≡ 100 Famous American Bands Best Ever USA Rock & Pop Bands (2023)

Famous American Bands T to Z 🎸🎹 Rock & Pop International Bands List

There are numerous famous American bands and international music groups of all time. At least subjectively – because everyone has their own taste in music. While some consider Nirvana to be one of the famous American Bands ever, others rave over R.E.M. Although these two famous American bands are worlds apart they are now connected in this ADDucation list.

  • Famous American bands list compiled by Robert Junker and last updated Dec 12, 2022 @ 9:00 am

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Key: 🎤Vocals | 🥁Drums / Percussion | 🎸Guitar | 🎹Keyboard | 🎷Saxophone | ⌨️Synthesizer | T=Trombone | B🎸Bass Guitar | Died

Band (formed / active)Current band line upEx-membersBest Albums and Hits (first release date)
T. Rex
🇬🇧 UK
1967-1977
  • Marc Bolan 🎤🎸† 1977
  • Gloria Jones 🎤🎹
  • Steve Took 🥁† 1980
  • Mickey Finn † 2003
  • Steve Currie B🎸† 1981
Albums: My people were fair (1968), Unicorn (1969), A beard of stars (1970), T. Rex (1970), Electric Warrior (1971), The slider (1972), Tanx (1973), Zinc Alloy (1974), Dandy in the underworld (1977).

Greatest Hits: Hot love (1971), Get it on (1971), Jeepster (1971), Telegram Sam (1972), Metal Guru (1972), Children of the revolution (1972), Solid gold (1973), 20th Century Boy (1973), The Groover (1973).

Take That
🇬🇧 UK
1990
  • Gary Barlow 🎤T
  • Mark Owen 🎤
  • Howard Donald 🎤
  • Jason Orange 🎤
Robbie Williams 🎤Albums: Take That & Party (1992), Everything changes (1993), Nobody else (1995), Beautiful world (2006), The circus (2008), Progress (2010).

Greatest Hits: Could it be magic (1993), Back for good (1995), Patience (2006), Greatest day (2008), The Flood (2010).

Talking Heads
🇺🇸 USA
1975-1991
  • David Byrne 🎤🎸
  • Tina Weymouth B🎸
  • Jerry Harrison 🎸🎹
  • Chris Frantz 🥁
  • Brian Eno 🎹B🎸
  • Adrian Belew 🎸
  • R. Palmer ⌨️
  • J. Rossy
  • Fela Kuti 🎷
Albums: 77 (1977), More songs about buildings and food (1978), Fear of music (1979), Remain in light (1980), Speaking in tongues (1983), Stop making sense (1984), Little creatures (1985), True stories (1986), Naked (1988). One of the most famous American bands.

Greatest Hits: Psycho killer (1977), Burning down the house (1983), Road to nowhere (1985).

The Stranglers
🇬🇧 UK
1974
  • Jean-Jacques Burnel 🎤B🎸
  • Baz Warne 🎤🎸
  • Jim Macaulay 🥁
  • Jet Black 🥁
  • Hugh Cornwell 🎸
  • Hans Wärmling †
  • Dave Greenfield 🎹† 2020
  • Paul Roberts 🎤
  • John Ellis 🎸
  • Ian Barnard 🥁† 2022
Albums:  Rattus Norvegicus (1977), No More Heroes (1977), Black and White (1978), Live (X Cert) (1979), The Raven (1979), The Gospel According to the Meninblack (1981), La Folie (1981), Feline (1983), Aural Sculpture (1984), Dreamtime (1986), 10 (1990), Stranglers in the Night (1992), About Time (1995), Written in Red (1997), Coup de Grace (1998), Norfolk Coast (2004), Suite XVI (2006), Giants (2012).

Greatest Hits: No More Heroes (1977), Peaches (1977), Golden Brown (1982), Always the Sun (1986), Skin Deep (1984), Big Thing Coming (1984).

