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Bands, Musicians and Rock Stars From LA

10 Los Angeles Native Bands and Musicians


Historically, many bands and musicians have come to LA to make it big in this West Coast rock city. It's easy to forget about the local groups who built up a following in Los Angeles and came to be known as the city's pride. Many met in high school and started the proverbial garage band. Other bands, musicians and rock stars from LA were influenced by our town's vibrant street scene and multicultural influences. 

1. Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani of Anaheim Los Angeles California
Photo: Andy Kropa/Stringer/Getty Images

Ok, technically Anaheim, where rock star Gwen Stefani was born and raised, is part of Orange County. But I'm going to let this one squeak by since she has so much style and flair that it's an honor to consider her a Los Angeles native. Her band No Doubt formed in the late '80s in Anaheim. The colloquial term 'no doubt' is undeniably So.Cal in its vibe, origin and usage. 

2. The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Native Los Angeles Band The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Photo: Matt Cardy/Stringer/Getty Images

The original line-up of the Chilis--as they're called by fans--included LA kids Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Jack Irons and the late Hillel Slovak, all alumni of Fairfax High School in Hollywood. Privy insiders may even recall the early 'Chili Pepper picnics' in nearby Bronson Park. 

3. Maroon 5

Los Angeles Musical Artists Maroon 5
Photo: Jason Kempin/Staff/Getty Images

Like the Chili Peppers, the first incarnation of indy band Maroon 5 also dates back to the high school days. In the case of Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick, the posh and private Brentwood School was where they met and formed (as another band called Kara's Flowers).

4. Metallica

LA Area Speed Metal Group Metallica
Photo: Ethan Miller/Staff/Getty Images

Where else would James Hetlfield and the gang head-bang and rock out but the sweat-drenched halls of music venues in So.Cal? Although drummer Lars Ulrich was born in Denmark he lived in LA from his teen years on. It was here that he met singer/guitarist Hetfield, a Downey, California native. They formed the band with bassist Robert Trujillo of Santa Monica and guitarist Kirk Hammett, a Northern Californian. And so this LA 'metal militia' was formed in 1981.  

5. Beck

Los Angeles Native Musician Artist Beck Hansen
Photo: Karl Walter/Staff/Getty Images

The arty indy musical artist Back Hansen, more commonly known as just 'Beck,' was born in Los Angeles in 1970. He grew up in LA living with his divorced mother and his brother. 

6. The Beach Boys

Los Angeles California Native Band The Beach Boys
Photo: Clive Limpkin/Stringer/Getty Images

Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson of Hawthorne decided to form a band with their cousin Mike Love and a school mate from Hawthorne High School, Al Jardine. The result was the legendary pop group The Beach Boys. 

7. Snoop Dogg

Rapper Snoop Dogg in Los Angeles
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Staff/Getty Images

Four words for you: West Coast Hip Hop. Snoop Dogg (a.k.a. Calvin Broadus) is the champion of the scene. The iconic rapper was born and raised in Long Beach. 

8. Josh Groban

Los Angeles Native Singer Josh Groban
Photo: Kevin Winter/Staff/Getty Images

The voice of an angel that could melt a thousand hearts was trained right here in LA at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Groban was born in LA and raised in the well-heeled Hancock Park neighborhood. 

9. The Go-Go's

Los Angeles Girl Band the Go Go's
Photo: Clive Limpkin/Stringer/Getty Images

Hollywood-born and raised Go-Go's frontwoman Belinda Carlisle was a punk rocker back in the seminal days of the rebellious movement here in Los Angeles. She formed the Go-Go's with guitarist Jane Wiedlin. They were later joined by Santa Monica native guitarist/keyboardist Charlotte Caffey, drummer Gina Schock and bassist Kathy Valentine. The core lineup for the infamous girl band was solidified by 1980. 

10. Tenacious D

Jack Black's Native Los Angeles Band Tenacious D
Photo: Kevin Winter/Staff/Getty Images

Are they a joke or are they for real? Whether you take Jack Black's band Tenacious D seriously or think of them as a musical extension of his comedy, they don't seem to go away. California native founders Black and Kyle Gass wouldn't have it any other way. The former grew up in Santa Monica and attended Crossroads School (whose halls saw other luminaries like Zooey Deschanel and Gwyneth Paltrow).

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