DENVER (KDVR) — With legendary music venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre among others, it is no wonder that many artists and bands have come out of the Centennial State.

Some of the following artists were born and raised in the state, while others made it their home later in life.

John Denver

It would not be a proper list of famous Colorado musicians without John Denver.

Denver was not born in Colorado, but he was as familiar with the state as anyone who was — if not more so. He was also not born bearing the state capital’s name — being born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. — but he chose it.

One of Denver’s most iconic songs, “Rocky Mountain High,” is recognized as one of Colorado’s two official state songs.

Philip Bailey

You have very likely heard Denver-born Philip Bailey’s voice at least once in your life.

While the band Earth, Wind & Fire was started in Chicago, Bailey was an early member and served as a lead singer along with founder Maurice White.

As a member of Earth, Wind & Fire, Bailey has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, among other honors.

Nathaniel Rateliff

Like John Denver, Rateliff was not born in Colorado, but the singer moved to the Mile High City and has since developed a strong local and national following.

He appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live in February 2021.


ILLENIUM is the professional name for Nicholas Miller, a DJ based out of Denver.

The DJ, who was nominated for a Grammy in 2022, will play at Empower Field at Mile High on June 17.


It may come as no surprise that a music group named after a Colorado area code was founded in Colorado. The electronic duo was founded in Boulder in 2004 by Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte.

They are known for songs like “DONTTRUSTME” and “Starstrukk,” which featured pop idol Katy Perry.

The Fray

Founded in Denver in 2002 by Isaac Slade and Joe King, The Fray has had a number of Billboard Top 100 hits in its history.

The band is known for songs including “How to Save a Life,” “Over My Head (Cable Car),” and “You Found Me.”

The Lumineers

While The Lumineers was not founded in Colorado, it is currently based in Denver. Founding members Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites relocated to the city in 2010.

Two former members — Neyla Pekarek and Maxwell Hughes — were born and raised in the state.

“Ho Hey,” a song on the band’s debut album, reached No. 3 on the Billboard Top 100 list.


OneRepublic was started in Colorado Springs in 2002 by Ryan Tedder and Zach Filkins.

In 2007, “Apologize,” a song on the band’s debut album “Dreaming Out Loud” was remixed by record producer Timbaland. The remix reached No. 2 on the Billboard Top 100 list, and No. 1 on the charts in several other countries.

Other musicians and bands from Colorado

Given the rich music scene in the state, there are too many musicians and bands to individually list in an article. The following are some other notable musicians and bands with roots in the state:

  • Breathe Carolina – Electronic music duo from Denver
  • Judy Collins – Singer-songwriter who got her start in Denver
  • Big Gigantic – Hip hop duo founded in Boulder
  • Big Head Todd and the Monsters – Rock band founded in Boulder
  • Firefall – Country rock band founded in Boulder
  • Flobots – Solo-group founded in Denver by Jamie Laurie
  • Richie Furay – Singer, guitarist, songwriter and founding member of bands Buffalo Springfield and Poco
  • Havok – Thrash metal band founded in Denver
  • Tom Hamilton – Bassist and songwriter for Aerosmith
  • Michael Johnson – Singer-songwriter from Alamosa
  • Glenn Miller – Jazz artist from the famous band “Glenn Miller and His Orchestra”
  • Ivan Moody – Lead singer for Five Finger Death Punch
  • Scott Stevens – Songwriter, singer and founding member of The Exies
  • Sugarloaf – Rock band founded in Denver
  • Tag Team – Hip hop duo from Denver
  • Kip Winger – Bassist and lead vocalist for rock band Winger

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