The Temptations
🇺🇸 USA
1961
  • Dennis Edwards 🎤
  • Eddie Kendricks 🎤 † 1992
  • Melvin Franklin 🎤† 1994
  • Otis Williams 🎤
  • Paul Williams 🎤† 1973
  • “Al” Bryant 🎤† 1975
  • David Ruffin
Albums: Meet the Temptations (1964); The Temptations Sing Smokey (1965), Gettin’ Ready (1966), With a Lot o’ Soul (1967), In a Mellow Mood (1968); Diana Ross & the Supremes (1968), Wish it Would Rain (1968); TCB Takin’ Care of Business (1968), Cloud Nine (1969); The Temptations Show (1969); Puzzle People (1969); Together (1969; Psychedelic Shack (1970); Sky’s the Limit (1971), Solid Rock (1972); All Directions (1972); Masterpiece (1973); 1990 (1974), A Song for You (1975), House Party (1976); Wings of Love (1976); Do The Temptations (1976); Power (1980); Reunion (1982), Surface Thrills (1983), Back to Basics (1983), Give Love at Christmas (1983), Truly for You (1984); To Be Continued (1986), Phoenix Rising (1998), Ear-Resistible (2000); Awesome (2001), Reflections (2006), Back to Front (2007), Still Here (2010). One of the most famous American bands.

Greatest Hits: The Way You Do the Things You Do (1964), My Girl (1965); Get Ready (1966), I’m Gonna Make You Love Me (1968), Cloude Nine (1968); I Can’t Get Next to You (1970); Just My Imagination (1971), Ball of Confusion (1970); Papa Was a Rollin Stone (1972), Masterpiece (1973), Treat Her Like a Lady (1984).

Thin Lizzy
🇮🇪 Ireland
1969
  • Scott Gorham 🎸
  • Tommy Aldridge 🥁
  • Francesco DiCosmo B🎸 ??Ex
  • John Sykes 🎸🎤
  • Phil Lynott 🎤† 1986
  • Gary Moore 🎸
  • Eric Bell 🎸
  • B. Robertson 🎸
Albums: Vagabonds of the Western World (1973), Fighting (1975), Jailbreak (1976), Johnny the Fox (1976), Bad Reputation (1977), Live and Dangerous (1978), Chinatown (1980), Renegade (1981), Thunder and Lightning (1983).

Greatest Hits: Whisky in the Jar (1973), The Boys Are Back in Town (1976).

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
🇺🇸 USA
1976-2017
  • Tom Petty 🎸🎤† 2017
  • Mike Campbell 🎸
  • Ron Blair B🎸
  • Benmont Tench 🎹
  • Scott Thurston 🎸🎹
  • Steve Ferrone 🥁
  • Stan Lynch 🥁
  • Howie Epstein B🎸
Albums: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976), You’re Gonna Get It! (1978), Damn the Torpedoes (1979), Hard Promises (1981), Long After Dark (1982), Southern Accents (1985), Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) (1987), Into the Great Wide Open (1991), Songs and Music from “She’s the One” (1996), Echo (1999), The Last DJ (2002), Mojo (2010), Hypnotic Eye (2014). Tom Petty Albums in collaboration with other musicians: Full Moon Fever (1989), Wildflowers (1994), Highway Companion (2006).

Greatest Hits: American Girl (1977), Breakdown (1977), The Waiting (1981), Learning to Fly (1991), Refugee (1980), Mary Jane’s Last Dance (1993) and in his own name: Free Fallin’ (1989), I Won’t Back Down (1989).

Tool
🇺🇸 USA
1990
  • Maynard J. Keenan 🎤
  • Adam Jones 🎸
  • Justin Chancellor B🎸
  • Danny Kerry 🥁
Albums: Undertow (1993); Ænima (1996); Lateralus (2001); 10.000 Days (2006). One of many famous American bands that were primarily successful within the USA.
Toto
🇺🇸 USA
1977-2008
  • Joseph Williams 🎤
  • Steve Lukather 🎸🎤
  • Shem von Schroeck B🎸
  • Simon Philipps 🥁
  • David Paich 🎹
  • Steve Porcaro
  • Bobby Kimball 🎤
  • Mike Porcaro B🎸† 2015
  • David Hungate
  • Jeff Porcaro 🥁†1992
Albums: Toto (1978), Hydra (1980), Turn Back (1981), IV (1982), Isolation (1983), Fahrenheit (1986), The Seventh One (1988), Past to Present (1990), Kingdom of Desire (1992), Tambu (1995), Mind Fields (1999), Through the Looking Glass (2002), Falling in Between (2006), Toto XIV (2015). One of the famous American bands that enjoyed international success.

