Detailed Findings and Methodology
Music is usually autobiographical in nature, and a band’s home state often serves as a backdrop to many songs. With several songs specifically about New Jersey locations and many more vague references to the state in his songs — not to mention his backing band is named after a street in Belmar — people often identify Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band with New Jersey.
In creating this list of the most famous artists, 24/7 Wall St. considered a crowdsourced list of band greatness. However, to properly reflect fame, we also considered current searches for artists. Fame is fleeting, and for this reason, modern artists often tended to win out over bands that some might consider to be more important or influential.
For example, California is home to many bands, including classic rock legends Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Doors, and The Beach Boys. This list, however, incorporates current search popularity, and based on this measure metal band Metallica is currently the most famous with almost twice as many searches as the classic rock bands.
Our definition of band includes individuals and solo artists who at some point in their career performed in a band. Stevie Nicks, for example, performs almost always as part of a group.
Bands and artists are considered to be from the state where they were formed or got their start, not necessarily where they were born or grew up. While Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan was born in Minnesota, Dylan got his start in New York City, and for that reason he is listed as New York’s most famous artist. However, where someone truly got started is not always clear.
To determine the most famous band from each state, 24/7 Wall St. considered lists of the greatest American musicians and rankings of the greatest musicians in the world. These lists were generated on Ranker.com, Ranker.com, a crowdsourced list generator that produced a list of the greatest bands in the world. We also measured popularity based on total views of the artists’ Wikipedia pages over the last two years. While we generally relied on lists put together by Ranker, we included artists who had substantially higher Wikipedia page views than the top-ranked band on Ranker. For individual names to count on this list they needed to often perform as part of a group. The state listed is not necessarily where an artist or group were born, but where they got their start as musicians. Years active listed are based on the artist’s solo career. The top selling album is based on RIAA certifications, and exclude best of and other compilation albums. Because RIAA certification at the platinum level round to the millions of record sales, these do not necessarily reflect the top selling album, but rather one of the top selling records.