You might think that corporate ownership of radio stations and streaming services means that everybody everywhere listens to the same music. While there’s some truth to that, there are significant local differences when it comes to popular songs, with top hits differing from state to state and from city to city. (This is the most popular song every year since 1970.)
Apple Music’s City Charts tracks the top songs in some 100 cities worldwide, including 19 in the U.S. 24/7 Tempo has reviewed Apple Music’s data from those cities, which is based on a combination of number of plays and additional signs of local popularity, to determine each one’s most popular current recordings. The cities are here ordered by population.
One standout is “Super Gremlin” by Kodak Black. It’s the most popular song in cities across the country, including Dallas, Miami, San Francisco, and Seattle. It was released in October 2021 as the lead single from the compilation “Sniper Gang Presents Syko Bob & Snapkatt: Nightmare Babies” and is included on Kodak’s fourth studio album, “Back for Everything.” (These are the best-selling artists for digital singles.)
Another biggie is “Something in the Way” by Nirvana. Written by frontman Kurt Cobain, it was recorded more than 30 years ago. However, it received a new lease on life when it appeared on the trailer and soundtrack for “The Batman.” It’s the top song in cities such as Austin, Denver, and Phoenix. (Here is the most popular movie soundtrack since 1980.)
Also noteworthy is “City of Gods” by Fivio Foreign, Kanye West, and Alicia Keys. It’s the No. 1 song in New York. Perhaps that’s not surprising as it uses the chorus from the 2015 Chainsmokers song “New York City.”