The Most Famous

MUSICIANS from Finland

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This page contains a list of the greatest Finnish Musicians. The pantheon dataset contains 2,675 Musicians, 26 of which were born in Finland. This makes Finland the birth place of the 16th most number of Musicians behind Spain and Poland.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Finnish Musicians of all time. This list of famous Finnish Musicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Finnish Musicians.

Photo of Marco Hietala

1. Marco Hietala (1966 - )

With an HPI of 63.97, Marco Hietala is the most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages on wikipedia.

Marko Tapani "Marco" Hietala (born 14 January 1966) is a Finnish heavy metal vocalist, bassist and songwriter. Internationally, best known as the former bassist, male vocalist and secondary composer to Tuomas Holopainen, of the symphonic metal band Nightwish. He was also the vocalist and bassist as well as composer and lyricist for the heavy metal band Tarot.He was also a member of the supergroup Northern Kings, and portrayed one of the main characters in Ayreon's 2013 album The Theory of Everything.

Photo of Aarre Merikanto

2. Aarre Merikanto (1893 - 1958)

With an HPI of 62.61, Aarre Merikanto is the 2nd most famous Finnish Musician.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Aarre Merikanto (29 June 1893 – 28 September 1958) was a Finnish composer.He was born in Helsinki, Grand Duchy of Finland, the son of Elise "Liisa" Häyrynen (1869-1949) and the famous romantic composer, professor Oskar Merikanto (1868-1924). His childhood he spent in Vilppula, Finland. He married Meri Grönmark in 1919. They had two daughters, Anna Marjatta Peltonen (née Merikanto) and Arma Kyllikki Tukia (née Merikanto). He later married Evi Sylvia Mähönen (1910-1968). They had two sons, Ukri Uolevi Merikanto (1950-2010), a sculptor and Pan Ylermi Merikanto (1951-2012). He is considered a key figure in early Finnish modernism (together with Väinö Raitio and Ernest Pingoud) and several of his works, most notably the opera Juha, have obtained posthumous attention. As professor of composition in the Sibelius Academy (1951–1958) Merikanto taught several Finnish composers of the next generation, including Einojuhani Rautavaara, Usko Meriläinen, Aulis Sallinen and Paavo Heininen. He studied music in Helsinki 1911, Leipzig 1912–1914 and Moscow 1916–1917. Merikanto's early style was rooted in Finnish romanticism, but in the 1920s he developed a personal, atonal but not dodecaphonic Modernist style. The reception of Merikanto's works of this period was mixed: the "Schott" Concerto for nine instruments was awarded in a competition organized by the German publishers Schott & Söhne, but his domestic Finnish audiences and critics were generally unenthusiastic and his opera Juha, today considered one of his major works, was never performed during Merikanto's lifetime. Disappointed with the reactions, starting in the early 1930s, Merikanto gradually abandoned his more radical style and turned towards a more traditional idiom based on Neoclassicism. He also destroyed or mutilated the scores of several works from his earlier style period, some of which were later reconstructed by his last composition student Paavo Heininen. His work was also part of the music event in the art competition at the 1948 Summer Olympics. Merikanto was diagnosed with lung cancer in the summer 1957, and he died on 28 September the following year, in Helsinki, aged 65.

Photo of Tuomas Holopainen

3. Tuomas Holopainen (1976 - )

With an HPI of 61.56, Tuomas Holopainen is the 3rd most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen (born 25 December 1976) is a Finnish songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer, best known as the founder, leader, keyboardist and songwriter of symphonic metal band Nightwish. He has also studied jazz and classical styles, but prefers to be influenced by harmonic film music.Before founding Nightwish, he played in the band Darkwoods My Betrothed. He later recorded an album with them as a full member in 2020. He also collaborated with the gothic metal band For My Pain... and the band of Timo Rautiainen.Holopainen has written several songs that have been included in movie soundtracks, including a collaboration with Nightwish bass player and male vocalist Marko Hietala on "While Your Lips Are Still Red", for the Finnish film Lieksa! in 2007. He also co-wrote the music for Nightwish's own film, Imaginaerum, released in November 2012.Holopainen released his first solo album Music Inspired by the Life and Times of Scrooge in 2014.

Photo of Timo Tolkki

4. Timo Tolkki (1966 - )

With an HPI of 59.74, Timo Tolkki is the 4th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Timo Tapio Tolkki (born 3 March 1966) is a Finnish musician best known as the former guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer of the power metal band Stratovarius. With his tenure lasting for more than twenty years, he was the longest standing member of the band before his departure in 2008. After leaving Stratovarius he formed two supergroups named Revolution Renaissance and Symfonia, both of which have since disbanded. In a 2011 article by Guitar World magazine, Tolkki was included in the all-time top 50 list of the world's fastest guitarists.

Photo of Jukka Nevalainen

5. Jukka Nevalainen (1978 - )

With an HPI of 59.55, Jukka Nevalainen is the 5th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Jukka Antero "Julius" Nevalainen (born 21 April 1978, in Kitee, Finland) is the former drummer in the Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish.

