Who's The Most Famous Musician From Every State?
Great music can be found across the US, but we often give the majority of credit to places like New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville. Like actors, the best known musicians from each state may have migrated to media hubs to chase their dreams, but there is only one place they will ever call home.
Some of these singers were born in the state that helped to define them, while others moved there as young children. All of these musicians were influenced by the state in which they grew up. We can hear the Seattle grunge scene in Kurt Cobain’s music and feel the hippie San Francisco vibe in the melodies of Jerry Garcia.
Check out all 50 singers by American states. Then make your voice heard. Which musician do you think represents their home state the best?
- Birthplace: Tupelo, Mississippi, United States of America
Elvis Presley was born in 1935 in Tupelo, MS. He was raised in a religious household, and like many musicians, sang regularly in church, a place where Gospel became very important to him. The "Heartbreak Hotel" vocalist got his first guitar at the age of 11. Today, the singer is considered one of the pioneers of rock music and is often called the "King of Rock and Roll."
- Birthplace: Kingsland, Arkansas, USA
Johnny Cash was born in 1932 in Kingsland, AR. The "Walk the Line" singer grew up during the Great Depression and began working in cotton fields at a young age. Cash began writing songs at the age of 12, and many of his tunes were about the hardships of his life in Arkansas.
- Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America
Prince Rogers Nelson was born in 1958 in Minneapolis, MN. The "Purple Rain" singer taught himself how to play the drums, guitar, and piano at a very young age. He went on to become one of the most successful artists of the 1980s and ultimately a music legend. While most big-time musicians eventually leave their hometown for New York City or Los Angeles, Prince never abandoned his Minnesota roots.
Prince's close friend Nik West talked about Prince's connection with Minnesota:
"He said Minneapolis raised him... [moving]will never happen," she said. " He would say, 'I'm never leaving... there's a legacy here for me' He was just all about just being who he was - being at home."
- Birthplace: Sevierville, Tennessee, USA
Dolly Parton was born in 1946 in Locust Ridge, TN. The "Jolene" singer was one of 12 children and grew up very poor. She got her first exposure to music singing at her local church. Parton is considered one of the most successful country artists of all time with tremendous crossover appeal. She has had 25 Number 1 hits and has won 11 Grammy Awards.
- Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States of America
Michael Jackson was born in Gary, IN in 1958. Success came early for Jackson and his brothers when they formed the Motown group The Jackson 5. Of course, Michael would go on to be known as the "King of Pop" with monster hits like "Thriller," "Beat It," and "Man in the Mirror." He is widely considered the most successful entertainer of all time.
- Birthplace: Gainesville, Florida, USA
Tom Petty was born in 1950 in Gainesville, FL. The "American Girl" singer became completely obsessed with rock music while a teenager in the Sunshine State and even dropped out of high school to be in a band. Working as both a solo artist and with his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the rocker is one of the best-selling music artists of all time.