Grunge: The new rock n' roll of the nineties, literally.
Nu Metal: The new (alternative) metal of the nineties. Coolly received by critics and traditionalists, but very successful with teens.
Alternative Hip Hop: Made hip-hop very chic among some white college kids.
The "electronica" boom that crested in the mid-late '90s, including among others:
Dancehall Reggae also crosses over during this decade with artists like
Super cat: who had a huge crossover hit with the rock band Sugar Ray.
blur, who abandoned Britpop and became the predecessor to all the "the" bands of The Noughties.
Most of Paul Weller's mid-90s work (he's probably the Britpop Ur Example; Suede are the Trope Maker and Blur and Oasis the Trope Codifier)
Midwestern rap acts:
Gangsta Rap: The other new rock n' roll of the nineties.
Third Wave Ska such as:
The Melodic Death Metal movement, which was started in 1996. Started with three albums by three different groups:
Jungle/drum'n'bass, while we're at it: Goldie, Roni Size, UK Apachi, LTJ Bukem, Photek, Dillinja, DJ Krust, etc.
Black Metal was codified in the early and mid-1990's in Northern Europe, both musically and aesthetically. This is also the time of the infamous "Black Circle" hijinks such as murders, suicides, and church-burnings that helped give the popular image of black metal today. Bands from this time include...
Queercore began during the Nineties.
8Ball & MJG
Above the Law
Ace of Base
Christina Aguilera. Debuted in 1999.
GG Allin: Batshit insane and controversial rock musician. Better known for his outrageously offensive stage acts than his music.
And One. German EBM group, started in 1989 and still going today.
Arashi. Debuted in 1999.
Emilie Autumn. Her debut album was released in 1997.
Avantasia. Project started in 1999.
Avenged Sevenfold. The band formed in 1999. Though they would only achieve widespread recognition and success c. 2005.
The B-52s, also from Athens Georgia, USA
Beastie Boys were just as big in the eighties, but the nineties saw them reinvent themselves. They also started to mature, with their humor being genuine instead of a Stealth Parody. Their two biggest hits, "Sabotage" and "Intergalactic", were released in this period.
The Beatles: The three surviving members released a new album trilogy in 1995 and 1996.
Beat Happening. An influential indie pop band of the 1980s. Released some of their greatest hits in 1991 and 1992.
Belle and Sebastian
The Black Eyed Peas
Mary J. Blige
Boys II Men, Kings of the prom anthem.
Breaking Benjamin. Formed in 1998.
Brotha Lynch Hung
The Cardigans. The most successful of a 90s wave of Swedish alternative pop acts.
Mariah Carey. One of the best selling artists of the decade. Debuting in 1990, she achieved the impressive feat of scoring a Billboard #1 hit in every calendar year of the decade. Her musical contributions included her 5-octave vocal range showcase, helping popularize rerecorded dance remixes (starting with "Dreamlover"), as well as the singer/rapper collaboration ("Fantasy" remix featuring O.D.B.). With her 6th studio album Butterfly, she switched her sound from adult contemporary to a more urban sound and it became a fan favorite. She also released a Christmas album in 1994 which boasts the holiday classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You."
Johnny Cash. Made a significant comeback through his collaborations with Rick Rubin.
Nick Cave. A relatively successful lead singer of the 1980s. Reached the peak of his popularity by 1996.
C+ C Music Factory , and other Hi NRG dance groups
Cocteau Twins. An influential Dream Pop band of the 1980s, they reached the peak of their popularity in the early to mid 1990s.
Color Me Badd (yeah you know you liked'em)
Compton's Most Wanted
Cradle Of Filth
Crosby, Stills, Nash (And Young)
Crowded House Started in the 80s but released two successful albums in the 90s.
The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
Dead Can Dance
Depeche Mode. A moderately successful 1980s band, achieved international stardom in 1990.
Dinosaur Jr.. A 1980s band which had released albums through independent labels. Switched to a major label early in the decade, releasing most of their hits between 1991 and 1994.
CÚline Dion. Her career started in the 1980s. But the 1990s was the height of her career.
The Dandy Warhols
Dream Theater hit success in the early 1990s, cementing them as the leaders of Progressive Metal.
