There’s a lot to be proud of when you’re a West Virginian—including these 12 legendary musicians who were born here.
1. Michael W. Smith
This contemporary Christian singer—who has sold more than 18 million albums—was born in Wheeling in 1957.
2. Brad Paisley
Born in Glen Dale along the Ohio River in 1972 and is a graduate of John Marshall High School.
3. Hazel Dickens
The bluegrass singer, best known for her folk songs promoting coal miner’s rights, was born in Mercer County in 1935. She passed away in 2011.
4. Johnnie Johnson
This blues pianist from Fairmont is perhaps best known for his work with Chuck Berry and the inspiration for the hit, “Johnnie B. Goode.”
5. Little Jimmy Dickens
Only 4’11” tall, this country musicians was born in Bolt, West Virginia in 1920.
6. Jack Rollins
You may not know Rollins, but this Keyser native born in 1906 co-wrote two classic songs you know: “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” and “Frosty The Snowman.”
7. Kathy Mattea
The country music superstar was born in South Charleston in 1959.
8. John Ellison
The award-winning musician, perhaps best known for writing “Some Kind of Wonderful,” was born in 1941 and raised in a small coal mining town in McDowell County.
9. Hasil Adkins
This rockabilly pioneer was born during the Depression in Boone County and died there in 2005.
10. John Corbett
Perhaps best known as an actor for his roles in “Sex in the City” and “Northern Exposure,” this Wheeling native has released two country music albums.
11. Bill Withers
This iconic American musician and songwriter was born in Slab Fork outside of Beckley in 1938.
12. Billy Cox
The legendary bassist who played for Jimi Hendrix was born in Wheeling in 1941.