Rihanna burst to prominence over a decade ago with “Pon de Replay,” a pop-dancehall single that peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She shows strong regional differences in her appeal: She’s most popular along the East Coast and especially in the South.
3.Twenty One Pilots
Justin Bieber is especially popular in Las Vegas. He moved to electronic dance music in the last few years, which is the dominant genre at big nightclubs there. He had a bunch of big hits with D.J.s (think Jack U, “Where Are U Now”; Major Lazer, “Cold Water”; David Guetta, “2U”). And he has features on some of the biggest club songs of the moment: DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” and Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” remix.
Kevin Gates, a rapper from Baton Rouge, La., is known for his confessional sing-raps about his experiences with prison and poverty. His map is one of the most regionally focused in our set, with popularity concentrated in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. His hometown fans are truly die-hard.
“In just three years, this duo has achieved huge success while offending all sorts of constituencies: dance music purists, pop music enthusiasts, anyone with an interest in how women are represented in music,” Mr. Caramanica wrote in April. The Chainsmokers are popular in Northeastern college towns like Storrs, Conn., and State College, Pa.
Beyoncé put out one of her more ambitious records in 2016 with “Lemonade,” a meditation on marriage, fortitude and self-knowledge. It was not originally available on YouTube beyond the first single “Formation,” but as more videos were made available on the service, YouTubers responded with their attention spans. Her map is most similar to Rihanna’s.
The Weeknd, who has said that he aspires to be the world’s next Michael Jackson, got his start in 2010 with three videos uploaded to YouTube. Today he’s a global phenomenon, working with artists like Ariana Grande, Drake and Daft Punk. His collaboration with Daft Punk on the song “Starboy” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts late last year.
Eminem, the 44-year-old rapper from Detroit, has remained popular, with several hits in recent years, including “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard top 100 in 2013. His fan base is strongest in whiter and more rural places: West Virginia; southern Ohio; eastern Kentucky; deep north Maine; the Ozarks in Missouri; across the Great Plains. And, of course, Eminem is popular in his hometown, Detroit.
When “Atlanta” won the Golden Globe for best television series in January, Donald Glover, its creator and star, thanked the Migos, “not for being on the show, but for making ‘Bad and Boujee’ — that’s the best song ever.” The band had reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart by then, owing its popularity to bottom-up internet virality through YouTube and Spotify streams. The trio is hugely popular in its native Atlanta, and across much of the predominantly African-American South, although it also has large bases of fans in Chicago, Cleveland and Washington.
Drake did not invent memes or bottom-up or internet mixtape mashups, but no major artist understood or mastered those forms better or earlier than he did. He is listened to most in America’s large coastal cities: New York, Boston, Washington, Los Angeles. Of course, he is also one of Canada’s best-known modern exports, and American areas near Toronto light up here.
The R&B singer and dancer Chris Brown has concentrations of fans in the Mississippi Delta and the Montgomery, Ala., area, as well as in Northern cities like Milwaukee.
Katy Perry, the daughter of Pentecostal pastors, originally tested a career as a gospel singer before finding global success in pop. Her 2010 album “Teenage Dream” included five chart-topping singles. The artist behind tracks like “I Kissed a Girl” and “Ur So Gay” is surprisingly popular in Utah.
Where is America’s heartland? It’s a question we’ve asked before, and no one can seem to agree on its precise definition. Had we had seen this map of Taylor Swift’s fan base, we might have added it to our list of options. She is most popular in rural areas in the West and Midwest.
“All About That Bass” carried Meghan Trainor to popularity in 2014, turning her from a behind-the-scenes songwriter into a sensation. Her map shares some characteristics with Taylor Swift’s, but is splotchier, with concentrated fans in Utah, northern Michigan and New Jersey, and hollower spots around some cities.
He lives on! Or at least he’s not forgotten, particularly in Las Vegas, where he still has hits. “Billie Jean” never gets old, apparently.
Adele’s videos are broadly popular in America, as one might expect for one of the world’s most successful artists. The peaks of Adele fandom in our data range from Hawaii to Washington, D.C., to a patch of eastern Kentucky.
A South Florida rapper, Kodak Black is a regional favorite, but he is creeping up in national popularity. He had a big crossover hit this year with “Tunnel Vision.”
Shawn Mendes, a Canadian, initially cut his path to fame through Vine. Since then, he has established himself as a worldwide pop star. He opened for Taylor Swift on her North American tour in 2015, and his map shares some similarities with hers. But his fan base is more concentrated in parts of the Northeast, including along the Vermont-New Hampshire border.
Before becoming a star in her own right, Sia wrote hit songs for dozens of other artists like Beyoncé, Shakira and Britney Spears. Famously private, she is also known for bringing the wig-as-mask aesthetic to pop music. Her videos tend to be more popular in and around major metro areas like Minneapolis, Chicago and the Bay Area.
Calvin Harris, a dance music producer, has collaborated with several of the artists on this list, including Rihanna, Migos, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Big Sean and Sia. His map and Sia’s, one slot up, look a lot alike.
Adam Levine and the band he’s best known for, Maroon 5, are most popular in the Midwest and West. The distribution of their fan base is strikingly similar to Taylor Swift’s. Outside Maroon 5, Mr. Levine acts as a voice coach and co-star of the television show “The Voice,” a ratings blockbuster.
