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30 Best 2000s Musicians & Artists (Most Popular)

December 26, 2023
2000s musicians

I’ve put together a carefully curated list of the best 2000s musicians and artists, capturing the essence of a decade marked by diverse musical innovation and boundary-pushing creativity.

This article takes you on a journey through the 2000s, revisiting the iconic sounds and groundbreaking artists who left an indelible mark on the music landscape.

Top 2000s musicians & artists

  • Beyoncé
  • Outkast
  • Coldplay
  • Eminem
  • Alicia Keys
  • U2
  • The Strokes
  • Kanye West
  • The White Stripes
  • Amy Winehouse

1. Beyoncé 

Beyonce ́ became famous in the late ‘90s as part of the incredible R&B girl group Destiny’s Child before launching a successful solo career in the early 2000s.

She has since become one of the biggest names in pop music.

Some of her best-known hits include “Crazy in Love,” “Irreplaceable,” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).

Listening to Queen Bey’s songs can instantly change your mood. 

And apart from her musical career, she’s also known for her extraordinary fashion sense, inspiring many girls worldwide with her unique style. 

2. Outkast 

Outkast is an American hip-hop duo from Atlanta, Georgia, consisting of Big Boi and Andre 3000, whose hits defined the sound of rap music for much of the 2000s.

Their most popular singles include “Hey Ya!”, “The Way You Move,” and “Ms. Jackson.”

The songs were massive hits that helped propel Southern hip-hop to the global scene. 

3. Coldplay

Coldplay rose to fame in the early 2000s with their critically-acclaimed debut album Parachutes. 

Songs like “Yellow,” “Trouble,” and “Clocks” helped the band become one of the biggest rock acts of the decade.

The British rock band has sold millions of albums around the world. 

And they are remembered for headlining a concert at the iconic Super Bowl halftime show in 2016.

4. Eminem 

Eminem became one of the most renowned rappers in the 2000s with his hit albums The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show, selling millions of copies worldwide. 

His provocative lyrics, humorous delivery, and aggressive flow made him one of the most talked-about artists in hip-hop.

One of his most iconic songs, “Lose Yourself,” won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 

Eminem remains a household name today, thanks to his loyal fanbase and a little controversy around his career. 

5. Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys debuted in 2001 with her Songs in A Minor album, which was met with critical acclaim and commercial success.

Her soulful piano ballads like “Fallin'” and “A Woman’s Worth” quickly earned her recognition and praise from music fans worldwide. 

Keys has released multiple hit songs throughout her career, including “Empire State of Mind” featuring Jay-Z, which topped the international charts. 

6. U2

Irish rock band U2 was already famous in the 1980s but found new success in the 2000s. 

U2 toured extensively during this period, connecting with their global fans while increasing their popularity in the rock music scene.

Songs like “Beautiful Day,” “Vertigo,” and “City of Blinding Lights” remain some of the band’s greatest hits. 

Decades later, U2 is still going strong, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

7. The Strokes

The Strokes rose to fame in the early 2000s with their debut album, Is This It, which spawned hits like “Last Nite,” “Someday,” and “Hard To Explain.” 

The album was hailed as a return to classic guitar-based rock & roll, marking the start of a garage rock revival in the music industry. 

The Strokes have since released four more albums, earning them lots of praise from fans and critics alike. 

8. Kanye West

Ye began his musical journey in the early 2000s, releasing his multi-platinum album, The College Dropout. 

He followed it up with three more critically-acclaimed albums in the 2000s: Late Registration, Graduation, and 808s & Heartbreak. 

West has since won 21 Grammy Awards, setting the record for the most awards by a single artist.  

He has also released several number-one hits, including “Gold Digger,” “Stronger,” and “All of the Lights.” 

West is considered one of the best and most influential rappers in history. 

9. The White Stripes

The White Stripes were formed in 1997 but only gained traction in the 2000s after releasing their multi-platinum album, White Blood Cells. 

The duo was known for their signature sound, combining the blues and punk genres to create a unique, raw energy. 

Their singles “Fell in Love with a Girl,” “Seven Nation Army,” and “Icky Thump” cemented their name in the music scene.

After releasing six studio albums, the group disbanded in 2011.

But their influence can still be felt in modern alternative music

10. Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse first gained attention with her 2003 album, Frank

The album featured a mix of jazz and R&B influences that set Winehouse apart. 

Her biggest breakthrough came with the release of her second album, Back to Black, in 2006, which earned her five Grammy awards and put her in the public eye. 

Winehouse tragically passed away in 2011, leaving a legacy of timeless music and unforgettable, deep, contralto vocals. 

11. The Killers

The early 2000s saw the emergence of the alt-rock group The Killers, who released their debut album Hot Fuss in 2004. 

The album featured hits like “Mr. Brightside,” “Somebody Told Me,” and “All These Things That I’ve Done,” which would quickly put the musical group on a global map.

