What’s the Most Popular Music Genre In Every U.S. State?

Most Popular Music Genre by US State

What’s America’s favorite music genre?

That’s an extremely difficult question to answer, with several different styles resonating strongly on the touring circuit.  According to a just-released 2015 ranking by busbud, Country music topped the genre list for 13 different states, based on touring activity.

Every major tour from 2015 was factored into the analysis, then mapped that against shows in every state.

Country didn’t dominate the South as expected.  The music genre topped the ranking in Alabama and Arkansas, but also Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Alaska, among many others.  Top-touring country artists included Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Shania Twain, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, and Tim McGraw, among many others.

Close behind was Classic Rock/Oldies, with mainstays like the Rolling Stones, the Who, Foreigner, U2, Rush, ZZ Top, and America keeping the flame alive.  In total, Classic Rock and Oldie as a category dominated 11 different states, all surprisingly east of the Mississippi River.

In third place come the mellower sounds of Indie, a catch-all, somewhat vague category that traverses rock, folk, jam, and even electronica-infused bands.  Overall, Indie topped the rankings in 10 different states, with groups like Mumford & Sons, Sleater Kinney, the Avett Brothers, and James Taylor among the top-attended artists.

EDM actually only topped one state: Nevada.  That’s thanks largely to EDC, or Electric Daisy Carnival and a non-stop schedule of Vegas pool parties and DJ shows.  Indeed, EDM has reshaped Vegas, and in turn, Vegas has played a major hand in EDM’s explosive growth.

Among the surprises?

Pop, which ranked number one in California but none of the other states; and R&B/Soul, which only topped Hawaii.  Latin music, meanwhile, topped two mega-states: Texas and Florida.

Metal ranked highly in a number of ‘middle America’ states like Kansas and the Dakotas.  Rap/Hip-Hop didn’t make the rankings.

And who’s the most popular artist in each state?  If the number of shows is any measure, here’s the breakdown.

Most Popular Artist per State

We’ll have a lot more geographical and touring data ahead!

37 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Anon

    Well, what passes for country mostly is just pop. Same with a lot of alternative and fake Indy.

    U2 is classic rock ? Well I guess you could make that argument now but it’s bit of a stretch.

    • Avatar
      Jon

      I would of put Foreigner in Hard Rock, I mean you got vocals from the band Hurricane and bass from Dokken, wile the the drummer I think has worked with Whitenake and Steve Vai. Unless they consider those oldies. Hard Rock/Metal was never defined by any bands.

  2. Avatar
    Chris H

    What they want vs. what’s available. The conclusions I’m sure vary widely.

  3. Avatar
    Rick Shaw

    Is this the most popular to listen to, buy or steal?

  4. Avatar
    Carson

    Article correction: In no state was hip-hop the number 1 genre based on this chart. Hawaii is given as R&B/Soul

      • Avatar
        GQ Guy

        Are you aware BIA Kelsey counted the number of radio stations and their formats in 2015, and found Rap the number one format in the southern US states?

  5. Avatar
    Nen2

    Paul, the concept of the article is great however it’s hard to believe the facts…take it to the next level. I’d find a world such map very helpful in my work. Thanks 🙂

  6. Avatar
    Chimp

    Rap is the best why don’t any states like it the most?!!??

  7. Avatar
    Rob and old man Jenkins

    wtf Georgia doesn’t like Justin Bieber at all. I live in Georgia and I have never seen a person who has liked Justin Bieber. This website is extremely fucked up. u hate you and why doz none body listin to daa beatles animore i hate dis genoration we sock

  8. Avatar
    Meade Skelton

    “Country didn’t dominate the South as expected. The music genre topped the ranking in Alabama and Arkansas, but also Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Alaska, among many others”
    . Virginia is the South- and its where Country Music originated!

      • Avatar
        America

        No, your the faggot little dick.

        Fuck off with your insecurities about black men by trolling that guy you coward racist piece of shit keyboard faggot.

        From another black man.

        • Avatar
          Just Worried

          Now who is the racist?
          Why do we all have to send such hateful msgs to each other?

          If you don’t like a message, confront with intelligence not more stupidity. You look just as bad as he does!

  9. Avatar
    Ken

    So, no listing for America’s music, jazz and blues? Say what!

    • Avatar
      Tim

      That’s funny,. All these people are having a pissing match about music and out of no where comes braaaaapppp!!!! Nicely done fellow motocrosser!!!

  10. Avatar
    JoBlo

    In Atlanta alone Hip Hop is the most popular music in Georgia! And in any club! This list is bias!

    • Avatar
      Reality

      Did you read the article? It’s based on ticket receipts. If it were based on streaming/downloading, Hip Hop and Pop would dominate almost everywhere.

      I love Hip Hop, but live shows fall short of other genres.

  11. Avatar
    danwriter

    “According to a just-released 2015 ranking by busbud…”
    Slow news day?

  12. Avatar
    Andrew Ezell (BigDru) Wash

    I Think the Whole Industry is Biased, Rock n Roll=Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino,Big Joe Turner, was created by African Americans, Gospel Music, Soul, Blues=B.B. King, Negroe Spirituals, Country Music= Deford Bailey, Jimmy Rodgers,Charlie Pride, all Created by African Americans yet you have Caucasians in The Charts.
    I can go on and on, but THE FACT will remain the same that AMERICA is a RACIST Society, that refuses to give Credit to those who EARNED IT.

    • Avatar
      Reality

      A truly non-racist society wouldn’t have to give credit to any race for any creation or invention or accomplishment.

  13. Avatar
    Kenny

    What the fuck is the last picture, you didn’t give many options and all there was was pop country and classic rock, where the fuck is Metal music