The Music of Maryland: The Most Popular Artists Who Created the State’s Scene

Maryland has a rich musical heritage, knowing that American pop and folk music are strongly connected to it. But their musical past starts with the Native Americans who were creating different types of folk songs and melodies. Still, today, they’re known for many music names like Good Charlotte, Tori Amos, and Billie Holiday.

The concert and festival scene is pretty rich and diverse, too. There are many festivals and concerts in Maryland every year, as well as music institutions, venues, and nightclub spots.

If you want to explore Maryland’s vibrant music scene, we’ll start with the legend and talk more about the great music names from this state.

Billie Holiday

The voice behind “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and “Crazy He Calls Me” was born in Philadelphia and died in New York City, but she is tightly connected to Maryland by her mother’s side. Billie Holiday is one of the most influential jazz artists of all time, even though she died at the age of 44.

But if you ever listen to some of her songs, you’ll surely enjoy her specific and calming voice. Sadly, her voice was altered by the end years of her life, but her popularity and legacy are here to remind us of some of the best jazz performers ever.

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and is one of the most influential musicians and performers in American culture. He successfully mixed satire, nonconformity, and improvisation while nurturing genres like jazz, rock, and pop in his expression.

Sometimes, people name him the Godfather of comedy rock, as he always used satire to address social issues and fight for freedom of speech and abolition of censorship. During his life, he was a controversial figure who supported independent artists and disapproved of the record labels as a concept (even though he negotiated with a few of them).

Toni Braxton

You probably know the songs like “Spanish Guitar,” “He Wasn’t Man Enough,” and, of course, “Un-Break My Heart.” So, what if we tell you that the singer Toni Braxton was also born in Severn, Maryland, and is one of the most influential R&B music stars from the 80s, 90s, and even more recent decades? Initially, she performed with her sisters in the group known as The Braxtons, but the audience recognized her talent, so she started her solo career in the 90s.

Her voice is often described as sultry and elegant, and she could easily stylize Chaka Khan and Anita Baker. Her success in the R&B scene is a result of her emotional and smooth musical expression, making her a true Diva, just like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.

Tori Amos

Tori’s voice can take you to places you’ve never been! She is a well-known mezzo-soprano who sang hits like “Silent All These Years” and “Cornflake Girl.” Even though Tori was born in North Carolina and lived in Washington, the family moved to Maryland when she was only two years old – making her one of the state’s most recognizable icons.

Through the years, Tori went on many tours through the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In 2022 and 2023, she performed mainly in Europe but also went on an American tour. Even though there aren’t many scheduled events soon, make sure to bookmark the best sites to buy concert tickets so you won’t miss any announcements.

Good Charlotte

If you’re a millennial, you know Good Charlotte pretty well. The popular band from Waldorf was active in the early 2000s, releasing songs like “The Anthem” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” The twins Joel and Benji, together with Billy and Dean, rediscovered classic punk combined with modern rock and pop, selling millions of copies of their albums.

They were actively releasing music until the end of 2020, and they have had no new music since then. Still, we can hope that there can be some concert or tour to attend soon, as the millennials will get crazy over another band from the 2000s getting back together.


Sisqó comes from Baltimore, and he is mostly known for the “Thong Song” and “Incomplete.” He was briefly a member of the band Dru Hill but stepped out to start a solo career. Sisqó is not only a talented singer, but he’s also a songwriter, dancer, actor, and producer.

In the early 2000s, he dated the prominent R&B and pop singer Samantha Mumba, but today, he’s married to his wife Elizabeth, and they live happily together. At the same age, he appeared in quite a few movies, among them being “Snow Dogs” and “Surf School,” as well as in an episode of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

Blanche Calloway

The popular jazz singer was born in New York, but the family moved to Baltimore since they originally lived there earlier. Blanche and her brother Cab performed together very often alongside musicians like Cozy Cole and Chick Webb.

People say her style was lively and dramatic. She had a huge influence on her brother’s musical expression. They often performed together as brother and sister acts, but in the late 30s and mid-40s, things got worse for the family. Sadly, her life didn’t get better after the wars, as she was sick and died from breast cancer in 1978.

Tamar Braxton

We complete this list with Toni Braxton’s sister, who was pretty active in The Braxtons trio. She also has an active solo career, releasing a few albums and winning a few music awards.

Tamar Braxton still performs on the stage, as she returned to music in 2019, releasing the single “Changed” in March 2023. And while her sister Toni is probably more popular, Tamar surely knows how to entertain her fans and engage with them, staying relevant and popular through the years.

So, this is a long list of popular musicians from Maryland and around. Make sure you track what’s happening on the scene of Maryland concerts in 2023 because some of the listed stars who are still alive may schedule a performance worth attending.