Dizzy Gillespie playing the trumpet

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie. Image courtesy of SCPRT.

South Carolina is home to a wide variety of musical styles and traditions.

South Carolina Symbols

More information on these symbols can be found at the SC State House Student Connection.

Famous South Carolina Musicians & Singers

Meet performers that have lived in South Carolina and are now known across the country.

  • James Brown (1933-2006)
    Singer, songwriter, and dancer that has been called “The Godfather of Soul” (born in Barnwell, SC)
  • Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993)
    Jazz trumpeter and major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz (born in Cheraw, SC)
    Listen to Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, "Salt Peanuts"
  • Eartha Kitt (1927-2008)
    Actress, singer, and cabaret star (born in North, SC)
  • Edwin McCain (1970- )
    Alternative rock singer-songwriter and musician (born in Greenville, SC)
  • Bill Pinkney (1925-2007)
    Member of the R&B group, The Drifters and influential in the beach music scene (born in Dalzell, SC)
  • Julie Roberts (1979- )
    Country music singer (born in Lancaster, SC)
  • Darius Rucker (1966- )
    Lead singer and rhythm guitarists of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish. The band was formed at USC in Columbia (born in Charleston, SC).
  • Angie Stone (1961- )
    R&B and soul singer-songwriter and record producer (born in Columbia, SC)
  • Aaron Tippin (1958- )
    Country music artist and record producer (raised in Traveler’s Rest, SC)
  • Josh Turner (1977- )
    Country music artist (born in Hannah, SC)

South Carolina Music Links

  • Gullah Music
    Learn about slave songs and Gullah music with Aunt Pearlie-Sue! You can write a blues song, sing a worship song in the praise house, and find the hidden meaning in a work song.
  • South Carolina Soundtrack
    What would you put on a soundtrack about South Carolina? Find out what one collection looks like!