Illinois - Chicago
Hailing from their namesake Chicago, this classic rock act has remained at the top of the list of most successful musical acts from Illinois for decades. Chicago (the band) has sold over 40 million units in the U.S., with 23 gold, 18 platinum, and eight multi-platinum albums, including Chicago 17, Greatest Hits, 1982-1989 and Chicago IX: Chicago’s Greatest Hits.
Indiana - Michael Jackson
One of the highest selling acts in history with over 400 million records sold, as explained by Paste Magazine, "Michael Jackson’s album sales are next to untouchable. For nearly a decade after Jackson’s death in 2009, Thriller held top spot as the highest-selling record ever at 33 million albums, though the Eagles recently reclaimed the title."
Iowa - Andy Williams
Selling 45 million records, Andy Williams gained prominence through a lifetime musical career including, "'The Andy Williams Show,' a weekly television variety program that ran for nine years on NBC starting in 1962, and a dozen TV specials from 1959 through 1987," as well as a residency at his own Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri.
Kansas - Kansas
If you didn't know, the band Kansas is from Kansas, and they have sold 30 million records to date. The band Kansas is from Topeka, having made the classic-rock mainstays, “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son.” Kansas continues to release new music, having landed on the Billboard charts in 2020 with The Absence of Presence.
Michigan - Madonna
You may not know that Madonna is from Michigan, having made her name in New York City, though the Bay City native has sold more than 300 million album units worldwide. One of the best selling musical acts in the whole world, Madonna is the best selling artists from Michigan, still releasing best selling albums long into her career.
Minnesota - Prince
This may be really obvious, but did you know that Prince is Minnesota's number one selling musical act? With over 100 million records sold, Prince was known for prolific creativity, nurturing new talent, and advocating for musicians owning their own work. The best selling artist of 2016, an achievement posthumously earned.
Missouri - Eminem
You may most associate Eminem with Detroit, Michigan, and you wouldn't be necessarily be wrong. However, Eminem was actually born in St. Joseph, living in Missouri during his childhood, before moving to Michigan. Either way, Eminem is a massively successful Midwestern artist, selling over 220 million album units so far in his career.
Nebraska - Mannheim Steamroller
Mannheim Steamroller is an American neoclassical new-age music group founded by percussionist/composer Chip Davis that is known primarily for its Fresh Aire series of albums, which blend classical music with elements of new age and rock, and for its modern recordings of Christmas music. The group has sold over 28 million record units.
North Dakota - Wiz Khalifa
While associated with Pittsburg, according to Paste Magazine, "Wiz Khalifa—raised a military brat—was, in fact, born in Minot, North Dakota, prior to moving to Germany, Japan and, eventually, Pittsburgh." The musical artist has sold over 5 million album unit sales to date.
Ohio - Rascal Flatts
Disbanding in 2021, the band Rascal Flatts, originating in Columbus, Ohios sold over 27 million albums and 33.7 million digital downloads since their debut in 2000. "Their longest-lasting No. 1 single, a cover of Marcus Hummon's "Bless the Broken Road," spent five weeks in that position in 2005.
South Dakota - Shawn Colvin
With a platinum record, Shawn Colvin is South Dakota's best selling musical act. "Three-time Grammy winner Shawn Colvin stopped the industry in its tracks with her arresting 1989 debut, Steady On. The following spring, Colvin took home the GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Folk Album, legitimizing a burgeoning genre that’s grown ever stronger and richer with time."
Wisconsin - Steve Miller
Selling more than 60 million album units and hailing from Milwaukee, "Steven Haworth Miller is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, known as leader of the Steve Miller Band. He began his career in blues and blues rock and evolved to a more pop-oriented sound during the mid-1970s through the early 1980s, releasing popular singles and albums."