Detroit has long been defined for its musicians, and our city has inspired many different types of music, from Motown to techno and everything in-between. This week, we’ve embraced those that came before (along with some newer faces)…to compile a playlist of musicians who have left their stamp on what we know today as Detroit’s music scene. With rock stars, jazz musicians, hip-hop artists, and rappers, we’ve dabbled into almost everything.
Check them out!
Uncle Kracker – “Follow Me”
Did you know Uncle Kracker was once best friends with Kid Rock? They met at a turntables competition and shortly after, bonded over their love of music. Uncle Kracker started out with a rap-rock inspired approach and then changed it up to a softer, more country-rock with his mega-hit “Follow Me.” Learn more here!
Aaliyah – “One In A Million”
Aaliyah was not only a singer and performer, but also an accomplished dancer, model, and actress in the short amount of time she was alive. Only 22 years old when she passed away, Aaliyah was still able to touch the hearts of all of her fans with chart-topping hits. Hear her music here!
Joe Henderson – “Blue Bossa”
Joe Henderson was a jazz tenor-saxophonist with a career that spanned over 40 years. He played among some of the biggest names in jazz, including Ron Carter, Elvin Jones, Lee Morgan, and more. Joe Henderson also appeared on over 30 albums for Blue Note, his recording label, including five that were under his name. Listen here!
Mike Posner – “Please Don’t Go”
At only 25 years old, it’s hard to believe everything Mike Posner has accomplished in the music industry already. He holds credit for writing and producing songs for other big-name artists (Justin Bieber, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Pharell Williams and more), as well as completing his own records. Mike said in an interview with Billboard, “My music doesn’t sound like anyone else’s, and it’s important for me that it stays that way…I want to make songs that will bring people together.” Give him a listen; it’s a mix between synth-pop, dance, and hip-hop.
Mitch Ryder – “Devil With A Blue Dress On”
Mitch Ryder is best known for his gruff, wailing singing and dynamic stage performances. He gained great success in the early ‘70s with his band The Detroit Wheels. He was greatly inspired by other blues-rock musicians: Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, and John Mellencamp. Check him out here!
Obie Trice – “Battle Cry”
A little piece of history for you: When Obie Trice was 11 years old, his mother gave him a karaoke machine and he began rhyming over the instrumentals – and by age 14, he was competing in rap-battles around Detroit…you know, Eminem style. It’s not so much a coincidence then, that Eminem played a huge role in Obie Trice’s rap career. Check him out here!
Ted Nugent – “Stranglehold”
Did you know that Ted Nugent is a huge anti-drug and anti-alcohol advocate? He’s also a national spokesperson for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. Ted Nugent is most famous for his power-rock hits from the 1970s. Hear them here!
Kenny Garret – “Black Hope”
A Grammy-award winning jazz-saxophonist and flautist, Kenny Garret gained his fame through performing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and Miles Davis’ band in his youth. Today, he’s continued touring and playing the music he loves and has released long list of records. Check him out here!
Martha Reeves – “Dancing in the Street”
You know Martha Reeves from the Motown group Martha Reeves and The Vandellas and their hit “Dancing in the Street.” She’s considered a staple in Motown for her brassy, gospel-reared alto vocals and catchy lyrics. Did you know she even served as an elected councilwoman for Detroit from 2005 to 2009? Talk about hometown pride! Check her out here!
Bizarre – “Some Days”
Known for his shock-and-awe performances and controversial rap lyrics, rapper Bizarre got started in the business with help from fellow Detroit rapper, Eminem. He used to attend rap-battles at St. Andrews Hall on Friday nights, which is where the title to his third studio album comes from. Hear more from him here!
Who’s missing? Tell us in the comments.