There are some songs you just can’t escape. Whether it’s radio plays, record sales, iTunes charts, YouTube views or streams, these hits remain favorites over the years and even become part of the zeitgeist of the time. North Texas has bred a number of our favorite hitmakers, be it singers, songwriters, producers and more.

Here is a selection of those who not only have big hits but also North Texas roots.

Gayle

Before moving to Nashville with her mom at age 12 to pursue music, Gayle was born in Dallas and raised in Plano. She went to Hightower Elementary and briefly attended Brinker before opting for homeschooling. Now, at 17, Gayle has a top-five Billboard Hot 100 hit on her hands with the viral break-up single, “Abcdefu,” or perhaps, better known by its more radio-friendly version, “Abc.”


Erin Kinsey

It’s hard for 21-year-old Erin Kinsey to hate her hometown of Rockwall, considering it’s inspired many of her songs—plus it’s also a nice place! Before officially putting out her first proper release last year, she worked behind the scenes, writing for Dolly Parton, Monica, Rita Wilson and more. On her single “Just Drive,” she looks forward to spending time driving down the roads of her hometown “going 90 down 40,” with her boyfriend. “Just Drive” has since netted over 13 million streams on Spotify.


Post Malone

Grapevine native Post Malone has several smash hits under his belt, including the number-one singles “Rockstar,” “Psycho” and “Circles.” Known for fusing pop, rock and hip-hop with his raspy vocals over bass-heavy beats, Malone has remained a hitmaker by way of both chart-topping and viral tracks. 


Tevin Campbell

Tevin Campbell was both a heartthrob and an R&B staple in the ‘90s. The Waxahachie native’s “Can We Talk” was a number-one hit on Billboard’s Hot R&B and Hip-Hop chart in 1993. Not to mention, he also voiced fictional hitmaker Powerline in Disney’s A Goofy Movie.


Norah Jones

More than 20 years into her career, Norah Jones’ debut album Come Away With Me still remains one of the most acclaimed albums of all time. Raised in Grapevine, Jones is a master of genres like folk, country and jazz. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and attending the University of North Texas for a brief stint, Jones went to New York City to record her debut, which would later earn her eight Grammys.


Vanilla Ice

No matter your age, chances are, you know all the words to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” even if you hear the intro and immediately assume it’s Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.” The Carrolton-raised Ice earned his first (and only) number-one Billboard hit with this song, which continues to be a favorite at parties, weddings and more.


Demi Lovato

From Barney to becoming a hitmaker in their own right, Demi Lovato has grown up with us millennials. Songs of theirs from years ago continue to trend on TikTok to this day. But perhaps the Grand Prairie native’s signature song remains their 2017 hit, “Sorry Not Sorry,” which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The self-confidence anthem showcases Lovato’s powerful vocals, as they brush off negativity from haters and naysayers.

You can also catch some North Texas actors on your favorite TV shows!

Check out our interview with Gossip Girl‘s John Benjamin Hickey.

Alex Gonzalez

Alex Gonzalez is a writer at Local Profile. He is a lover of food, music, sports, art, and world cultures. Alex was born and raised in Plano and graduated from University of North Texas in 2017. When he...