Nashville, Country Music’s Capital City, Is More Than Just Master of None and Taylor Swift

On Thursday, all of country music’s stars, and Niall Horan, descended on Nashville (or, at least, those who weren’t there already; it’s hard to find a resident of the Tennesseean capital who isn’t a country musician, or an aspiring one) for the Country Music Association’s annual awards ceremony. Just the night before, a subsection of these musicians, like country megastar Faith Hill, gathered for the BMI Country Awards. (Also in attendance at the CMA Awards: model Karlie Kloss, because why not, and Nicole Kidman, because Keith Urban.) But even when there isn’t a star-studded awards show to see and be seen at, Nashville is, or has been, home to many of contemporary music’s most influential indie musicians, like Julien Baker, Sharon Van Etten, and Torres, aka Mackenzie Scott. Taylor Swift, of course, installed herself in Nashville during the country phase of her career. Karen Elson, the model-turned-folk singer, moved there with former husband Jack White more than a decade ago. Elsewhere in pop culture, Nashville also provided the backdrop for a spontaneous, and perhaps ill-advised, getaway for Aziz Ansari and Noël Wells during the first season of Master of None. Though Master of None’s Ticklers BBQ, and its famous white sauce, might be fictitious(which is probably for the best for those tourists looking to catch their flight), there’s still plenty of southern cuisine to go around—as well as an abundance of art and music. See why Nashville is the south’s It destination, as documented by the residents (and visitors) who do it best.


Karlie Kloss (in Elie Saab) and Kelsea Ballerini (in custom Michael Kors) backstage at the CMA Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, November 2017.


Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Aussie transplants in Nashville, go out for “date night,” as Urban captioned this image, September 2017.


Models Karen Elson and Lily Aldridge in Nashville, Tennessee, October 2017. “When Lily and I had a band (in my head),” Elson captioned.


Kacey Musgraves married fellow musician Ruston Kelly in a picture-perfect forest ceremony outside Nashville, Tennessee, October 2017.


Julien Baker has moved between Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee since her breakout debut album Sprained Ankle came out in 2015. Here, she plays Marathon Music Works with Frightened Rabbit, September 2016.


Carrie Underwood prepares to host the CMA Awards with Brad Paisley in Nashville, Tennessee, November 2017.


Karen Elson plays at a gathering organized by former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis in Nashville, Tennessee, August 2017.


P!nk enjoys an IPA after the CMA Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, November 2017.


Faith Hill (in Giorgio Armani) and Tim McGraw (in Tom Ford) at the CMA Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, November 2017.


Kacey Musgraves at home shortly after her living and dining rooms were redecorated by Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess in Nashville, Tennessee, January 2017.


Musicians Dan + Shay with fellow singer-songwriter Lauren Alaina Suddeth at the CMA Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, November 2017.


Niall Horan’s guitarist Jake Curran takes his seat next to Musician of the Year winner Mac McAnally at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, November 2017.


Miranda Lambert was photobombed by Faith Hill at the BMI Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, November 2017.