Photo by Zachary via the Pittsburgh Beautiful app
We all know Pittsburgh is one of the greatest cities in the world. Here are 7 musicians that put Pittsburgh on the map and made the city even more legendary than it already is.
1. Wiz Khalifa
Wiz was born in 1987 and grew up a military brat before settling in Pittsburgh at age nine. He later attended Taylor Allderdice High School and wrote lots of his own lyrics as a teen. His single “Black and Yellow,” the anthem for Steeler fans everywhere, peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In March 2015, his single “See You Again” was featured on the soundtrack for the Fast and the Furious franchise movie Furious 7. That single peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for a dozen weeks.
2. Christina Aguilera
Like Khalifa, Aguilera was an Army brat. She settled in Rochester, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh and frequently sang the National Anthem for Pirates, Steelers and Penguins games. Christina currently has five Grammys, one Latin Grammy and ranking number 58 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has estimated record sales of 75 million, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists.
Pittsburgh-based American punk band Anti-Flag is known for their political lyrics and anti-war activism. They also speak a lot about class struggles, human rights and sociopolitical statements. The band includes singer and guitarist Justin Sane, drummer Pat Thetic (the band’s founder) and guitarist Chris Head as well as singer/bassist Chris Barker. Barker replaced Andy Flag, who was the original bassist. Anti-Flag supports organizations like Democracy Now!, Greenpeace, Amnesty International and more.
4. Billy Eckstine
American jazz singer Billy Eckstine was a bandleader during the Big Band era. He was born in Highland Park, PA. His sister was a Spanish teacher at Taylor Allderdice. Billy’s recording of the song “I Apologize” was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999. The New York Times wrote about him as an influential band leader who inspired other famous singers like Lou Rawls.
5. Rusted Root
The band Rusted Root was formed nearly 30 years ago in Pittsburgh by three musicians—percussionist Liz Berlin, singer/guitarist Michael Glabicki and bassist Patrick Norman. The band got its start playing at Jack’s Back Room in the South Side. The band put out a platinum-selling album called “When I Woke,” with the hit single “Send Me On My Way,” which has been featured in multiple films and commercials.
6. Bill Deasy
Bill Deasy is a singer-songwriter, recording artist and author born and raised in Pittsburgh. He got his start at stages around the Pittsburgh area. Deasy is the lead singer of the band The Gathering Field. He also released a solo, semi-acoustic album called Spring Lies Waiting. Deasy has toured across the U.S. both headlining and opening for artists like Bruce Springsteen, Norah Jones, Rosanne Cash and more.
7. The Marcels
The Marcels were a Pittsburgh-based American doo-wop group that were best known for turning popular music into rock songs. The group was formed in 1959 and named after a popular hairstyle called the marcel wave. In 1961, the band released a new version of the song “Blue Moon.” It is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.