Artists Who Were Born There: Count Basie, Biz Markie, Glenn Danzig, Donald Fagen, Whitney Houston, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Redman, Wayne Shorter, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen
Bands Formed There: Bon Jovi, The Feelies, The Four Seasons, Fugees, Funkadelic, Kool & the Gang, The Misfits, Naughty By Nature, Parliament, Poor Righteous Teachers, The Rascals, The Smithereeens, Titus Andronicus, The Wrens, Yo La Tengo
You can't talk about music in New Jersey without talking about Bruce Springsteen, who has released 17 studio albums over the last four decades, amassing a huge, loyal, dedicated fan base across the globe. But the state's overall musical legacy is deeper than that.
An early example would be the Rascals, who from 1966 to 1972 defined blue-eyed soul—such that when Otis Redding first met the band, he reportedly said "My God, you guys are white!"—and evolved this into a signature brand of psychedelia, as many bands of the era did. During those same years, George Clinton's bands Parliament and Funkadelic took shape in Jersey; though Funkadelic spent its formative years in Detroit and both feel too otherworldly to attach to a place here on Planet Earth. One of Parliament-Funkadelic's closest competitors, Kool & the Gang, also formed here.
Meanwhile, Donald Fagen, one-half of the pointedly sophisticated '70s band Steely Dan, was born in Passaic. Horror punk progenitors The Misfits churned out of Lodi. Two of the biggest stars of the '80s—Jon Bon Jovi and Whitney Houston—also grew up in the Garden State, while the Smithereens' Especially For You is about the most perfect slice of Beatlesque pop you'll find this side of Liverpool.
"New Jerusalem" has also produced some very substantial hip-hop talent: Biz Markie, Queen Latifah, Redman, Fugees, Naughty By Nature, Poor Righteous Teachers and, most surprisingly, legendary L.A. rapper Ice-T, who was born in Newark.