Best of Philly

Best Musician

2024 Best Centenarian Jazz Icon

Marshall Allen

The century-old saxophonist/bandleader was right-hand man to the legendary and legendarily out-there Germantown icon Sun Ra during his time on Earth. Since Ra departed for other dimensions, Allen has kept transmitting their brand of otherworldly wildness into the cosmos. Allen and his Arkestra are torchbearers for free, experimental, uncontainable jazz, and part of the reason nobody needs to say “Keep Philly weird.” Our weird is forever. Read More »

2024 Best Performance at a Super Bowl

Adam Blackstone

Blackstone has been the maestro behind some of TV’s biggest musical moments, in recent years directing ceremonies for the Oscars, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the NBA All-Star Game. And the musician’s musician is starting to get more mainstream recognition for his pursuits, which include directing Super Bowl halftime and pregame shows over the last several years (including that 2023 Rihanna banger). And this year, he received two Grammy noms in the jazz category. All recognition long overdue. Read More »


2022 Best Singer

Jazmine Sullivan

Thirteen years after she lost her first Grammy nomination to Adele, the R&B singer, who lives just outside the city these days, finally scored two earlier this year for her groundbreaking album Heaux Tales. Well-deserved and long overdue. See her on day one of Made In America in September. Read More »


2022 Best Rapper

Kuf Knotz

Probably the only rapper in the world accompanied by … a harpist! But it totally works, and we love that they tackle important issues while trying to bring people together. The duo is scheduled to release their third album, Hypnagogia, this summer, with a show at South Street’s Magic Gardens on August 26th. Read More »


2022 Best Musical Expat

Michelle Zauner

Unlike Ijames, Zauner, the lead singer of the band Japanese Breakfast, hasn’t stuck around these parts, having decamped to New York City. But we’re willing to look past that minor character flaw, considering how good her latest record, Jubilee, is, not to mention her many other Philly bona fides: working as a coat checker at Union Transfer, where the cloakroom now bears her name, and writing a New York Times best-selling memoir, Crying in H-Mart, in which the Elkins Park location features prominently. Read More »

2021 Best Singing Hope

Cam Anthony

Jubilation over the Philly phenom winning season 20 of The Voice was tempered by the show’s confounding inability to convert winners into stars. But Anthony — a 19-year-old with the smooth tenor of someone decades older, the boyish good looks of the Jackson 5, and the style of vintage Al Green — had even jaded Voice coach Blake Shelton predicting he’ll reverse that trend. Read More »

2015 Best Musician

Son Little

A bit of Bill Withers, a bit of Marvin Gaye, a little Curtis Mayfield and a whole lot of himself, this local singer/songwriter has a distinctive "future soul" groove. He recently toured with Mumford and Sons and has a debut album in the works; in the meantime, download his singles "O Mother" and "The River" -- and call everybody else front-runner fans when he makes it big. Read More »