11 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Musicians From Nevada

Written by Dan Farrant

When you hear the word Nevada, you probably imagine vast deserts, casinos, and nightlife. The glitz and glamour Nevada is known for have earned it the nickname “The Silver State.”

But did you know that Nevada has produced personalities that eventually made it big in the music industry? They brought pride to their birthplace as they made a name for themselves.

We have created a list of 11 of the greatest and most famous musicians from Nevada. You’ll see how these musicians have influenced music development across different genres. Read on to find out more.

1. Jim Root

We are starting this list with Jim Root, who was born in Las Vegas. He was better known as the former lead guitarist of the rock band Stone Sour and the rhythm guitarist of the heavy metal band Slipknot.

Root’s music career didn’t start until he left Nevada and joined an Iowa thrash metal band called Atomic Opera in the early 90s.

He met vocalist Corey Taylor and joined Slipknot in 1999. Root replaced their guitarist and became Slipknot’s ninth and final band member. Slipknot would go on to win a Grammy in 2006 and sell over 30 million records worldwide.

2. Brandon Flowers

The lead singer of the American rock band The Killers, Brandon Flowers, was born in Henderson, Nevada. The youngest of six children, he grew up in a Las Vegas suburb until the age of eight, when his family moved to Utah.

Flowers cites his time as a Mormon growing up in Las Vegas prepared him for the life of a rock star. He responded to an ad for a singer, which resulted in a chain of events that culminated in creating The Killers in 2001.

The band sold over 28 million records worldwide and earned many accolades along the way. These include several Grammy nominations, billboard nominations, and international dance music awards.

3. Jenny Lewis

Musician Jenny Lewis was born on January 8, 1976, in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was famous for being the lead singer, guitarist, and keyboardist for the rock band Rilo Kiley.

She began her foray into music in 1998 when her friends and her boyfriend formed Rilo Kiley. The band would undergo some member changes over the years. Rilo Kiley would release four studio albums and several EPs and singles that sold well.

When the band broke up in 2013, Lewis continued her music through her solo career. Aside from singing, she is also an actress and has acted in numerous films over the years and continues to do so.

4. Ryan Ross

Guitarist Ryan Ross was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. He worked as the lead guitarist and principal songwriter of the pop-punk band Panic! at the Disco.

He grew up in Nevada and received a guitar during Christmas when he was twelve years old, which began his interest in music. He began to work with his best friend, Spencer Smith, who served as the vocals and drummer. They called their band Pet Salamander. Ross wrote his very first song when he was 14.

Panic! At the Disco was founded in 2004 and sold over 4.6 million records in the United States alone and many more worldwide.

After his departure from the band, he and Panic! bassist Jon Walker formed The Young Veins but went on hiatus after their first album. Ross began his solo career in 2013, which he continues today.

5. Dan Reynolds

Singer-songwriter Dan Reynolds was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is best known for being the lead vocalist of the famous pop-rock band Imagine Dragons.

Born as one of nine children, he grew up in Nevada and attended The Church of Latter-Day Saints. Reynolds attended college but found his passion to be with music. In 2008, he formed the band Imagine Dragons with himself as the lead vocalist.

Imagine Dragons would sell over 75 million records and surpass one billion streams on Spotify on several of their songs alone. One of the band’s most successful singles is “Radioactive.”

6. Jena Malone

Our next artist on the list is Jena Malone, born in Sparks, Nevada. Before her dabble in music, she appeared in various films. You’ll know her as Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games films.

Malone grew up poor, with her family having to deal with relocating several times as she was growing up. She grew up in Nevada, eventually moving to Las Vegas in 1995 to start acting classes.

She soon began to foray into music with her musical project called The Shoe. Prior to this, she released her first single as Jena Malone and the Bloodstains. She would perform indie music on the street and eventually release a full-length album where she sang and performed many instruments.

7. Ronnie Radke

Born in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ronnie Radke is an accomplished rapper and singer most known for being the lead singer for Falling in Reverse.

Growing up in Nevada, he learned music by learning the piano and guitar and learning to play Blink-182 songs. In high school, he formed several bands and continued playing until he rose to prominence as the lead singer for Escape the Fate.

He was later kicked out of the band after being sentenced to prison. While in prison, he formed the rock band Falling in Reverse. Their debut album sold 18,000 copies in the first week and reached the top 20 on the Billboard 200.

8. Eric Whitacre

Our next musician was born in Reno, Nevada. Composer Eric Whitacre is known for his orchestral and choir music.

While growing up in Reno, Whitacre studied piano and joined his school’s marching band. Later on, he played a synthesizer while in a techno-pop band. He dreamed of becoming a rock star.

He studied at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition.

After graduating, he studied and worked with many composers. He earned a reputation that allowed him to be the first appointed artist-in-residence with the Los Angles Master Chorale and later Walt Disney Concert Hall.

9. Leah Dizon

Coming up next is Leah Dizon, born in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is known for her singing and modeling careers and as an American foreign presenter on Japanese TV.

During her childhood, she listened to rock and R&B music and trained as a dancer. She saved up enough money and traveled to Japan alone at the age of 14. Dizon attended the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts and became involved in theater while in high school.

Eventually, she relocated to Tokyo where opportunities were. She debuted her pop-dance fusion music in 2007 with her single “Softly.” She placed at number 7 on the Oricon Weekly Chart. Her debut album followed a few months later, where she wrote 10 of the 14 songs.

10. Mark Slaughter

Also born in Las Vegas, Nevada is singer Mark Slaughter. He is known for founding the metal band Slaughter.

He grew up in Las Vegas and formed his first band Xcursion when he was 17. Afterward, he joined Vinnie Vincent Invasion. This was a glam metal band that former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent founded.

When the band disbanded, two members, Slaughter and bassist Dana Strum formed the band Slaughter. It sold over five million records during its run and had four Top 30 hits on the Billboard charts. Two of their most successful singles were “Fly to the Angels” and “Up All Night.”

11. Louis Prima Jr.

To wrap up our list, we have jazz singer Louis Prima Jr., who was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the son of a musician, it’s no wonder that Prima also carved his place in music.

His father was a famous musician and his mother was also a performer. Prima learned to play the drums at only five years old. After his family moved to New Orleans, he learned to play the piano and took the trumpet in school.

Upon his graduation from high school, he went to college but soon dropped out after securing a good job. He founded the band Problem Child, which became popular in the locality and other Hollywood venues. He also played for many of the top musicians in Vegas during his career.

Summing Up Our List Of Famous Musicians From Nevada

And there you have it, musicians from Nevada whose names reached beyond its borders. It proves that music is in the blood of these Nevada-born personalities.

These people have made Silver State proud with their accomplishments. And they continue to do so by cementing their place in music history.

So we hope you like the compilation of musicians we made for you today. Whether you’re from Nevada or not, you’ll be able to appreciate these people’s music.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.