Special Report

The Most Famous Musician or Band from Every State

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Every musician has got to start somewhere. To make it in the industry, aspiring artists often try their luck at home, singing at bars, local festivals, and other venues. Just this March, NBC launched a new song competition, called “American Song Contest,” in which musicians representing each state and U.S. territory perform live hoping to win a prize for Best Original Song. (Check out the most popular song the year you were born.)

To determine the most famous musician or band from every state, 24/7 Tempo compiled an index based on daily average Wikipedia pageviews from July 25, 2019 to July 24, 2022; Spotify follower count and monthly listener count; certified U.S. album sales as determined by the Recording Industry Association of America; and a custom score based on Billboard Hot 100 performance as of July 15, 2022, wherein a week at No. 1 is worth 100 points, a week at No. 2 worth 99 points, and so on up to a week at No. 100 worth one point. All index components were weighted equally. (Data on birthplace or band formation location came from Famous Birthdays.)

While not all musicians on the list have reached the same level of success, they have risen above their in-state competition to become popular around the country – and some around the world – still showing home pride as they ride the waves of success. (These are the artists with the most No. 1 hits.)

The competition for the most famous musician in some states was stiff. For example, Prince is famously from Minnesota, but so is Bob Dylan. Some fans may have an equally difficult time choosing between, say, Lady Gaga and Billy Joel, who are both from New York. So who edged out whom?

Click here to see the most famous musician or band from every state

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Alabama: Hank Williams
> Birthplace: Mount Olive
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 3,238
> Spotify followers: 657,543
> Certified U.S. album sales: 5 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: N/A

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Source: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Alaska: Portugal. The Man
> Formed in: Wasilia
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 661
> Spotify followers: 1,227,779
> Certified U.S. album sales: 1 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Feel It Still (No. 4 for 2 weeks)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Arizona: Linda Ronstadt
> Birthplace: Tucson
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 6,224
> Spotify followers: 544,351
> Certified U.S. album sales: 30 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Don’t Know Much (feat. Aaron Neville) (No. 2 for 2 weeks)

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Arkansas: Johnny Cash
> Birthplace: Kingsland
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 11,599
> Spotify followers: 4,686,429
> Certified U.S. album sales: 24 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: A Boy Named Sue (No. 2 for 3 weeks)

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Source: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

California: Metallica
> Formed in: Los Angeles
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 7,490
> Spotify followers: 17,822,487
> Certified U.S. album sales: 63 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Enter Sandman (No. 16 for 1 week)

Source: Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Colorado: OneRepublic
> Formed in: Colorado Springs
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 2,834
> Spotify followers: 11,830,892
> Certified U.S. album sales: 2 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Counting Stars (No. 2 for 2 weeks)

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Connecticut: The Carpenters
> Formed in: New Haven
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 1,917
> Spotify followers: 1,839,145
> Certified U.S. album sales: 25 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Top Of The World (No. 1 for 2 weeks)

Source: Matt Cowan / Getty Images

Delaware: George Thorogood
> Birthplace: Wilmington
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 1,696
> Spotify followers: 604,812
> Certified U.S. album sales: 5 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Willie & The Hand Jive (No. 63 for 2 weeks)

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Florida: Lynyrd Skynyrd
> Formed in: Jacksonville
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 6,124
> Spotify followers: 3,405,231
> Certified U.S. album sales: 29 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Sweet Home Alabama (No. 8 for 2 weeks)

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Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Georgia: Kanye West
> Birthplace: Atlanta
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 19,824
> Spotify followers: 13,956,553
> Certified U.S. album sales: 24 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Gold Digger (feat. Jamie Foxx) (No. 1 for 10 weeks)

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Hawaii: Bruno Mars
> Birthplace: Honolulu
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 7,692
> Spotify followers: 30,806,083
> Certified U.S. album sales: 13 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: That’s What I Like (No. 1 for 1 week)

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Idaho: Paul Revere & The Raiders
> Formed in: Boise
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 806
> Spotify followers: 174,689
> Certified U.S. album sales: 2 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Kicks (No. 4 for 1 week)

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Illinois: Quincy Jones
> Birthplace: Chicago
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 6,126
> Spotify followers: 229,775
> Certified U.S. album sales: 5 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Just Once (feat. James Ingram) (No. 17 for 2 weeks)

