Famous American Pianists

Some music lover has rightly said, "You can't overdose on music." And when the instrument is something as soothing and mellifluous as a piano, the more one plays, the merrier it is to the ears. No wonder, classical musical virtuosos like Beethoven, Bach and Chopin betted heavily on its sonorous keys to create everlasting compositions that continues to wow the music lovers to this day. That said, playing a piano is no cakewalk and it takes some serious skill and arduous practice to master the keys and chords. Now only if you thought that Europe was the haven for pianists, know that even America has produced some deft piano players whose musical repertoire and skill has got them a place among the greats. Nat King Cole, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans and Art Tatum are just a few examples of the great pianists who called America their home. Let us delve deeper into the oft-frequented world of pianists and explore the biographies, trivia, and facts about America’s famous pianists ever known to any man.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys has been active in the music industry since the mid-1990s. Her debut album was a super hit and earned her five Grammy Awards. She is one of the best-selling artists in the United States and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. She is also known for her humanitarian work, philanthropy, and activism.

 2 Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 25, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: August 16, 2018

Widely regarded as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin was a singer-songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Aretha was ranked number one on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list in 2010. Having sold over 75 million records, she is also one of the best-selling musicians ever.

 3 Ray Charles

Ray Charles
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 23, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: June 10, 2004

Ray Charles went on to become a great singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist, despite suffering blindness due to glaucoma early in his life. One of the most respected and decorated musicians of all time, Ray Charles has been named in lists, such as 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. He pioneered the soul music genre, which remains his greatest contribution.

 4 John Williams

John Williams
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 8, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

John Williams is an American composer, pianist, trombonist, and conductor. Widely considered the greatest film composer ever, John Williams has played a significant role in the American film industry by composing music for films, such as the Jurassic Park films, Star Wars saga, the Indiana Jones films, and Schindler's List. He has also influenced several other composers like Marcus Paus.

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 5 Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 29, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Four-time Grammy-winner Jerry Lee Lewis, nicknamed “The Killer,” is best known for his track Great Balls of Fire. A controversy surrounding his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin Myra destroyed his career. Named to Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, he was also part of the Million Dollar Quartet.

 6 Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole
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Famous As: Vocalist, Pianist
Birthdate: March 17, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: February 15, 1965
Jazz pianist/singer Nat King Cole, father of singer Natalie Cole, is best remembered for tracks such as Too Young and Mona Lisa. His last album, L-O-V-E, was recorded while he battled lung cancer. With The Nat King Cole Show, he became the first African-American to host his own show.

 7 Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: November 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
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 8 Norah Jones

Norah Jones
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 30, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 9 Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings
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Famous As: Singers
Birthdate: June 15, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: February 13, 2002
Waylon Jennings was one of the pioneers of outlaw country music. He began performing on KVOW radio, at age 12, and then performed with several bands, such as The Texas Longhorns, The Waylors, and The Highwaymen. He also contributed to Wanted! The Outlaws, the first platinum country album. 

 10 Don Henley

Don Henley
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Famous As: Singer, Composer, Musician, Drummer, Pianist, Songwriter
Birthdate: July 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 11 Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton
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Famous As: American R&B Singer-songwriter & Musician
Birthdate: October 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Soul and R&B sensation Toni Braxton initially performed with her sisters in The Braxtons. She won three of her seven Grammys with her debut album. Known for her Billboard-charters such as Un-break My Heart, she also collaborated with Babyface, competed in Dancing with the Stars, and produced Braxton Family Values.

 12 Tyler Joseph

Tyler Joseph
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Tyler Joseph is an American musician, rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is credited with forming the popular musical duo Twenty One Pilots, for which he serves as the frontman. He has several awards under his belt, including a Grammy Award, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and iHeartRadio Music Awards.

 13 Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins
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Famous As: Socialite
Birthdate: July 19, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: November 26, 1944

Florence Foster Jenkins was an American socialite who was often ridiculed and mocked for her poor singing ability, which in turn made her popular. Known as the world's worst opera singer, Jenkins became a musical cult-figure in New York City due to her technical incompetence as an amateur soprano. Her life inspired several plays and films, including Florence Foster Jenkins.

 14 Liberace

Liberace
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Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: May 16, 1919
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: February 4, 1987
Known as “Mr. Showmanship,” pianist, singer, and actor Liberace shot to fame with The Liberace Show, which he ended regularly with his theme song I'll Be Seeing You. The highest-paid entertainer from the 1950s-1970s, he performed in concerts and tours frequently. He also released several autobiographies and cookbooks.

 15 Ross Lynch

Ross Lynch
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 29, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Ross Lynch made his debut as Austin Moon in the Disney series Austin & Ally. He also appeared as Brady in the Teen Beach TV films and as Harvey Kinkle in the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. He has also delivered a Billboard-topping album with the band R5.

 16 Steven Van Zandt

Steven Van Zandt
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Famous As: Actor, Musician, Screenwriter, Record producer, Disc jockey, Singer, Television actor, Guitarist, Pianist, Composer
Birthdate: November 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 17 Joanna Newsom

Joanna Newsom
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Famous As: Multi-instrumentalist
Birthdate: January 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

Joanna Newsom is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actress. Noted for her unique musical style, Newsom's early work was influenced by polyrhythms. She is one of the most important members of the modern freak folk and psychedelic folk movement. Newsom is also noted for her songwriting, which incorporates elements of avant-garde modernism and Appalachian music.

