(COLORADO) — The Centennial State is the main stage for some of the most widely known musical artists. Colorado has launched the careers of many chart-topping pop artists, bluegrass jam bands, hard electronic groups and more.

Here are FOX21’s Top Five musicians and bands that found stardom in Colorado.

Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire

Born and raised in Denver, Philip Bailey rose to fame as one of two lead singers of the funk and disco band Earth, Wind, & Fire. In 2000, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received 20 Grammy nominations, winning six as a group. The band earned more than 50 Gold and Platinum albums and has sold over 90 million albums worldwide.

The impact of Earth, Wind & Fire has been such that some critics even dubbed the group ‘The Black Beatles,’ according to Bailey’s official website. The band is known for having been the first African-American performers to sell out Madison Square Garden and receive the MSG Gold Ticket ward, according to the Song Writers Hall of Fame.

Bailey wrote many Earth, Wind & Fire hits including “All About Love” and “Shining Star.” He reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for his global smash duet, “Easy Lover,” with Phil Collins. Bailey continues to record music and has been featured alongside many modern pop stars including Travis Scott, Stevie Wonder and Kid Cudi.

Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith

Born in Colorado Springs, Tom Hamilton is best known as the bass guitarist and founding member of the band Aerosmith. Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Hamilton co-wrote many of Aerosmith’s hits including “Sweet Emotion” and “Janie’s Got a Gun.” Guitarist, Joe Perry, and Steven Tyler who was originally a drummer before becoming Aerosmith’s vocalist formed a power trio with Hamilton, according to Spotify. The band would expand with the addition of Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer.

The group played in clubs in Massachusetts and New York before landing a record contract with Columbia Records in 1972. Aerosmith would become one of the most popular hard rock bands in the ’70s, setting the style and sound of hard rock and heavy metal for the next two decades, per Spotify.

The Lumineers

With the Top 10 single, “Ho Hey,” The Lumineers left their mark on pop culture. The push began in Denver where the band fostered its talents, according to Colorado Music Experience. The band’s initial shows took place at an intimate basement club known as Meadowlark where local songwriters gathered.

Their debut album charted at #2 on the Billboard 200 landing them two Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Americana Album. Their second album, Cleopatra, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2016.

Big Gigantic

Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken started their Electronic Dance Music (EDM) group out of Boulder, Colorado, in 2008. The jazzy funk-focused duo is known to have tested the limits of EDM of its time.

Big Gigantic reeled in hundreds of millions of streams and touted bangers including “All of Me,” “The Little Things,” “Highly Possible,” and more, according to Spotify. The group’s music would be featured on multiple platforms such as Apple, Wimbledon, NASCAR, NBA, HBO, and Fox to the trailers for Valerian and Dirty Grandpa, per Spotify.

Big Gigantic has headlined many music festivals including Lollapalooza, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, ULTRA, Electric Forest and more.


OneRepublic is a pop-rock group that formed in Colorado Springs in 2002. The band has sold nearly 16 million records worldwide with major hits like “Apologize,” “Stop and Stare” and “Counting Stars.”

Before connecting with Colorado listeners, they first recorded and found a large audience in California. OneRepublic made its first album in 2005. Its lead single, “Apologize,” became an international success after being remixed by Timbaland. The single reached number one in 16 countries earning them a Grammy Award nomination.

The certified-platinum album, “Native,” featured the No.1 hit and 41 million-selling single “Counting Stars,” according to Spotify. The group’s latest single, “I Ain’t Worried,” was featured in Top Gun: Maverick.