The Music of Michigan reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Music of Michigan

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Music of the United States
History (Timeline and Samples)
Before 1940: Synthesis of Sources
1940s and 50s: Invention of Popular Music
1960s and 70s: Creation of a Counterculture
1980s to the present: Diversification of Styles
African American
Native American music (Inuit music>Inuit and Hawaiian)
Latin (Tejano and Puerto Rican)
Other immigrants (Jewish, European, South and East Asian, modern African, Middle-Eastern and Cajun and Creole)
Local music
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In Michigan, the city of Detroit has remained the capital of musical innovation for many years. It is perhaps best-known for three developments: early punk rock, Motown soul music and techno music.


Detroit has had a thriving blues scene (see Detroit blues) for some time, including most famously John Lee Hooker.


Motown Records dominated soul music for many years. Musicians included Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Jackson 5 (from Gary, Indiana, just a few miles from the Michigan border), Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, George Clinton, Martha & the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells and The Supremes. Led by Berry Gordy, Motown revolutionized soul and made Detroit one of the American centers of musical innovation.


1960s pop-rock singer Del Shannon came from Detroit.

Singer Madonna, born Madonna Ciccone in Bay City, Michigan, rose to be considered the "Queen of Pop" by many. Her long career began in the early 1980s and she continues to top charts today.


1970s Grand Funk Railroad, led by guitarist Mark Farner, began their career in Flint,_Michigan. The band, known for its hit single, "We're an American Band" took its name from the famous Canadian rail line Grand Trunk Railroad, which is also prominent in Michigan. Other major rock acts from Michigan include Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, and Ted Nugent.

Grand Rapids band The Verve Pipe rose to brief stardom in the late 1990s with the hit "Freshmen".

Recent years have seen the Detroit area rock scene get attention again with the rise of The White Stripes.

Punk rock

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, punk rock pioneers like MC5 and The Stooges (including Iggy Pop) came from Detroit. These performers had incendiary lyrics and outrageous, highly physical live shows.


In the 70s, Detroit had a small New Wave scene that included The Romantics and Sonic Rendezvouz Band, who played at a converted bowling alley called Bookie's. The hardcore punk scene had arrived by 1981, and included Detroit bands L7 and Negative Approach, as well as Necros (Maumee, Ohio), Violent Apathy (Kalamazoo, Michigan) and Meatmen and Crucifucks (Lansing, Michigan). Tesco Vee, of the Meatmen, launched the first Midwest hardcore record label, Touch & Go. Tesco also helped form an alliance between the Detroit scene and Minor Threat and other Washington DC bands (see Music of Washington DC).

The Detroit hardcore scene was known for violent, right-wing skinheads, led by The Allied and Negative Approach.

Hip hop

Michigan's most famous hip hop star is undoubtedly Eminem. Other performers include Insane Clown Posse and Kid Rock. A form of Miami bass called ghettotech arose in Detroit in the 1990s, influenced by Detroit pioneers of electronic dance music such as Juan Atkins.