Minnesota has produced some of the most talented musicians in the world, spanning across various genres including pop, soul, R&B, and rock. From the iconic Prince to Bob Dylan, and from the legendary Judy Garland to relentless rapper Lexii Alijai, Minnesota has a rich and diverse musical record.
Let’s take a closer look at the 20 famous musicians from Minnesota and uncover the unique gifts and talents they brought to the music world:
- 1. Prince
- 2. Judy Garland
- 3. Bob Dylan
- 4. Semisonic
- 5. The Replacements
- 6. The Jets
- 7. Soul Asylum
- 8. Motion City Soundtrack
- 9. Hüsker Dü
- 10. The Suburbs
- 11. Mod Sun
- 12. Tyka Nelson
- 13. The Jayhawks
- 14. Liz Anderson
- 15. Hippo Campus
- 16. Bill Berry
- 17. Caitlyn Smith
- 18. Lexii Alijai
- 19. Don Moen
- 20. Slug
Prince is a legendary musician born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, known for his eclectic style and innovative approach to music. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide and is considered one of the greatest musicians of all time, with hits like “Purple Rain” and “Kiss.”
His innovative music blended various genres, making him a trailblazing musical legend cherished by countless fans. He has earned a staggering seven Grammys and an array of other prestigious accolades.
2. Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an actress and singer who is best known for her iconic role as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.”
She had a successful career in film and music, winning numerous awards and accolades for her contributions to the entertainment industry. She released several albums, which include “Alone,” “Judy,” and Miss Show Business.”
3. Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is a singer-songwriter who is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential musicians of all time.
He has sold over 125 million units worldwide and has won numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016. Some of his hits are “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
Semisonic is a rock band known for their hit single “Closing Time” and have released several critically acclaimed albums, which include “Feeling Strangely Fine” and “Great Divide.” Dan Wilson, the lead vocalist of the band, is known to contribute to other artist’s hits, such as Adele’s “Someone Like You.”
5. The Replacements
The Replacements were an influential punk rock band known for their raucous live performances and have been credited with influencing a generation of alternative rock bands. Their famous albums are “Tim” and “Let It Be.”
6. The Jets
The Jets are a family band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, consisting of siblings who are known for their R&B and pop hits such as “Crush On You,” “Make It Real,” and “You Got It All.” They achieved international success in the 1980s and have since become a staple of 80s nostalgia.
7. Soul Asylum
Soul Asylum is an alternative rock band who are best known for their hit single “Runaway Train” and have released numerous critically acclaimed albums. The band is known for their impressive performances and hardwork in establishing their music.
8. Motion City Soundtrack
Motion City Soundtrack is a rock band who are known for their catchy pop-punk sound and have released several successful albums, including “Commit This to Memory,” “I Am the Movie,” and “Even If It Kills Me.” Their song “Everything is Alright” earned a gold status by the RIAA.
9. Hüsker Dü
Hüsker Dü was a pioneering hardcore punk band formed in St. Paul, Minnesota.They are known for their fast-paced and intense sound, and their influence on the punk rock and alternative music scene is still felt today.
Some of their albums are “Everything That Falls Apart,” Flip Your Wig,” “New Day Rising,” and “Zen Arcade.”
10. The Suburbs
The Suburbs is a new wave and punk rock band. They are known for their catchy and danceable sound, and their hit single “Love Is The Law” remains a classic of the genre. They have released several albums in their career which includes “Credit in Heaven,” “Poets Party,” and “In Combo.”
11. Mod Sun
Mod Sun is a rapper, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. Known for his upbeat and positive messages in his music, he has collaborated with several prominent artists, including Machine Gun Kelly, blackbear, and Avril Lavigne.
He also co-directed and starred in the comedy film “Good Mourning” with Machine Gun Kelly and other artists.
12. Tyka Nelson
Tyka Nelson is a singer and songwriter from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the younger sister of legendary musician Prince. She has released several albums such as “Royal Blue” and “A Brand New Me,” and has worked with many prominent artists, including her brother.
13. The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are a country rock band. They are known for their unique blend of rock, country, and folk music, and their influential albums such as “Hollywood Town Hall” and “Tomorrow the Green Grass.”
14. Liz Anderson
Liz Anderson was a country music singer and songwriter from Roseau, Minnesota, known for writing several hit songs, including “Mama Spank” and “The Game of Triangles.”
She was also the mother of country music singer Lynn Anderson. Despite numerous shifts in their lineup and extended periods of inactivity, the band has managed to maintain a devoted fan base.
15. Hippo Campus
An indie rock band formed in St. Paul, Minnesota. Hippo Campus are known to have performed in different music festivals, including Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. They are known for their catchy and upbeat sound and have released several albums, including “Bambi,” “LP3,” and “Landmark.”
16. Bill Berry
Bill Berry is a musician and songwriter best known as the drummer for the influential rock band R.E.M. He played with the band from its inception in 1980 until his retirement in 1997. Recently, he formed a supergroup “The Bad Ends” and are still performing to this day.
17. Caitlyn Smith
Caitlyn Smith is a singer and songwriter who has written songs for several prominent artists, including Meghan Trainor, Avicii, Miley Cyrus, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton. She has also released her own successful albums, including “Starfire” and “Supernova.”
18. Lexii Alijai
Lexii Alijai was a rapper and singer-songwriter from St. Paul, Minnesota, who gained fame for her unique style and powerful lyrics. She collaborated with several prominent artists during her short career, including Kehlani and performed in Soundset Music Festival.
19. Don Moen
Don Moen is a Christian singer, songwriter, and pianist who has released several successful albums and written many well-known worship songs. He has also produced music for several other prominent Christian artists. He has recieved multiple Dove Awards for his work.
Slug, whose real name is Sean Daley, is a rapper and the frontman of the hip-hop group Atmosphere. Most of his work is from Atmosphere but he has worked for different projects and artists. Some of Atmosphere’s notable albums are “Overcast! EP,” “Sad Clown Bad Dub II,” and “Leak at Will.”
Minnesota is home to some of the most iconic musicians across an array of genres, leaving a mark on the music industry. Whether it’s the electrifying rock tunes or the soulful country melodies, these musicians have taken the world by storm with their groundbreaking sound and undeniable talent.
If you’re searching for a state that has plenty of extraordinary musical legends, Minnesota is truly at the top of your list.
Prince Featured Image (Top-Left) by: Yves Lorson from Kapellen, Belgium, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Bob Dylan Featured Image (Bottom-Left) by: Francisco Antunes, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Semisonic Featured Image (Bottom-Right) by: TogaParty at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons