American folk singers

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  1. Scarlett Johansson

    Scarlett Johansson


    Scarlett Johansson (/ˈhænsən/ joh-HAN-sən; born November 22, 1984) is an American actress, model, and singer. She made her film debut in North (1994). Johansson subsequently starred in Manny & Lo in 1996, and garnered further acclaim and prominence with roles in The Horse Whisperer (1998) and Ghost World (2001). She shifted to adult roles with her performances in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) and Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation (2003), for which she won a BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

  2. Adrienne Barbeau

    Adrienne Barbeau


    Adrienne Jo Barbeau (born June 11, 1945) is an American actress and the author of three books. Barbeau came to prominence in the 1970s as Broadway's original Rizzo in the musical Grease, and as Carol Traynor, the divorced daughter of Maude Findlay (played by Bea Arthur) in the sitcom Maude. In the early 1980s, Barbeau was a sex symbol, starring in several horror and science fiction films, including The Fog, Creepshow, Swamp Thing, and Escape from New York. During the 1990s, she became known for providing the voice of Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series and subsequent Batman cartoon series. In the 2000s, she appeared in the HBO series Carnivàle as Ruthie the snake dancer.

  3. Mandy Moore

    Mandy Moore


    Amanda Leigh "Mandy" Moore (born April 10, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. Moore first came to prominence with her 1999 debut single, "Candy", which peaked at number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her first album, So Real (1999), went on to receive a Platinum certification from the RIAA. Two more singles, "Walk Me Home" and "So Real", were released but failed to have the success of their predecessor. Her 2000 single, "I Wanna Be with You", became her first Top 40 hit in the US, peaking at number 24 on the Hot 100 chart. The parent album of the same name was released that same year to generally mixed reviews. The album went on to achieve Gold certification. After revealing her displeasure with her early works, Moore's self-titled third album, Mandy Moore (2001), featured a change of sound that drifted away from her "bubblegum pop" roots. The album spawned the single "In My Pocket", which became her third Top 20 hit in Australia. The album itself was her final album to be certified by the RIAA, receiving a Gold certification.

  4. John Denver

    John Denver


    Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, actor, activist and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer, starting in the 1970s. He was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists. By 1974, he was firmly established as America's best-selling performer, and AllMusic has described Denver as "among the most beloved entertainers of his era". After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver began his music career in folk music groups in the late 1960s. Throughout his life, Denver recorded and released approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed, with total sales of over 33 million.

  5. Johnny Cash

    Johnny Cash


    Johnny "J.R." Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor and author who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

  6. Selena



    Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (or ) (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, actress, and fashion designer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century. Billboard magazine named her the "top Latin artist of the '90s", the "best selling Latin artist of the decade". She was called the "Tejano Madonna" for her clothing choices, by media outlets. She also ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all-time and is credited for catapulting a music genre into mainstream.

  7. James Taylor

    James Taylor


    James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

  8. Norah Jones

    Norah Jones


    Geetali Norah Jones Shankar (born March 30, 1979), widely known as Norah Jones, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actress. She is a daughter of an American, Sue Jones, and Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar. She is Anoushka Shankar's half-sister.

  9. Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan


    Bob Dylan (/ˈdɪlən/; born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when his songs chronicled social unrest, although Dylan repudiated suggestions from journalists that he was a spokesman for his generation. Nevertheless, early songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" became anthems for the American civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the American folk music revival, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" altered the range of popular music in 1965. His mid-1960s recordings, backed by rock musicians, reached the top end of the United States music charts while also attracting denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.

  10. Colbie Caillat

    Colbie Caillat


    Colbie Marie Caillat (i/ˈklbi kəˈl/; born May 28, 1985) is an American pop singer-songwriter and acoustic guitarist from Malibu, California. She debuted in 2007 with Coco, which included hit singles "Bubbly" and "Realize". In 2008, she recorded a duet with Jason Mraz, "Lucky", which won a Grammy. Caillat released her second album, Breakthrough, in August 2009. Breakthrough was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards. She was also part of the group that won Album of the Year at the 2010 Grammys for her background vocals and writing on Taylor Swift's Fearless album.

  11. Bonnie Raitt

    Bonnie Raitt


    Bonnie Lynn Raitt (born November 8, 1949) is an American blues singer, songwriter and slide guitar player. During the 1970s, Raitt released a series of roots-influenced albums which incorporated elements of blues, rock, folk and country. In 1989 after several years of critical acclaim but little commercial success she had a major return to form with the release of her album Nick of Time. The following two albums Luck of the Draw (1991) and Longing in Their Hearts (1994) were also multi-million sellers generating several hit singles, including "Something to Talk About", "Love Sneakin' Up on You", and the ballad "I Can't Make You Love Me" (with Bruce Hornsby on piano). Raitt has received 10 Grammy Awards. She is listed as number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 89 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

  12. Tracy Chapman

    Tracy Chapman


    Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, known for her hits "Fast Car" and "Give Me One Reason", along with other singles "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution", "Baby Can I Hold You", "Crossroads", "New Beginning" and "Telling Stories". She is a multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award-winning artist.

