This week’s playlist is to honor and recognize all of the national bands and artists that have roots in Detroit. They’re the ones that have triumphed through the challenges of getting their names out there, and are part of the reason why we have such an esteemed music scene.
So check out some of the big names who call Detroit home!
Alice Cooper – “Welcome to My Nightmare”
Born as Vincent Damon Furnier, Alice Cooper is one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll artists of all time. With his career spanning a lengthy five decades (and counting!), he keeps his crowds excited with his raucous rock anthems and crazy stage shows, featuring guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, and even dueling swords. Check out more from him here!
Aretha Franklin – “Respect”
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Aretha Franklin learned how to play the piano by ear shortly after her mother’s death, just shy of her 10th birthday. She was also greatly involved in music, starting her singing career as a gospel singer at her father’s church. At 18, she embarked on a journey to Detroit to launch her musical career…and the rest is history. Check out more from her here!
Diana Ross – “The Same Love That Made Me Laugh”
Born and raised in Detroit, Diana Ross is a highly respected singer, actress, record producer, and occasional songwriter. She rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the Motown vocal group The Supremes. Her international success rivaled the career of The Beatles in worldwide popularity – making it possible for future African-American R&B and soul acts to find mainstream success. Check out more from her here!
Edwin Starr – “War”
An American soul music singer, Edwin Starr is most notably famous for his Norman Whitfield-produced Motown singles from the 1970s, with his top hit being “War.” The song was made as a Vietnam War protest song, spent 3 weeks at the top of the U.S. Billboard chart, and was an anthem for the antiwar movement and cultural milestone that continues to appear in movie soundtracks and hip-hop music. Check out more from him here!
Eminem – “My Name Is”
Eminem. Slim Shady. Marshall Bruce Mathers III, or best known as Eminem, has been the epitome of controversy since he stepped into the rapping game back in the mid-1990s. From a tragic and unstable home life since childhood, Eminem releases his pent-up aggression with his provocative lyrics and music. He’s one of Detroit’s favorite bad-boys and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Find out more from him here!
Kid Rock – “Son of Detroit”
Starting off his career as a rapper and hip-hop performer (even banging out some rap battles against Detroit’s own Eminem back in the day), Kid Rock reached initial stardom with his rap-rock singles “Bawitdaba” and “Cowboy.” Since then, he has evolved his style of music into a more rock-meets-country-meets-blues. Find out more from him here!
Marvin Gaye – “Yesterday” (Cover – Originally by The Beatles)
Marvin Gaye was an incredibly talented singer-songwriter and musician who helped shape the sound of Motown Records in the 1960s with a string of number-one hits, including: “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” His 1970 release, That’s the Way Love Is, featured many deliciously covered tracks, including his impressive rendition of The Beatles’ song “Yesterday.” Find out more about him here!
The Romantics – “What I Like About You”
One of the first power-pop, new wave groups, The Romantics adopted their name because they formed on Valentine’s Day. They achieved international success with their mega-hit “What I Like About You,” and have since released a steady list of albums. Their inspiration plays on a mix of garage rock and the British Invasion music. Check out more from them here!
Slum Village – “Can I Be Me”
Slum Village is a hip-hop group that formed in the heart of downtown Detroit by three local rappers and friends, T3, J Dilla, and Baatin. The three grew up together in the Conant Gardens neighborhood of Detroit and steadily became popular in the underground hip-hop scene. Find out more about the group here!
Smokey Robinson – “Just to See Her”
Founder and front man for the Motown vocal group the Miracles, Smokey Robinson is a talented R&B-Pop singer-songwriter, and record producer. He gets the name “Smokey” from his soulfully smokey vocals. He was born and raised in Detroit and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Find out more about him here!
Who is YOUR favorite Detroit mega-star?!