The Top Artists to Come From Colorado
Colorado has always been home to a vibrant music scene. It makes sense that there would be so many classic songs written in our beautiful state.
From classics Like “Rocky Mountain High” to contemporary hits like “Ho Hey,” the Centennial State has inspired countless artists to create sonic masterpieces that have gone on to top charts worldwide.
Listed below are some of the top artists who called Colorado home.
The Colorado Springs-based pop rock band has risen to fame since they formed in 2002. Since then they have worked with other notable acts such as Timbaland, Greg Wells, and Noel Zancanella. The three original members Ryan Tedder, Zach Filkins, and Drew Brown have continued to push out hits like "Good Life," "Counting Stars," and "Apologize" over the span of their more than 16 year career and show no signs of stopping any time soon.
Started by high school friends Isaac Slade and Joe King, The Fray came onto the scene in 2002 playing in primarily church and worship groups. They later found success starting in 2005 with hit tracks such as "How to Save a Life" and "Over My Head (Cable Car)." The Denver-based band was found its biggest chart success in the late 2000s and early 2010s, and rocked out NewWestFest in Old Town Fort Collins 2016. The Fray continues to produce new music such including their last single "Bugboo," released in December 2018.
John Denver was an American singer songwriter who loved the great state of Colorado so much that he changed his name from Henry Deutschendorf to John Denver (maybe there were other reasons too?). Denver released several hit songs through the 1970s such as “Take Me Home Country Road” and “Rocky Mountain High.” Tragically, the Colorado legend died in 1997 when he was unable to switch fuel tanks in his experimental Rutan Long-EZ airplane.
The Lumineers have consistently released several tracks over the years that have topped the charts. Some of their more notable work lies in hit songs “Ho Hey” and “Ophelia.” The core members of Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraitles continue to produce new music and tour often. This summer, the band is performing at various festivals across the country.
Originally from St. Louis, Nathaniel Rateliff moved to Denver in 1996 at the age of 18. From their he was active in several bands through the Denver scene before launching his career to the next level with Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. They have since toured the world and gained acclaim for their hit songs like “SOB” and “I Need Never Get Old.” The band even released a "Live from Red Rocks" album in 2017.
While the legendary funk band formed in Chicago, the group has plenty of Colorado ties. Vocalist Philip Bailey, keyboardist Larry Dunn and saxophone player Andrew Woolfolk were all classmates together at Denver's East High School. Earth, Wind & Fire went on to top the charts with their 1975 single "Shining Star." Bailey went on to reach No. 2 on the charts with his 1982 duet with Phil Collins called "Easy Lover."