  13. Bruce Springsteen

    Bruce Springsteen


  14. Jewel Kilcher

    Jewel Kilcher


    Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, and author/poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and, as of 2008, has sold over 27 million albums worldwide.

  15. Jim Croce

    Jim Croce


    James Joseph "Jim" Croce (/ˈkri/; January 10, 1943 – September 20, 1973) was an American singer-songwriter. Between 1966 and 1973, Croce released five studio albums and 11 singles. His singles "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle" were both number one hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  16. Joan Baez

    Joan Baez


    Joan Baez (/ˈb.ɛz/; born January 9, 1941 as Joan Chandos Báez) is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician, and activist whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 55 years, releasing over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish as well as in English, she has also recorded songs in at least six other languages. She is regarded as a folk singer, although her music has diversified since the counterculture days of the 1960s and now encompasses everything from folk rock and pop to country and gospel music. Although a songwriter herself, Baez is generally regarded as an interpreter of other composers' work, having recorded songs by the Allman Brothers Band, the Beatles, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Violeta Parra, The Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and many others. In recent years, she has found success interpreting songs of modern songwriters such as Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter, Steve Earle and Natalie Merchant. Her recordings include many topical songs and material dealing with social issues.

  17. Don McLean

    Don McLean


    Donald "Don" McLean III (born October2, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter best known for the 1971 album American Pie, containing the songs "American Pie" and "Vincent".

  18. Jack Johnson

    Jack Johnson


    Jack Johnson (born May 18, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and former professional surfer. Johnson is known primarily for his work in the folk rock, soft rock, and acoustic rock genres. In 2001, he achieved commercial success after the release of his debut album, Brushfire Fairytales. He has since released five more albums, a number of EPs, and surfing movies/soundtracks.

  19. Harry Belafonte

    Harry Belafonte


    Harold George "Harry" Bellanfanti, Jr. (born March 1, 1927), better known as Harry Belafonte, is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and social activist. One of the most successful Caribbean American pop stars in history, he was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. His breakthrough album Calypso (1956) is the first million selling album by a single artist. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O". He has recorded in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards. He has also starred in several films, most notably in Otto Preminger's hit musical Carmen Jones (1954), Island in the Sun (1957) and Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).

  20. Joanna Newsom

    Joanna Newsom


    Joanna Caroline Newsom (born January 18, 1982) is an American harpist, keyboardist, vocalist, songwriter and actress.

  21. Natalie Merchant

    Natalie Merchant


    Natalie Anne Merchant (born October 26, 1963) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She joined the alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs in 1981 and left it to begin her solo career in 1993.

  22. Conor Oberst

    Conor Oberst


    Conor Mullen Oberst (born February 15, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter best known for his work in Bright Eyes. He has also played in several other bands, including Desaparecidos, Norman Bailer (The Faint), Commander Venus, Park Ave., Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Arab Strap and Monsters of Folk. Oberst was named the Best Songwriter of 2008 by Rolling Stone magazine.

  23. Devendra Banhart

    Devendra Banhart


    Devendra Obi Banhart (born May 30, 1981) is a Venezuelan American singer-songwriter and visual artist. Banhart was born in Houston, Texas and was raised by his mother in Venezuela, until he moved to California as a teenager. He began to study at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1998, but dropped out to perform music in Europe, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Banhart released his debut album in 2002, continuing to record his material on the Young God and XL labels, as well as other work on compilations and collaborations.

  24. Eva Cassidy

    Eva Cassidy


    Eva Marie Cassidy (February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996) was an American vocalist and guitarist known for her interpretations of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, country, rock and pop classics. In 1992, she released her first album, The Other Side, a set of duets with go-go musician Chuck Brown, followed by the 1996 live solo album titled Live at Blues Alley. Although she had been honored by the Washington Area Music Association, she was virtually unknown outside her native Washington, D.C., when she died of melanoma in 1996.

  25. Harry Chapin

    Harry Chapin


    Harry Forster Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981) was an American singer-songwriter best known for his folk rock songs including "Taxi," "W*O*L*D," "Sniper", "Flowers Are Red," and the No. 1 hit "Cat's in the Cradle." Chapin was also a dedicated humanitarian who fought to end world hunger; he was a key participant in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977. In 1987, Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian work.

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