REO Speedwagon Among The Best Of Illinois

Illinois has produced some well known musicians, including such legends as Sam Cooke, Muddy Waters, Nat King Cole and Benny Goodman, but when it comes to the best, many residents of the Prairie State feel that title belongs to REO Speedwagon.

REO was the top vote-getter in the Illinois Top 200, a joint initiative of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the State Journal-Register and the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. Every two weeks, Illinoisans vote on the "most inspiring leaders, greatest inventions, top businesses and much more. By the state’s 200th birthday on December 3rd, voters will have chosen 10 favorites in 20 different categories."

Commenting on the recognition, REO singer Kevin Cronin tells us, "We have always been proud of our Illinois roots, and have a deep connection with the people from the many Illinois cities and towns which gave us our start, and support us to this day. There are so many great musicians from Illinois, and to be mentioned anywhere on this list is an honor. For the people of our home state to vote us as their number-one is awesome. We love, and thank you all.” 

The 10 Illinois musicians chosen in online voting are:

  1. REO Speedwagon
  2. Alison Krauss
  3. Nat King Cole
  4. Cheap Trick
  5. Miles Davis
  6. Benny Goodman
  7. Buddy Guy
  8. Earth, Wind & Fire
  9. Muddy Waters
  10. Sam Cooke

Among the musicians who hail from Illinois who came up short are:

  • Gene Krupa
  • Styx
  • Curtis Mayfield
  • Dan Fogelberg
  • Kanye West
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