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Did you know these musicians got their start in Colorado?

Some of the biggest musicians got their start right here in Colorado.

Colorado has one of the biggest music scenes in the country. 

Hundreds of the biggest artists from all genres come to the Mile High city each year, but did you know that some huge acts got their start right here in Colorado? 

Here are some of the artists who got their big break in Colorado!


In 1996, lead singer Ryan Tedder and lead guitarist Zach Filkins met during their senior year at Colorado Springs Christian High School, according to Chilloutradio.com. During the time at CSHS, the two decided to create a band. Chilloutradio.com said they enlisted some friends to start a band and named it ‘This Beautiful Mess’. The band performed small gigs at their local coffee shop, Pikes Perk Coffee & Tea House. That band broke up after Tedder and Filkins went to different colleges. The two eventually reunited after college where they formed a second band that was signed to Columbia Records and renamed what they are known today: OneRepublic. The band went on to have some of the biggest hits on the radio including 'Counting Stars', ‘Stop and Stare’, and ‘Apologize.’ The band now consists of Tedder, Felkins, Eddie Fisher, Brent Kutzle and Drew Brown.

The Fray

You may have heard ‘How to Save a Life’ or ‘Over My Head (Cable Car)’ in commercials or in one of your favorite movies or tv shows, but did you know that the group started in Denver? The four-man band officially started in 2002 when the recorded their first EP. According to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, "the act’s roots can be traced back further, to when three of the four members attended the same Christian school and led the musical portions of worship services in a number of Denver churches." Today the group has two number one hits on the Billboard charts.

The String Cheese Incident

The jam band that plays all over the country and at some of the biggest music festivals started in Telluride, Colorado in 1993. According to an interview with Denver magazine 5280,  the group got their big break playing at local ski resorts and private events.


The Denver/Colorado area code is literally in their name. The pop duo consisting of Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte, named the group after the area code that once covered all Colorado, according to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The duo released their self-titled album in 2007 after growing their fan base in the Denver area. In 2008, the group released their second album, Want, featuring the single 'Don’t Trust Me,' which reached number seven on the Billboard top 100. The duo collaborated with pop superstar Kesha on their second album with their single 'My First Kiss.' With hit singles hitting the radio waves, the duo has toured the country opening for artists like All Time Low, Boys Like Girls, Third Eye Blind, and many more.

Nathaniel Rateliff

At just 18 years old, singer-songwriter, Nathaniel Rateliff moved to Denver where his rise to fame began, according to CPR NewsIn 2002, Rateliff formed a band called Born in the Flood. The group gained a fan base in the Denver area where they headlined music festivals. Today, the folk singer has released three solo albums, two solo EPs, and one with the Wheel.


After seeing DJ Bassnectar in 2008 at one of Colorado’s most iconic venues, Red Rock Amphitheatre, Nicholas D. Miller decided he was going to move to Denver full-time where he would focus on music. he he told DJ Times Magazine. Miller, who goes by Illenium, has since released four albums and toured all over the world. This year, Illenium was nominated for best dance/electronic music album at the 2022 Grammy Awards.

>> Listen to music from these Colorado artists:


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