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Top 5 Most Popular Musicians from Pennsylvania

Updated on February 20, 2013

If you've ever wondered what kind of popular musicians have come out of Pennsylvania then you're going to want to read this!

I honestly had no clue who would end up in the top five, when I was doing my research, but what I decided to do is check out the album sales of all the musicians who came from Pennsylvania. I figure that's a pretty fair gauge for popularity, don't you?

But what really is the deciding factor in how I ranked these musicians is how many albums they had that went platinum in the United States. What's it mean when your album goes platinum? Well, that means that your album sold one million copies, and there's a really good chance if you sell a million copies of your album that you're pretty popular!

So, if you read below that an album went triple platinum then that just means that it sold at least 3 million copies.

But enough about the technical ranking details, let's get into the music! Who are the top Pennsylvanian musicians? Well, let's take a look...

#5 - Poison

That's right; Poison is the fifth most popular set of musicians that came out of Pennsylvania! Why? Because they had two albums that went triple platinum:

  • Look What the Cat Dragged In
  • Flesh & Blood

And their album titled Open Up and Say... Ahh! went platinum 5 times. I'm not sure if when the people of Mechanicsburg heard this band pumping out music that's a mix between glam metal, heavy metal and hard rock that they really knew what they had on their hands.

But their song called Every Rose Has Its Thorn was lifted up to the #1 spot in the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and you can listen to it below.

#4 - Live

And coming in at number four is the band called Live... let's not forget about them! It doesn't matter if you call their music alternative rock, post grunge or hard rock, because they were rocking York, PA so hard that it was only a matter of time before they had two albums that went platinum:

  • Mental Jewelry
  • The Distance to Here

But their album called Secret Samadhi also went double platinum, and their album titled Throwing Copper actually went platinum EIGHT TIMES!

And heck, their song called Selling the Drama made it to the #43 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, which you can hear below.

#3 - Will Smith

Mhmm... Will Smith actually outranks both Poison and Live, when it comes to music! He's been in the game a long time, and even though he doesn't really make much music anymore he made plenty as the Fresh Prince with Jazzy Jeff and... well, as himself.

You know this rapper made Philadephia proud whenever his album titled Homebase went platinum, his album titled Willenium went double platinum and his album called He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper went platinum three times. But can you imagine how it feels to have an album called Big Willie Style go platinum 9 times?

Let alone the fact that he had two songs that made it to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts:

  • Gettin' Jiggy With It
  • Wild Wild West

And you get to listen to one of them below...

#2 - Taylor Swift

But hey, leave it up to Taylor Swift to outrank The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! She hasn't been in the game long but this country pop star came flying out of Wyomissing, PA and produced albums like the one titled Speak Now which went platinum 4 times.

Heck, her first self-titled album actually went platinum 5 times! But her second album, titled Fearless, outdid them all and went platinum 6 times. And you know what? Every single album she has put out has sold over 5 million copies, worldwide!

And from what I'm looking at right now, she's sold almost 20 million albums across the globe. But let's not forget about that song called You Belong With Me, which rose to that #2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Have a listen below!

#1 - Boyz II Men

And even though they aren't in the limelight much anymore, Boyz II Men will never be forgotten, because they are the most popular set of musicians to ever come out of Pennsylvania! They're doing something right in Philadelphia because not only did they produce an album titled The Remedy, which went platinum, and an album titled Evolution, which went double platinum, but their first album, called Cooleyhighharmony, actually went platinum 9 times!

Oh, and their second album... you know, the one simply titled II, went platinum TWELVE TIMES! Yeah... and they had four different songs to make it to that #1 spot in the Billboard Hot 100 charts:

  • End of the Road
  • I'll Make Love to You
  • On Bended Knee
  • 4 Seasons of Loneliness

And of course, you get to listen to one of them below...

It's not hard to see (or hear) that music is alive and well in Pennsylvania and who knows, maybe someday someone else will creep into the top 5.

You now know who the top artists from PA are, but...

© 2012 Ben Guinter

Who Is YOUR Favorite Musician from Pennsylvania?

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    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      6 years ago


      this is such a great hub! I love all the music. Taylor Swift is cool. I just couldn't get into her style of music. I love Poison, I recall many fond memories listening to them and Will Smith and I "got jiggy with it". :)

      Boyz II Men bring bittersweet times flooding back.

      Voted this up and shared, tweeted and you have been pinned! :) good to see you, take care.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Don't forget Frankie Avalon :)

    • alocsin profile image


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I didn't know that any of these guys were from Philadelphia. But then again, I'm not up on my singer biographies. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 

      6 years ago from The Garden State

      Okay, you got me there...haha. Poison had to move to L.A. to find success, though, while Cinderella were "discovered" by Jon Bon Jovi while working the Philly/South Jersey rock scene.

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Poison actually beat them out, in terms of popularity, FatFreddysCat. Cinderella's most popular albums collectively went platinum 7 times, but Poison's most popular albums collectively went platinum 11 times.

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 

      6 years ago from The Garden State

      No love for Cinderella? They were from Philly and had a pretty good run in the mid to late '80s (and they were better musicians than anyone in Poison, IMO anyway)...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hey Bendo!

      I would of never guessed Poison in a million years, well actually all five bands were a bit surprising to me. Not to say Pennsylvania does not have a music scene, I was thinking you going to name some folk the mamas and the papas....Hope all is well .


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