Nicki Minaj is the world’s biggest female rap star. She is popular across the South, especially in cities, like New Orleans; Jackson, Miss.; and Montgomery, Ala., but also across the urban corridor of the Atlantic coast, including Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.
28.Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert is a Philadelphia-based rapper who is one of the more notable examples of rap’s burgeoning lo-fi underground. His most recent hit, “XO Tour Llif3,” is a down-tempo break-up song that quickly went viral when it was released in February. It also spawned a meme known as the #LilUziVertChallenge, in which people mimed a casual shoulder shimmy along to the song. He is most popular along the Eastern Seaboard and in the Chicago metro area.
Post Malone, a rapper who crosses over into pop, gained notice in 2015 with his debut single, “White Iverson.” His peak fandom is scattered throughout both the North and the South.
Shakira has had worldwide success, particularly with her huge hit “Hips Don’t Lie” in 2006. But she first rose to popularity in Latin America (she was raised in Colombia). So perhaps it’s not surprising that her videos are the most popular in Latin American centers in the United States like South Texas, South Florida and Southern California.
31.Panic! at the Disco
Panic! At the Disco’s founding members are all from the Las Vegas area, and their videos are most popular there and in other parts of the West.
A superstar and a critical darling, Kendrick Lamar has a YouTube fan base that peaks mostly in the western half of the country.
Gucci Mane is originally from Alabama, even though he’s most closely associated with Atlanta. Ben Ratliff, a music critic at The Times, has written that “he’s a big part of the story of change in Southern hip-hop, including being an inspiration for the move toward Internet-aesthetics rap — the extreme reaches of absurdism and grimness achieved by Lil Yachty and 21 Savage on their new mixtapes.”
A record producer, a radio personality, a D.J., a record executive and a Snapchat superstar, DJ Khaled is very popular along the Eastern seaboard and among the states in the Deep South. But despite being a Miami fixture, his popularity in Florida isn’t nearly as widespread as it is in Mississippi.
If you feel as if you’ve seen a version of this map before, you probably have: Squint and you may recall a viral map of the places that account for 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Or a map of the counties where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump (54 percent of the population, but just 15 percent of the land mass). Justin Timberlake’s fan map is indeed like those in the sense that it is largely a map of American cities. Yet there is a notable exception: Southern cities do not particularly care for J-T. Even his hometown, Memphis, does not burn particularly brightly for him.
Big Sean is from Detroit and based in Los Angeles, and the map reflects that.
Zayn Malik, British-born and a former member of the boy band One Direction, adopted a more R&B style in his first solo album, released in March 2016. He is moderately popular nearly everywhere, more so in the Northeast and less so in the South.
38.Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line, a country band comfortable with hip-hop and R&B, is popular on YouTube in Appalachia. The band is not, as it happens, especially popular along the line between Florida and Georgia.
Selena Gomez currently holds the crown for the most followed individual on Instagram (Ariana Grande is second). The Disney alumna and Texas native is most popular in Southern California and South Texas.
Coldplay has been one of the best-selling musical acts in the world over the last two decades, and it is quite popular in several of America’s biggest cities and mostly white college towns like Austin, Tex.; Champaign-Urbana, Ill.; Boulder, Colo.; Ithaca, N.Y.
Imagine Dragons is one of the few big rock bands on this list. Its map resembles the one for Twenty One Pilots, another arena-filler.
Luke Bryan is a country star who is especially big in Appalachia, at least in terms of YouTube views. A native of Georgia who built his career in Nashville, he is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman, appearing in a show about hunting on the Outdoor Channel, which could help explain his popularity in places like northern Maine and Montana.
J. Cole’s map — and his music — is different from that of many of the rap stars on this list. He outperforms in the Southwest and in California (in addition to North Carolina, where he was raised). He’s an artist outside hip-hop’s mainstream, and the rise of online streaming has probably helped him thrive.
One of K-pop’s most famous boy bands, BTS is especially popular in Hawaii and parts of California, along with a curious pocket of fandom in northern Wisconsin.
As the Times critic Jon Pareles put it in 2010 when Lady Gaga was still a relative newcomer to fame, she “sings, writes, dresses and apparently exists to toy with celebrity as performance art, seeing how freaky (in a fascinating way) she can be as she reaches a mass audience.” The speckled look of her fan map suggests that her mix of outrageous fashion, eclectic musicality and social activism may resonate in particular with certain parts of the country.
Country Living magazine reported that fans were “confused” when Jason Derulo won an award at the CMT Music Awards for performance of the year in a collaboration with Luke Bryan. Mr. Derulo was better known as a pop and R&B singer. But his interest in several genres — including country — could explain his popularity in places like Kentucky.
The Times called Travis Scott, a rapper and singer from Houston, “one of contemporary hip-hop’s most energetic and disruptive live performers.” His videos hit peak popularity in Southern California.
Another product of Atlanta’s vibrant music scene, the young internet sensation Lil Yachty has, in the words of Mr. Caramanica, “created an alternate universe in which traditional narratives of rap excess are reframed as fantastical kiddie stories.” He’s most popular in his home region, and his videos get relatively fewer plays in the Rockies and the West.
A Rolling Stone readers’ poll picked Metallica as the best heavy metal band in history. It is particularly popular in a south-central swath of Texas. “Metallica is no stranger to San Antonio,” said James Hetfield, the band’s singer, rhythm guitarist and lyricist, while playing there in June. “People in San Antonio like their music heavy.”