Source: Phil Walter / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Indiana: Michael Jackson
> Birthplace: Gary
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 23,628
> Spotify followers: 18,546,932
> Certified U.S. album sales: 85 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Billie Jean (No. 1 for 7 weeks)

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Iowa: The Everly Brothers
> Formed in: Shenandoah
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 1,688
> Spotify followers: 546,964
> Certified U.S. album sales: 1 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Bird Dog (No. 2 for 3 weeks)

Kansas: Kansas
> Formed in: Topeka
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 2,218
> Spotify followers: 1,051,377
> Certified U.S. album sales: 16 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Dust In The Wind (No. 6 for 2 weeks)

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Source: Erika Goldring / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Kentucky: Chris Stapleton
> Birthplace: Lexington
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 3,085
> Spotify followers: 3,250,519
> Certified U.S. album sales: 6 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Starting Over (No. 25 for 1 week)

Source: David Redfern / Redferns via Getty Images

Louisiana: Jerry Lee Lewis
> Birthplace: Ferriday
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 3,855
> Spotify followers: 578,514
> Certified U.S. album sales: N/A
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Chantilly Lace (No. 43 for 1 week)

Source: Rick Diamond / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Maine: Patty Griffin
> Birthplace: Old Town
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 477
> Spotify followers: 136,996
> Certified U.S. album sales: N/A
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: N/A

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Maryland: Frank Zappa
> Birthplace: Baltimore
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 4,487
> Spotify followers: 650,486
> Certified U.S. album sales: 1 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Valley Girl (No. 32 for 2 weeks)

Source: Fin Costello / Redferns via Getty Images

Massachusetts: Aerosmith
> Formed in: Boston
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 3,511
> Spotify followers: 10,292,467
> Certified U.S. album sales: 67 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Cryin’ (No. 12 for 1 week)

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Source: Getty Images / Archive Photos via Getty Images

Michigan: Stevie Wonder
> Birthplace: Saginaw
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 6,012
> Spotify followers: 5,000,126
> Certified U.S. album sales: 20 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: I Just Called To Say I Love You (No. 1 for 3 weeks)

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Minnesota: Bob Dylan
> Birthplace: Duluth
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 10,078
> Spotify followers: 5,062,223
> Certified U.S. album sales: 36 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (No. 12 for 2 weeks)

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Mississippi: Elvis Presley
> Birthplace: Tupelo
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 21,120
> Spotify followers: 5,461,163
> Certified U.S. album sales: 139 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: It’s Now Or Never (No. 1 for 5 weeks)

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Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Missouri: Eminem
> Birthplace: Saint Joseph
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 17,147
> Spotify followers: 44,604,780
> Certified U.S. album sales: 47 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Love The Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) (No. 1 for 7 weeks)

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Montana: Nicolette Larson
> Birthplace: Helena
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 701
> Spotify followers: 50,202
> Certified U.S. album sales: 1 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Lotta Love (No. 8 for 2 weeks)

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Source: Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

Nebraska: 311
> Formed in: Omaha
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 909
> Spotify followers: 733,053
> Certified U.S. album sales: 7 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Love Song (No. 59 for 1 week)

Source: Scott Gries / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Nevada: The Killers
> Formed in: Las Vegas
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 2,880
> Spotify followers: 6,004,402
> Certified U.S. album sales: 5 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Mr. Brightside (No. 10 for 1 week)

Source: Scott Gries / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

New Hampshire: Ray LaMontagne
> Birthplace: Nashua
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 3,048
> Spotify followers: 855,130
> Certified U.S. album sales: 1 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: You Are The Best Thing (No. 90 for 1 week)

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Source: Jamie Squire / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

New Jersey: Bruce Springsteen
> Birthplace: Long Branch
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 7,334
> Spotify followers: 4,049,371
> Certified U.S. album sales: 66 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Dancing In The Dark (No. 2 for 4 weeks)

Source: David Warner Ellis / Redferns via Getty Images

New Mexico: John Denver
> Birthplace: Roswell
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 5,843
> Spotify followers: 1,280,873
> Certified U.S. album sales: 34 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Take Me Home, Country Roads (No. 2 for 1 week)