Greatest Hits: Hold the Line (1979), Rosanna (1982), Africa (1982).

U2
🇮🇪 Ireland
1976
  • Bono (Paul David Hewson) 🎤
  • The Edge (David Howell Evans)🎸
  • Adam Clayton B🎸
  • Larry Mullen junior 🥁
Albums: Boy (1980), October (1981), War (1983), The Unforgettable Fire (1984), The Joshua Tree (1987), Rattle and Ham (1988), Achtung Baby (1991), Zooropa (1993), All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000), How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), No Line on the Horizon (2009), Songs of Innocence (2014), Songs of Experience (2017).

Greatest Hits: Sunday Bloody Sunday (1983); With or Without You (1987); I Still Haven‘t Found What I‘m Looking for (1987); Desire (1988), The Fly (1991); One (1992); Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (1995), Discothèque (1997), Beautiful Day (2000); Vertigo (2004); The Saints are Coming (2006); Get on Your Boots (2009); Ordinary Love (2013).

UB 40
🇬🇧 UK
1978
  • Duncan and Robin Campbell 🎸🎤
  • Earl Falconer 🎤B🎸
  • Tony Mullins 🎹
  • Brian Travers 🎷
  • James “Jim” Brown 🥁
Alistaire “Ali” Campbell 🎤🎸Albums: Present Arms (1981), Labour of Love (1983), Geffrey Morgan (1984), Rat in the Kitchen (1988), Labour of Love II (1989), Promises and Lies (1993), Love Songs (2009).

Greatest Hits: Red Red Wine (1983), I Got You Babe (1985), Kingston Town (1990);I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (1990), Falling in Love With You (1993), Higher Ground (1993).

Uriah Heep
🇬🇧 UK
1970
  • Bernie Shaw 🎤
  • Mick Box 🎸🎤
  • Trevor Bolder 🎤B🎸
  • Phil Lanzon 🎹🎤
  • Russell Gilbrook 🥁
  • David Byron 🎤 † 1985
  • Ken Hensley 🎹
  • Gary Thain B🎸† 1975
  • John Lawton 🎤
Albums: Very´eavy, Very ´umble (1970); Salisbury (1971); Look at Yourself (1971); Demons and Wizards (1972); The Magician‘s Birthday (1972); Sweet Freedom (1973); Wonderworld (1974); Return to Fantasy (1975); High and Mighty (1976); Firefly (1977); Innocent victim (1978); Fallen Angel (1979); Abominog (1982); Head First (1983); Equator (1985); Sea of Light (1995); Wake the Sleeper (2008); Into the Wild (2011), Outsider (2014), Totally Driven (2015).

Greatest Hits: Gypsy (1970); Gypsy (1970), Lady in Black (1971); Spider Woman (1972), Easy Livin‘ (1972); Free Me (1977).

Van Halen
🇺🇸 USA
1974
  • David Lee Roth 🎤
  • Wolfgang Van Halen B🎸
  • Alex Van Halen 🥁
  • Eddie Van Halen 🎸T 🎹 † 2020
  • Sammy Hagar 🎤🎸
  • Michael Anthony B🎸
Albums: Van Halen (1978), Van Halen II (1979), Fair Warning (1981), 1984 (1984), 5150 (1986), OU812 (1986), For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991), Balance (1995), Van Halen III (1998), A Different Kind of Truth (2012). One of the famous American bands that enjoyed international success.

Greatest Hits: You Really Got Me (1978), Runnin’ With the Devil (1978); Jump (1984); I‘ll Wait (1984); Why Can‘t This Be Love (1986).

