The Most Famous

MUSICIANS from Finland

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This page contains a list of the greatest Finnish Musicians. The pantheon dataset contains 3,175 Musicians, 29 of which were born in Finland. This makes Finland the birth place of the 17th most number of Musicians behind Poland, and Spain.

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 (b. 1966)

With an HPI of 56.52, Marco Hietala is the most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages on wikipedia.

Marko Tapani "Marco" Hietala (born 14 January 1966) is a Finnish heavy metal vocalist, bassist and songwriter. Internationally, he is best known as the former bassist, male vocalist and secondary composer to Tuomas Holopainen, of the symphonic metal band Nightwish. He is also the vocalist and bassist as well as composer and lyricist for the heavy metal band Tarot. He is 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 56.41, Aarre Merikanto is the 2nd most famous Finnish Musician.  Her biography has been translated into 19 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 (b. 1976)

With an HPI of 51.09, Tuomas Holopainen is the 3rd most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen (born 25 December 1976) is a Finnish musician, songwriter, and record producer, best known as the primary songwriter, keyboardist, and a co-founding member of symphonic metal band Nightwish. He has stated that his songwriting is 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 Alexi Laiho

4. Alexi Laiho (1979 - 2020)

With an HPI of 50.70, Alexi Laiho is the 4th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Alexi Laiho (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈɑleksi ˈlɑi̯ho]; 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 Timo Tolkki

5. Timo Tolkki (b. 1966)

With an HPI of 49.25, Timo Tolkki is the 5th 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

6. Jukka Nevalainen (b. 1978)

With an HPI of 48.10, Jukka Nevalainen is the 6th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

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

Photo of Emppu Vuorinen

7. Emppu Vuorinen (b. 1978)

With an HPI of 47.22, Emppu Vuorinen is the 7th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 32 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.

Photo of Mr Lordi

8. Mr Lordi (b. 1974)

With an HPI of 47.14, Mr Lordi is the 8th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Tomi Petteri Putaansuu (born 15 February 1974), known professionally as Mr Lordi, is a Finnish musician, businessman, special effect make-up artist, songwriter, painter, comics artist and graphic designer. He is best known as the lead vocalist of 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 provided album artwork for bands such as 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.

Photo of Juice Leskinen

9. Juice Leskinen (1950 - 2006)

With an HPI of 45.99, Juice Leskinen is the 9th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Juhani Juice Leskinen (born Pauli Matti Juhani Leskinen; 19 February 1950 – 24 November 2006), better known as Juice Leskinen (pronounced [ˈjui̯se ˈleskinen] as if the word juice were Finnish) was one of the most important and successful Finnish singer-songwriters of the late 20th century. From the early 1970s onward he released nearly 30 full-length albums and wrote song lyrics for dozens of other Finnish artists. Several of Leskinen's songs have reached classic status in Finnish popular music, e.g., "Viidestoista yö", "Kaksoiselämää" and "Syksyn sävel". His early records are considered staples of the so-called Manserock movement of the mid-'70s. He also wrote poetry and plays and published nine collections of verse and seven plays. After moving to Tampere to study English translation in 1970, Leskinen began his recording career in 1973 with the eponymous debut album of Juice Leskinen & Coitus Int. One more record, Per Vers, runoilija, was made under the same band name, but from then on he released records with several line-ups, most notably Juice Leskinen Slam and Juice Leskinen Grand Slam from the late 1970s until the mid-1980s. Although concentrating more on poetry from the early 1990s, Leskinen still released new music every few years despite his failing health, which was caused by the unhealthy lifestyle he had led for years. After the longest hiatus of his recording career, L marked Leskinen's 50th birthday in 2000. His last record, Senaattori ja boheemi (released in 2004), is a collaboration with Mikko Alatalo, a return to their partnership of the early 1970s. He wrote "Nuku pommiin" in 1982 for the Eurovision Song Contest. Juice Leskinen's most famous songs include "Viidestoista yö" ("Fifteenth Night"), "Musta aurinko nousee" ("A Sun Rises out of Me", often misunderstood as "The Black Sun Rises" despite a clear pause between "musta" and "aurinko"), "Marilyn", "Rakkauden ammattilainen" ("Love Pro"), "Norjalainen villapaita" ("Norwegian Sweater") and "Kaksoiselämää" (Double Life). Leskinen was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in the early 2000s. He qualified 38th in the poll of the 100 greatest Finns held during the summer of 2004. Leskinen died in 2006, after living with chronic kidney disease, cirrhosis and diabetes. He is buried in Kalevankangas cemetery, Tampere, near the main gate. Leskinen has gained a considerable amount of posthumous recognition. A musical about Leskinen, titled Juice – taiteilijaelämää (an artist's life) premiered in Tampere on 30 August 2011. In 2015, two film companies announced plans for biography films. One of them was cancelled. In 2014 a biography of Leskinen was published, written by Antti Heikkinen, and named Risainen elämä. Juice Leskinen 1950–2006.

Photo of Darude

10. Darude (b. 1975)

With an HPI of 45.80, Darude is the 10th most famous Finnish Musician.  His biography has been translated into 40 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. His music is characterised by its progressive/uplifting style. 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. He represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, alongside singer Sebastian Rejman, with the song "Look Away".


Pantheon has 27 people classified as Finnish musicians born between 1893 and 1982. Of these 27, 24 (88.89%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Finnish musicians include Marco Hietala, Tuomas Holopainen, and Timo Tolkki. The most famous deceased Finnish musicians include Aarre Merikanto, Alexi Laiho, and Juice Leskinen.

Living Finnish Musicians

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Deceased Finnish Musicians

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Overlapping Lives

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