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25 Popular New York City Musicians For Your Wedding Playlist

21 October 2017

Back during the late spring and early summer of this year, I began to feature Charleston wedding playlists here on the blog that represented certain major cities of the country. Those blog posts featured many artists and bands that came from each one of those cities. Many brides and grooms come down to Charleston from large cities like Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia to get married. So, extensive research was done to determine which major musicians and bands resided or originated from these cities. It was a fun series of blogs that were designed to give those brides and grooms who have been flocking to Charleston some ideas on how to bring some of their music down here to provide some of their hometown flavor to make their wedding reception even more all about them. When the music is TOTALLY about the bride and groom some amazing things happen. Well, after three consecutive blog posts in the late spring, things got busy for me with wedding season, and I lost a bit of the momentum I had with that series and realized recently that the series still had some legs. The series still had legs because I had neglected to complete a post about the biggest city in America, New York City. New York City was the birthplace to many genres of music. To say the music the music of New York City is "diverse" would be an understatement. College courses could easily be developed to discuss the music of New York City.

Whether they are from the "state" of New York or the "city" of New York, New Yorkers come down to experience coastal South Carolina for their Charleston wedding, and they are so fun. Check out one of my very recent real wedding playlist posts about Kara & Ian from October 8, 2017 at the Historic Rice Mill. You'd be surprised at how many influential bands and musicians got their start in the New York City area. Put your headphones on and read over this blog as you begin to think about and design the perfect playlist with your DJ for your upcoming Charleston wedding.

i love new york weddings in charleston

Download These Most Requested New York City Musicians From Spotify NOW
If you are a modern bride and groom living in New York City and interested in adding a little New York City flavor to your wedding playlist, you should head over to my Spotify profile.  When you head over to my profile, you'll not only find this playlist of popular New York City musicians for your wedding playlist, but also numerous other playlists designed for wedding playlist inspiration.

Even though she grew up in the great state of Michigan, she moved to New York City in her late teens to become a dancer.  She had stints in bands like the Breakfast Club and eventually got signed to her first record deal in 1982.  At $1.4 billion in revenue, she has the most revenue from ticket sales of any solo artist. 

He's got 14 Number 1 albums (a record for Billboard) and has received 21 Grammy Awards and back in 2009, he released an ultimate New York Song that gets thrown on the playlist at Charleston weddings all the time. And since we're talking about New York, I must tell you that several year I DJ'ed a wedding for a couple from New York, where there was a 70 year old couple dancing to Jay-Z. People from New York loved to come to Charleston and they know how to party!

Alicia Keys
Her album "Songs In A Minor" was released in 2001 and has sold over 10,000,000 copies. She teamed up with Jay-Z in 2009 for Empire State Of Mind.  I could not find the official video with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys for that version on You Tube.  The version down below was released "Empire State Of Mind" part 2. It'd be a great dinner hour song for your wedding over at Harborside East or the Daniel Island Club.

 Lady Gaga
With songs like "Just Dance" and "Paparazzi", she bursted onto the scene in 2008 and has barely been inactive since. Back in 2012, she collaborated with the great Tony Bennett with an album I've played at cocktail and dinner music hours around Charleston. And in recent years, she collaborated with Bradley Cooper on the A Star Is Born soundtrack.

Cyndi Lauper
Her breakthrough album in 1983 "She's So Unusual" described her to a tee. She was a very "unusual" and the images of her checkerboard became iconic back in the 1980s. Girls "Do" Just Wanna Have Fun.  Her signature song has always been a popular choice for the dying tradiiton of the bouquet toss.

I cannot think of a more influential hip-hop act than Run-DMC, and there music is still in heavy rotation. Rolling Stone ranked them as one of the Top 50 musical artists of all time and for good reason!  The first hip-hop artist to ever earn a platinum record. Run-DMC is always showing up on wedding playlists all around Charleston. Their collaboration with Aerosmith with their version of "Walk This Way" was ground-breaking and is one of the most requested 80s songs at a lot of my weddings.

Norah Jones
Norah Jones was born in the New York City area, but then moved to Grapevine, Texas for her youth, but came back to NYC, where she would record her multi-platinum-selling me Come Away With Me. Her soft soothing voice went mainstream back in 2002 upon the release "Come Away With Me".  Her style is a mixture of jazz and a little bit of country and a side of Indie flavor. "Come Away With Me"  has been become a favorite of brides and grooms for their first dance.

Beastie Boys
Another hip hop band from the New York City area. Are you seeing a trend here? They originally started out as a punk band but moved into hip-hop by the mid 1980s and released their mammoth album "Licensed To Ill"

Back in 1973, four guys from New York City got together. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss got together to create the band you never got to see on stage. Their makeup and stage antics have still never been duplicated.  The track down below was their departure into disco in the late 1970s, but for the most part KISS was a hard rock band that eventually took their makeup off in the early 80s and became a hair band. 

