Chicago’s Most Influential Artists and Bands

Here’s a list of the best musical acts to come out of the city of Chicago

Smashing Pumpkins: Smashing Pumpkins usurped the role of the world’s leading alternative rock band from Nirvana in the mid 1990’s. They consistently had success during this decade culminating in 1995 when they released the album, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.”   This album boasted four hit singles and garnered widespread acclaim.

Bo Diddley: Some people can make the convincing argument that Bo Diddley was, in fact, the inventor of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire: The accolades this group has received over their illustrious musical career can speak for themselves. Earth, Wind & Fire has won an amazing six grammy’s, and has sold around 100 million albums. As no-brainer inductees to the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame, they represent one of the best groups in the history of the American music scene.

Chicago: If you’re compiling a ranking of Chicago’s greatest musical acts, you have to be inclined to include the band that shares the metropolis’s name. Chicago was one of the premier rock bands in the 1970’s. They transitioned to soft-rock later, but were still giants in the industry. They have sold almost 40 million units, and boast more than 20 top-ten singles.

Kanye West: Although he might be a controversial figure, no one can argue the fact that he has immensely impacted the path of hip-hop, and the music industry in general, since his first album release a decade ago.

Wilco: Wilco has been a mark of consistency since their initial founding back in 1994. Although their lineup has changed over the last decade, they are pumping out a good album every few years.  That’s why they belong on the list.

R Kelly: With amazing vocals, R Kelly represents the connection between the current state of Hip-Hop and the old school do-wop crowd. He has sold more than fifty million albums, and with songs like Ignition (Remix), The World’s Greatest, and I Believe I Can Fly, he truly belongs on this list.

Twista: A founding father of the Chicago hip-hop scene, Twista has to be included in the discussion about the most important artists in the recent history of the city. Plus, Guinness World Records officially recognized Twista as the fastest rapper on the planet in 1992. This fun fact, in addition to his extensive influence on the entire hip-hop industry, lands him on the list.