– The lyrics of more than 200,000 songs have been analysed to reveal the world’s most sung about cities
– New York is the most referenced city, with London in second place, LA in third, Paris in fourth and Miami in fifth
– Unexpected locations mentioned in popular music include: Barnsley, Hastings, Preston and Southend 
– Drake, Jay-Z and Elvis Presley mention the most places around the world in their songs

Newly released data research reveals the places around the world that have been mentioned the most in popular music since the 60s, and the results can be seen in a first-of-its-kind interactive music map here: Music Mapped.

According to the data commissioned by Celebrity Cruises, New York is the most popular place in the world for artists to sing about – it’s featured in the lyrics of 161 charting singles, but London is not far behind in second place, with the UK’s capital being mentioned in 102 songs since the 60s.

The Top 20 Most Sung About Cities In The World:

1. New York, USA – 161 songs 
2. London, UK – 102 songs
3. Los Angeles, USA – 87 songs
4. Paris, France – 52 songs
5. Miami, USA – 46 songs
6. New Orleans, USA – 43 songs
7. Rome, Italy – 30 songs
8. San Francisco – 28 songs
9. Memphis, USA – 28 songs
10. Chicago, USA – 24 songs
11. Atlanta, USA – 23 songs
12 Detroit, USA – 23 songs
13. Compton, USA – 21 songs
14. Tokyo, Japan – 20 songs
15. Houston, USA – 16 songs
16. Las Vegas, USA – 16 songs
17. Ibiza, Spain – 12 songs
18. Mumbai, India – 11 songs
19. Liverpool, UK – 11 songs
20. Milan, Italy – 10 songs

The large-scale data research provides a fascinating look into which towns, cities, states and neighbourhoods appear to have inspired the most music and how places around the world are mentioned by different genres and artists throughout the decades. 

Dr. Jon Stewart, BA (Hons) Music Business Course Leader at British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) Institute Brighton and popular music expert, commented: “Music is inevitably tied to location – who could imagine The Beach Boys without references to California? Without the geographical touchpoints found in Britpop, it simply wouldn’t make sense. And, how would the blues, country, and rock and roll genres be received if they were stripped of all connections to the geography and politics of the American deep south that inspired them?”

Big Data, Beautifully Displayed – Creating The Largest Collection Of Data Publicly Available 

To create this unique music mapping tool, Celebrity Cruises used manual and automated analysis to scan the lyrics of over 200,000 songs that charted in the top 40 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart or the UK Official Singles chart since 1960, to find mentions of cities, towns, neighbourhoods and states. This extensive research resulted in a final data set of over 2,000 songs by 897 artists with 422 different places being mentioned around the world. 

Jo Rzymowska, Managing Director of Celebrity Cruises commented:
“Music can inspire where we travel and bring back emotive memories of the places we’ve been – often providing a distinct soundtrack to our holidays and adventures. We love that this innovative data project creates a fun and engaging way to explore the world. By marrying music and travel over the past 60 years, we hope the project sparks conversation and inspiration for your next trip.”

How Artists Sing About The World 

Canadian rapper Drake is the artist that mentions the most places in the world in his music. The platinum-selling musician mentions a whopping 29 places in his songs or those he’s featured on, including his hometown Toronto (on tracks: Summer Sixteen, Successful and Pop That) and perhaps more surprisingly, places such as Versailles in France and Rotterdam in The Netherlands (on Diplomatic Immunity) and Madrid in Spain (on Blue Tint). 

Jay Z comes in a close second (27 places), then Elvis Presley (23 places), Tinie Tempah (22 places), The Beach Boys (22 places), Public Enemy (20 places), Chuck Berry (18 places), The Rolling Stones (16) and Rod Stewart (14 places).

The Top 10 Artists Who Mention The Most Places In Their Music:

1. Drake – 29 places 
2. Jay Z – 27 places 
3. Elvis Presley – 23 places 
4. Tinie Tempah – 22 places 
5. The Beach Boys – 22 places
6. Public Enemy – 20 places 
7. Chuck Berry – 18 places 
8. The Rolling Stones – 16 places 
9. Rod Stewart – 14 places
10. T.I – 14 places 

When looking at how different genres mention places, New York, Los Angeles and London feature highly across the board, but focusing in on Folk, World and Country, the most mentioned place is Georgia. Surprisingly the most mentioned location in R&B is Texas, California is the most sung about place in Jazz, and Kingston in Jamaica, Brooklyn and London are the most sung about places in Reggae. 

To explore the map, visit: www.celebritycruises.co.uk/music-mapped

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