In The Great Debate Over Beatles Vs. Elvis, Beatles are America’s Favorite Band While Elvis is Musical Artist Number Two

    New York, N.Y. – August 27, 2014 – In 1964, four musicians from Liverpool appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Now, fifty years after that iconic performance, John, Paul, George and Ringo, otherwise known as The Beatles, are America’s favorite musician or band, moving up from a tie for third place in 2010. Their counterpart in that 2010 tie, Elvis Presley – who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 – moves up to the number two spot this year.

    After dropping a secret album earlier this year and performing with her husband to sold-out crowds around the country, Beyonce debuts on the favorite musician or band list at number three.

    They debuted their first album 46 years ago and their song Stairway to Heaven consistently lands on classic rock top ten lists, and now Led Zepplin debuts in the number four spot. And after conducting his farewell tour, the King of Country, George Strait, moves up two spots to number five on this year’s list.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll¨ of 2,306 U.S. adults surveyed online between July 16 and 21, 2014.

    New to the list, at number six, is the musician who drummed, shimmied, and sang through this past year’s Super Bowl Half-time show, Bruno Mars. Next, and rounding out the top ten, are four performers who all tie for the number seven spot. Three are new to the list – Neil Diamond, The Eagles, and Garth Brooks. The last is this list’s 2010 headliner, Celine Dion.

    With six new additions to the list, that means six singers or bands – one crooner, one rock/pop, one pop, and three country – dropped from the top ten this year. The country acts are Tim McGraw (who was number five), Rascal Flatts (who were number eight), and Alan Jackson (who was tied for number nine). The rock/pop band is U2 (who were number two in 2010), and the pop singer is Lady Gaga (who was number six), while the crooner is Frank Sinatra (who was tied for number nine).

    Different Strokes for Different Folks, and so on and so on and Scooby dooby doÉ

    As Sly and the Family Stone sang 45 years ago, there are definitely different strokes for different folks, especially when it comes to favorite musicians and bands. Between the sexes, men say the Beatles are their favorite, while women say BeyoncŽ is their favorite singer. Regionally, there are actually more similarities than differences as the East, South and West all say the Beatles are their favorites, while the Midwest differs, with Bruno Mars on top for them.

    One of the generational arguments that will never end is the fight over music. Whether one grew up in the 1950s with the birth of rock and roll or the 1970s with disco or the 1990s with hip-hop, there will always be members of older generations who shake their head at something new. So, it makes sense that each generation has their own favorite musician or band. For Millennials it’s BeyoncŽ, while Gen Xers go in a very different direction and say Metallica is their favorite. Baby Boomers remember their youth and say the Beatles are their favorite band, while for Matures Willie Nelson is their number one.

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    TABLE 1

    FAVORITE SINGER/MUSICIAN/BAND

    Who is your favorite singer/musician or band?

    Unprompted responses

    Base: All adults

    2010

    2014

    Beatles

    3

    1

    Elvis Presley

    3

    2

    Beyonce

     

    3

    Led Zepplin

     

    4

    George Strait

    7

    5

    Bruno Mars

     

    6

    Neil Diamond

     

    =7

    Eagles

     

    =7

    Celine Dion

    1

    =7

    Garth Brooks

     

    =7

    DROPPED OFF OF LIST IN 2014

    U2 (was No. 2), Tim McGraw (was No. 5), Lady Gaga (was No. 6), Rascal Flatts (was No. 8) and Alan Jackson and Frank Sinatra (both ties for No. 9)

     

     


     

    TABLE 2

    TOP MUSICIAN AMONG DIFFERENT GROUPS

    AMONG:

    2014

    Men

    Beatles

    Women

    Beyonce

    Millennials (18-37)

    Beyonce

    Gen X (38-49)

    Metallica

    Baby Boomers (50-68)

    Beatles

    Matures (69+)

    Willie Nelson

    Republicans

    Beatles/Willie Nelson

    Democrats

    Beatles/Bruno Mars

    Independents

    Beatles

    East

    Beatles

    Midwest

    Bruno Mars

    South

    Beatles

    West

    Beatles

    Parent of child under 18

    Bruno Mars

    Not parent of child under 18

    Beatles

     

     

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States July 16 and 21, 2014 among 2,306 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

     

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

    The Harris Poll¨ #83, August 27, 2014

    By Regina A. Corso, VP, The Harris Poll and Public Relations

    About Nielsen & The Harris Poll

    On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll. Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.