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New Jersey – the unsung home of US music?

Jersey City

New Jersey is known for many things – from not so positive things like the reality series Jersey Shore, the problematic politician Chris Christie, the hundreds of jokes about New Jersey and its people, to weird things such as its diners. New Jersey is called the Diner Capital of the Country with an estimated 525 diners in there. Also one of my favorite non-musician, John Stewart (former host of the Daily Show) is from there. New Jersey is not historically known for its casinos, but since a few years ago its gambling laws have become relatively permissive, so anyone interested can check out for more info about gambling options in this great state. But in addition to those things, did you know that many of the greats in the music world hail from New Jersey? So while many people for some reason tend to make fun of New Jersey a lot, it doesn’t feel like such a bad place.

New Jersey musicians

There are a number of musicians who would dare to admit that New Jersey is where they come from.

– Bruce Springsteen is born and bred New Jerseyan
– Jon Bon Jovi is a known musician whom I’m sure many of you out there hate for no obvious reason, but he’s still pretty good.
– Frank Sinatra is one artist I discovered for myself about 20 years ago on a beach, where the official beach bar was playing his songs for a few hours in a row. After returning from the beach, I went to the store and bought myself two Sinatra cd’s. Sinatra as well as his daughter Nancy are from New Jersey.
– Whitney Houston, the troubled singer with a beautiful voice, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, is also from the Diner state.
– Paul Simon was not born a bred New Jerseyan, just bred.
– Queen Latifah, one of the very first female rappers in hip hop.
– Lauryn Hill from Fugees comes from Jersey.
– Ice-T is not only highly regarded hip hop artst, but also an actor you have probably seen in a number of movies as well as tv-series.
– Misfits is punk rock, horror punk, heavy metal group – mix all those genres together and you get a really New Jerseyan sound. Well, I’d say so.
– Jonas Brothers feels weird to add right after Misfits but hey, they too are from New Jersey.

Obviously the list is not complete. There are also a number of other musicians worth knowing, musicians who all come from New Jersey.

Photograph by Pixabay

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