One of America’s largest and most diverse cities, Houston has a rich musical heritage. Every genre from blues, jazz and rock are well represented and the city has birthed some of the biggest music stars in history.
1. The Road Goes On Forever – Robert Earl Keen – 2007
One of country music’s most prolific stars, Keen has recorded eighteen studio albums and covers genres from country to folk, to bluegrass and rock. He has toured around the world and was recently inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame.
2. Gimme’ All Your Loving – ZZ Top – 1983
One of the country’s best-known roots rock bands, ZZ Top have several multi-platinum albums and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Their music spans genres from blues rock to Southern rock.
3. Cranes in the Sky – Solange – 2016
Although she’s often known as Beyonce’s sister, Solange is a formidable musician as well. Her songwriting is highly praised and she has released four studio albums.
4. Say My Name – Destiny’s Child – 1999
One of the most popular music trio’s of all time, Destiny’s Child has sold more than sixty million records around the world. Consisting primarily of Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, Destiny’s Child helped launch Beyonce’s groundbreaking global career. The group was nominated for fourteen Grammy Awards, winning twice.
5. Help Me Make It Through The Night – Renee Olstead – 2017
Well known for her acting, Olstead has also released four studio albums. She sings in a variety of styles, but is best known for her jazz singing.
6. Butterfly Effect – Travis Scott – 2018
One of the most interesting men in hip-hop, Scott draws influences from indie folk, Broadway, and electronic music to create a uniquely ambient artistry. His alternative influences have drove him to three critically acclaimed studio albums.
7. She’s No Lady – Lyle Lovett – 1987
A prolific icon of country and Americana music, Lyle Lovett has released thirteen studio albums and won four Grammy Awards. Lovett started his career playing solo acoustic sets around Texas A&M before rising into a start with country-wide tours.
8. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire – 2010
A Grammy winner for Best Album of the Year, The Suburbs is considered one of Arcade Fire’s best albums. The album was inspired by William Butler’s upbringing in Houston’s suburbs. Arcade Fire’s music is usually categorized as indie rock but features elements of dance rock and baroque pop. They feature lush instrumental layering with much of the band having multi-instrumental talents.
9. Motivation – Kelly Rowland – 2011
An original member of Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland has ventured into acting as well as a successful solo career. She has released four studio albums and sold over thirty million albums as a solo artist.
10. We’ve Got You Tonight – Kenny Rogers – 1983
A country music icon, Kenny Rogers is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and one of the genre’s most successful artists. He has sold more than 100 million albums world-wide and has released dozens of albums.
11. Ridin’ – Chamillionaire – 2005
Houston based rapper Chamillionaire was one of the most popular hip-hop artists of the 2000’s. His single Ridin’ was a chart topper that ended the year as a Grammy Award winner.
12. A Little Less Conversation – Guitar Shorty – 2004
Known for his electrifying guitar solos and blues rock vibes, Guitar Shorty is one of Houston’s best-known blues rock artists.
13. Better Than Gold – Yolanda Adams – 2005
Record producer, radio host, actress and gospel singer, Yolanda Adams’ career spans multiple arenas. She was recognized by Billboard as the top gospel artist of the 2000’s and has released more than ten studio albums over the course of her career.
14. Rolling With The Punches – Johnny Copeland – 1994
A member of the Blues Hall of Fame, Johnny Copeland is one of the country’ great blues guitarists. He won a Grammy in 1987 for Best Traditional Blues Album and was a popular touring act throughout his career.
15. Cold, Cold Feeling – Albert Collins – 1978
A truly iconic blues musician, Albert Collins changed the genre with his use of alternative tunings and capo. He also helped popularize the Fender Telecaster with his long-time use of the electric guitar. He is commonly cited as an inspiration for contemporary blues musicians.
16. Formation – Beyonce – 2016
A musical legend and one of the most successful artists of her generation, Beyonce has sold hundreds of millions of records to go with multiple world-wide tours. Her 2016 album Lemonade was one of the year’s most critically acclaimed albums and helped her further define her stellar career.
17. Time and Space – Jandek – 2010
Combining folk and blues with unique chord combinations and an ambient, alternative ambience, Jandek is one of the most interesting indie acts to come out of Houston. At age seventy four, he continues to produce music as well as run his own recording label.
18. I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash – 1972
Pop and reggae singer Johnny Nash is best known for his 1972 hit I Can See Clearly Now. Originally from Houston, Texas, Johnny Nash also has credits as an actor in film and television.
19. So Yesterday – Hillary Duff – 2003
Although known primarily for her acting career, Hillary Duff also was a pop sensation of the early 2000’s. Her single So Yesterday was one of the top hits of 2003.
20. Into The Ocean – Blue October – 2006
One of the top alternative bands to come out of Houston, Blue October have released nine studio albums and have multiple platinum singles.
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