20. The Black Keys
Destined for duality when the other members of their new band were no-shows to their first rehearsal in 2001, singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney emerged from a dank Akron, Ohio, basement (where they recorded their debut) to become stage-crushing blues-rock heroes. Relentless econo touring and dogged determination ultimately led them to Nonesuch Records, for whom they recorded platinum-sellers Brothers and El Camino in quick succession. These Danger Mouse co-productions extended the gnarly, grinding blues sound heard on the Keys' earlier Fat Possum recordings to something more stylistically inclusive – with touches of glam, surf, vintage pop, etc. – and acceptably commercial. Or as Auerbach once characterized his audience: "We make music for hipster strippers."