Pittsburgh, PA

5 Famous Musicians You Didn't Know Were From Pittsburgh

Ted Rivers

Though it may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of music, Pittsburgh has actually produced some pretty big names in the industry. From jazz and blues to rock and rap, Pittsburgh has a little bit of everything when it comes to musical talent.

Here are just a few of the famous musicians who hail from the Steel City.

1. Wiz Khalifa

Rapper Wiz Khalifa got his start in Pittsburgh's hip hop scene in the early 2000s. He released his first mixtape in 2005 and his debut album in 2006. Since then, he's gone on to release several more albums and mixtapes, collaborate with some of the biggest names in music, and score hits like "Black and Yellow" and "See You Again."

2. Billy Strayhorn

A jazz pianist and composer, Billy Strayhorn was an important collaborator with Duke Ellington. He wrote some of Ellington's most famous songs, including "Take the 'A' Train," and helped shape the sound of Ellington's orchestra. Strayhorn moved to Pittsburgh's Homewood section with his family before being sent to North Carolina.

3. Henry Mancini

A formidable figure in 20th century film music, Henry Mancini is best known for his work on film and television soundtracks. He won four Oscars during his career, including one for his Pink Panther theme song. Although born in Cleveland, Ohio, Mancini was raised in West Aliquippa, not far from Pittsburgh.

4. Perry Como

Before there was Bruno Mars, there was Perry Como. A crooner in the truest sense of the word, Como rose to fame in the 1940s with hits like "Till the End of Time" and "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas." In addition to his successful recording career, he also hosted a long-running variety show on TV. Como was born in Canonsburg, around 20km from Pittsburgh.

5. Earl Hines

A jazz pianist born in Duesquene, around 12km from Pittsburgh center, Earl Hines is considered one of the inventors of modern jazz piano. He was a pioneer in developing what's known as "piano stride," which laid the foundation for many of the piano styles that would come after him.

Though it may not be Nashville or New York, Pittsburgh has still produced its fair share of famous musicians over the years. The next time you're looking for something new to listen to, why not check out some tunes from these Steel City greats?

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