 18 Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington
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Famous As: Composer, Pianist and Bandleader
Birthdate: April 29, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: May 24, 1974
Jazz legend Duke Ellington managed his orchestra till his death, and over a 6-decade-long career. He is known for his collaborations with legends such as pianist and composer Billy Strayhorn. He termed his music “American music” and refused to attach any category to it. He received a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.

 19 Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor
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Famous As: Singer, Composer, Pianist, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Record producer
Birthdate: May 17, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 20 Alicia Witt

Alicia Witt
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 21, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 21 Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Composer, Pianist, Writer, Songwriter, Jazz musician
Birthdate: September 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 22 Jack Antonoff

Jack Antonoff
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 23 Bob Seger

Bob Seger
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Famous As: American singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

Singer, songwriter, and musician, Bob Seger, first gained fame in the 1960s as a heartland rock artist. Known for his classic raspy and powerful voice, he recorded many songs that dealt with themes like love and women. With worldwide sales of more than 75 million records, he is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.

 24 Ike Turner

Ike Turner
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Famous As: Guitarist, Pianist, Actor, Singer-songwriter, Bandleader, Conductor, Singer, Record producer
Birthdate: November 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: December 12, 2007

 25 Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr.
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Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: September 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 26 Harry Connick, Jr.

Harry Connick, Jr.
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 27 Brandon Flowers

Brandon Flowers
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Composer, Pianist
Birthdate: June 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 28 Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer, Oboist, Banjoist, Record producer, Guitarist, Pianist
Birthdate: July 1, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 29 Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Dean
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 10, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: June 13, 2010

 30 Paul Reiser

Paul Reiser
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 31 Debbie Gibson

Debbie Gibson
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Actor, Composer, Film producer, Musician, Record producer, Pianist, Television actor
Birthdate: August 31, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 32 AJ Michalka

AJ Michalka
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

AJ Michalka is an American actress, musician, and singer-songwriter. She is credited with forming the popular pop duo Aly & AJ along with her sister Alyson Renae Michalka. Also a respected actress and voice actress, AJ Michalka has contributed to the success of several TV series, such as Steven Universe and The Goldbergs.

 33 Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach
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Famous As: Pianist, Composer, Songwriter
Birthdate: May 12, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Legendary musician and songwriter Burt Bacharach teamed up with lyricist Hal David and created many popular songs from the 1950s to the 1980s, including countless Billboard charters. He has won six Grammys and three Academy Awards for his tracks, and most of his songs were sung by Dionne Warwick. 

 34 Randy Newman

Randy Newman
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Singer, Composer, Conductor, Musician, Screenwriter, Film score composer, Pianist, Journalist
Birthdate: November 28, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 35 Ryan Tedder

Ryan Tedder
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 26, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 36 Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Musician, Singer, Composer, Songwriter, Pianist
Birthdate: June 15, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: January 15, 1994

 37 Jimmy Swaggart

Jimmy Swaggart
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Famous As: Singer, Theologian, Pianist
Birthdate: March 15, 1935
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 38 Fats Domino

Fats Domino
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Famous As: Pianist, Rock & Roll Musician
Birthdate: February 26, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: October 24, 2017

 39 Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 26, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: January 13, 2010

 40 Teddy Geiger

Teddy Geiger
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 41 Josh Klinghoffer

Josh Klinghoffer
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 42 Christina Grimmie

Christina Grimmie
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 12, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: June 10, 2016

Christina Grimmie was an American singer-songwriter, actress, and YouTuber. She was fatally shot in 2016 when she was signing autographs after performing at The Plaza Live in Florida. Following her murder, celebrities demanded better security measures at concert venues and Billboard published an open letter demanding background checks for gun purchases. Several venues observed safety precautions like adding metal detectors.  

 43 Leon Russell

Leon Russell
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Famous As: Singer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Pianist, Guitarist
Birthdate: April 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: November 13, 2016

 44 Nikki Sixx

Nikki Sixx
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Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: December 11, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Nikki Sixx, the co-founder, songwriter, and bassist of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, has also worked with side bands such as Sixx:A.M. Sixx owns a clothing line, has been part of radio shows such as Sixx Sense, and has written a bestselling memoir. He is also a talented photographer.

 45 Nina Simone

Nina Simone
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: February 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: April 21, 2003

Widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Nina Simone was a pioneering recording artist whose career was characterized by improvisational genius and fits of outrage. Nina continues to be an important musician and has influenced several artists like Elton John, Adele, David Bowie, Madonna, and Aretha Franklin. She was also a civil rights activist.

 46 Aaron Lewis

Aaron Lewis
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 47 Tori Amos

Tori Amos
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Famous As: Musician and Singer
Birthdate: August 22, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Alternative rock singer Tori Amos is known for her songs that highlight issues such as feminism. Amos was the youngest to win a music scholarship to the Peabody Institute. She performed with the group Y Kant Tori Read before going solo. She is associated with RAINN, a sexual abuse helpline. 

 48 Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Bandleader, Conductor, Jazz musician, Keyboardist, Actor, Musician, Pianist, Film score composer
Birthdate: April 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 49 Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons
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Famous As: Singer, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Musician, Guitarist, Pianist
Birthdate: November 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: September 19, 1973

 50 Alison Sudol

Alison Sudol
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 23, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American