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Nashville is the largest city and capital of the state one Tennessee in the
United States. The city has 692,587 residents (U.S. Census, 2018) and is the
core of a major metropolitan area, comprising 14 counties (counties)
with around 1.93 million residents. The city is considered the country music
capital, is famous for its music industry and is often called 'Music City, USA'.
Nashville is located on the Cumberland River in central and northern
Tennessee. Much of the city lies on and at a height (117-354 meters above sea
level). The downtown area is characterized by many tall buildings. The city has
a number of parks.
The name is after Francis Nash (c. 1742–1777), a general in the Continental
Army during the American War of Independence.
65.3 percent are white, African-Americans make up 27.7 percent, 10.4 percent
are Hispanics and Latinos, 3.9 percent are Asians and 0.5 percent are from North
American Indigenous peoples.
The population is steadily increasing except for a small decline of 2 per
cent between 1950 and 1960. Between 1960 and 1970 the increase in the number of
residents was greatest with 162.2 per cent.
Economics and culture
The health care system is the largest employer with about 200,000 jobs in the
Nashville area. Other important business avenues are finance, insurance,
education, music industry, publishing and printing, transport and tourism.
Many large companies are headquartered in Nashville, including Ernst & Young,
Bridgestone Americas, Deloitte and Dell. United Methodist Publishing House is
one of the world's largest publishers of religious literature.
Nashville is a university and college town with Fisk University (founded
1867), Vanderbilt University (founded 1873), Belmont University (founded 1890)
and Tennessee State University (founded 1912).
There are several museums including Frist Center for the Visual Arts,
Tennessee State Museum, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, Johnny
Cash Museum (with Patsy Cline Museum on the second floor), Historic RCA Studio
B, National Museum of African American Museum, a full-size copy of
the Athens Parthenon in Centennial Park as well as The Hermitage,
President Andrew Jackson's residence and burial ground a few miles outside the
The most famous country music radio program, Grand Ole Opry (from 1925), is
broadcast all over the United States. Also located in the Music Valley district
is the Willie Nelson & Friends Museum Showcase. Other well-known places for
country music are the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Belcourt Theater
and Ryman Auditorium. The latter was the abode of the Grand Old Opry until 1974,
when it moved to the Grand Old Opry House 14 kilometers east of downtown. The
Schmererhorn Symphony Center Concert Hall (opened in 2006) has been the
Nashville Symphony's venue since 2006.
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center is home to the Nashville Ballet,
Nashville Opera, Bugle Corps, Music City Drum and Nashville Repertory
Theater. Other well-known theaters are Bridgetown Arena, Andrew Jackson Hall and
James K Polk Theater.
Significant annual events include Nashville Fashion Week in March or April,
Nashville Film Festival in April, Rock n'Roll Nashville Marathon in April, CMA
Music Festival in June, Let Freedom Sing 4, July, Tennesse State Fair in
September, Nashville Oktoberfest in October and the Country Music Association
Awards in November.
The strategically located Nashville Village was founded on the Cumberland
River and near Fort Nashborough in 1779. Nashville had 345 residents in 1800 and
gained city status in 1806. As a port of commerce and transportation on the
Cumberland River, the city developed and became the state's political
center. Wealthy businessmen and plantation owners built large houses, and in
1843 Nashville became the capital of Tennessee. The town was hit by
a cholera epidemic in 1849-1850.
In the 1850s, the city's importance also increased as a railway junction, and
it grew rapidly. The Tennessee State Capitol Building was erected at the city's
highest point in 1845–1859.
During the American Civil War, Nashville was occupied by Union troops in
February 1862. The last major battle of the Civil War was fought outside the
city in December 1864.
In 1873, a new cholera epidemic ravaged Nashville and claimed about a
thousand lives there.
Towards the end of the 19th century, shipping and trade brought new wealth
and growth to Nashville.
The city was characterized by rage. In 1892, African-American Ephraim
Grizzard was lynched in front of ten thousand white spectators.
A full-scale copy of the Parthenon in Athens was built in Centennial Park as
part of the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exhibition.
In the 1920s, Nashville developed into a central country for country
music. After World War II, several suburbs grew up outside the city limits and
Nashville received reduced tax revenues. The first skyscraper, Life & Casualty
Tower, was completed in 1957 and was followed by several others in the downtown
area. In 1963, Nashville was merged with the Davidson County. Since the 1970s,
the city and surrounding area has experienced strong economic growth.
In 2010, much of Nashville was hit by a major flood that took 11 lives and
caused major material damage. In 2016, Nashville passed Memphis as the largest
city in Tennessee.