From Adele to Selena Gomez – most popular music artists in the US
March 27th, 2023, Kineree Shah

From Adele to Selena Gomez – most popular music artists in the US

Some parts of the music industry are hitting high notes with the advent of the music streaming era. Artists are fetching record amounts for their catalogs and Justin Bieber is one of the many chart-toppers who has already jumped on this bandwagon, reportedly earning a cool $200 million for his back catalog. Other notable artists like Dr. Dre, Keith Urban, and Bruce Springsteen have also struck similar deals. To help businesses hit the right notes with their investments, we've compiled data from YouGov Profiles on the most popular genres of music among Americans, as well as their favorite artists.

Pop music is the most popular genre across all generations, with two in five Gen Z (43%), millennials (39%), and Gen X (42%) citing it as their favorite. Rap or hip-hop is also a popular genre among Gen Z (38%) and millennials (37%), but it drops off significantly among older generations,  probably due to its relative recency. Rock is most popular among baby boomers (61%) with Gen X (59%) also showing a strong preference for the genre, something which may be reflective of the era they grew up in.

Our Ratings data reveals some interesting intergenerational patterns on the most positively rated music artists. Adele is the most positively rated artist with more than half of Americans rating her positively across all generations (she is also widely popular in her home nation, as the UK version of this article reveals). Lady Gaga is another artist who consistently receives high positive ratings across all generations, while Bruno Mars and Kelly Clarkson are also popular across multiple age groups. Our list includes current pop music artists and excludes any who are no longer making music.

One key difference in the data is the preference for Selena Gomez among Gen Z/millennials, who rated her more positively than any other generation. The silent generation, on the other hand, shows a preference for Susan Boyle, who received the highest positive rating among that age group and means it is British artists leading the way with all generations.

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Methodology - YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative of the online population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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