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Kentucky – 50 States of Music


Music industry contribution to state GDP


Jobs Created


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Kentucky is music.

The Bluegrass State's musical heritage has deep roots in Appalachian folk music, but has spread to encompass a broad swath of styles and sounds. It is home to country icons like Loretta Lynn and Dwight Yoakam, and modern talents like Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton. Alternative rock band "My Morning Jacket" hails from Louisville, and "Mother of Folk" Jean Ritchie was born in Viper. Kentucky's live bluegrass scene is second to none, but it also hosts festivals featuring blues, country, folk, jazz, rock, and beyond, drawing devoted fans across the spectrum of musical tastes.


  • Bill Monroe
  • Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Loretta Lynn
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Rosemary Clooney
  • Sturgil Simpson

Music Venues & Festivals

  • Al's Bar
  • BB&T Arena
  • Best Friend Bar
  • Bourbon & Beyond Festival
  • Brown Theatre
  • Cosmic Charlies
  • Eastern Kentucky Expo Center
  • Festival of the Bluegrass Festival
  • Freedom Hall
  • Forecastle Festival
  • Gerstles Place
  • Headliners Music hall
  • KFC Yum! Center
  • Lexington Opera House
  • Madison Theater
  • Magnolia Bar
  • Romp Fest Festival
  • Summer Motion Festival
  • The Mercury Ballroom
  • The Southgate House Revival

Music Schools

  • Campbellsville University
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Kentucky
  • Western Kentucky University

Major Music Conferences

  • Kentucky Baptist Music & Worship Conference
  • College Music Society National Conference
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