South Florida's Most Successful Music Acts, Part One | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


Broward and Palm Beach's Most Successful Music Acts, Part One

What is success? To some, it is a measure of happiness. To others, it is a measure of wealth, and to still others, health. To measure the success of a musician or an artist of any sort can be just as arbitrary.

With that in mind, using a combination of commercial and critical success coupled with a sprinkle of historical significance, we have ranked the top 20 most successful musicians born or bred in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. 
20. Johnny Depp
This Miramar native is undoubtedly the most famous person on the list. But even though he headed to California with dreams of being a rock star, he became a household name due to his acting in movies like Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood. The teenager whose band the Kids graced the stage of the Button South  in the early '80s would be glad to know decades later he's still playing guitar with none other than Alice Cooper and Joe Perry in the celebrity supergroup Hollywood Vampires.
19. Robb Bank$
The Coral Springs rapper graced the cover of this publication earlier this year. The son of the Jamaican reggae star Shaggy, Robb Bank$ has been able to carve out his own identity. Over the course of four mixtapes and last year's album Year of the Savage, he's slowly been morphing from an underground favorite into a mainstream player
18. Poison the Well
After a five-year hiatus, the hardcore punk quartet recently returned to the stage with shows at Churchill's and Culture Room. Nearing twenty years from their formation in 1997, the band has had former members go on to make their mark. Derek Miller, for instance,  formed Sleigh Bells. Old school fans at last month's sold-out shows will tell you there's no improving upon the perfection of  Poison the Well's debut The Opposite of December  recorded in Pompano Beach..
17. Jack Off Jill
Perhaps most famous for lead singer Jessicka Addams' romance with Marilyn Manson,  this nineties Fort Lauderdale band had its own shock rock and riot grrl bonafides. After breaking up in 2000, the band has played some reunion shows the past couple years but has yet to make a triumphant homecoming.
16. Jake Miller
The Weston-raised 23-year-old is already on his second career. After becoming a YouTube sensation due to his rapping skills, the former University of Miami student decided on a move to Los Angeles for a do-over. Now a pop singer, Miller this year released the EP Overnight and played a stadium tour opening for Fifth Harmony which included an August date at his hometown Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre.
15. Surfer Blood
With the death of their original guitarist Thomas Fekete, it's been a tragic year for these West Palm indie rockers. But Surfer Blood has persevered. Since forming in 2009, they've released three albums, had their songs heard on TV shows and video games, and opened for their heroes and influences, the Pixies and Guided by Voices, on national tours. 
14. Further Seems Forever
Since their founding in 1998, these emo rockers have seen their share of lineup changes. Among the singers of this Pompano Beach band were Chris Carrabba, Jason Gleason, and the late Jon Bunch. The band broke up in 2006 only to reunite several times, most recently this summer on a minitour playing the 2003 album, How to Start a Fire.  
13. Pleasure P
Born in West Park as Marcus Ramone Cooper, Pleasure P was the singer of Pretty Ricky. The R&B/ hip-hop group released four albums from 2003 through 2009, scoring a #1 album with 2007's Late Night Special. There's been talk of a fifth album, but in the meantime Pleasure P has carved out a solo career which in 2010 earned him two Grammy nominations for the song "Under."
12. Nonpoint
Fort Lauderdale's premier nu-metal outfit has carved together a steady following in the nearly two decades since their formation in 1997. Their last four albums have hit the top ten on the hard-rock charts, and as their peers from when they started out have broken up, Nonpoint continues to sell out shows nationwide.
11. New Found Glory
Like many of the bands on the list, New Found Glory first got together long ago — in this case, 1997. Hailing from Coral Springs, New Found Glory (along with Blink-182) is credited with creating the template many pop-punk bands followed throughout the 2000s. Two of their eight albums peaked in the top five of Billboard's charts. After touring again this past summer, the band is now working on new music, according to its Facebook page.
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David Rolland is a freelance writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland

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