The Killers continued to release successful albums in the 2000s, cementing their place as one of the best rock bands of the era.

12. Britney Spears 

Britney Spears achieved stardom in the late 1990s but maintained a strong influence throughout the 2000s. 

She released her fourth album, In the Zone, in 2003, featuring the hit single “Toxic.” 

The song won her a Grammy award and established her as one of the most iconic female performers of the decade. 

In 2007, Spears’ fifth album, Blackout, debuted to much commercial success, with tracks such as “Gimme More” and “Piece of Me” topping the charts. 

13. Linkin Park

Linkin Park rose to prominence with their best-selling 2000 debut album, Hybrid Theory.

The band released four more albums in the 2000s, with their ability to mix metal, rap, and alternative music always captivating their fans.

They are one of the best 2000s musical artists.

14. Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott, the iconic hip-hop artist known for her innovative production, is the most influential female rapper in the world. 

She won 4 Grammy Awards throughout her career and made numerous classic hits such as “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It,” and “Lose Control.” 

Her pioneering use of sound elements, such as animal noises and multiple layers of vocal sampling, set her apart from other contemporary artists of the early 2000s. 

In addition to being a musical innovator, she was a fashion icon in the 2000s, with her eccentric style and bright colors always standing out in her music videos. 

15. Christina Aguilera

Thanks to her powerful singing voice and distinct personality, Christina Aguilera was one of the biggest pop stars of the 2000s. 

She rose to stardom in 1999 with hit singles like “Genie in a Bottle” and “What A Girl Wants.”

Throughout her illustrious career, Christina released many certified gold and platinum albums, besides garnering multiple awards.

Her list of accolades includes five Grammy Awards and one Latin Grammy Award. 

Apart from her musical career, Aguilera has excelled in her philanthropic endeavors, activism, and filming. 

16. Shakira 

Shakira is a Colombian singer, songwriter, record producer, and dancer who achieved immense success during the early 2000s. 

She gained international recognition with her fifth studio album, Laundry Service, which sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. 

Her signature style combined Middle Eastern, Latin, and rock music elements, making her one of the unique pop stars of the decade. 

Shakira also won multiple awards, including two Grammys and seven Latin Grammys.

In 2013, Forbes magazine named her one of the most powerful women in the world. 

17. Usher 

Usher Raymond IV is an American R&B and pop singer, songwriter, actor, businessman, and dancer. 

He began his career in the 1990s with his debut album, My Way, and has since become one of the best-selling musicians of all time. 

Usher was the definitive R&B star in the 2000s, releasing chart-topping hits like “U Remind Me” and “U Got it Bad.” 

He also won 8 Grammy Awards and 18 Billboard Music Awards, proving his versatility as an artist. 

Usher’s influence can be seen through many young upcoming singers in today’s R&B and Pop landscape.

18. Justin Timberlake 

One of the defining artists of the millennium, Justin Timberlake, found success as a solo artist and part of the boy band NSYNC.

His 2002 solo debut album, Justified, featured multiple hit singles such as ‘Rock Your Body’ and ‘Cry Me a River.’ 

His follow-up albums, FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006) and The 20/20 Experience (2013), increased his prominence and commercial appeal.

Timberlake has won 10 Grammy awards and 4 Emmy nominations, with hits like ‘SexyBack’ and ‘Suit & Tie.’ 

19. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga took the pop world by storm when she burst onto the scene with her 2008 debut single, “Just Dance.”

She changed the pop music game from avant-garde outfits to melodic beats and unmistakable vocals. 

Gaga succeeded as a model and an actress, appearing in movies such as ‘A Star Is Born.’ 

20. Muse

Muse is a British rock band that has captivated global audiences since its formation in 1994. 

The band’s epic sound blends rock, classical, jazz, and electronic elements to create emotionally powerful and thrilling music. 

The best albums, including Origin of Symmetry, Absolution, Black Holes and Revelations, and The Resistance, impacted the alternative music landscape in the early 2000s. 

They have an ever-evolving style, and their live shows are famous for being intense, inspiring, and energetic.

21. Maroon 5 

Maroon 5 has dramatically influenced the music industry since their 2002 debut album, Songs About Jane

The album spawned four hit singles: “Harder to Breathe,” “This Love,” “She Will Be Loved,” and “Sunday Morning.” 

These tracks dominated the airwaves and helped catapult Maroon 5 to mainstream success. 

Since then, they’ve released chart-topping hits such as “Moves Like Jagger,” “Sugar,” and “Girls Like You.” 

Through catchy pop hooks, soulful lyrics, and addictive melodies, Maroon 5 has become one of the biggest bands of the 2000s

22. Katy Perry 

Katy Perry exploded onto the music scene in 2008 with her smash hit single, “I Kissed A Girl.” 

Her sexy image, infectious tunes, and larger-than-life personality made her an overnight sensation. 

