10 Popular Musicians You Didn't Know Were From Kansas City

Think's Eminem's a Detroit boy? Think again.


While Kansas City, Missouri is home to fewer than 500,000 residents, it is one of the 40 most populous cities within the United States. Within the sports world, Kansas City is popular for franchises like the MLB's Kansas City Royals, the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs and the MLS' Sporting Kansas City. When it comes to cuisine, "Kansas City barbecue" is well-known all over the country, while multi-national companies like Hallmark Cards, H&R Block and Hostess Brands all call KC home.

On the musical end, a lot of people's first reference point to the "City of Fountains" is the song "Kansas City," as written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in the early 1950s. "Kansas City" became a number-one hit in 1959 when recorded by Wilbert Harrison. It has since been recorded and/or performed by Little Richard, The Beatles, Bill Haley & The Comets, Fats Domino, Jan & Dean, Sammy Davis Jr., The Grateful Dead, Tom Jones, Muddy Waters, and James Brown, to name a few key artists.

Yet the song "Kansas City" is only one of the city's contribution to the greater musical realm. Many important recording artists, past and present, have called Kansas City home at different points of their career. Furthermore, KC has been home to plenty of key recordings, including the Judas Priest live tracks from the recent Turbo 30 deluxe album.

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Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, Chicago Tribune, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Darren is also the host of the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio. He is also the author of two published books, including 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press).