Ace Frehley
In September of 1978, each original member of KISS released a solo album. Lead guitarist Ace Frehley had the most successful one of all four.  Originally, the British band "Hello" recorded this song in the mid 70s. Ace Frehley's version though in 1978 became the more popular version that charted all the way to #13 on the Billboard charts.

 LL Cool J
Coming from Hollis, Queens New York, this rapper had huge hits like "Mama Said Knock You Out", "I Need Love", and "Around The Way Girl".  LL Cool J now plays NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna in the TV show NCIS Los Angeles on CBS.

Neil Diamond
One of the biggest selling artists in the entire world comes from Brooklyn, New York.  "Sweet Caroline" is easily one of the most requested songs  all over Charleston wedding playlists and is heard at all Boston Red Sox baseball games. "Sweet Caroline" was released in the spring of 1969 and would peak at #4 on the Hot 100 in August of 1969.

Brian Setzer
The lead singer of the 80s band "The Stray Cats" re-emerged in the late 90s with his a Rockabilly band "The Brian Setzer Orchestra". Originally released in 1956 by Louis Prima, "Jump, Jive an' Wail" was covered by the Brian Setzer Orchestra in 1998 and can be found on the album Dirty Boogie and can be found on one of my novelty blog posts about songs that make people jump on the dance floor.

 Eddie Money
Born in Brooklyn and raise on Long Island, Edward Joseph Mahoney (Eddie Money) rose to fame in the latter part of the 70s and early 80s with songs like "Shakin" and "Think I'm In Love".  "Take Me Home Tonight" is one of the most requested (last songs of the night) and would peak at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 1986.

 Salt & Pepa
I'm certainly not surprised that a female hip-hop and rap duo came out of New York City back in the 80s. There was a lot of amazing musical talent coming out of New York City back then. They were one of the first and best female groups in the musical genre of rap. "Shoop" and "Push It" are two of the most requested Salt & Pepa songs by my clients over the years.

Barry Manilow
This pride of Brooklyn, New York has managed to release over 40 Top 40 singles, which included "Could It Be Magic", ""Mandy", and "Copacabana (At The Copa").  Copacabana was released in the summer of 1978, and actually has seen quite a bit of requests over the years.

Vampire Weekend
This next artist on this list of the msot requested New York City musicians on wedding playlists is an Indie band that was formed back in 2006. "A-Punk" would peak at #12 on the UK Indie chart, and Number 25 on U.S Alternative chart in 2008.

Talking Heads
The Talking Heads were formed in New York City in 1975, but broke up in the early 90s.  "Burning Down The House" and "This Must Be The Place" are two of the most popular Taking Heads requests over the years.

The Notorious B.I.G
"Hypnotize" is one of the most requested Biggie songs by my clients and it was eerily released one week before his untimely death in 1997.  "Hypnotize" would reach #1 on the Billboard charts and would become the 5th song to top the charts after the artist has passed away.

50 Cent
His real name is Curtis James Jackson III and he grew up around the South Jamaica neighborhoods in Queens.  His debut album Get Rich Or Die Tryin was released in 2003 and featured his signature song, "In Da Club".

Carole King
Originally from Manhattan in New York City, Carole King released her most popular album Tapestry in 1971. This album featured songs like "You've Got A Friend", "It's Too Late", as well as a song she wrote but was made popular by the late Aretha Franklin, "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. 

Billy Joel
Born in the Bronx, Billy Joel has had a residency ay Madison Square Garden in recent years in New York City. One of his signature songs is "Piano Man", which was the title track of his 1973 album. "She's Got A Way" is one of his most popular songs from the 80s and appears on my playlist of 25 soft rock hits from the 80s

Blondie was formed in New York City back in the mid 1970s and their music was a mixture of disco, punk, new wave, and rap. "Rapture" was released in early 1981 from the album Autoamerican, and was the first Number 1 song to have rap lyrics in it.

Lana Del Rey
Born in NYC, she was raised in upstate New York, but would come back to the Big Apple to establish her musical career. Back in 2019, she would cover the Sublime song, "Doin' Time".

Breakfast Club
In the early 80s Madonna was the drummer for the Breakfast Club.  She was in the band before she would release her first record and start her incredible career. "Right On Track" was their most successful single released in the spring of 1987, peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 chart.

Interested In Talking To Mike Bills About Being Your Wedding DJ?
For the purpose of this post, I stopped the list at 25, but there are plenty more. For instance, you've LCD SoundSystem, A Tribe Called Quest, Taylor Dayne, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambataa just to name a few more. There are lots more!  Look for more of these "geographical" salutes to the hundreds of destination brides and grooms coming to Charleston for their wedding. Since the growth of Charleston being one of the top wedding destinations in the country, the frequency of brides and grooms coming from the New York City area heading to Charleston for their wedding has been high. And I might add that when brides and grooms come down to Charleston from New York for their wedding, there is ALWAYS a party. Thank you very much for making it to the end of this post. It means a lot to me. I would love to be your wedding DJ. Click the link up above to get in touch with me so we can talk about your wedding.