Music

Map Shows Best-Selling Artist Born in Each State

This cool map shows the best-selling artist born in each state, and while some seem obvious (like Oklahoma), others may not be as clear-cut as you think.

But one thing's for sure: country music represents quite well.

Also, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming all need to up their game a bit. Though maybe that's not too fair, considering all three states combine for fewer people than the Texas hill country combined. The odds of those states birthing a major money-making music artist just isn't great to begin with, unless they're allowed to adopt The Beatles, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, BTS, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Shania Twain or any other act from outside the United States with a history of Billboard chart success and RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) album unit records as their own.

It's important to note, this map covers people who were born in the state. Even if they moved. Or if it's a band, the band was "born" in the state. That's why Aerosmith hails from Vermont, though Steven Tyler hails from New York City. And while many associate Elvis Presley with Tennessee, he was born in Mississippi. Likewise, it turns out that Eminem's not from Michigan.

best-selling artists map
Reddit

Though you may think Beyonce reigns as Texas' most popular artist currently, George Strait takes the title for best-selling artist from the state. And in fact, the Dixie Chicks usurped Beyonce's 17 million-plus album sales as a solo artist back when this list was compiled. Though if you include her time with Destiny's Child, Beyonce wins by a few million.

Surprisingly, Tennessee's best-selling artist isn't a country musician. Or at least not primarily one. Though she did dabble in country, Tina Turner rose to superstardom as a soul-pop wonder. Elsewhere in the South, Alabama isn't Alabama's top-grossing musical act (yet Kansas rules Kansas), and proud Georgia native Alan Jackson can't compete with hip-hop artist Kanye West's best-selling albums.

READ MORE: Life of a Song: Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Whitney Houston and 40+ Years of 'I Will Always Love You'

The Eagles are kings of Hollywood. Their rock/country crossover sound established them as one of the best-selling acts of all time. But Washington? That's Kenny G territory, baby. No trampling his smooth sax sounds.

And it's nice to see Dwight Yoakam representing in Kentucky (yep, even beating out Billy Ray Cyrus). All in all, recording artists with ties to the country music industry take nearly 15 states, including Oklahoma's Garth Brooks (whose home state competition included Reba McEntire) and Pennsylvania's Taylor Swift.

The map spotlighting some of the best-selling artists of all time comes from Redditor famicon3, who used data from Wikipedia to compile the whole thing.

This story originally ran on May 5, 2017.

Now Watch: Remembering Kenny Rogers' Country Hits Through the Years

recommended for you

Map Shows Best-Selling Artist Born in Each State