250 Musical Artists Everyone Should Know

Millions of musical acts have existed throughout time, name 250 musical acts, artists & bands with the help of a hint and two songs.
This is not a definitive list!
These artists are *mostly* large in the American music market
Quiz by UG332
Last updated: March 3, 2024
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First submittedApril 23, 2023
Times taken756
Average score48.4%
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Revolutionary hip-hop singer shot and killed
Ambitionz Az A Ridah | Hit 'Em Up
De-facto leader of G-Unit
21 Questions | In da Club
50 Cent
Norwegian synth pop band
Take On Me | Crying in the Rain
Swedish Eurovision winners
Dancing Queen | Waterloo
Hard rock band who was "Back in Black"
Highway to Hell | Thunderstruck
Her albums are in the names of her age
Hello | Chasing Pavements
Hard rock band who's led by the "Toxic Twins"
Walk This Way | Cryin'
Pastor soul singer known as "The Reverend"
Love & Happiness | Let's Stay Together
Al Green
Neotraditional country artist born to "Daddy Gene"
Chattahoochee | Little Bitty
Alan Jackson
90s feminist rock star
Ironic | You Oughta Know
Alanis Morissette
Heavy metal grunge act co-sung by Cantrell & Staley
Man in the Box | Rooster
Alice in Chains
Duetted in "Empire State of Mind" & "My Boo"
Fallin' | No One
Alicia Keys
Founded by brothers Gregg & Duane
Melissa | Ramblin' Man
The Allman Brothers Band
Back in Black singer who died of alcohol poisoning
Rehab | Valerie
Amy Winehouse
Canadian indie rock band known for "Neon Bible"
Everything Now | The Suburbs
Arcade Fire
One of the first acts to benefit from social media
505 | Do I Wanna Know?
Arctic Monkeys
Have some "Respect" for the Queen of Soul
Chain of Fools | Mary, Don't You Weep
Aretha Franklin
New wave band whose founding members were LGBTQ+
Rock Lobster | Private Idaho
The B-52's
His guitar's name is Lucille
The Thrill Is Gone | 3 O'Clock Blues
B.B. King
Band who fused folk, jazz, country, rock, and R&B
The Weight | Up on Cripple Creek
The Band
Embodiment of the adult contemporary sound
Mandy | Copacabana (At the Copa)
Barry Manilow
Boy band who popularized surf rock
Good Vibrations | California Girls
The Beach Boys
Famous rap rock trio
Intergalactic | Brass Monkey
Beastie Boys
Center of the British Rock Invasion
Helter Skelter | Yellow Submarine
The Beatles
Disco era trio of the Gibb brothers
Stayin' Alive | You Should Be Dancing
Bee Gees
"King of Swing"
Sing, Sing, Sing | Chicago
Benny Goodman
Pop icon known as "Queen B"
Halo | Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
Beyoncé Knowles
Cult act rock band known for their "#1 Record"
Thirteen | I'm In Love With a Girl
Big Star
West Virginian R&B and soul legend
Lean On Me | Ain't No Sunshine
Bill Withers
"Lady Day"
Blue Moon | I'll Be Seeing You
Billie Holiday
70s and 80s pop act known as the "Piano Man"
Vienna | We Didn't Start the Fire
Billy Joel
First multimedia star in the world
White Christmas | Pistol Packin' Mama
Bing Crosby
Icelandic singer who led the Sugarcubes
Army of Me | Human Behavior
Founders of Metal headlined by Ozzy Osbourne
Iron Man | Children of the Grave
Black Sabbath
New wave band led by Debbie Harry
Heart of Glass | Call Me
Universally acclaimed folk singer-songwriter
Blowing In the Wind | Like a Rolling Stone
Bob Dylan
Popularized Reggae in the U.S. with the Wailers
Jamming | Three Little Birds
Bob Marley
Roots rocker who leads the Silver Bullet Band
Shakedown | Old Time Rock and Roll
Bob Seger
Member of New Edition; pioneer of new jack swing
My Prerogative | Every Little Step
Bobby Brown
Heavy metal, "Slippery When Wet" band
Livin' on a Prayer | Runaway
Bon Jovi
Influential R&B and funk band from Memphis
Green Onions | Soul Dressing
Booker T. & the M.G.'s
Named after the same city they originated from
More Than a Feeling | Amanda
90s teen pop resurgence star famous for legal battles
Toxic | ...Baby One More Time
Britney Spears
"The Boss" commonly plays with the E Street Band
Born In The USA | Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen
Duos with Anderson .Paak on Silk Sonic
Grenade | 24K Magic
Bruno Mars
His backing band were The Crickets
Peggy Sue | Everyday
Buddy Holly
Innovators of folk rock
Mr. Tambourine Man | Eight Miles High
The Byrds
The "King of Rockabilly"
Matchbox | Blue Suede Shoes
Carl Perkins
Mexican guitarist who fused jazz and rock
Smooth | Black Magic Woman
Carlos Santana
70s female pop star who sung a James Bond theme
Nobody Does It Better | You're So Vain
Carly Simon
Pop duo of siblings Richard and Karen
(They Long To Be) Close To You | You
American Idol country singer winner
Before He Cheats | Cowboy Casanova
Carrie Underwood
Pop rock band led by Ocasek and Orr
Shake It Up | Tonight She Comes
The Cars
Multi-lingual power ballad singer from Quebec
My Heart Will Go On | Think Twice
Celine Dion
Goddess of Pop who was in a duo with Sonny
Believe | If I Could Turn Back Time
Jazz rock band that had Transit Authority in its name
If You Leave Me Now | 25 or 6 to 4
Dixie bluegrass band from Dallas
Cowboy Take Me Away | Goodbye Earl
The Chicks
King of R&B who reached huge "F.A.M.E." in the 00s
Run It! | Look At Me Now
Chris Brown
Rockabilly crooner and TV star
Wicked Game | Somebody's Crying
Chris Isaak
Revolutionized rock & roll with his original sounds
Roll Over Beethoven | Johnny B. Goode
Chuck Berry
"The Only Band That Matters"
Rock the Casbah | Train in Vain
The Clash
Mainstream rock band led by Chris Martin
Yellow | Viva La Vida
Irish alternative, indie rock band
Zombie | Linger
The Cranberries
Country rock band led by brothers John & Tom Fogerty
Fortunate Son | Bad Moon Rising
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Pioneer of the gothic rock subculture
Friday I'm in Love | Just Like Heaven
The Cure
Lead singer of the Impressions
Move On Up | People Get Ready
Curtis Mayfield
French EDM duo
Get Lucky | Around The World
Daft Punk
Jam band whose named after their lead singer
Crash Into Me | Satellite
Dave Matthews Band
Innovative pop cultural icon
Heroes | Ziggy Stardust
David Bowie
Commonly roasted people on his own TV show
That's Amore | Volare
Dean Martin
Pioneers in hard rock and heavy metal
Smoke on the Water | Child in Time
Deep Purple
British glam arena rock band
Pour Some Sugar on Me | Photograph
Def Leppard
90s girl group managed by Mathew Knowles
Bills, Bills, Bills | Bootylicious
Destiny's Child
Motown legend that was the lead singer of the Supremes
Endless Love | I'm Coming You
Diana Ross
Blues rock band led by Mark Knopfler
Sultans of Swing | Money for Nothing
Dire Straits
Has her own amusement park
Jolene | 9 to 5
Dolly Parton
"Queen of Disco"
Hot Stuff | Heaven Knows
Donna Summer
Psychedelic rock band led by Jim Morrison
Light My Fire | L.A. Woman
The Doors
Known for creating G-Funk, Beats & record labels
Nuthin' but a "G" Thang | Xxplosive
Dr. Dre
R&B crooning rapper from Toronto
God's Plan | One Dance
New wave band part of the New Romantic scene
Rio | Hungry Like the Wolf
Duran Duran
Soft rock Californian band
Hotel California | Desperado
Ultimate disco band from Chicago
September | Boogie Wonderland
Earth, Wind & Fire
Rebellious 50s rocker who died at 21 years old
Summertime Blues | C'mon Everybody
Eddie Cochran
Progressive electronic band led by Jeff Lynne
Mr. Blue Sky | Don't Bring Me Down
Electric Light Orchestra
Piano rock superstar knighted in 1998
Tiny Dancer | Rocket Man
Elton John
Popularized African-American music to the mainstream
Jailhouse Rock | Suspicious Minds
Elvis Presley
"Slim Shady"
Till I Collapse | Godzilla
One of the proclaimed "King of Latin Pop"
Bailando | Por Amarte
Enrique Iglesias
Named "Slowhand" for his iconic guitar playing
Layla | Tears in Heaven
Eric Clapton
Most successful pop group in the 50s & 60s
Til' I Kissed You | Let It Be Me
The Everly Brothers
Glam metal known for "Pornograffitti"
More Than Words | Play With Me
Jazz & soul singer from New Orleans
The Fat Man | Blueberry Hill
Fats Domino
Named after their drummer and basset
The Chain | Landslide
Fleetwood Mac
Alternative rock band founded by Dave Grohl
Everlong | Learn to Fly
Foo Fighters
60s boy band from New Jersey led by Frankie Valli
Walk Like a Man | Sherry
The Four Seasons
"Ol' Blue eyed" crooner from New Jersey
Fly Me To The Moon | My Way
Frank Sinatra
Freeform improvising guitarist
Bobby Brown Goes Down | Dirty Love
Frank Zappa
90s country star who is the best selling artist of all time
Friends in Low Places | Shameless
Garth Brooks
Progressive rock band later turned pop rock
Invisible Touch | Follow You Follow Me
Was part of the duo Wham!
Father Figure | Careless Whisper
George Michael
"King of Country Music"
Amarillo by Morning | Check Yes or No
George Strait
Swing artist who joined & performed for the U.S. Military
Moonlight Serenade | In the Mood
Glenn Miller
Legendary experimental jam band
Casey Jones | Friend of the Devil
Grateful Dead
Billie Joe Armstrong's 90s punk band
Basket Case | American Idiot
Green Day
Hard rock band with Axl Rose, Slash & Izzy Stradlin
Welcome to the Jungle | Paradise City
Guns n' Roses
Pop duo who fused rock, soul and R&B
Kiss on My List | Sara Smile
Hall & Oates
Outlaw country boy from Alabama
Honkey Tonk Blues | Lovesick Blues
Hank Williams
"Godfather of Punk" who led the Stooges
Lust For Life | Candy
Iggy Pop
"The Hardest Working Man in the Show Business"
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag | The Boss
James Brown
Folk singer who reached fame with "Sweet Baby James"
You've Got a Friend | Fire and Rain
James Taylor
Socially aware youngest singer of the Jackson family
Together Again | All For You
Janet Jackson
Known for her electric voice
Me and Bobby McGee | Cry Baby
Janis Joplin
Rapper who collaborates with many different artists
The Story of O.J. | Empire State of Mind
"Grace" singer whose father's name was Tim
Hallelujah | So Real
Jeff Buckley
Hispanic actress and performer
Let's Get Loud | On The Floor
Jennifer Lopez
"The Killer"
Great Balls of Fire | Wild One
Jerry Lee Lewis
Psychedelic rock, electric guitar playing maestro
Hey Joe | All Along The Watchtower
Jimi Hendrix
"Father of Country Music"
Waiting for a Train | Prairie Lullaby
Jimmie Rodgers
Ska & Reggae singer who holds the Order of Merit
I Can See Clearly Now | Vietnam
Jimmy Cliff
Lead singer of the Blackhearts
I Love Rock 'n Roll | Cherry Bomb
Joan Jett
Wrote the state songs for Colorado & West Virginia
Annie's Song | Leaving on a Jet Plane
John Denver
Acoustic singer songwriter turned blues rock 00's artist
Your Body Is a Wonderland | Belief
John Mayer
Man in Black who performed at Folsom Prison
Ring of Fire | Man Comes Around
Johnny Cash
Folk singer known for "Blue"
Big Yellow Taxi | Both Sides Now
Joni Mitchell
Post-punk band(s) related to Ian Curtis' death
Love Will Tear Us Apart | Blue Monday
Joy Division / New Order
Heavy metal band known for "British Steel"
Breaking the Law | Painkiller
Judas Priest
Publicity despised pop star from Canada
Baby | Love Yourself
Justin Bieber
Rose to prominence as part of NSYNC
Cry Me a River | SexyBack
Justin Timberlake
Controversial hip-hop star
POWER | Heartless
Kanye West
Art pop 80s singer
Running Up That Hill | Babooshka
Kate Bush
Kiwi country singer on "The Voice" & "American Idol"
Blue Ain't Your Color | For You
Keith Urban
Progressive rapper who's part of Black Hippy
HiiiPower | Alright
Kendrick Lamar
"King of the Road" country singer
American Kids | I Go Back
Kenny Chesney
Iconic saxophonist
Songbird | The Moment
Kenny G
Easy-listening country artist with his own western films
Islands in the Stream | The Gambler
Kenny Rogers
Progressive rock pioneers
21st Century Schizoid Man | Epitaph
King Crimson
English band influenced by American R&B and Rock
You Really Got Me | Lola
The Kinks
Glam band known for their eccentric face paint
Rock and Roll All Nite | Heaven's On Fire
"The Fame" pop star featured in a "Star is Born"
Born This Way | Bad Romance
Lady Gaga
Melancholic art pop singer
Summertime Sadness | West Coast
Lana Del Ray
Hip hop star who was lead singer of the Fugees
Doo Wop (That Thing) | Ready or Not
Lauryn Hill
Progenitors of Hard Rock and Metal
Stairway to Heaven | Whole Lotta Love
Led Zeppelin
Poet & novelist turned musician
Suzanne | Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen
Known for his "Carter" albums and nickname "Weezy"
A Milli | Forever
Lil Wayne
Nu metal band who took off after "Hybrid Theory"
In The End | Numb
Linkin Park
Sometimes referred to as the first Rock & Roll star
Tutti Frutti | Long Tall Sally
Little Richard
Early successful new school Hip-Hop act
All I Have | Mama Said Knock You Out
LL Cool J
"Satchmo" trumpeter
What a Wonderful World | Hello, Dolly!
Louis Armstrong
Southern rock band associated with a plane crash
Free Bird | Sweet Home Alabama
Lynyrd Skynyrd
"Queen of Pop"
Material Girl | Like a Prayer
"Queen of Christmas"
Fantasy | We Belong Together
Mariah Carey
Soul singer tragically killed by his father
Sexual Healing | What's Going On
Marvin Gaye
"Queen of R&B"
Family Affair | Real Love
Mary J. Blige
Had a trilogy of "Bat Out of Hell" albums
I'd Do Anything For Love | Hot Patootie
Meat Loaf
Outlaw country artist who plays with the Strangers
Mama Tried | Fightin Side of Me
Merle Haggard
Thrash metal legends
Nothing Else Matters | Master of Puppets
"King of Pop"
Billie Jean | Black or White
Michael Jackson
Progressive jazz musician of the 50s
Bye, Bye Blackbird | Blue in Green
Miles Davis
"Nasty" east coast rapper
N.Y. State of Mind | Get Down
Ballad and Blues artist featured in "The Jazz Singer"
Sweet Caroline | Cracklin' Rosie
Neil Diamond
"Godfather of Grunge"
Harvest Moon | Rockin' in the Free World
Neil Young
Legendary lyrical poet lead singer of the Bad Seeds
The Mercy Seat | Red Right Hand
Nick Cave
Outspoken, extremely thick rapper
Starship | Anaconda
Nicki Minaj
Widely hated but beloved post-grunge band
Photograph | How You Remind Me
Pioneers of industrial rock led by Trent Reznor
The Hand That Feeds | Closer
Nine Inch Nails
Kurt Cobain's band whos popular with teenage girls
Drain You | Smells Like Teen Spirit
"Notorious" 90's hip-hop performer
Big Poppa | Mo Money Mo Problems
The Notorious B.I.G.
Rap supergroup that came "Straight Outta Compton"
Appetite for Destruction | Express Yourself
Britpop band headlined by the Gallagher Brothers
Wonderwall | Supersonic
"King of Soul" who died on a plane crash
These Arms of Mine | Hard to Handle
Otis Redding
Electro-pop rock band led by Brandon Urie
I Write Sins Not Tragedies | High Hopes
Panic! At The Disco
Known for her dancing and success on Billboard
Straight Up | Opposites Attract
Paula Abdul
90s Indie rock band headlined by Stephen Malkmus
Cut Your Hair | Harness Your Hopes
Grunge pioneer led by Eddie Vedder
Jeremy | Even Flow
Pearl Jam
Reportingly has the most played MTV video of all time
Solsbury Hill | Sledgehammer
Peter Gabriel
Most successful solo artist of the 1980s
Sussudio | In the Air Tonight
Phil Collins
Jam band whose live albums are frequently file shared
Wilson | Bouncing Around the Room
Known for "The Dark Side of the Moon"
Time | Comfortably Numb
Pink Floyd
Glam metal band that has "Nothin' But a Good Time"
Every Rose Has Its Thorn | Unskinny Bop
Largest British new wave band in the world
Every Breath You Take | Roxanne
The Police
Androgynous rocker who plays with "The Revolution"
Purple Rain | Little Red Corvette
Hip hop group formed by Chuck D and Flavor Flav
Fight The Power | He Got Game
Public Enemy
Pop rock band headlined by Freddy Mercury
Bohemian Rhapsody | Radio Ga Ga
Early alternative rock band from Athens, GA
Losing My Religion | Radio Free Europe
Experimental rock band lead by Thom Yorke
Creep | Paranoid Android
Rap metal band centered around political messages
Killing In The Name | Guerrilla Radio
Rage Against The Machine
Rapper who is credited as the inventor of "flow"
Guess Who's Back | When I B On Tha Mic
Founders of the Punk Rock genre
I Wanna Be Sedated | Blitzkrieg Bop
Controversial songwriter who does Pixar soundtracks
You've Got a Friend In Me | Rednecks
Randy Newman
"The Genius"
Georgia on My Mind | I've Got a Woman
Ray Charles
Country musician who stars in a sitcom set in Houston
Does He Love You | Fancy
Reba McEntire
Multi-genre rock band with a "Flea" as their bassist
Californication | Under the Bridge
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Barbadian who sang at the Super Bowl pregnant
Umbrella | We Found Love
The other proclaimed "King of Latin Pop"
Livin' La Vida Loca | Tal Vez
Ricky Martin
British solo artist part of Take That
Angles | She's The One
Robbie Williams
Blues and Rock pioneer, "King of the Delta Blues"
Cross Road Blues | Me and the Devil Blues
Robert Johnson
Known for his distinctive raspy noise
Maggie May | All For Love
Rod Stewart
British band namesake of the biggest music magazine
Paint It Black | Sympathy For The Devil
The Rolling Stones
Jazz hip-hop house band of the Jimmy Fallon Show
The Seed | You Got Me
The Roots
Glam rock band founded by Bryan Ferry & Brian Eno
Do The Strand | More Than This
Roxy Music
"The Big O"
Crying | California Girl
Roy Orbison
"Mr. Swing" who is the father of Carla Thomas
Walking the Dog | Push and Pull
Rufus Thomas
First hip-hop group to go gold and platinum
Walk This Way | It's Like That
Experimental synthetic band from Canada
2112 Overture | Limelight
Nigerian-British smooth jazz band
Smooth Operator | No Ordinary Love
Civil rights singer known as "The King of Soul"
A Change Is Gonna Come | Chain Gang
Sam Cooke
"Mr. Show Business" helped break the race barrier
The Candy Man | Mr. Bojangles
Sammy Davis Jr.
"Queen of Tejano Music" shot in 1995
Como La Flor | Amor Prohibido
Highly controversial punk band censored by the BBC
God Save The Queen | Anarchy in the U.K.
The Sex Pistols
Colombian known as the "Queen of Latin Music"
Whenever, Wherever | Hips Don't Lie
Best selling female artist in country music history
Man! I Feel Like a Woman! | Ka-Ching!
Shania Twain
Folk duo of Paul and Art
Mrs. Robinson | Sound of Silence
Simon & Garfunkel
Post punk band led by a woman named after a tribe
Hong Kong Garden | Spellbound
Siouxsie & the Banshees
First racially and gender diverse band in America
Family Affair | Sing a Simple Song
Sly & the Family Stone
Alternative rock band led by Billy Corgan
Bullet With Butterfly Wings | Disarm
Smashing Pumpkins
Morrissey led band with the album "The Queen Is Dead"
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out | Panic
The Smiths
Man who led the Motown group, the Miracles
The Tears of a Clown | Cruisin'
Smokey Robinson
His debut album was "Doggystyle"
Drop It Like It's Hot | Gin and Juice
Snoop Dogg
Early influencer of alternative, noise and indie rock
Incinerate | Teen Age Riot
Sonic Youth
Grunge pioneer led by Chris Cornell & Kim Thayil
Black Hole Sun | Rusty Cage
Jazz rock band founded by Fagen and Becker
Peg | Reelin' In The Years
Steely Dan
Psychedelic rock band formed in San Francisco
Abracadabra | The Joker
Steve Miller Band
Started his musical career at 12 years old at Motown
Superstition | Higher Ground
Stevie Wonder
"Is This It" 2000s post-punk revivalists
Reptillia | Last Nite
The Strokes
Heavy metal Armenian-American band
B.Y.O.B. | Chop Suey!
System of a Down
Pioneer of the trap subgenre in hip-hop
Live Your Life | Bring Em Out
"Speaking faces" pioneer of new wave music
Psycho Killer | Burning Down the House
Talking Heads
Most successful artist of the 21st century (so far)
Love Story | Blank Space
Taylor Swift
Motown band with distinctive dress and harmonies
My Girl | Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
The Temptations
"Queen of Rock 'n Roll"
What's Love Got to Do With It | GoldenEye
Tina Turner
Owns the most played country song of the 90s
Should've Been A Cowboy | Red Solo Cup
Toby Keith
Welsh icon that is a mainstay at Las Vegas
It's Not Unusual | Sex Bomb
Tom Jones
Blues turned experimental artist with a cult following
Downtown Train | Way Down in the Hole
Tom Waits
Progressive alternative rock band known for Ænima
Stinkfist | Schism
Pop rock band not related to Dorothy's dog
Africa | Rosanna
Alternative rock duo that broke through with "Blurryface"
Stressed Out | Heathens
Twenty One Pilots
It's band members: Bono. The Edge. Clayton. Mullen Jr.
Sunday Bloody Sunday | One
Their guitarist, Eddie, popularized guitar tapping
Hot for Teacher | Panama
Van Halen
Northern Irish soul singer known as "Van the Man"
Moondance | Astral Weeks
Van Morrison
Art rock legends led by Lou Reed
Heroin | Sweet Jane
The Velvet Underground
Canadian singer who originally released music on YouTube
Blinding Lights | Can't Feel My Face
The Weeknd
Jack & Meg White kickstarted the garage rock revival
Seven Nation Army | Blue Orchid
The White Stripes
Known simply as "The Voice"
I Will Always Love You | Run to You
Whitney Houston
Hard rock band who spoke of "My Generation"
Baby O'Riley | Pinball Wizard
The Who
Outlaw singer who loves to be "On The Road Again"
Seven Spanish Angels | Pancho & Lefty
Willie Nelson
Argued that "This Land is Your Land"
Dusty Old Dust | Tear the Fascists Down
Woody Guthrie
Staten Island hip-hop "clan"
Protect Ya Neck | Triumph
Wu-Tang Clan
Modern rapper who tragically died at 20 years old
Jocelyn Flores | Look At Me
Islamic songwriter commonly known by two names
Father and Son | Wild World
Yusuf / Cat Stevens
Level 71
Apr 24, 2023
Great quiz! Pleased to see Big Star--they're pretty obscure but an amazing band. As a correction, Janet Jackson was never part of the Jackson 5, she just happens to be the youngest Jackson.
Level 71
Apr 24, 2023
Also, I feel like it's inaccurate to say that The Roots are the most influential hip hop band. Are they really more influential than, for example, Public Enemy? I feel like you could mention Questlove, or their jazz influence, or their association with Jimmy Fallon, etc. to make that clue a bit easier.
Level 68
Apr 24, 2023
Bad assumption on my part about Janet there. And yes I like that hint for the Roots more I'll make sure to change it here momentary.
Level 83
Mar 26, 2024
I think you could have ended with ZZ top it would be a proper A to Z quiz then . Top quiz .