15 Of The Most Famous Rock Bands Of The 2000s

Last updated

The 2000s produced some of the greatest rock bands the world has ever seen. From the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Green Day, classic songs that people still listen to today came from that period.

This list will go over the 15 most famous rock bands of the 2000s as a way to pay tribute to the people who started from rough beginnings and flourished into a worldwide phenomenon. From angsty lyrics to epic guitar rifts, these bands have it all.

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers

Many people know the numerous songs sung by The Red Hot Chili Pepper that has made them jump and dance from the moment they came on. 

The four-person band is regarded worldwide as the most successful alternative rock band.

Rightfully so, as the California born-band has sold over 100 million copies across the globe, won six Grammys, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

Through the 2000s, they released two massive albums, “By the Way” and the notorious “Stadium Arcadium.” The latter was their first album to top the billboard 200 charts.

2. Linkin Park

Linkin Park is a band that caught fire fast with their album “Hybrid Theory” and their hit song “In the End.”

Coming together in 1996, the band is a part of the 100 million records sold worldwide club with 6 American Music Awards, and they’ve won numerous other accolades.

Through the years, the band has seen its share of hardship, with one of their lead singers, Chester Bennington, taking his own life in 2017. The band hasn’t toured or produced new music since his passing.

Even so, Linkin Park will forever be one of the most inspirational alt-rock bands ever to grace a microphone.

3. 3 Doors Down

You know 3 Doors Down because they gave you classic hits like “Kryptonite” and “Here Without You.” The album that contains these hits reached the status of six-times platinum in the United States.

They united in the relatively unknown city of Escatawpa, Mississippi, and originally consisted of only three members before gaining their fourth in Richard Liles.

Nevertheless, they released hit after hit during the 2000s, with their third album reaching number one on the billboard 200 chart. 

The band got their iconic nickname from a trip to Foley, Alabama, where they received inspiration from a sign that read “doors down.”

4. Evanescence

Evanescence is a rock band formed in the rarely talked about city of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Their founding members include vocalist, pianist, and keyboardist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody. These two led the group of five through the 2000s with three hit albums.

The two come from humble beginnings in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1995, playing for local coffee shops for next to no money.

A good chunk of their fame comes from their hit singles “Bring Me to Life” and “My Immortal” from their 2003 album “Fallen,” which has sold 17 million copies globally. In 2006, their second album, “The Door Open,” sold over 5 million records.

5. Maroon 5

Maroon 5 has a renowned sound in the genre of pop rock with their classic hits of the 2000s, including “This Love,” “She Will Be Loved,” and “Makes Me Wonder.”

These songs and others earned them numerous spots in the top 200 charts and a Best New Artist Grammy. 

Their album, Songs About Jane, went quadruple platinum by 2005, which was only complemented by “Makes Me Wonder” from their 2007 album “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long,” reaching the number one spot on the billboard 200 chart.

After losing Ryan Dusick in 2006 to wrist and shoulder complications, his replacement Matt Flynn and the band actively toured. 

6. U2

U2 is the first non-American-formed band on this list, coming from Dublin, Ireland. They also changed their sound from their early inception in 1976 to what we hear from them now.

This metamorphosis started in the early 2000s with their album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” followed by a second album, “How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.”

The former reached number one in numerous countries and peaked at 12 million copies.

Fans met the change with positive results as the subsequent tour they went on, titled U2 360°, was their highest attended tour up until that point.

7. The Killers

The Killers are an American band who garnered massive fame with some of their hit singles, such as “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me.” 

In fact, their 2004 debut album, “Hot Fuss,” was a breakout album of sorts as it sold over seven million records and peaked at number seven on the billboard 200.

This Las Vegas-born band is considered by many as one of the biggest rock bands started in the 21st century, selling close to 11 million records in just the United States.

Unfortunately, core members, Stoermer and Keuning, have gone their separate ways, with Stoermer all but retiring and Keuning releasing a solo album.

8. The All-American Rejects

The All-American Rejects found success early after putting together their group in 1999.

Coming out of Stilwater, Oklahoma, a 15-year-old Ritter and his buddy Wheeler wrote and composed songs for their five-man band.

The band is known for their hit singles “Dirty Little Secret” and “Move Along,” both of which made the top 15 in the billboard 100s.

