20 Famous Musicians From Washington

Washington state is home to some of the most talented musicians who have earned a place in the hearts of music lovers worldwide. The state has given birth to some of the most exceptional artists across various genres, ranging from pop, soul, rock, heavy metal, and even rap. 

Let’s delve into the most exceptional musicians from the state, who have made an impact on the diverse music scene, emphasizing their influence and contributions:

1. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was a legendary guitarist and singer-songwriter who became famous for his innovative approach to rock music. He pioneered the use of distortion and feedback in his playing, creating a unique sound that influenced generations of musicians.

Hendrix’s hits include “Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” and “Hey Joe,” and he remains one of the most celebrated and influential musicians in history.

2. Macklemore

Macklemore is a rapper and songwriter who gained fame with his hit single “Thrift Shop.” He is known for his socially conscious lyrics and his collaborations with producer Ryan Lewis, with whom he won four Grammy Awards.

Macklemore’s other hits include “Can’t Hold Us” and “Same Love,” and he continues to be a prominent voice in the hip-hop community.

3. Nirvana

Nirvana was a rock band who rose to fame with their landmark album “Nevermind.” Led by singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s sound combined punk and metal influences with pop hooks and introspective lyrics.

Their hits include “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come As You Are,” and “Lithium,” and they are widely regarded as one of the most important and influential bands of their era.

4. Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby was a singer and actor who was one of the most popular and influential performers of the 20th century. Known for his smooth voice and easygoing charm, Crosby recorded hundreds of songs, including “White Christmas,” which remains one of the best-selling singles of all time.

He also starred in numerous films and television shows, and his influence on popular culture continues to be felt today.

5. Alice in Chains

Alice in Chains was a grunge band from Seattle that became famous with their heavy, brooding sound.

Alice in Chains incorporated elements of metal, punk, and classic rock into their music, and their hits include “Man in the Box,” “Rooster,” and “Would?” Despite the tragic deaths of Staley and original bassist Mike Starr, the band continues to tour and record with a new lineup.

6. Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters is a rock band formed by Dave Grohl, the former drummer. The band’s sound is characterized by Grohl’s powerful vocals and guitar playing, as well as their high-energy performances and catchy hooks.

Their hits include “Everlong,” “Learn to Fly,” and “The Pretender,” and they have won numerous awards for their music, including 15 Grammy Awards.

7. Soundgarden

A band that made grunge music popular, Soundgarden was a rock band led by singer-drummer Chris Cornell and guitarist Kim Thayil.

The band’s sound blended heavy metal and punk influences with Cornell’s powerful vocals and introspective lyrics, and their hits include “Black Hole Sun,” “Spoonman,” and “Outshined.” 

8. Heart

Heart is a rock band that became famous for their hits “Barracuda,” “Magic Man,” and “Crazy On You.” The band’s sound is characterized by their powerful vocals, hard rock guitar riffs, and intricate harmonies.

Heart has sold over 35 million units worldwide and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

9. Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam is a rock band that rose to fame in the early 1990s as part of the grunge movement. Their hits include “Even Flow,” “Alive,” and “Jeremy,” and they have sold over 85 million units worldwide.

Known for their socially conscious lyrics, Pearl Jam has remained one of the most influential bands for their smooth heavy guitar riffs and intense live performances.

10. Screaming Trees

As another rock band who gained popularity in the grunge movement, Screaming Trees was characterized by their psychedelic influences, heavy guitar riffs, and Mark Lanegan’s distinctive vocals. Their hits include “Nearly Lost You” and “All I Know.”

11. Mother Love Bone

Mother Love Bone was a rock band from Seattle that combined elements of glam rock, grunge, and hard rock, and their hits include “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” and “Stardog Champion.”

Despite Wood’s untimely death in 1990, Mother Love Bone’s influence on the Seattle music scene cannot be overstated.

12. Brandi Carlile


Brandi Carlile is a singer-songwriter who blends elements of folk, country, and rock in her music. Her powerful vocals and introspective lyrics have earned her numerous awards and accolades, including nine Grammy Awards. 

She has produced popular tracks such as “The Joke” and “The Story,” and her music still manages to captivate and establish a bond with listeners globally, as it gets featured in numerous movies and television programs.

13. Candlebox

Candlebox is a rock band that became famous for their hits “Far Behind” and “You.” Their sound combined elements of grunge, hard rock, and alternative rock, and they were known for their great live performances and emotionally charged lyrics.

14. Sir Mix-a-Lot

Sir Mix-a-Lot is a songwriter, rapper, and producer who became famous in the 1990s for his hit single “Baby Got Back.” Known for his humor, social commentary, and distinctive flow, Sir Mix-a-Lot has been a pioneer of the hip-hop scene.

His other songs include “Posse on Broadway” and “My Hooptie,” and he remains a beloved figure in the rap community.

15. Kenny Loggins

Kenny Loggins is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s with hits such as “Footloose,” “Danny’s Song,” and “I’m Alright.”

Known for his smooth and rich vocals, Loggins has won two Grammy Awards for his contributions to film soundtracks, especially the ‘King Of The Movie.’

16. Melvins

Melvins is a rock band that helped to pioneer the sludge metal genre. The band’s sound is characterized by their heavy, slow riffs that oozes punk and metal energy. Some of their songs are “Sacrifice,” “Honey Bucket, and “Let Me Roll It.”

17. Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse is a rock band that became famous in the 2000s for their hits “Float On,” “Dashboard,” and “Ocean Breathes Salty.”

Isaac Brock being the lead vocalist and guitarist, the band’s sound combines elements of indie rock, punk, and pop, and their music have earned them a dedicated following around the world.

18. Queensrÿche

Queensrÿche is a heavy metal band that became popular in the 1990s for their concept album “Operation: Mindcrime.”

The band’s sound combines elements of metal and rock and their intricate arrangements and socially conscious lyrics have earned them a reputation as one of the most important bands in the progressive metal genre.

19. Fleet Foxes

Hailing from Seattle, Fleet Foxes is an indie folk group that rose to fame for their melodious music, particularly showcased in their eponymous first album, launched in 2008.

Their other albums, “Helplessness Blues,” “Shore,” and “Crack-Up,” have received critical acclaim and cemented their place as one of the most important bands in the indie folk genre. 

20. Mudhoney

Mudhoney is a rock band from Seattle that is characterized by their heavy, fuzzed-out guitar riffs, and their raw energy and attitude.

Their songs include “Touch Me I’m Sick” and “Superfuzz Bigmuff,” and their influence on the Seattle music scene has been acknowledged as being Sub Pop’s primary band.


Washington has produced some of the most legendary musicians in the world who have left an indelible mark on the music industry.

From the grunge rock scene to country music, these artists have brought diverse styles and sounds to the forefront, captivating everyone with their unique and iconic approaches to music.

Jimi Hendrix Featured Image (Top-Left) by: A. Vente, CC BY-SA 3.0 NL, via Wikimedia Commons
Nirvana Featured Image (Top-Right) by: P.B. Rage from USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Soundgarden Featured Image (Bottom-Right) by: musicisentropy, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons