View Seattle’s most famous musicians all in one place here.
The Greatest Guitar Player Ever was born here and cut his teeth (with which he’d later play that guitar) jamming with local R&B bands.
You can say Patti Smith created protopunk in New York, or the Stooges in Detroit, or the Monks in Germany. But listen to the Sonics and you know Tacoma got there first.
The Fabulous Wailers
The Sonics might’ve eventually been more influential, but the Wailers were the local rock band.
Cobain and company pretty much invented airwave-ready angst. No band is more associated with this city.
The Olympian post-punk trio has repeatedly been anointed the “best band in the world.” Sounds absurd until you hear them.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Dorky white guys rapping about thrift stores and white privilege—they are, if nothing else, indicative.
Instead of engaging in the spandexiness of its contemporaries, the pop metal band perpetuated the righteously classic style of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.
The neofolk outfit bent Beach Boys harmonies to Northwest lushness and reushered some unabashed beauty into our sound.
This region raised a contemporary country singer who’s actually good.
A Garfield High School alum who became a musician, producer, and film-score composer of incomparable influence.
Even if largely forgotten, the doo-wop trio were our first chart-topping stars.
Basically a PNW U2—arena rock kings who also do things like raise $11 million to fight homelessness.
The R&B icon’s two years in Seattle were formative both for him and for his friend Quincy Jones.
Dave Grohl’s major post-Nirvana band. They aren’t revolutionizing anything, but it’s nice to have a stalwart.
To know how much Seattle has loved Soundgarden, you just need to know that Chris Cornell is one of our only rock stars to be made into a statue.
The man who hit the bigtime with a paean to big butts spent much of his career cataloguing the lives of black Seattleites (and still lives in Black Diamond).
Who else has found a way to merge philosophy student lyrics to carnival barker vocals and nimble mesmeric guitar rock?
Since starting 30 years ago, the label and its Hardly Art offshoot have tirelessly championed Seattle music.
Simply one of the best and longest playing punk bands in the city.
Of the major musicians who came out of Seattle in the first half of the twentieth century, Anderson was one of the most talented, and one of the only to return.
The former Guns ‘N Roses bassist started out playing in local punk bands like the Fartz. He now spends his time telling people he’s the inspiration for The Simpsons’s Duff Beer.
The Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and Julie Ruin frontwoman remains the ultimate feminist punk.
Dave Matthews Band
What it sounds like when marijuana and polarfleece become sentient (see “The Sainthood of Dave Matthews Has Been Indefinitely Postponed”).
Sunny Day Real Estate
An emo progenitor, whom we shall not fault for the genre’s many subsequent sins.
The hard-rocking Wilson sisters led the only major band to come out of the Seattle area in the 1970s.
Thirty years of the fuzz punks testify to an undersung fact: Our music is fun.
The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie frontman is indie rock royalty.
Alice in Chains
Their dingy metal is a reminder that our early ’90s music had more to do with locale than genre.
The band’s dirty surf rock yielded some major hits, including the Hawaii Five-O theme song.
Before he became the King of Christmas, the Tacoma native picked up his jazz chops in Spokane and Seattle. Apparently, he even smoked weed with Louis Armstrong here.