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

New York: Billy Joel
> Birthplace: New York City
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 5,647
> Spotify followers: 3,491,965
> Certified U.S. album sales: 85 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: The River Of Dreams (No. 3 for 1 week)

Source: David Redfern / Redferns via Getty Images

North Carolina: Nina Simone
> Birthplace: Tyron
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 3,539
> Spotify followers: 2,181,767
> Certified U.S. album sales: N/A
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: I Loves You, Porgy (No. 18 for 1 week)

Source: Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

North Dakota: Wiz Khalifa
> Birthplace: Minot
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 6,947
> Spotify followers: 9,979,779
> Certified U.S. album sales: 5 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth) (No. 1 for 12 weeks)

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Source: Ian Gavan / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Ohio: John Legend
> Birthplace: Springfield
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 6,447
> Spotify followers: 5,668,627
> Certified U.S. album sales: 4 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: All Of Me (No. 1 for 3 weeks)

Source: Beth Gwinn / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Oklahoma: Garth Brooks
> Birthplace: Tulsa
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 4,600
> Spotify followers: 899,539
> Certified U.S. album sales: 157 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Wrapped Up In You (No. 46 for 1 week)

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Source: Mychal Watts / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Oregon: Esperanza Spalding
> Birthplace: Portland
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 471
> Spotify followers: 325,605
> Certified U.S. album sales: N/A
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: N/A

Source: Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Pennsylvania: Taylor Swift
> Birthplace: Reading
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 20,423
> Spotify followers: 40,002,532
> Certified U.S. album sales: 46 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Shake It Off (No. 1 for 4 weeks)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island: Nelson Eddy
> Birthplace: Providence
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 245
> Spotify followers: 2,325
> Certified U.S. album sales: N/A
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: N/A

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Source: Evening Standard / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

South Carolina: James Brown
> Birthplace: Barnwell
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 4,738
> Spotify followers: 1,730,180
> Certified U.S. album sales: 2 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Living In America (No. 4 for 1 week)

Source: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

South Dakota: Shawn Colvin
> Birthplace: Vermillion
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 352
> Spotify followers: 114,794
> Certified U.S. album sales: 1 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: N/A

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Tennessee: Aretha Franklin
> Birthplace: Memphis
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 9,186
> Spotify followers: 2,580,080
> Certified U.S. album sales: 10 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do) (No. 3 for 1 week)

Source: Handout / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Texas: Beyoncé
> Birthplace: Houston
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 465
> Spotify followers: 27,502,710
> Certified U.S. album sales: 15 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Irreplaceable (No. 1 for 10 weeks)

Source: Duane Prokop / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Utah: Jewel
> Birthplace: Payson
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 5,192
> Spotify followers: 529,680
> Certified U.S. album sales: 19 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Foolish Games/You Were Meant For Me (No. 2 for 2 weeks)

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Source: Scott Gries / Getty Images

Vermont: Phish
> Formed in: Burlington
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 1,082
> Spotify followers: 447,686
> Certified U.S. album sales: 6 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: N/A

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Virginia: Patsy Cline
> Birthplace: Winchester
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 3,693
> Spotify followers: 591,250
> Certified U.S. album sales: 15 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: I Fall To Pieces (No. 12 for 1 week)

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Source: Evening Standard / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Washington: Jimi Hendrix
> Birthplace: Seattle
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 7,907
> Spotify followers: 4,954,131
> Certified U.S. album sales: 23 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Freedom (No. 59 for 2 weeks)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia: Bill Withers
> Birthplace: Slab Fork
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 3,126
> Spotify followers: 1,133,388
> Certified U.S. album sales: 2 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: Lean On Me (No. 1 for 3 weeks)

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Wisconsin: Al Jarreau
> Birthplace: Milwaukee
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 722
> Spotify followers: 276,539
> Certified U.S. album sales: 5 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: We’re In This Love Together (No. 15 for 2 weeks)

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Source: Mickey Bernal / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Wyoming: Scott Avett
> Birthplace: Cheyenne
> Daily avg. Wikipedia pageviews: 639
> Spotify followers: 868,431
> Certified U.S. album sales: 1 million
> Top Billboard Hot 100 song: N/A

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