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© Lars Plougmann/Flickr
© Lars Plougmann/Flickr

The World's 10 Most Popular Cities in Music

Picture of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor
Updated: 15 January 2018

When it comes to cities that love music, London is the current live music capital of the world. But when it comes to cities that music loves, London only comes in at third place.

Munich-based travel startup Holidu teamed up with lyric database Musixmatch to determine the most popular cities around the world in terms of their frequency of mentions in songs.

Of the 300 cities examined among six languages, music’s muse, unsurprisingly, is New York City, tallying nearly 31,000 mentions. The Big Apple is followed by Paris with just over 20,000 mentions, and London with just under 15,000 mentions. The United States lead the top 10 with five cities included, with both Houston and Atlanta making the cut, but Los Angeles being notably absent. Europe trails closely with four cities included, while the remaining city and 10th slot in the ranking goes to Tokyo.

Check out the top 10 cities below, along with its paired iconic song.

1. New York – 30,867 songs

Popular song: “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra

© Holidu

© Holidu

2. Paris – 20,007 songs

Popular song: “Paris” by Edith Piaf

3. London – 14,805 songs

Popular song: “London Calling” by The Clash

© Holidu

© Holidu

4. Rome – 11,859 songs

Popular song: “Arrivederci Roma” by Nat King Cole

© Holidu

© Holidu

5. New Orleans – 8,798 songs

Popular song: “Walking to New Orleans” by Fats Domino

© Holidu

© Holidu

6. Miami – 7,809 songs

Popular song: “Miami” by Will Smith

© Holidu

© Holidu

7. Berlin – 6,276 songs

Popular song: “Ich hab’ noch einen Koffer in Berlin” by Marlene Dietrich

© Holidu

© Holidu

8. Atlanta – 4,834 songs

Popular song: “Night Train” by James Brown

© Holidu

© Holidu

9. Houston – 4,737 songs

Popular song: “I Can Almost See Houston From Here” by Bobby Bare

© Holidu

© Holidu

10. Tokyo – 4,179 songs

Popular song: “Woman from Tokyo” by Deep Purple

© Holidu

© Holidu

Holidu also compiled the 10 most mentioned cities in Europe. Joining Paris through Berlin are the Italian cities Milan and Venice, the Spanish cities Madrid and Barcelona, Vienna in Austria, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. While Italy leads the pack with three cities included, the country’s total mentions still fall short of Paris by over 2,000. Check out each city’s ranking in the graphic below.

© Holidu/Musixmatch

© Holidu/Musixmatch

While Holidu pored through 14 million lyrics, it’s important to note that this study had its limits. For example, it is strictly limited to Musixmatch’s database, and the data only includes exact matches of each city name in the lyrics or title of songs.