Known as the heart of America, Ohio has a lot to offer as the birth-place of many important Americans like presidents, astronauts and music artists. Although the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland, I never realized just how many famous singers, musicians and bands have their roots in Ohio. In their hit song "The Heart of Rock & Roll", even the native-California band Huey Lewis and the News recognized that the "heart of rock and roll is still beating / in Cleveland!"
So these are some of the famous singers, musicians and bands from Ohio that are keeping the beat going!
1. Twenty Øne Piløts
Twenty Øne Piløts is an alternative duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun from Columbus, Ohio, known for their hits "Stressed Out," "Ride," and "Heathens." Most of their "Stressed Out" music video was even filmed at Dun's childhood home in Columbus! In "Tear In My Heart," you can tell they really are from Ohio because they understand the struggle to "avoid the holes so you sleep fine" and "cursing my government / for not using my taxes to fill holes with more cement."
2. Rascal Flatts
Also from Columbus, Rascal Flatts is arguably one of the most iconic American country bands with their hits like "What Hurts the Most," "Bless the Broken Road," "I Like the Sound of That," and their cover of "Life Is a Highway" (again, Ohioans seem to have a thing with roads…). You can catch them most summers at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus and they are opening a restaurant this summer in Cleveland!
3. Walk the Moon
Although maybe a bit disappointing, Walk the Moon is not from the moon but actually from Cincinnati, Ohio! Their music video for "Anna Sun" was directed by University of Cincinnati alum Patrick Meier and artistically shows Cincinnati landmarks like the Mockbee building. Walk the Moon is probably best known for their ability to make us "Shut Up and Dance" and how they continue to put "One Foot" in front of the other in creating new music.
4. John Legend
Legend has it that John Legend was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio. He is best known for his hits "All of Me" and "Love Me Now." Like any good Ohioan, all of him is a fan of THE Ohio State University. Go Bucks!
5. Dave Grohl
Known as the lead singer and guitarist of the Foo Fighters and former member of Nirvana, Dave Grohl was born in Warren, Ohio. Although he moved away shortly after, he is still celebrated in Warren. Dave is now one of the only rock acts in history to have an alley dedicated in his honor which is home to the World's Largest Drumsticks! Since coming for the dedication ceremony, Dave can occasionally be found roaming the alley when he is in the area.
6. Kid Cudi
Rapper Kid Cudi was born and raised in the Cleveland area. For a year he even studied film at the University of Toledo! He is best known for his song "Day'N'Nite" and his recently released album "Kids See Ghosts" with Kanye West. In his song "Cleveland Is The Reason," Kid Cudi claims that "Cleveland is the reason I'm cool" or in other words is why he is the way he is.
7. The Black Keys
Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney first met as children and later came together to form The Black Keys in their hometown of Akron, Ohio. Their hits include songs like "Gold On the Ceiling," "Tighten Up," and "Howlin' for You." They even have a song called "Ohio" that refers to how "I just can't get / Can't get my fill / Of those hills."
Whether or not you are an Ohioan, I hope that this helped you to gain a deeper appreciation for Ohio and for those listed above. Clearly the 'heart' of the Midwest is helping to keep the beat going in the music industry. And to all those listed above, you are always welcome back home here in Ohio!