While you may know their songs, you might not know that their name doesn’t have a glamorous backstory. 

Wheeler and Ritter coined their band name in high school because it sounded cool, and they have since grown into the role.

9. Foo Fighters

It took a while for the Foo Fighters to get their final lineup together, but once disenfranchised Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl found his squad, they were ready to make memorable music. 

The band of four was doing well before their fifth addition, Pat Smear, joined their ranks.

By then, they had already released four albums, while their 2005 album, “In Your Honor,” was nominated for five Grammys.

Although their 2005 album was nominated, it didn’t win, which broke their four-year-long streak of grammy wins. This lapse was, in part, due to Grohl building Studio 606 while recording.

10. Radiohead

Britain’s own Radiohead planted its roots in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, during the mid-eighties. They found massive success through the 1990s, releasing four albums that brought them to global fame.

However, the year 2000 saw them change the style of their music drastically as they implemented electronic music, jazz, and classical sounds into their songs.

At first, fans met the stark difference in tune with pushback, but, eventually, they won them back.

Some of their Billboard topping hits include “Creep” and “Nude.” Their iconic sound nominates them as some of the decade’s best bands.

11. Paramore

The Hayley Williams-led band, Paramore, released their debut album, “All We Know is Falling,” in 2005. Atlantic Records, the label that would first sign her, had an eye on Williams since her early teenage years.

However, she wouldn’t leave her band behind to pursue a solo career, so they soon signed on with her.

Haley and her band of three produced hit singles, such as “Misery Business” and “That’s What You Get,” which shot them into superstardom.

The parent album “Riot” was certified platinum and earned them a Best New Artist nomination in 2008.

12. Green Day

Green Day may have laid their roots in the late 1980s, but it made their name during the mid to late 2000s.

More specifically, they made their name with the younger audience by releasing their rock opera album “American Idiot.” 

The album was a hit in the US and sold six million records, making it one of their highest-selling hits.

That first mid-2000 classic was followed by the new album “21st Century Breakdown” in 2009, which marked the band’s best chart showing the date.

As of 2022, the band has sold over 75 million copies globally. 

13. Blink-182

Blink-182 is a band that made its name in the skate park arena but soon reached an audience far and wide with its frantic shows and classic humor.

Their early 2000 breakout album, “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket,” became part of the reason they grew to massive proportions, eventually selling 50 million records.

They weren’t a cohesive unit in their early days as they participated in solo recording sessions and touring before finally coming together and signing with MCA Records in the late 90s.

They made their biggest splashes with songs like “All the Small Things” and “I Miss You.”

14. The Strokes

The Strokes were regarded as the leading band during the Indie Rock revival era in the early 2000s. The group of five released three albums and an EP during the decade.

They signed to a record label before releasing their first EP, “The Modern Age.” Once the world caught a glimpse of their talent, record labels fell over themselves trying to sign these rock stars. RCA records eventually snagged them.

Their debut album, “Is This It,” rose to critical acclaim and contributed heavily to their five million worldwide record sales. 

15. Good Charlotte

Good Charlotte is a band that came together in 1996, consisting of Twin brothers Joel and Benji Madden, Bassist Paul Thomas, and Keyboardist Billy Martin.

Their second album, “The Young and the Hopeless,” is where they made their breakout success because it’s sold over three and a half million copies in the US alone.

The twin brothers conceptualized the idea of their band after watching a Beastie Boys concert in the mid-90s.

It wasn’t long after their 1997 high school graduation that they started working full-time in the band instead of going to college.

They have been on hiatus since becoming fed up with the music industry in 2011.

Summing Up Our List Of 2000s Rock Bands

That’s it for now. We hope you enjoyed listening to their top songs while reading this article.

These rock bands have, one way or another, changed the music world forever. Some of them were pioneers, while others redefined their particular genre.

The 2000s was a prime time for many rock bands to flourish and pave their way.

While this list only featured the top 15, there are many more that could have easily made the cut.

There are just too many to name due to the massive amounts of talent out in the world. Who do you think we missed off? Let us know and we’ll add them in!

Photo of author
Written by Laura Macmillan
Laura has over 12 years experience teaching both classical and jazz saxophone and clarinet. She now resides in California where she works as a session and live performer.