned him being on top of the charts and awards.

18. Fergie

Formerly a part of the hip hop group ‘The Black Eyed Peas,’ Fergie is a beautiful singer-songwriter and rapper. She ventured into being a solo artist and became successful for her songs “Glamourous,” “London Bridge,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” 

Over the years, she has been part of films and hostings, and still continued to make music with Black Eyed Peas with iconic hits like “Boom Boom Pow,” “I Gotta Feeling,” and “Imma Be.”

19. Josh Groban

Josh Groban is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor from Los Angeles who has achieved huge success in both the classical and popular music worlds. His self-titled debut album went double-platinum and he has released covers from different songs that also gain positive reviews. 

Singing alongside big artists like Celine Dion, his unique blend of classical and popular music has established him as one of the most successful crossover artists of all time.

20. Billie Joe Armstrong

As the frontrunner of the band ‘Green Day,’ Billie Joe Armstrong is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in modern rock music. Their famous songs “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “American Idiot,” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” are proof of their success.

Billie’s incredible energy and enthusiasm on stage, combined with his powerful songwriting and guitar playing, have made him an icon of punk rock.


California has been the birthplace of some of the most iconic music artists of all time. From The Doors to Kendrick Lamar, Cher to Metallica, the state is home to a variety of legendary pop, rock, soul, and hip hop artists.

Their various awards and accolades are testament to the power of their music, which has resonated with people around the world.

Billie Eilish Featured Image by: Justin Higuchi, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons