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Star Cities: Which city has produced the most iconic stars?

25 Feb | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Star Cities: Which city has produced the most iconic stars?

We map the locations where the biggest stars in the worlds of art, sport and finance were born.

From amazing actors and perfect pop singers, to daring directors and flashy footballers, our planet is packed to the brim with stars. But where in the world are all of these stars coming from?

The team here at online casino Betway have scoured the globe to reveal the birthplace of some of the biggest stars that the world has ever seen, and calculated which countries, cities and states have produced the most star names.

Everywhere in the world is home to its local legends, and flash-in-the-pan figures who have achieved their fifteen minutes of fame, but what is it that separates a city’s run-of-the-mill celebrities from its most successful and stand-out stars?

Taking 10 different categories, from Oscar winners, Olympians, footballers, musicians and more, we have collated data to reveal the top cities that produce famous and noteworthy figures. Let’s take a look at where in the world the most stars were born.

The most star-studded cities in the world

It’s official – the data reveals that New York City, USA is the home of the stars, with a total of 48 recognised stars being born in the city that never sleeps.

New York has birthed an abundance of Oscar winners, with 14 New Yorkers getting their hands on an Academy Award during their career, including Christopher Walken and Adrien Brody.

New York is also the birthplace of eight of Spotify’s most-streamed artists, plus 10 of the planet’s highest-paid executives. New York has also seen eight Nobel Prize winners emerge from its streets, biologist David Baltimore and physicist Burton Richter to name but a few.

Nowhere comes close to the number of stars produced by New York, but London, England puts in the next best effort with 31 stars being born in the big smoke. Like New York, London has unleashed a liberal amount of Oscar-winning actors out into the world, including such names as Elizabeth Taylor and Emma Thompson, as well as classic actors like Charlie Chaplin and contemporary names like Daniel Kaluuya. Elsewhere London has also birthed three Nobel Prize winners, as well as five famous artists.

Despite being home to the stars of the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, which has birthed a total of nine stars, is pipped to the post by Philadelphia, USA which has produced an impressive 13 stars – including five of the highest-paid executives from around the world.

Rome, Italy is the birthplace of a number of stars, seven to be exact, from across several fields. The Roman empire may be ancient history now, but the city of Rome is still dominating the world with its star exports, especially in the fields of film and sport. There are two Oscar-winning actors, two Palme d’Or winning directors, one Olympic gold medal winner and two title-winning football managers who call Rome home, including Claudio Ranieri who’s managed in England with several Premier League football teams.

Paris, France has produced an incredible 23 star names. It may be unsurprising since the Cannes Festival is held in France, but Paris has produced an eye-watering eight Palme d’Or winners, including legends of the New Wave era like Claude Lelouch and Jeanne Moreau, as well as contemporary directors like Jacques Audiard.

The most star-studded cities in the UK

It may come as no surprise, considering that it is by far the largest city in all of the UK, that London is the most star-studded city in the country with the vast majority of the UK’s stars calling the English capital city home.

Out of England’s 13 Academy Award-winning actors, 11 of them were born in London, including the likes of Star Wars’ Alec Guinness and Downton Abbey’s Maggie Smith. Plus, Kate Winslet – from neighbouring city Reading – makes the cut, suggesting that the South East of England is truly the place to be for aspiring actors.

London also boasts its fair share of pop stars, with five Londoners propping in Spotify’s top 100 most streamed artists of all time. The likes of Adele and Sam Smith – who have each lent their voices to Bond theme songs – make the cut, meanwhile, Dua Lipa and Elton John, who recently collaborated for the chart-topping single ‘Cold Heart’, are two more star names who call London home.

Other English destinations to have produced several star names include the town of Middlesbrough in the North East of the country, which has given the world two hugely successful football managers in Don Revie and Brian Clough, who went head to head on the touchline more than a few times in the 1970s. Meanwhile, Middlesbrough is also the home of X Factor winner, James Arthur, whose music has been streamed multiple times all over the world on Spotify.

Elsewhere in the UK, Scotland is not without its fair share of stars, with the sport of football mostly to thank for the country’s star status. Scotland has birthed eight legendary football managers, plus two famous players. Scotland has produced one internationally renowned artist in Eduardo Paolozzi, who was born in Edinburgh to Italian parents. Plus there are the likes of Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay from Johnstone and world-famous DJ Calvin Harris from Dumfries, who each call Scotland home.

Wales has made its own contribution to the world’s collection of star names, relying heavily on the worlds of football and film to help Welsh citizens achieve star status. Former Manchester United player, Ryan Giggs, who was born in capital city Cardiff, and legendary Leeds United finisher John Charles from the city of Swansea fly the flag in Wales in the sporting world.

Northern Ireland is not without its star names too, with another former Manchester United footballer leaving his mark on the history books by the name of George Best – the late striker was born in Belfast and is so celebrated in the city that he even has an airport named after him. Also born in Belfast is Betty Williams who won the Nobel Prize for peace in 1976, for her efforts to resolve the infamous Troubles. Northern Ireland’s final star name is Michelin star chef Clare Smyth who was born in County Antrim.

The stars of Spotify, by state

In the digital age of downloads and streams, American artists are dominating the charts. Out of the top 100 most streamed Spotify artists of all time, 60 of them hail from the United States, but in which of the 50 states can you spot the most streaming stars?

The battle between America’s East and West Coast rages on, with both California and New York state topping the charts, with nine contributions to the top-100 list each.

Most of New York’s most successful streaming stars hail from New York City, including the likes of chart-toppers, A$AP Rocky, Cardi B, Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga.

Back in California and the stars are slightly more spread across the state, although the city of Los Angeles does offer up two contributions, namely Billie Eilish and Doja Cat – two of the hottest stars of the moment no less. Compton is famously the home of hip hop, and also offers up two stars in the shape of Tyga and Kendrick Lamar. Elsewhere in California, there’s Frank Ocean from Long Beach, G-Eazy from Oakland, Lauv from San Francisco, Olivia Rodrigo from Murietta, and of course the ‘California Girls’ singer herself, Katy Perry, who hails from Santa Barbara.

Texas is one of the largest states in all of America but has only contributed three stars to Spotify’s top 100, namely Beyonce, Selena Gomez and Travis Scott.

The home of European football

It’s no secret that Europe is home to most of the world’s greatest football clubs and players, with nations like Germany, France, Italy, Spain and England dominating world football at both international and club level. But just where in Europe are these proud footballing institutions finding their fresh talent?

Italy is officially the home of European football, with an impressive fourteen Italian-born football managers making the cut in an official all-time top 100 list, plus thirteen of the top 100 football players of all time. The city of Milan is the place to go for Italy’s best players, with the fashion capital of the world producing two legendary footballers, namely Paolo Maldini and Giuseppe Meazza, where other Italian cities could only contribute one.

Some notable Italian managers include Fabio Capello, who hails from the town of San Canzian d’Isonzo and was in charge of the England national team at the 2010 World Cup. There are also two former Chelsea managers in the shape of Carlo Ancelotti from the town of Reggiolo and Antonio Conte, who was born in Lecce. Each of these legendary managers won a Premier League title with Chelsea, and won a Serie A title with a Milan club, with Ancelotti claiming his Scudetto with AC Milan, and Conte clinching the trophy with rivals Inter Milan.

Germany has also given the world a great number of legendary football managers and players, with nine German footballers, as well as thirteen football managers ranking within the top 100 of all time. These legendary German football stars hail from a total of 20 different towns and cities in Germany, with standout selections being players Gerd Muller from Nordlingen and Munich’s Philip Lahm who captained his hometown club of Bayern Munich.

As fantastic as Germany’s football-playing exports are, the nation’s greatest talents made their name in the management side of the game. Stuttgart-born manager, Jurgen Klopp will be familiar with fans in Germany and England alike, after he led both Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool to triumphant league title wins and Champions League finals.

Elsewhere, England has produced more than its fair share of footballing talent, with six of the best 100 players and 13 of the greatest managers of all time hailing from towns and cities across England. Northern-born players have proven to be English football’s shiniest stars, with Stoke born Stanley Matthews, Sheffield’s Gordon Banks and Birkenhead baller Dixie Dean all starring in the all-time top 100. Not to mention 1966 World Cup hero, Bobby Charlton, who hails from Ashington – a town that is even further north than Newcastle.

Huge credit goes to Scotland which proves that it might be one of the wisest footballing nations in Europe by producing a total of eight legendary football managers. Stand-out stars from Scotland’s football management scene include Sir Alex Ferguson and Matt Busby, notably of Manchester United, and then there’s Kenny Dalglish and Bill Shankly who both famously reigned in the Liverpool dugout.

Making a movie director

While the Oscars draw in a huge buzz each year, all the genuine film buffs know that the real creme de la creme directors in the world of filmmaking are awarded at the Cannes Festival, with the coveted Palme d’Or being the standout prize.

Our data reveals that the USA has birthed more Palme d’Or winners than any other nation, with a grand total of 23 star directors – it is the home of Hollywood after all. Some noteworthy names include the mob movie master Martin Scorsese who was born in New York City. While on the West Coast, Clint Eastwood represents California’s only top prize winning contribution to the Cannes Festival.

The state of Michigan boasts two Palme d’Or winning directors in the shape of documentary maker Michael Moore and The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola. Meanwhile, the state of Minnesota also sneaks in two Palme d’Or directors with brothers Joel and Ethan Coen who have paired up for a total of 20 films and counting, including the Palme d’Or winning Barton Fink.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, France boasts more Palme d’Or winning filmmakers than anywhere else in Europe, with a total of 17 decorated directors hailing from France. More specifically, eight of these famous names from film were born in Paris, while other star directors were born in other French locations, such as Ben Hur director William Wyler, who was born in the city of Mulhouse near the Swiss and German borders. Plus there’s Laurent Cantet, who won the prize in 2008 for The Class and was born in the town of Melle in Western France.

On the other side of the channel, England’s filmmakers have also proven successful, with six English-born directors claiming the top prize at Cannes. Namely legendary Lawrence of Arabia director, David Lean who was born in Croydon, London. As well as social-realist auteur Mike Leigh, whom despite his close links with Salford in the North of England, was born in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire.

England’s impressive number of Palme d’Or is sadly not enough to live up to fellow European nation, Italy, which has produced an incredible 14 winners of Cannes Festival’s top prize. Some of Italy’s greatest gifts to the film industry include La Dolce Vita director Federico Fellini who was born in Rimini, plus decorated directors from the cities of Rome, Milan, Naples and more.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany has contributed its fair share of famous directors with three Palme d’Or winning names calling Germany their home. These include the likes of Wim Wenders from Dusseldorf, plus multilingual director Michael Haneke, who was born in Munich.

The cities with the highest-paid executives

Our data has revealed that the USA again reigns supreme in terms of producing star talents, with a jaw dropping 70 out of world’s 100 highest-paid executives hailing from the United States.

New York state again leads the way with a total 21 highly-paid executives being born there, ten of which in New York City, including the JP Morgan Chase executive officer, James Dimon, and the CEO of the Target Corporation, Brian Cornell.

Other states to have produced multiple multi-million earning executives include Pennsylvania with a total of nine highly-paid executives, plus California, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio which are each the birthplace of three of the world’s wealthiest executives.

Elsewhere in the world, our data has proved that Asian nations have perfected the art of producing executives with a big pay packet. India has birthed five of the world’s highest-paid executives, while Iran and Taiwan have each given the world three wealthy executives.

While the data has shown that Europe still has some way to go to catch up the USA and Asia in producing wealthy executives, the nation that is leading its European counterparts is England with three of the world’s highest-paid executives including London’s James Quincey who is CEO of The Coca-Cola Company and heir to the NewsCorp empire, Lachlan K. Murdoch, plus Manchester-born Anthony Wood who is the CEO and founder of Roku Inc.


Taking 100 of the best stars from ten categories, we reveal which hometown makes the most successful people. The ten categories include, Oscars, Nobel Prize, Olympics, Most streamed artists, The Palme d’Or, football managers, footballers, artists, Michelin star chefs, highest-paid executives.

NB: Kygo removed from most streamed artists due to unknown birthplace

Where people were born in areas that no longer exist or have changed name, the most recent location name was used.