11 Most Listened Music Genres in the United States

Rock Music

United States has the most listened and largest music market across the world with a total retail value of $4, 898.3 million in the year 2014. Their styles are influenced by the Irish, West American, Scottish, Cuban, and Mexican music. Overall, the country has 12 internationally renowned genres including rock, pop, jazz and more. The question is which of these genres are the favorite of the Americans?

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Neilsen Music unveiled their 2014 year-end music report revealing the top music genres most listened by the Americans. And yes, rock prevails in the list, twice popular as the pop music.

Below is a breakdown of the top and most favorite musical genres in the U.S.


  • Rock - 29%
  • R&B/ Hip Hop - 17.2%
  • Pop - 14.9%
  • Country - 11.2%
  • Dance/EDM - 3.4%
  • Christian/Gospel - 3.1%
  • Holiday/Seasonal - 2.6%
  • Latin - 2.6%
  • Jazz - 1.4%
  • Classical - 1.4%
  • Children - 1%
  • Rock Music

    The breakdown was calculated based on the vinyl and CD sales and digital download and online streaming by fans and users using the formula:

    Total track downloads/ track equivalent albums (TEA) + total streams/ Streaming equivalent albums (SEA) + album sales tally.

    Rock Music


    Rock music commenced in the United States in the 1950’s and was originally referenced as the “rock and roll” influenced by rhythm and blues and country music.  By 1960 and forward, different styles were developed in UK and US. 

    Basically, rock music’s common identity is the electric guitar with drums and electric bass guitar.

    Below is the list of the top 10 rock music of all time based on the interview conducted by the Planet Rock.

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    Stairway to Heaven- Led Zeppelin

    Stairway to Heaven was the result of the combined effort of Jimmy Page, guitarist, and Robert Plant, vocalist, of the band Led Zeppelin for their fourth studio album. The song is considered as the best rock songs of all time. Released in 1971, Stairway to Heaven was voted #3 in the Greatest Rock Songs by VH1 on 2000. It also ranked 31st in The 600 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone.

    Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen

    Bohemian Rhapsody is a six-minute suite without a chorus composed by Freddie Mercury in 1975 for the Queen’s studio album A Night at the Opera. The song was released on October 31, 1975, under progressive rock genre. Bohemian Rhapsody was reported as the most expensive single produced in 1970’s.

    An Australian comedy Trio named SketchShe comically performed the Bohemian Rhapsody in the car.

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    Free Bird- Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Free Bird is a popular song by the Lynyrd Skynyrd and was referred to by Lorry Fleming as the most-requested song in the rock music history.

    Released in November 1974, Free Bird bowed in number 19 at the Top 40 hits and ranked at number 3 on the 100 Greatest Guitar solos of the Guitar World.

    Smoke on the Water- Deep Purple

    Smoke on the Water was released in 1972 by the Deep Purple band as part of their Machine Head Album. It lands number 434 at Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest songs of all time and number 4 at the Greatest Guitar Riffs Ever in the Total Guitar Magazine.

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    Comfortably Numb- Pink Floyd

    Comfortably Numb is Floyd’s most popular album for its guitar solos. Released on June 23, 1980, the song first appeared on their double-album, The Wall, on 1979. It landed number 314 of the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and ranked 5th at the Desert Island Discs hosted by the BBC Radio 4.

    Rock music has been doing better with time. The above top 5 list were all released in the 70’s although the survey was just conducted recently. And that provides a deep insight that rock music is really a hit, not only in the United States but all over the world.

    Do you agree with this survey? Tell us your thoughts.

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