Photo of Mr Lordi

6. Mr Lordi (1974 - )

With an HPI of 58.64, Mr Lordi is the 6th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Tomi Petteri Putaansuu (born 15 February 1974), best known by his stage names Mr Lordi or Mr L, is a Finnish musician, businessman, special effect make-up artist, songwriter, actor, painter, comics artist and graphic designer. He is best known as the lead vocalist of heavy metal/hard rock band Lordi. In the band he is responsible for songwriting and creating all the masks, costumes, graphics and stage props. Mr Lordi has written songs and painted cover artworks for many bands and artists like Rotten Sound, Jope Ruonansuu, Domination Black, Grandevils and Agnes Pihlava. He has also had a few art exhibitions in Finland. All publicity photographs of Mr Lordi have his face concealed with his mask and stage makeup. However, many tabloids have published fake photos of his unmasked face. A real published photograph of his unmasked face was taken in the early 1990s, as the chairman of Kiss Army Finland.

Photo of Emppu Vuorinen

7. Emppu Vuorinen (1978 - )

With an HPI of 58.33, Emppu Vuorinen is the 7th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Erno Matti Juhani "Emppu" Vuorinen (born 24 June 1978) is a Finnish guitarist, most famous for being a founding member and occasional songwriter of the symphonic metal band Nightwish. He is the oldest of five children, having a twin brother and three younger sisters. He started to play guitar as a private study at the age of 12 and since then has played in various bands including Nightwish, Brother Firetribe, Barilari, Almah, and Altaria. Vuorinen is primarily a rhythm player, often supporting the keyboard or orchestral parts of Nightwish songs. However, he plays lead melodies and solos as well. Vuorinen's solo techniques usually include alternate picking, tapping, sliding, legato, and minor to extreme whammy bar use; he also employs sweep picking, although very rarely. His solos are more melodic than those of most metal bands, but he sometimes shreds (notably in "Nightquest," "The Pharaoh Sails to Orion," "Romanticide," and "Gethsemane" by Nightwish, and also in "Traitor" by Tarot, for which he provided a solo). Nightwish's first three albums feature a larger amount of lead guitar work from Vuorinen than their later albums. Vuorinen is also a creative force in Nightwish, having co-written songs with Tuomas Holopainen from Oceanborn until Dark Passion Play. The song Whoever Brings The Night on Dark Passion Play is written by Vuorinen alone. Vuorinen recorded guitar parts for Almah, a Brazilian metal band, order to help his friend and vocalist Edu Falaschi (former singer of Angra). Vuorinen did not stay in the band because of his obligations to Nightwish. He was also involved with Brother Firetribe, an AOR band, which as of 2018 has released four albums worldwide: "False Metal" (re-released as "Break Out"), "Heart Full of Fire", "Diamond in the Firepit" and "Sunbound".

Photo of Darude

8. Darude (1975 - )

With an HPI of 58.28, Darude is the 8th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Toni-Ville Henrik Virtanen (Finnish: [ˈtoniˌʋilːe ˈhenrik ˈʋirtɑnen]; born July 17, 1975), better known by his stage name Darude (), is a Finnish DJ and record producer from Eura, Satakunta. He started making music in 1995 and released the platinum-selling hit single "Sandstorm" in late 1999. His debut studio album, Before the Storm, was released on September 18, 2000 and sold 800,000 copies worldwide, earning Darude three Finnish Grammy Awards. It peaked at number one on Finland's Official List and number 6 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart in the United States. Darude's second studio album, Rush, reached number 11 on the Billboard dance chart in 2003 and number 4 on weekly album chart in Finland.His third studio album, Label This! was released in 2007. Though it did not chart as high as his previous albums, Gawker praised the album's single "In the Darkness" as "a floating, gossamer piece of trance music... it's tightly composed, easy to dance to, and has a soaring, undeniable hook." In 2011, he co-founded the record label EnMass Music, through which he has released a number of mix compilations related to his radio show Salmiakki Sessions. After performing at festivals such as the tenth anniversary of Tomorrowland in 2014 and Future Music Festival in 2015, he released his most recent studio album, Moments, on August 14, 2015, followed by a tour of the United States and Canada in September 2015. His music is characterised by its progressive/uplifting style. He represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with the song "Look Away" with singer Sebastian Rejman. They finished last in the first semi-final and therefore failed to qualify for the grand final.

Photo of Alexi Laiho

9. Alexi Laiho (1979 - 2020)

With an HPI of 57.12, Alexi Laiho is the 9th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Alexi Laiho (born Markku Uula Aleksi Laiho; 8 April 1979 – 29 December 2020) was a Finnish guitarist, composer, and vocalist. He was best known as the lead guitarist, lead vocalist and founding member of the melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, and was also the guitarist for Sinergy, The Local Band, Kylähullut, and Bodom After Midnight, which formed just prior to his death. Laiho had previously played with Thy Serpent and Impaled Nazarene on occasion, as well as Warmen and Hypocrisy.

Photo of Sami Vänskä

10. Sami Vänskä (1976 - )

With an HPI of 56.90, Sami Vänskä is the 10th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Sami Vänskä (born 26 September 1976) is the former bassist of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish.

Pantheon has 26 people classified as musicians born between 1893 and 1980. Of these 26, 23 (88.46%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living musicians include Marco Hietala, Tuomas Holopainen, and Timo Tolkki. The most famous deceased musicians include Aarre Merikanto, Alexi Laiho, and Juice Leskinen. As of October 2020, 4 new musicians have been added to Pantheon including Carita Holmström, Lauri Porra, and Nick Gore.

Living Musicians

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Deceased Musicians

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Newly Added Musicians (2020)

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Which Musicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 3 most globally memorable Musicians since 1700.