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New study: Michael Jackson is the most missed musical artist in Virginia

A new study was released this month that aimed to uncover the musician that each state misses the most. As it turns out, Michael Jackson ranked first for the state of Virginia.

This study, conducted by Custom Ink, compared Google search interest data for every major musical artist who has passed away over the past 75 years to determine the person most on locals’ minds in each U.S. state. Considering how many greats have passed away, there were probably many close calls when determining which artist ranked number one for each area. In the state of Virginia at least, the most “missed” musician is Michael Jackson.

Overall, the country-wide favorites are Freddie Mercury and Glenn Frey of The Eagles, who tied for first with 5 states each ranking them as the top artist, followed by Avicii (4 states) and Johnny Cash (4 states).

There are certain results from the study that reflect a strong (and expected) tie between regions of the U.S. and certain singers. For instance, Kurt Cobain was the top artist in Washington, his home state and a location where grunge/alternative was born, and Frank Sinatra was the most popular for those in New Jersey, likely because he’s from Hoboken and was generally popular in the New York/New Jersey area. Similarly, Prince ranked first in Minnesota since he was born and raised in Minneapolis, Jerry Garcia in Vermont because Ben & Jerry’s named a flavor of ice cream after him, now one of their top flavors. Additionally, Biggie Smalls is most popular in New York since he’s from and is popular in Brooklyn, and now Aretha Franklin ranked first Michigan, which makes sense since she grew up and started her career in Detroit.

So, why is Michael Jackson the most missed artist in Virginia? For one, he was simply a superstar, and his absence from this study would have been questionable. When it comes to Virginia specifically though, the tie is likely that he chose to spend time in the state. It was even reported that he was moving to Virginia at one point in time.