Velvet Underground
🇺🇸 USA
1965-1973
  • Lou Reed 🎤🎸† 2013
  • John Cale 🎹 B🎸
  • St. Morrison 🎸🎤B🎸† 1995
  • “Moe” Tucker 🥁
Doug Yule 🎤🎸B🎸🥁Albums: The Velvet Underground & Nico (Banana-Album, 1967), White Light/White Heat (1968), The Velvet Underground (1969), Loaded (1970), Squeeze (1973), VU (1984), Another View (1985). One of the most famous American bands.

Greatest Hits: Sunday Morning (1967), Who Loves the Sun (1970), Sweet Jane (1970).

The Waterboys
🇬🇧 UK
1981
  • Mike Scott 🎤🎸
  • Marc Arciero B🎸
  • Ralph Salmins 🥁
  • Melvin Duffy 🎸
  • Anthony Thistlethwaite 🎸🎷🎹
  • Richard Naiff 🎹
  • & more than 60 others.
Albums: A Pagan Place (1984), This Is the Sea (1985), Fisherman’s Blues (1988),Room to Roam (1990), Dream Harder (1993), A Rock in the Weary Land (2000), Universal Hall (2003), Book of Lightning (2007), An Appointment with Mr Yeats (2011), Modern Blues (2015), Out of All This Blue (2017).

Greatest Hits: The Whole of the Moon (1981), The Return of Pan (1993), Love Anyway (1997).

Wham!
🇬🇧 UK
1982-1986
  • George Michael 🎤† 2016
  • Andrew Ridgeley 🎸🎤
Albums: Fantastic (1983), Make it Big (1984), Music from the Edge of Heaven (1986), The Final (1986).

Greatest Hits: Young Guns (1982); Bad Boys (1983), Careless Whisper (1984); Freedom (1984); Wake me Up Before You Go Go (1984); Last X-Mas (1984), I’m your Man (1985), The Edge of Heaven (1986).

The Who
🇬🇧 UK
1964
  • Pete Townshend 🎤🎸
  • Roger Daltrey 🎤
  • Simon Townshend 🎤
  • Pino Palladino B🎸
  • Zak Starkey 🥁
  • John Bundrick 🎹
  • John Entwistle B🎸†2002
  • Keith Moon 🥁† 1978
  • Kenny Jones
Albums: My generation (1965), A quick one (1966), The Who sell out (1967), Tommy (1969), Live at Leeds (1970), Who’s next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), The Who by numbers (1975), Who are you? (1978), Face dances (1981), It’s hard (1982), Endless wire (2006).

Greatest Hits: My Generation (1965); Happy Jack (1966), Pictures of Lily (1967); Magic Bus (1968); Pinball Wizard (1969); I‘m Free (1969); Baba O‘Riley (1971); Join Together (1972); Who are You? (1978); You Better you Bet (1981).

Yello
🇨🇭 Switzerland
1978
  • Dieter Meier 🎤
  • Boris Blank ⌨️(Ex:)
  • Carlos Perón ⌨️
Albums: Solid Pleasure (1980), Claro que si (1981), You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess (1983); Stella (1985); One Second (1987); Flag (1988); Baby (1991); Zebra (1994), Pocket Universe (1997); Motion Picture (1999), The Eye (2003); Touch Yello (2009), Toy (2016).

Greatest Hits: Bostich (1980), Lost Again (1983), Desire (1985); Viscious Games (1985); Oh Yeah (1987); The Race (1988).

Yes
🇬🇧 UK
1968
  • T: Jon Davison 🎤🎸
  • Steve Howe 🎸
  • Billy Sherwood B🎸
  • Geoff Downes 🎹
  • Alan White 🥁
  • Jon Anderson 🎤🎸
  • Trevor Rabin 🎸
  • T. Kaye 🎹
  • Chris Squire B🎸† 2015
  • Bill Bruford 🥁
  • Rick Wakeman 🎹
  • Patrick Moraz
  • Vangelis
Albums: Yes (1969); Time And A Word (1970); The Yes Album (1971); Fragile (1972); Close to the Edge (1972); Yessongs (Live 1973); Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973); Relayer (1974); Going for the One (1977); Tormato (1978); Paris Session (Live 1979); Drama (1980); 90125 (1983); Big Generator (1987); Union (1991); Talk (1994); Open your Eyes (1997), The Ladder (1999), Magnification (2001), Fly from Here (2011), Heaven & Earth (2014).

