Nashville is also a publishing center, specifically for religious texts and church sheet music (Thomas Nelson is the largest producer of Bibles in the world), leading the city to hold the name "the Buckle of the Bible Belt." Additionally, Nashville has over 700 churches, the most of any city, and is the headquarters for the National Baptist Convention, the National Association of Free Will Baptists, and the Gideons International. Finally, thanks to its existing music and religious publishing infrastructure, Nashville is also the main center of the contemporary Christian music industry.
Despite the strength of the Nashville religious community and its location in the south, Nashville itself is a left-leaning city, with a history of liberal voting patterns, in part because of the city's strong urban black population and large number of educational institutions.
Nashville is also referred to as the "Athens of the South" because of its numerous academic institutions, the most prominent of which (and Nashville's largest employer) is Vanderbilt University, founded by Cornelius Vanderbilt. Additionally, Fisk University, a historically black college, is located in Nashville—as are the Fisk Jubilee Singers, one of the nation's most prominent Gospel groups. In a nod to the title of "Athens of the South," Nashville constructed a full-scale copy of the Parthenon, the only one in existence, which sits in Centennial Park.
Nashville's most famous industry, however, is its country music industry, primarily located around Music Row. While Nashville's music scene started with Gospel and Church music (the Fisk Jubilee Singers were one of the first major music groups to come out of Nashville and Queen Victoria said that they "must have come from a musical city."), but with the creation of the Grand Ole Opry (played on WSM-AM, a radio station that can, at night, be heard across North America), Nashville became the center of the growing music industry. Multiple major record labels, including Capitol Records, are based in Nashville.
Despite the ongoing strength of the country music industry, Nashville has also developed a strong punk scene and a strong rap scene, the last of which gave the city the name "Cashville." Nashville also played host to the making of PBS's "TV Worth Watching" campaign in the mid-'80s, with the original version, written by Craig Deitschmann and Timmy Tappan, sung by Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter duo Billy Davis and Marilyn McCoo and produced by Soundshop Productions.
Nashville is the home of the Tennessee Titans NFL team (named in a reference to the classical auspices of the city), the Nashville Predators NHL team (named in reference to the saber-toothed tiger fossils found beneath the city), the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team (named in reference to the country music industry), and the most recent addition, Nashville SC in Major League Soccer. The MLS team started play in 2020, taking over the name and history of the city's former team in the second-level USL Championship. Music City is also home to four NCAA Division I programs:
- Vanderbilt Commodores (Vanderbilt University) The city's best-known program by far, seeing that it's the only one that has an FBS (top-level) football team. Charter member of the Southeastern Conference.
- Tennessee State Tigers (Tennessee State University) Represents the city's largest historically black university. Member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), including for FCS (second-level) football. For more than 30 years (19862018), it was the only HBCUnote in Division I in a conference consisting mostly of non-HBCUs.note
- Belmont Bruins (Belmont University) A private, nondenominational Christian school that joined the OVC in 2012 thanks to conference realignment, but doesn't have a football team. Moving to the Missouri Valley Conference in 2022. Arch-rival of:
- Lipscomb Bisons (Lipscomb University) Another non-football school, affiliated with the Churches of Christ and members of the ASUNnote Conference. The Belmont rivalry is generally known as the "Battle of the Boulevard"; the two schools are less than 3 miles (5 km) apart on Belmont Boulevard. The men's and women's basketball teams play twice a year; almost every other non-conference rivalry in the sport is played once a year at most.
Nashville in media:
- Evil Genius: "Acts of infamy" are means for player-controlled supervillain to level-up in notoriety. Send some minions away, with risk factors in mind, and notoriety climbs up as a minor evil plan is carried out. Per Flavor Text of one such act (carried out in the east-coast region of fictional America), a hefty number of advanced scientific minions are to set up and trigger an earthquake device to... obliterate Nashville, for its being the place of origin of country music. It also states that the job as such is an act of good, which is okay every once in a while, it's to make next evil deed more pronounced.