States of Origin - American Popular Music

Which U.S. states have made the most important contributions to American hit music?
Based on Billboard ratings, not critical ratings
See comments for methodology
Quiz by Quizmaster
Last updated: August 6, 2019
First submittedAugust 6, 2019
Times taken5,590
Enter answer here
 / 10 guessed
The quiz is paused. You have remaining.
You scored / = %
This beats or equals % of test takers also scored 100%
The average score is
Your high score is
Your fastest time is
Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
New York
New Jersey
Level ∞
Aug 6, 2019
Here's how I made this...

  • Billboard makes a list of the top 100 hits for every year.
  • I looked at the lists for every year from 1962-2018.
  • Each #1 hit got 100 points, each #2 hit got 99 points, etc...
  • Then, using a script, I went to the Wikipedia page of all the musical acts.
  • With a lot of manual effort I determined the state of origin for each act, and then applied the points for each act to the state.
Level 63
Aug 6, 2019
Thanks for explaining the methodology. At first I was thinking this was about cultural impact, so you'd expect Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee to rank highly, given their history of shaping jazz and country music. The top five results are more a function of those state's large population, in my opinion, and not because they necessarily had the biggest impact on America's musical history. It's just that those states have produced a lot of people, so the odds are in their favor. In fact, all ten answers are in the Top 15 or so for US States by population.
Level 66
Aug 11, 2019
I'd say less to do with population and more to do with where the major music hubs have been since the 60s. L.A, NYC, Motown, Atlanta, Austin, Philly, Miami, Chicago and Nashville have been cultural hotbeds in this period, with NJ probably making the list due to the state being a mix of NYC and Philly. (Probably the only big ones missing from this list are Seattle and New Orleans, but jazz and grunge generally don't chart well.)
Level 86
Sep 27, 2019
Was surprised Washington didn't make the cut with all the 90s grunge that came out of there, but the methodology makes sense. Thanks for posting it.
Level ∞
Aug 6, 2019
Delaware, Vermont, South Dakota, New Hampshire, and Wyoming have 0 points.
Level 81
Aug 6, 2019
Phish and Dio never really had a lot of prime time play.
Level 58
Aug 30, 2019
Yet I guessed Wyoming for whatever reason
Level ∞
Aug 6, 2019
Mississippi punches above its weight, coming in at #14 with 4100 points.
Level 85
Aug 6, 2019
Funny how New Jersey pops up here without a single entry on the Cities of Origin quiz - because it's all a part of either the NYC or Philly metro area. Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, The Four Seasons, Patti Smith, and possibly Steely Dan. Nice.
Level 60
Aug 14, 2019
Yo I see Brian, Mike, and Dennis in that thumbnail there, I'm so shooketh.
Level 80
Oct 20, 2019
If pre 1962 was considered surely Louisiana would make the cut with Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Frankie Ford.
Level 64
Oct 20, 2019
I don't think just a few guys carry enough clout to meaningfully sway the numbers. Every state on this list is home to a city that is a major feeder of popular music, and so has likely produced a ton of pop acts. Louisiana has New Orleans, of course, but jazz doesn't show up on the Billboard charts much. Prince is probably worth more points than all three of those guys combined, and Minnesota isn't on this list despite having both Prince and Bob Dylan.
Level 58
Oct 20, 2019
surprised that Louisiana didn't make the list, but then I saw it was 1962-present