Eminem burst into the music scene with his commercial debut album, The Slim Shady LP, giving us all a reason to panic about rap again.
Eurythmics. The 1980s duo reunited in 1999, releasing a new album.
Faith No More, a band that would inspire countless bands to come.
Fear Factory, an Industrial Metal band who served as one of the genre's Trope Codifiers.
The Fireman, an experimental duo consisting of Paul McCartney and music producer Youth, released their first two albums in 1993 and 1998, respectively.
Ben Folds Five
Foo Fighters: Dave Grohl's band after Nirvana.
Fugazi: Frontmen Ian and Guy trope-named " Emo" and " Straight Edge" before starting this Post-Punk band; were offered and refused the same major-label ticket as Nirvana, and fired Butch Vig after the success of . Went on hiatus right around 9/11, marking the end of an era that began with their hit "Waiting Room" in 1989.
Nevermind The Fugees
Galaxie500. An influential Dream Pop band of the 1980s. Continued enjoying success to 1991.
Leif Garrett: Had a brief Career Resurrection towards the end of this period, bleeding into the Turn of the Millennium.
Geto Boys, which spun off Scarface as a solo artist.
The Goo Goo Dolls
Green Day: in their original incarnation
Guided By Voices. A rather obscure 1980s band, they gained critical acclaim and a notable fanbase in this decade.
Guns N' Roses
Haddaway: "What is love, baby don't hurt me...". Add him together with Dr. Alban, and you get this.
Happy Mondays. A relatively successful 1980s band. Reached the peak of the popularity early in the decade.
Hardline. A Hair Metal band that got a late start
Sophie B. Hawkins
Heavy D, though debuting in 1987, his wave of success really took off in this decade.
Utada Hikaru. Debuted in 1998/1999.
Hootie & the Blowfish
House Of Pain
Body Count - Ice-T's Thrash Metal band. Despite being fronted by a rapper, only a few of their songs have rapping.
Enrique Iglesias. Debuted in '95 and hasn't stopped since.
Janet Jackson released her two most Critically acclaimed albums this decade. Janet., And The Velvet Rope
Michael Jackson: Still a million seller at the start of the decade, his reputation began to suffer from 1993 onwards with allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
Janes Addiction. A relatively successful band of the 1980s. Reached the peak of their career early in the decade.
Jay-Z also premiered with a classic album called Reasonable Doubt
Jellyfish, and splinter acts Imperial Drag, The Grays and Jason Falkner.
The Jesus Lizard. An obscure 1980s band. Achieved cult status in this decade.
Billy Joel (debuted in The Sixties, became a successful solo artist in The Seventies, remained popular through The Eighties and into the first half of this decade)
Elton John. Debuted in the 1960s, but managed to score major hits within this decade.
The Kovenant: A Norwegian melodic black metal band that shifted to Industrial Metal in 1999 after being forced to change their name from Covenant.
Fela Kuti. Still active until his death in 1997.
Kyuss. Influential in the 'Stoner Rock"/"Stoner Metal" sub-genre, a fusion of Doom Metal and Psychedelic Rock.
Annie Lennox, the Eurythmics' singer, began her solo career in 1992.
Live. A relatively obscure 1980s band. Released most of their hits in this decade.
Jennifer Lopez. Debuted in 1999
Los del Rio
Courtney Love. Hole's debut, Pretty on the Inside, was released in 1991.
Lucifer Luscious Violenoue
MC Hammer, though he started recording and making hits in the late 1980s.
Madonna may have gotten her start in the 1980s but her contribution to the 1990s music scene was also very important: she brought an underground dance craze to the forefront in 1990 with "Vogue," released one of the riskiest and most socially conscious albums of her career with Erotica, which dealt with topics including HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, sex and fetishes...and then near the end of the decade she reinvented her self yet again by releasing an album of electronica music that quickly cemented her status in the industry as an icon... Ray Of Light. The album touched on everything from death to rebirth to love to breakups to motherhood to religion and spirituality.
The Magnetic Fields
Man or Astro-man?
Marilyn Manson, the ultimate nemesis of the 1990's Moral Guardians
Dave Matthews Band
Curtis Mayfield. Still active until his death in 1999.
