The Ultimate Detroit Road Trip Playlist

Spotify data shows people here have an ear for their city's rich musical past.
HuffPost is hitting the road this fall to interview people about their hopes, dreams, fears ― and what it means to be American today.

Spotify has curated playlists reflecting the local flavor of each stop on HuffPost’s “Listen to America” tour using location-based data to find out what people are really listening to in 20-plus cities. Check back for more from Sept. 12 through Oct. 30.

The Motor Town that begat Motown Records, a veritable hit factory cranking out soul-infused pop tracks, has stayed true to its musical roots over the ensuing decades into today. It’s true the population of Detroit has dwindled over the years (giving rise to the “blight porn” genre of photography). But its creative spirit certainly hasn’t gone anywhere. The arts are as essential a part of this Northern city as snow in the winter; in addition to its annual jazz fest, Detroit plays home to an electronic music festival that attracted tens of thousands of revelers in 2017.

Detroit considers itself a city on the rise, and its often fiercely loyal residents take immense pride in breathing new life into its neighborhoods. Our list, though, would be woefully incomplete without reflecting the city’s rich past: Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and more are all found below. Jack White and The White Stripes hail from Detroit, where the former 8 Mile resident Eminem also grew up. Depending on your politics, you may be less joyed to hear the name Kid Rock, famously “made in Detroit,” but the city has plenty of other homegrown talent: Aailyah, Big Sean and The Romantics, to name a few. 

More than other places around the U.S., Detroiters are partial to rappers including Sada Baby and Allstar Jr, along with singers Anita Baker, Kelly Price and Kindred the Family Soul. Some select Top 40 tracks popular here round out the list:

Spotify playlists for the “Listen to America” campaign were created by looking at each location’s most popular songs (streaming in the highest numbers at time of publication), distinctive songs (currently being streamed more in this city compared to all other cities in the world) and tracks from local artists. While many picks are data-driven, some songs are handpicked from data lists to assure the playlists reflect a variety of genres and decades, as well as a healthy gender balance.