Greatest Hits: Wonderous Stories (1977), Owner of a Lonely Heart (1983); Hearts (1983).

ZZ Top
🇺🇸 USA
1969
  • Billy Gibson 🎤🎸
  • Dusty Hill 🎤B🎸
  • Frank Beard 🥁
Albums: ZZ Top’s First Album (1970), Rio Grande Mud (1972), Tres Hombres (1973), Tejas (1976), Degüello (1979), El Loco (1981), Eliminator (1983), Afterburner (1985), Recycler (1990), Antenna (1994), XXX (1999), Mescalero (2003), La Futura (2012). One of the most famous American bands.

Greatest Hits: La Grange (1975); Tush (1975); Gimme all Your Lovin (1983); Sharp Dressed Man (1984); Legs (1984), Viva Las Vegas (1992).

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FAQs

Who is the biggest American rock band of all time? ›

According to a Business Insider piece that was originally published in 2016 and updated for November 2022, the rock band with the most albums sold in America is The Eagles (or, Eagles, if you're a stickler). They've racked up sales topping 120 million records.

What American rock bands have 5 members? ›

Five members

The Beach Boys, Aerosmith, AC/DC and Oasis are examples of the common lineup of vocalist, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, and drums.

What is the 1 most listened to band of all time? ›

Comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, The Beatles are globally recognized and are credited with inspiring many famous musicians to pursue music. The most influential band of all time, The Beatles are creative and innovative, and a deserving band at the top of this list.

Who is the biggest band in the world? ›

Top-selling artists worldwide as of 2022

Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 183 million units certified sales. Second is Garth Brooks with over 157 million units sales, followed by Elvis Presley with 139 million units.

Who is the king of rock in America? ›

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), often referred to mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Known as the "King of Rock and Roll", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century.

Who is the biggest male band of all time? ›

Backstreet Boys

AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson (who left the band in 2006 before returning in 2012) and Brian Littrell have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them the most successful boy band of all time.

Who were the Big 4 rock bands? ›

Inspired by the famous “Big 4” of thrash metal — Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax – we published our ultimate ranking of the top four acts in 17 other metal subgenres.

Who were the Big 4 bands? ›

"When you say 'Big Four,' you think of the '80s when that was what was referred to as the 'Big Four,' which is correct — those four bands [METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX] were the biggest four bands of our era; at that time, all [of them were] at the platinum level, when there was much more acceptability to ...

What is the most popular song of all time? ›

According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.

What band sold the most albums ever? ›

The Beatles

What band has most hits? ›

The Beatles have tallied the most No. 1 hits in the 61-year history of the Hot 100, with 20. Their closest competitor is Mariah Carey, with 18.

Who is the best singer in the world? ›

The 200 greatest singers of all time according to Rolling Stone as of January 2023
SingerRank
Aretha Franklin1
Whitney Houston2
Sam Cooke3
Billie Holiday4
180 more rows
Jan 12, 2023

Who is the biggest rock star today? ›

Net Worth: $1.2 Billion

Many people would agree that there is no bigger legend in music today than the iconic Paul McCartney.

Who is the most popular singer in the world? ›

Abel Tesfaye, more commonly known as The Weeknd, is statistically the most popular musician on the planet, and no one else even comes close. The 33-year-old Canadian singer's success has seen him set two new Guinness World Records titles: Most monthly listeners on Spotify – 111.4 million (as of 20 March 2023)

Who is the most successful American rock band? ›

The Eagles

It's a testament to the band's appeal that the Eagles sold over 100 million records in the US alone, with their music proving incredibly popular over the past five decades.

What American rock band has the most gold albums? ›

KISS (Rock And Roll Hall of Fame), now celebrating its 40th anniversary, has earned more Gold Album Record Awards than any American band in the history of The Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA's) Gold & Platinum Awards certifications.

Who is the most played rock band on the radio? ›

Queen Are Most-Played Rock Band on Radio Around the World.

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