She followed up this success with a studio album, Teenage Dream, which included dancefloor classics like “California Gurls,” “Firework,” and “E.T.” 

In addition to selling millions of copies worldwide, Katy Perry set records at the MTV Video Music Awards for the most nominations of any female artist in a single year (2011). 

Her popularity has only increased over the years, cementing her status as one of the most popular 2000s music artists.

23. Bruno Mars 

Pop singer Bruno Mars gained worldwide acclaim when he debuted his first studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, in 2010. 

The LP had classic tracks such as “Just the Way You Are,” “Grenade,” and “The Lazy Song,” all of which topped international charts. 

Mars’ energetic performance quickly earned him a place among the best 2000s musical artists. 

24. Green Day 

Green Day had already launched its career as one of the best punk-rock acts by the early 2000s.

But it wasn’t until the release of American Idiot in 2004 that they earned global attention.

The concept album, which tells the story of an angry young man struggling to find meaning in a post-9/11 world, won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album of the same year. 

It also pushed Green Day to mainstream success, thanks to the five hit singles; “American Idiot,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Holiday,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” and “Jesus of Suburbia.” 

25. P!nk 

P!nk burst onto the music scene in 2000 with her single “There You Go,” which became an instant hit.

Throughout the 2000s, the singer released many successful songs and albums, such as “Get the Party Started,” “Stupid Girls,” and “So What.”

Her heartfelt lyrics, powerful vocals, and fearless attitude inspired many female listeners.

Recently, she returned to the top of the charts with songs like “What About Us” and “Beautiful Trauma.” 

P!nk’s unwavering dedication to her artistry has solidified her position as one of the best artists of the 2000s.

26. Avril Lavigne 

Avril Lavigne announced her arrival onto the music scene in 2002 with her debut single, Complicated.”

Her feisty, rebellious persona and catchy pop-punk hooks had teenagers everywhere singing along. 

Her debut album, Let Go, became one of the biggest pieces of the 2000s. 

It produced hit singles “Sk8er Boi,” “My Happy Ending,” and “Don’t Tell Me.” 

Avril Lavigne continued her string of hits with her follow-up album Under My Skin and her 2007 album The Best Damn Thing. 

Her edgy yet accessible sound and strong feminist message resonated with audiences of all ages and made her one of the most popular artists of the 2000s.

27. Radiohead 

Radiohead experienced mainstream success with its 2000 Kid A album. 

With songs such as “Everything in Its Right Place,” “Optimistic,” and “Idioteque,” Radiohead challenged the conventions of pop music and created something entirely new. 

Critics did not widely accept their music at the time. 

Eventually, the album became a commercial success, solidifying the band’s name in the music scene.

They have since released more chart-topping studio albums, such as In Rainbows (2007) and A Moon Shaped Pool (2016).

28. Gorillaz 

Gorillaz was formed in 1998 and quickly gained a cult following with hip-hop, rock, and electronic music elements. 

They released a self-titled album in 2001, featuring the hit single “Clint Eastwood” and the iconic animated music video. 

The album’s success catapulted the virtual band to worldwide fame and spawned several hit singles such as “Feel Good Inc.” “Dare,” and “19-2000”. 

In 2005, Gorillaz released Demon Days, an ambitious album featuring collaborations with De La Soul, Neneh Cherry, and Ike Turner. 

Demon Days garnered critical and commercial success, going multi-platinum in multiple countries. 

Since then, Gorillaz has experimented with different music styles, releasing a series of successful albums and pushing the boundaries in the music industry.

29. System of a Down 

System of a Down rose to popularity in 2001 with their breakthrough album, Toxicity

The record featured complex arrangements, loud guitars, and socially conscious lyrics that combined heavy metal, punk, and alternative rock elements. 

Songs like “Chop Suey,” “Toxicity,” and “Aerials” showcased their versatility and helped the album achieve both commercial and critical success. 

After “Toxicity,” System of a Down recorded two more studio albums, including the controversial but critically acclaimed Hypnotize and Mesmerize in 2005. 

With their sheer dedication and versatility, System of a Down established itself as a hard rock/metal powerhouse in the 2000s, earning praise from their fans and foes alike. 

30. Norah Jones 

Norah Jones, a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, New York, was a mainstay in the 2000s music industry with her unique blend of jazz, soul, folk, and pop. 

Her debut album, Come Away With Me, sold over 20 million copies worldwide, propelling her to international stardom. 

She has released multiple Grammy-winning albums throughout her career, becoming one of the most successful musicians of the decade. 

Best 2000s Musicians and Artists – Final Thoughts 

That’s it.

The 30 best 2000s musicians and artists who lit up the decade.

These artists gave everything to make the 2000s a remarkable moment in music history.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the 2000s musicians and artists.

But it will help you create a playlist that satisfies your music taste. 

Related Articles:

Best Songs of the 2000s

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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