While most people would be hard-pressed to name a major American city that did not produce some celebrity entertainer, Jacksonville, Florida, has been an especially notable source for musicians of multiple genres. This article is concerned with highlighting some of the best and brightest musicians and music groups who originally hail from “Where Florida Begins.“
Ray Charles. Although responsible for writing Georgia’s state song and being born in Greenville, Charles has been a Jacksonville resident since he was in his teens.
Lynyrd Skynyrd. This group is practically the poster child for Jacksonville’s major music scene. while the group started as “The Noble Five,” it soon shifted names to mock a gym teacher, one Leonard Skinner, who chastised the guys for their long hair. This group is single-handedly responsible for requests for playing “Freebird,” even when they are not listed as attending a concert.
Limp Bizkit. This group was one of the more prominent late-’90s hybrids of rap and rock music, notable for a cover of George Michael’s “Faith” and their own single, “Nookie.”
Mase. A rapper whose roots can be traced to Jacksonville but who grew up in Harlem, Mase gained success after collaborating with Sean Comb’s music label. Mase took a break from his music career at the end of the 20th Century in order to answer a call to ministry and later returned to music, performing under a reformed, clean presentation.
Molly Hatchet. This is another musical group proudly displaying the Jax tradition of Southern Rock music, being most prominent during the ’70s and ’80s for “Flirtin’ With Disaster.”
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. This relatively recent Indie music group joined forces within Jacksonville in 2003 and went into to produce a best-selling album, “Don’t You Fake It,” three years later.
Tim McGraw. While McGraw was born in the Cajun country of Start, Louisiana, he also spent a good chunk of time living in Jacksonville while pursuing higher education at FCCJ. McGraw also has some familial connections to Jax in that his father, Tug, played for the Jacksonville Suns baseball team.
Black Kids. This Indie music group started in Jacksonville and has risen to such international success that it even toured the U.K.