Located far inland in northeastern Texas, Dallas has entered the twenty-first century with a diverse economy that has powered a culture influenced by many different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Dallas is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S and this mosaic is well represented in the city’s music. This playlist showcases the artists and bands that make up Dallas’ rich musical heritage.
1. Wide Open Spaces – Dixie Chicks – 1998
One of the most critically acclaimed country groups of all-time, the Dixie Chicks have won thirteen Grammy Awards including five in 2007 alone. While they are one of the top selling female led bands as well, their controversial criticism of former President George W. Bush in 2003 led to an organized protest of the band in Texas and other Southern states. Since then the band has rebounded with over thirty million albums sold world-wide.
2. River – Leon Bridges – 2015
Soul singer-songwriter Leon Bridges has been called a throwback to Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. High praise for the thirty-year-old who has released two studio albums and already garnered multiple Grammy Award nominations. His music draws on 60’s R&B as well as 70’s soul.
3. Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato – 2017
From Disney Channel child prodigy to tabloid centerpiece, to mental health advocate and X Factor judge, at all times Lovato continues to produce hit singles and platinum certified albums. She has released six studio albums as well as countless singles. Lovato is also well-known for her personal issues and has taken them head on to be a noted advocate for mental health, healthy body image and drug and alcohol abstinence.
4. Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson – 2004
The first American Idol winner and one of the few to achieve truly global stardom, Kelly Clarkson has sold over twenty-five million albums world-wide. She has won three Grammy Awards as well as MTV Video Music Awards and other music awards. In addition to her eight studio albums she has also appeared as a vocal coach on the television show The Voice and currently hosts the variety talk sow The Kelly Clarkson Show.
5. Wolves – Selena Gomez – 2017
Starting as a Disney Channel star and child actress, Selena Gomez has since matured into a verified pop star and social media icon. She has one of the largest social media followings on the planet and has notable clothing and fragrance lines. She has released three studio albums and ha sold over twenty-two million singles world-wide.
6. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones – 2002
Singer-songwriter and pianist Norah Jones has won nine Grammy Awards and sold over fifty million albums world-wide. Her music fuses pop with jazz and folk to create a sound that’s been critically acclaimed since her inception.
7. Roslyn – St. Vincent, Bon Iver – 2009
Indie pop star St. Vincent is one of the most critically acclaimed indie stars on the twenty-first century. She is one of the most highly awarded female solo performers with Grammy Awards and high acclaim from publications such as NME, Pitchfork and NPR. She has released six studio albums and has collaborated with artists as diverse as Sleater-Kinney and Taylor Swift.
8. Pieces Of Me – Ashlee Simpson – 2004
While her music career has never matched the meteoric highs of 2004, Ashlee Simpson’s single Pieces Of Me was one of the year’s top singles. It peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains her most successful song.
9. Sucker – Jonas Brothers – 2019
While only Nick Jonas was born in Dallas, the Jonas Brothers were one of the twenty-first century’s most popular boy bands. Through break-ups, hiatuses and reunions, the band has sold over seventeen million albums world-wide.
10. Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ – Charley Pride – 1971
One of the few African-Americans to achieve widespread success in country music, Charley Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. He has released dozens of albums and has had fifty-two top ten hits on the Billboard Hot Country chart.
11. Can’t Fight The Moonlight – LeAnn Rimes – 2001
A country music child prodigy, Rimes released her first single at the age of thirteen. Since then she has won two Grammy’s as well as three ACM Awards. She has sold over thirty million records world-wide and was one of the most popular artists of the 90’s and 2000’s. In addition to her musical career she has written four books, including two novels.
12. Question – Rhett Miller – 2006
Lead singer of the alternative country band Old 97’s, Rhett Miller is one of the biggest names in alternative country. He has released eight solo studio albums and has toured widely. In addition to his musical work, Miller is an accomplished writer with short stories and essays appearing in Rolling Stone, Salon and The Atlantic.
13. School of Rock and Roll – Gene Summers – 1958
One of the original American rockabilly stars, Gene Summers toured widely and helped pave the way for future stars in rock and roll.
14. I Smile – Kirk Franklin – 2011
Gospel musician Kirk Franklin is also a singer-songwriter, author and choir director. A native of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Franklin has released twelve studio albums under both solo and family labels.
15. Lithium – The Polyphonic Spree – 2007
A choral rock band from Dallas, the Polyphonic Spree uses a variety of instruments including a viola, French horn to go along with traditional rock instrumentation. The band has released six studio albums and remains an indie cult favorite.
16. Didn’t Cha Know – Erykah Badu – 2000
R&B and neo soul singer-songwriter was one of the most popular soul singers of the 90’s. She is also known for eclectic style, often wearing large and very colorful headwraps.
17. Love the One You’re With – Stephen Stills – 1970
A founding member of two of the most influential rock groups of all-time in Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash, Stephen Stills is the first person to be inducted twice to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is also widely considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of all-time. His solo work is equally notable and has won him critically acclaim.
18. Stay (I Missed You) – Lisa Loeb – 1994
Singer-songwriter, producer and actress, Lisa Loeb has starred in culinary shows on Food Network, as well as released children’s books and designed eyeglass fashion. This incredibly multi-disciplinary career began with a career in pop rock in Dallas, Texas.
19. On The Way Down – Ryan Cabrera – 2004
Teenage heartthrob Ryan Cabrera had his biggest hits in the early 2000’s when he released four studio albums and several different singles.
20. True Power – Emily Elbert – 2017
Folk singer-songwriter Emily Elbert melds experimental jazz with traditional folk to create her unique albums. She has released seven studio albums throughout the 2000’s and 2010’s and has toured with a variety of different artists and bands.
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