Your Favorite Artists, Favorite Artists

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Genres change, instruments evolve and artists come and go. But one of the few things in music that stays the same is the influence it has on its listeners. Soon enough, a handful of those listeners will become the influence, and the cycle continues. 

Have you ever wondered who inspired your favorite artists, molding them into who they are today? Who were the role models that shaped their musical identities? Luckily for you, VALLEY has the answers. Read on to learn more about your favorite modern-day artists and their inspirations.

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Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has multiple musical inspirations, especially women in the music industry. According to an interview with Billboard, her top five list includes Imogen Heap, whom she describes as a musical genius, and India.Arie for her voice and healing lyrics. Grande also praises Judy Garland for her storytelling prowess, Whitney Houston for inspiring her to pursue singing and Brandy for her sweet voice and impressive riffs.

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According to BBC, one of Beyonce’s favorite artists is Anita Baker. Baker reminds her of her mother, as she always listens to Baker in her hair salon and admires her smooth voice. Beyonce also looks up to Lauryn Hill and praises her talent as a rapper, singer and songwriter. Beyonce’s first nephew was also born to ‘By Your Side’ by Sade, a band with many classics that Beyonce loves, which is one of many reasons why this band is held so close to her heart.

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Morgan Wallen

One artist that Morgan Wallen consistently applauds is country singer Alan Jackson. According to a 2022 interview with CMT, Wallen states

“I really love Alan Jackson, just his whole catalog. I think he’s one of the best songwriters and singers ever.”

Morgan Wallen on his favorite artist

Wallen grew up listening to Alan Jackson and is a prime reason why Wallen wanted to pursue music. 

Taylor Swift
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Taylor Swift’s musical inspirations come across all genres and decades. American Songwriter states that she admires Joni Mitchell for her deep songwriting and folk sounds, while simultaneously adoring Fall Out Boy’s pop-punk style, which she credits with influencing her “Speak Now” era. Swift also looks up to Shania Twain, especially because she transitioned from country to pop, and Paul McCartney for his kind and selfless demeanor in and outside performing.

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In a tweet, Drake stated, “My top 5 is Biggie, Hov, Wayne, Young Tony, and 3000 since nobody asked.” He didn’t elaborate on the post, but according to Geo News, his favorite rapper he collaborated with was Rick Ross. Despite having respect for a lot of rappers in the industry, he admires Ross the most and describes him as a brother.

Did you see your favorite artist on this list? Let us know @VALLEYmag on Instagram.


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