A Different Kind of Crossroads: 7 Hoosiers That Rock

1Indiana is just flat cornfields?

I’ve heard it too, and that’s b%$#@t. Indiana is more than topography, tourist attractions, agriculture or historic events. One thing Hoosiers can be proud of is our musical heritage: Indiana can ROCK. Let’s take a look. *For the sake of redundancy, I am skipping the obvious ones: the Jackson 5, Micheal Jackson and John Mellencamp. We all know they’re from Indiana. 

2David Kyle Cook of Matchbox 20

Born in Frankfort, Indiana, David Kyle Cook entered the musical mainstream in the late 90s as lead guitarist for the band Matchbox 20. Between albums and tours, he has contributed to Mick Jagger’s last solo album ‘Goddess in the Doorway’, and founded a record label: the Tennessee Recording Company.

3Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds

A member of R&B royalty, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds is celebrated as one of the finest music producers in history. After four decades in the business, he has penned 26 #1 R&B songs and received 11 Grammy Awards. His hometown of Indianapolis celebrated this Hoosier by renaming a 25-mile length of I-65 the Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Highway.

4Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon

Blind Melon’s life was short-lived after singer and Lafayette native Shannon Hoon died of a drug overdose at 28, but in that short time they were able to record probably the definitive song of the early-90s, “No Rain,” the video of which starred the famous ‘Bee Girl.’

5Mick Mars of Motley Crue

Born Robert Alan Deal in Terre Haute, Indiana, Mick Mars signed on with Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx in 1980 to form Motley Crue, arguably the most popular glam rock band of the 80s. With over 100 million albums sold, Motley Crue is one of the best-selling bands in history and remains active today.

6Janet Jackson

It’s Janet. What else is there to say? From starring in ‘Good Times’ to her iconic Rhythm Nation outfit to her shocking the Super Bowl, Janet Jackson’s career has been so successful that she was able to step from the shadow of her older brother Micheal, the most popular musician, uh, ever. That’s quite an achievement for this Gary native.

7David Lee Roth

In the 80s, no one could get away with wearing leather chaps, karate kicking across stage and belting out hit after hit with a five octave range…no one except David Lee Roth. In Van Halen, out of Van Halen, EMT, radio host, you name it, he’s done it. The life of Bloomington-born David Lee Roth can be summed up in this quote: “I used to job but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.”

8Axl Rose

A troubled life and a troubled musician, Axl Rose rise and fall to rock prominence is as distinctive as his voice. His career started in his hometown of Lafayette until he headed out to LA. He first found success in the band L.A. Guns…that is, until he formed Guns ‘N Roses. The band’s first album, ‘Appetite for Destruction’, has sold 30 million copies.