20 Famous Musicians From Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a state that has given birth to some of the most iconic and talented musicians in the world. Many singers, songwriters, and celebrities alike have emerged from the Keystone State, each bringing their own unique sound and style. 

Here’s a list of the 20 famous musicians from Pennsylvania who has made profound music that we can all relate and enjoy to:

1. Joan Jett

I Hate Myself For Loving You - Joan JettI Hate Myself For Loving You – Joan Jett

Famed for being the frontwoman of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Joan Jett is a famous musician who made her mark in the rock scene in the 1970s and 80s.

She is known for her hit songs such as “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and “Bad Reputation.” She has also been a significant figure in the feminist movement in music, paving the way for other female rockers.

2. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - Live at the 2019 American Music AwardsTaylor Swift – Live at the 2019 American Music Awards

The woman behind hit songs “Love Story,” “Shake It Off,” and “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift is a global superstar who was born in Pennsylvania. She rose to fame with her country-pop music and has since become one of the best-selling music artists of all time. 

Known for its catchy hooks and lyrics that strike a chord with listeners, Taylor Swift’s music has garnered her numerous accolades, including an impressive 12 Grammy Awards and an Emmy. Among her best-selling albums are “1989,” “Midnights,” “Red,” and her self-titled album, which continue to be fan favorites to this day.

3. Hall & Oates

Out of Touch (1991) - Hall & OatesOut of Touch (1991) – Hall & Oates

Hall & Oates are a famous duo consisting of Daryl Hall and John Oates. They became popular in the 1970s and 80s with their unique blend of rock, pop, and soul music. They have produced numerous hit songs, including “Rich Girl,” “Private Eyes,” and “Maneater.” 

4. Pink

P!NK - Try (The Truth About Love - Live From Los Angeles)P!NK – Try (The Truth About Love – Live From Los Angeles)

Known for her songs “So What,” “Just Give Me A Reason,” and “F***ing Perfect,” Pink is a singer-songwriter from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She rose to fame for her edgy pop-rock music and powerful vocals.

She has won numerous awards for her work, including three Grammy Awards, and is known for her energetic live performances.

5. Breaking Benjamin

Breaking Benjamin Breath LiveBreaking Benjamin Breath Live

Breaking Benjamin is a rock band. They are known for their heavy sound and introspective lyrics, and have produced numerous hit songs, including “The Diary of Jane” and “Breath.” They are known to incorporate hard rock, alternative metal and post grunge tunes in their music.

6. Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday - "Strange Fruit" Live 1959 [Reelin' In The Years Archives]Billie Holiday – “Strange Fruit” Live 1959 [Reelin’ In The Years Archives]

Billie Holiday was a jazz singer and songwriter. She is widely regarded as one of the most influential jazz and swing vocalists of all time.

Her distinctive voice and emotive performances captivated audiences and earned her critical acclaim. Her most popular songs include “Strange Fruit,” “God Bless the Child,” and “Lover Man.”

7. Mac Miller

Mac Miller - Hurt Feelings (Live at The Hotel Café)Mac Miller – Hurt Feelings (Live at The Hotel Café)

Mac Miller was a rapper, singer, and producer. He gained popularity with his mixtapes, which showcased his unique style and introspective lyrics.

His debut album, “Blue Slide Park,” debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart in 2011, making him the first independent artist to do so in over a decade.

8. Patti LaBelle

Patti Labelle - You'll Never Walk Alone (LIVE) HDPatti Labelle – You’ll Never Walk Alone (LIVE) HD

Patti LaBelle is an award-winning singer-songwriter and actress. She began her career in the early 1960s as the lead singer of the group Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, before later launching a successful solo career.

Known for her powerful vocals and energetic performances, she has released numerous hit songs, including “Lady Marmalade,” “On My Own,” and “If You Asked Me To.”

9. Christina Perri

Christina Perri - "A Thousand Years" captured in The Live RoomChristina Perri – “A Thousand Years” captured in The Live Room

Christina Perri is a singer-songwriter. She first gained recognition with her song “Jar of Hearts,” which became a viral hit and led to a recording contract.

Her debut album, “Lovestrong,” was released in 2011 and included the hit single “A Thousand Years,” which was featured in the “Twilight” movie franchise. Perri’s emotionally charged lyrics and expressive vocals have earned her a dedicated fan base.

10. Eve

Eve - Who's That GirlEve – Who’s That Girl

Eve is an American rapper, singer, and actress. She first gained popularity with her debut album, “Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady,” which earned her critical acclaim and commercial success.

Known for her sharp lyrics and powerful flow, she has released numerous hit songs, including “Who’s That Girl,” “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” and “Gangsta Lovin’.”

11. Bret Michaels

POISON - Every Rose Has Its Thorn 1990  UnpluggedPOISON – Every Rose Has Its Thorn 1990 Unplugged

Bret Michaels is a musician, singer-songwriter, and actor from Butler, Pennsylvania. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Poison, which he co-founded in the early 1980s. 

