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Musicians from Chicago That Made It Big

One of the most populous states in the US, Chicago is the home of some of the most popular musicians in the world. From classical and jazz to blues and rock n’ roll, Chicago has got it all. Renowned artists like Muddy Waters and Benny Goodman Here’s a rundown of famous musicians from Chicago.

Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey is a jazz composer and pianist born in Chicago. Following the release of his first album with a trio unit in 1956, he became one of the most accomplished jazz pianists with hit tracks such as ‘Wade in the Water’ and ‘Hang on Sloopy’ by 1966. With three Grammys, Ramsey still composes classical pieces and performs music – his play with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra being the most recent.

R. Kelly

A master of R&B and classic soul, R. Kelly is a songwriter, singer, and producer. Raised in Chicago, he is popular for his extensive list of chart-breaking songs such as ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ and is considered one of the best-selling music artists. His rise to fame began with his participation and winning of the ‘Big Break’. His first solo album, ‘12 Play’ broke chart records for 12 weeks. Kelly continues to perform around the world.

Kanye West

Kanye West

Raised in Chicago and taking up rap in third grade, West released his debut album ‘The College Dropout’ in 2004. His ‘Jesus Walks’ track revealed an amazing spiritual side of the hip-hop powerhouse. He proceeded to record more albums all of which have gone platinum. As a talented producer, he has successfully produced hits for other artists including Alicia Keys and Jay-Z. West is the 11th most awarded artist of all time with 21 Grammy awards and the sixth most nominated with 68 Grammy nominations as of 2017. He is also a fashion designer with his own clothing line.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is notably one of the greatest orchestras around the world with their concerts always sold-out. One of the ‘Big Five’ American orchestras, the CSO has won no less than 62 Grammy awards and several classical album awards. In addition, the CSO has recorded musical soundtracks for popular movies including ‘Fantasia 2000’ and ‘Lincoln’.

Chicago (Band)

Established in 1967, the Chicago band is among the successful rock bands in Chicago with hit songs throughout the 1970s and 80s. The group has sold over 100 million records with 23 gold albums, 18 platinum albums, and 8 multi-platinum albums. Chicago has made Billboard’s ‘greatest of all time’ American band on the singles chart, ‘greatest of all time’ American band on the album chart, and the world’s best-selling groups ever. The group is world renowned and continues to perform one of its most popular singles, ‘Saturday Night in the Park.’

Earth, Wind and Fire

Founded in 1970, Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) is a legendary American band said to have modified the sound of music with a multicultural repertoire of music spanning genres like jazz, R&B, soul, funk, soul, disco, rock, pop, Latin, and African. The band rose to fame after signing with Columbia Records with hit songs like ‘Shining Star’. EWF was among the most accomplished bands of the 1970s. The band has won 6 of their 20 Grammy nominations and 4 of their 12 American Music Awards nominations.