Favorite music genres in the United States in 2011 and 2012

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Classic rock ('60s - '80s)26.7%28.2%
Pop/top 40/current hits18.8%19.1%
80s-90s hits17.4%16.4%
Alternative/modern/indie rock16.3%18.7%
Oldies ('50s - '70s)15.7%17.2%
R&B 12.4%13.6%
Soft/adult pop/rock10.7%11.3%
Hard rock/metal/hardcore10.2%9.5%

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Description Source More information
The statistic provides data on favorite music genres of the U.S. population in 2011 and 2012. According to the source, classic rock music was the most popular in 2011, with 28.2 percent of respondents naming it as one of three genres they enjoyed most. In 2012, country came out on top as 27.6 percent of respondents cited it as their favorite music genre.
Country music in the United States – additional information

In 2012, country music topped the list; 27.6 percent of respondents picked it among their three favorite genres. A year earlier, the result was one percent lower, which allowed classic rock to take the lead. The figures show, however, the genre’s popularity across the United States is unshakeable and it has also been spreading abroad. This could be demonstrated by the international success of (among others) Shania Twain or the second place the Dutch country duo “The Common Linnets” received in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014, singing “Calm after the storm.”

The genre is also widely popular among American teenagers, earning the second place and 15.3 percent of votes in a survey in August 2012. The first place and more than 18 percent of votes was awarded to pop music, rock scored 13.1 percent and landed in fourth place. Interestingly, Christian music made it to top five with nine percent of votes. The younger generation is also widely represented among country music performers with such prominent names as Taylor Swift (born in 1989), who was the highest paid musician in 2015, and Hunter Hayes (born in 1991).
Country music is also able to attract crowds (and large sums of money) to live performances. Luke Bryan’s tour was the most successful tour in North America in 2016 based on ticket sales as almost 1.43 million tickets were sold for his shows. Fellow country singer, Garth Brooks, came second on the list, selling 1.4 million tickets for his tour in North America in 2016.
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Release date
February 2013
United States
Survey time period
2011 and 2012
Age group
13 years and older
Special properties
data was weighted and projected to be representative of the U.S. internet population
Method of interview
Online survey
Supplementary notes
Consumers were asked to select the three genres they were most interested in, and that they regularly listened to, purchased CDs or digital downloads, or attended shows.
The source does not provide more exact information about the date of survey.

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