With Poison, Michaels released numerous hit songs, including “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” and “Nothin’ but a Good Time.” He has also enjoyed a successful solo career and has appeared on numerous reality TV shows.

12. Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa Carlton - A thousand miles (live)Vanessa Carlton – A thousand miles (live)

Vanessa Carlton is a singer-songwriter and pianist who gained fame with her debut single “A Thousand Miles.” The song was a top ten hit in the US and garnered her three Grammy nominations.

Carlton’s soulful voice and piano-driven pop songs have won her a dedicated fan base, and she has released several successful albums, including “Be Not Nobody” and “Heroes & Thieves.”

13. Jim Croce

Jim Croce - Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) | Have You Heard: Jim Croce LiveJim Croce – Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels) | Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live

Jim Croce was a singer-songwriter and guitarist. He rose to fame in the early 1970s with his hit songs, including “Time in a Bottle,” “Operator (That’s Not What It Feels),” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”

Croce’s unique blend of folk, rock, and country music and his clever lyrics earned him critical acclaim and a loyal following.

14. Chris Kirkpatrick

Chris Kirkpatrick & Joey Fatone : NSYNC - Tearin’ Up My Heart/Bye Bye Bye EPCOT finale 2019Chris Kirkpatrick & Joey Fatone : NSYNC – Tearin’ Up My Heart/Bye Bye Bye EPCOT finale 2019

Famed as a core member of NSYNC, Chris Kirkpatrick is a singer, actor, and voice actor from Clarion, Pennsylvania. With NSYNC, Kirkpatrick released several hit albums, including “No Strings Attached” and “Celebrity,” and toured extensively.

He has also pursued acting and voice acting, with roles in films such as “Longshot” and TV shows such as “The Fairly OddParents.”

15. Lil Peep

Lil Peep - Save That Shit (Live in LA, 2/25/17)Lil Peep – Save That Shit (Live in LA, 2/25/17)

Lil Peep was a rapper, singer, and songwriter. He gained popularity in the mid-2010s with his unique blend of emo, punk, and hip-hop music, which he dubbed “emo rap.”

His emotionally charged lyrics and vulnerable persona resonated with a young, dedicated fan base. Tragically, he passed away in 2017, cutting short his promising career at the age of 21.

16. Jill Scott

Jill Scott - He Loves Me (Live & Rare)!Jill Scott – He Loves Me (Live & Rare)!

Jill Scott is a singer-songwriter, actress, and poet from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She rose to fame in the early 2000s with her debut album “Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1,” which earned her numerous Grammy nominations.

Scott is known for her soulful and powerful voice, as well as her socially conscious lyrics that address issues such as racism, sexism, and poverty.

17. Perry Como

Perry Como -  "Till The End of Time" (1945)Perry Como – “Till The End of Time” (1945)

Perry Como, a singer and TV personality, enjoyed a lengthy and prosperous career in the music industry, captivating audiences in concerts and theaters with his croons and alluring vocal style.

He won a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance for the song “Catch A Falling Star.” Como was also a popular television host, and his show “The Perry Como Show” ran for over a decade.

18. Meek Mill

Meek Mill - NBA All Star Game Performance (Intro / Going Bad / Uptown Vibes Medley)Meek Mill – NBA All Star Game Performance (Intro / Going Bad / Uptown Vibes Medley)

Meek Mill is a rapper and songwriter who gained national attention with his mixtapes and his debut album “Dreams and Nightmares” was a commercial success. Mill is known for his aggressive style and his lyrics about his experiences growing up in poverty and facing legal troubles.

19. Black Thought

Black Thought - Thought vs Everybody (Official Music Video)Black Thought – Thought vs Everybody (Official Music Video)

Black Thought, also known as Tariq Trotter, is a rapper, singer, and actor. He is best known as the lead MC of the hip hop group The Roots, which he co-founded. Black Thought is widely regarded as one of the greatest lyricists in hip hop history, known for his complex wordplay and socially conscious lyrics.

20. Tammi Terrell

Ain't No Mountain High Enough (extra HQ) - Marvin Gaye & Tammi TerrellAin’t No Mountain High Enough (extra HQ) – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Tammi Terrell was a singer-songwriter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She had a successful career in the 1960s, recording hit songs such as “Ain’t no mountain high enough” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” with Marvin Gaye.

Terrell is known for her soulful and emotional performances, and she is considered one of the greatest female singers of her era.

Conclusion

Pennsylvania is a place where musical greatness is born. Legendary artists like Jill Scott, Taylor Swift, Meek Mill, Pink, and Tammi Terrell have all come from there, and have made significant contributions to a range of genres, from country and R&B to rap and rock. Their music lives on, and their talent proves that Pennsylvania is a hotbed of creativity.

Joan Jett Featured Image (Top-Left) by: Toglenn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Taylor Swift Featured Image (Top-Right) by: Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Pink Featured Image (Bottom-Left) by: AirB-AV, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Patti Labelle Featured Image (Bottom-Right) by: Kingkongphoto & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons