The most famous band of all time from every state

Great music can be found all across the country, from huge states like California to small ones like Rhode Island. And every state has a famous band that hails from there.

To determine the most famous band from every state, we looked at reputation, record sales, and awards, considering each band within their own era.

We used the term “band” loosely here, including any musical act consisting of more than one person. We focused mostly on the state where each band originally formed, but also considered where their music was popularised, as well as artists’ hometowns.

Check out which band is making your state proud.

CALIFORNIA: The Grateful Dead

Being that the heart of the music industry is in California, there's no shortage of well-known and respected bands that call the state home: The Beach Boys, the Eagles, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Metallica. But no one can claim a following quite like the Grateful Dead.

The Dead popularised the concept of the jam band, performing long, free-flowing shows to legions of dedicated fans that followed them across the country in the '60s and '70s. Their most popular songs include 'Truckin',' 'Box of Rain,' and 'Uncle John's Band.'

CONNECTICUT: The Carpenters

Brother and sister team Richard and Karen Carpenter endeared the world throughout the 1970s with classic hits like 'Top of the World' and 'Rainy Days and Mondays.' The pair went on to win three Grammys and an Oscar, and they hosted their own variety show on NBC for a short period. Though Karen died in 1983, her legacy lives on through a previously-unreleased solo album, which came out in 1996.

HAWAII: Pepper

Pepper might be from Hawaii, but don't expect any classic Hawaiian tunes from them. The alt-rock band combines elements of pop, reggae, and punk for a raw-yet-lively sound. They released their first full-length album, Give'n It, in 2000, but found mainstream success with 2002's Kona Town and its breakout hit 'Give It Up.'

INDIANA: Jackson 5

Comprised of five brothers -- Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, Tito, and Michael -- the Jackson 5 made music history in 1970 when their first four Motown singles all became number-one hits. The brothers immediately fell into stardom, and were selling out 20,000-seat venues within the year, performing hits like 'ABC,' 'I Want You Back,' and 'I'll Be There.'

MAINE: Rustic Overtones

All Portland natives, The Rustic Overtones formed over 20 years ago, and released their debut album, Rooms by the Hour, in 1998. The band puts their own take on indie rock with blends of soul music, punk, and jazz, and has worked with an array of artists over the years, including everyone from Imogen Heap to Funkmaster Flex.

MARYLAND: The Orioles

Often credited as the first-ever R&B vocal group, The Orioles perfected their smooth, soulful harmonies throughout the '40s and '50s, evident on their many hits including 'It's Too Soon To Know,' 'Crying in the Chapel,' and 'Tell Me So.' The group's early influence on rock and roll earned them an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.


Aerosmith might be known as the 'bad boys from Boston,' but considering that they actually got their start in New Hampshire, arena rock band Boston stands as the most famous band formed in Massachusetts. The group released their eponymous debut album in 1976, which jumped straight to the top of the charts and spawned several hits, including 'More Than a Feeling' and 'Peace of Mind.'

MICHIGAN: The Temptations

One of the most successful black vocal groups of all time, The Temptations -- originally known as The Elgins -- formed in Detroit in 1961 when two flailing groups merged. Now considered a classic example of Motown's signature sound, the group rose to prominence with hits like 'My Girl' and 'Since I Lost My Baby,' produced under the iconic Smokey Robinson.

MISSOURI: Ike & Tina Turner

Ike & Tina Turner were a wildly successful duo for nearly 20 years, while they topped R&B and pop charts, toured with the Rolling Stones, and won a Grammy for their song 'Proud Mary.' In 1976, Tina left what she described as an abusive relationship with Ike and went on to build her own successful solo career.

MONTANA: Silkworm

Silkworm's near-20-year career was cut short in 2005 when their drummer, Michael Dahlquist, was killed in a car accident. In February 2013, filmmaker Seth Pomeroy released 'Couldn't You Wait?,' a documentary that tells Silkworm's story from their start as childhood friends to their final days together. The remaining band members went on to form a new band called Bottomless Pit.

NORTH DAKOTA: Bobby Vee & The Strangers

Bobby Vee and The Strangers, originally called The Shadows, first performed publicly on 'The Day the Music Died' -- the group filled in for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper at a gig in Moorhead, Minnesota, after the three famous musicians were killed in a plane crash. The then 15-year-old Vee would go on to see two gold albums, 38 songs in the Billboard Top 100, six gold singles, and 14 Top 40 hits.

RHODE ISLAND: Talking Heads

Best known for their hits 'Psycho Killer,' 'Life During Wartime,' and 'Once in a Lifetime,' Talking Heads were successful with both popular audiences and professional critics alike. Though they rose to fame in New York, the three founding members, David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth, began practicing together at the Rhode Island School of Design before becoming Talking Heads. The band added their fourth member, guitarist Jerry Harrison, shortly before releasing their first single, 'Love Goes To Building On Fire'/'New Feeling' in 1976.


Nirvana rocketed to fame with their 1991 single 'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' which brought grunge rock to the mainstream. The band formed a few years earlier, in 1987, when guitarist and vocalist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic began performing at local parties in the Seattle region. In 1990, Dave Grohl joined Nirvana as the drummer. The band's tragic end came in 1994 with Kurt Cobain's suicide, though their music continued to inspire and impact the grunge movement.

WASHINGTON, DC: Minor Threat

Minor Threat's song 'Straight Edge' pioneered (and named) the drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle -- one which goes against the wasted punk rocker stereotype. The band formed among a wave of punk bands in Washington, DC, and though Minor Threat's career lasted only three years, its influence can still be found in punk music to this day. After the band's dissolution, frontman Ian MacKaye played with numerous groups before forming Fugazi in 1987.

WEST VIRGINIA: Asleep at the Wheel

Now with nine Grammy Awards, a number of hit singles on the Billboard country charts, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in their pockets, Asleep at the Wheel got their start in Paw Paw, West Virginia, in 1970 when they opened for Alice Cooper and Hot Tuna. Since then they have continued to dominate American country and western music.

WYOMING: Teenage Bottlerocket

Teenage Bottlerocket released their debut EP in 2002 on Laramie's communal label, One Legged Pup. The twin brothers, Ray on bass and vocals and Brandon Carlisle on drums, cycled through various guitarists before finding Kody Templeman. The trio, who follows in the footsteps of the Lillingtons, toured nationwide with Vans Warped Tour in 2005, the same year they released their debut full-length album, 'Total.'

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