Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona

The 3 most cited athletes in music

Many singers, such as Drake, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, among others have been inspired by sports players to write their songs. The admiration that singers seem to show over soccer, basketball players are expressed in songs. Of course, Lionel Messi and Kobe Bryant are there!  Scroll down to get to know who they are!

  • The most popular sport in songs is soccer, as its players are mentioned at least in 2.738 songs.
  • Many of the athletes mentioned in the list appear in rappers Drake and Jay-Z’s songs.


3) Michael Jordan

In the third position, we find Michael Jordan. He is probably the most well-known basketball player in the world, and according to this study, he has been named in 439 songs. Among them, “Show Me What You Got” by Jay-Z and “Back to Back” by Drake.

2) Lionel Messi

The Barcelona’s superstar occupies the second place, by being named in 553 songs. He is the most cited soccer player and his name appears in songs such as “Holy” by Justin Bieber:

“When they get messy, go lefty like Lionel Messi”.

The Argentinian is mentioned in so many songs, that he is ahead other soccer player legends like Maradona and Cristiano Ronaldo.

1) Kobe Bryant

The NBA legend is the most cited sport player in songs by being mentioned in 1147 occasions.  He’s been immortalized in rap songs such as "Ego" by Beyoncé and Kanye West and JAY-Z’s "Some People Hate":

"I had dreams of the league, one day I’d play Kobe, Or walk up to Puff and he would really know me"


Jay Z and Kobe Bryant during a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game. Source: Getty

The list goes on, but in 4th and 5th position, we find boxer Mike Tyson, who was mentioned 407 times and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who is cited in 280 songs. Soccer is gaining more importance over the world every year and that is why soccer players’ names are the most mentioned in songs. The Barcelona's superstar Lionel Messi is probably the most famous player of this sport and  that is why many singers seem to show admiration for him:  so much so that they created over 553 songs with his name.

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