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There are plenty of themes that singers use in the lyrics of their music from love and heartbreak to party anthems and aspirations. But there's one common thing artists reference a lot: cars. And new research analyzing lyrics from the top 100 Billboard Hotlist artists of 2018 has revealed the car manufacturers most referenced in modern music.
According to U.K.-based car comparison site carwow, Mercedes Benz was the car manufacturer featured most prominently as the brand was mentioned 407 times in songs by artists in the top 100 Billboard Hotlist. Incredibly, that's nearly two-and-half times more than the car that came in second place—Bentley—which appeared in 170 songs. Lamborghini came in third place, with 132 mentions in 2018.
"What is interesting is seeing Mercedes Benz, a comparatively affordable and realistically aspirational car in comparison to others on the list, far outranked other manufacturers such as Ferrari or Lamborghini," Vix Leyton at carwow.co.uk said in a statement. "Prestige is not always something you have to be a millionaire to get, and some brands have a heritage worth more than their price tag."
The study also found the genres and artists most likely to name-drop brands within their music. The results? Rap music accounted for almost half of all car brand mentions, followed by pop (26%), country (17%), and R&B (8%). And out of the 100 artists analyzed, 87 referred to a specific car brand or model with 1,374 individual car brand mentions collectively across the various artists' songs.
As far as artists that mentioned car the most, Gucci Mane, Young Thug, and Tyga topped the list for rap while Post Malone, Bruno Mars, and The Weeknd did for pop. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Chris Young had cars in their songs more than any other country artist, and Miguel, Bebe Rexha, and Khalid took top honors in the R&B category.
"Cars have long been a status symbol, so it's easy to see why songwriters use them as shorthand for the kind of luxury life successful musicians are living, and the one listeners aspire to. This is by no means a new phenomenon, Hall of Fame legends like Aretha Franklin and Bruce Springsteen were making reference to the iconic Pink Cadillac decades ago," added Leyton. "But in terms of modern charts, artists in hip hop and rap are more likely to flash the cash, making up the top 10, and it's no surprise to see Kanye West making the list."