Melt Banana, Yasuko Onuki's musical project, formed in 1991-1992
Mercury Rev. Formed in the late 1980s. Achieved cult status during this decade.
Metallica reinvented themselves in the early 1990s with the proto-grunge Black Album, followed by cutting their hair.
Morrissey. A popular 1980s singer. Continued releasing hit albums to 1997.
Mortiis. Debut album released in 1993.
Muse. Formed in 1994. Though their first album came out in 1999.
My Bloody Valentine. 1980s band, released their last hits in 1991.
NWA Formed in 1986.
Napalm Death. Debuted in the 1980s, but became the kings of Grindcore in the 1990s.
Nas debuted with his classic album Illmatic
Naughty by Nature
Neutral Milk Hotel, with one of the most classic 1990s albums, In The Aeroplane Over the Sea
Nine Inch Nails — Trent Reznor's one-man doomfest that John McCain famously pretended to like.
The Notorious BIG
(1998), an ambient album based on the work of Panthalassa Miles Davis
Pink Floyd: Continued under the leadership of David Gilmour until their break-up in 1995.
The Pixies. A popular 1980s band, released a number of hits in 1991.
The Posies: Power Pop revivalists from the land of grunge who put out a series of Alternative Rock hits through the decade.
The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Primal Scream. A relatively minor 1980s band, achieved first major hit in 1991.
Primus. A relatively obscure 1980s band, achieved first major hit in 1991.
The Proclaimers: Popular in 1980s UK, achieved first major US hit in 1993.
REM — perennial musical innovator through the 1980s, kicked off the rise of Alternative Rock at the start of the 1990s.
Radiohead hit it big in the mid-late 1990s, as britpop and electronica took over from grunge.
Rage Against the Machine
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Been around since The Eighties but exploded in the 1990s
Red House Painters
The Residents: Still going strong since the 1970s.
The Rolling Stones: Still going strong since the 1960s, with one line-up change (Bill Wyman quitting in 1993)
Santana — The veteran band experienced a resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim, scoring brand new hits by the end of the decade.
Saves The Day
S Club 7
The Servotron Robot Allegiance
Shakira. Debuted in 1991. First hit album in 1996.
Jessica Simpson. Debuted in 1999.
Siouxsie and the Banshees. 1970s group. Released some of their greatest hits in this decade.
Sir Mix-a-Lot liked Big Butts and could not lie.
The Sisters Of Mercy. An influential Goth Rock band of the 1980s. Released another well-received album in 1990.
Slint. An 1980s band which released their greatest hit in 1991. Influenced the Post-Rock sub-genre.
The Smashing Pumpkins
Sonic Youth. A relatively successful Alternative Rock band of the 1980s. Switched to a major record label in 1990, reaching a much larger audience than before.
South Central Cartel
Matthew Sweet. Released his greatest hit album in 1991.
System of a Down. Another influential 1980s band that survived into the 1990s (and to the present day as well).
Talk Talk. 1980s band, released an influential album in 1991 before disbanding. Their work influenced the Post-Rock subgenre.
They Might Be Giants. A relatively successful 1980s band, achieved their greatest popularity early in the decade.
Third Eye Blind
Three Six Mafia (aka Triple 6 Mafia)
Toad The Wet Sprocket
Tool debuted in 1990, but took off in the early part of the decade with Undertow and Aenima
Type O Negative
This is when U2 reinvented themselves into futuristic techno-alternative-rockers with Achtung Baby, and continued in that direction for the rest of the decade.
Usher (The Justin Bieber of his time, particularly noticable with their friendship, and his mentoring of the latter)
Vader. Formed in 1983, debut album released in 1992.
Luther Vandross: Got started in the early '80s but continued to release albums until 2003.
Ween. A 1980s band, gained most of their fame in this decade.
The Wiggles - Got their start in 1991 releasing cassettes and performing at preschools. By 1998 they were one of Australia's biggest exports.
Wire. 1970s band, managed a comeback early in the decade.
Wu-Tang Clan, the ultimate hip-hop supergroup.
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Frank Zappa. Died in 1993, but did release quite some albums.
Rob Zombie- White Zombie started in 1985, made their major label debut in 1992.
Prozzak - Debuted in 1998.